CEO of nonprofit wins award for advocacy

first_imgJacqueline Novogratz, CEO of the nonprofit global venture fund Acumen, received the 2013 Notre Dame Award for International Human Development and Solidarity for her advocacy for the revitalization of impoverished communities. University President Fr. John Jenkins presented Novogratz with the award on behalf of the Ford Family Program in Human Development Studies and Solidarity in a ceremony Thursday. The event in the Hesburgh Center Auditorium was part of the Notre Dame Forum on women in leadership.  Jenkins said Novogratz stands as an exemplary person in the area of women in leadership because of her dedication to human dignity. “There are two dangers when seeking to help people in need. One is condescension; the other is imposing solutions on the poor,” Jenkins said. “Novogratz is particularly worthy of celebration for avoiding those dangers.” “She displays a profound respect for the dignity for those whom she serves, knowing that the real gifts in life are not material, but empowering acts of love that form community.” Fr. Robert Dowd, director of the Ford Family Program, echoed Jenkins’s remarks, emphasizing the power of human dignity that drives the mission of the program. “We are thankful to Jacqueline Novogratz for advancing the mission of the Ford Family Program, which seeks to help people to lift themselves out of poverty and produce sustainable outcomes,” Dowd said. Novogratz spoke about the mission of Acumen, the nonprofit organization she founded in 2001 after working in the banking world of New York City. Novogratz is the daughter of Catholic immigrants from Austria, a fact which made Notre Dame stand as a mythic name in her family while she grew up. She also holds an honorary degree from the university. To begin her remarks, Novogratz appealed to the sense of kinship at the heart of Acumen’s mission. “We all do this work in different ways, and we do this work together and stand on top of each other’s shoulders,” she said. Acumen attempts to unify aspects of philanthropy with a sound understanding of investing to fund aspiring entrepreneurs primarily in Africa and south Asia, Novogratz said. “The goal is to take the humanitarian impulse of philanthropy with the efficiency of the market while recognizing the limitations of the market as well,” she said. Novogratz said this approach enables her to taks on issues of poverty and the great “un-freedoms” of economic inequality in a new and courageous way. Building and renewing conventional institutions lies at the core of this pursuit, and Novogratz lauded Pope Francis for his own efforts to renew one of the world’s oldest institutions: the Catholic Church. Since the organization’s founding in 2001, Novogratz said it has made immense strides, providing funding to projects that serve more than 100 million people around theworld. These projects aim to give the poor time to make mistakes and to help them satisfy basic needs in their communities, she said Novogratz gave two examples of how poor entrepreneurs have transformed their communities with funds from Acumen. Bruce Robertson, an entrepreneur originally from South Africa, took funds to Gulu in northern Uganda, a place typified by refugees and the aftermath of genocide. He gave capital to the newly returned inhabitants, trusting some who had virtually no farming experience. “Today, there are 50,000 farmers as part of an all-Uganda company in Gulu,” Novogratz said.  “This is an image of resurrection.” Jawad Aslam, a Pakistani-American, used Acumen funds to establish low-income housing outside the Pakistani city of Lahore, Novogratz said. Aslam provided the poor with sustainable shelter without bribing corrupt officials. “Jawad did what was right, not what was easy,” Novogratz said. “Many people go into this thinking they’re building bricks and mortar, but Jawad built a community. There was one mosque in the whole settlement, and Jawad worked with the elders so that Imams from various Islamic sects could share.” The innovation of empowered citizens, along with the charity of philanthropists and ordinary kind-hearted individuals, maks these projects possible, Novogratz said. Novogratz provided a final example of her personal encounter with the poor to show how various kinds of capital can change the world. “I was visiting a site with an Australian entrepreneur who sells solar energy. I asked a woman who had bought his product if she thought it needed any improvements. Though she said she loved the product, she went on to list four ideas for improvement,” Novogratz said.  “Seeing this little woman talking to this big man with such confidence about how he could improve his product reminded me of why I founded Acumen – to empower the poor to find their own solution.” In the end, Novogratz said we need both the soft and the hard – the head and the heart – to fight the status quo, the bureaucracy, corruption and complacency. “We need charity and philanthropy, but it can create dependency and arrogance, and the systems that will better the world have human dignity at heart,” she said. Contact Charlie Ducey at [email protected]last_img read more

2005 in review

first_imgAgricultureBusinessEducationEnvironmentFood& HealthHome& GardenLifestylesInternationalScienceWeather Between the Christmas gifts and the New Year’s resolutions, youmay want to look back on the news of 2005 before you get startedon 2006. Here’s a look at the year’s top stories from the GeorgiaFACES news to use about Georgia Family, Agricultural, Consumerand Environmental Sciences. Sorted by date and linked to thestory in our archive, here are 2005’s top 10 stories in 10categories: agriculture,business,education,environment,food& health, home& garden, international,lifestyles,scienceand weather.last_img read more

Adventure Thirsty

first_img Photo courtesy of Staff at Wilderness Adventure Bald sunset Tree Climbing Photo courtesy of Staff at Wilderness AdventureI remember the question clearly. I was talking to a professor in my college years and we were swapping stories of outdoor escapades, interrupting each other with friendly one-upsmanship. On the wall above his desk hung a large framed picture of a fly fisherman standing ankle-deep in flowing water with his line half out and waving behind his shoulders.He paused to ask, “who got you into all of this, how did Mother Nature pull you in, what connects you to the natural world,” or more simply put, “why?” And I remember sitting there trying to think of a thoughtful response. His intentions were good but I was struck by the question. Their were plenty of small reasons, really sensations, as to why the natural world resignated with me; a cool breeze on a summer’s day, orange and yellow blossoms in the Autumn sky, or perhaps sleeping under an infinite sky filled with different planets.But I couldn’t put a cummalitive thumb on it, on “why?” And then, as I stuttered to poorly explain a jumble of an answer, a lightbulb flicked on and I realized that the question for me had never been why, but instead it revolved around why not?If their was no need for the trees, the aestetics and the leaves, what substitute for air would I breathe? If the morning sun forgot to rise, how could I fail to notice the darkened skies? And without a need to know more, to see whats behind every door, without this Adventure Thirst, then the question can be reversed; Why?I don’t remember what I told my professor thay day, but after our conversation I recognized my intrinsic “why-not” attitude towards the natural world, the satisfaction of something so simple embedded in complexity, and it opened a brand new appreciation for the world I live in. The question now stands for those of you with a wandering eye out the window, the weekend warrior, andthe air-breathers; Why Not?center_img Photo courtesy of Staff at Wilderness Adventure Flippin awesomelast_img read more

Momma on Board

first_imgMy mom is awesome.She’s definitely where I get my adventurous side. Growing up, my mom was the one who introduced me to the outdoors and instilled in me an insatiable curiosity for the world. We went for walks together, rode horses together, saved countless stray cats and dogs and hid them in abandoned barn stalls so my dad wouldn’t find out. She’s smart, funny, caring (almost to a fault), a total goob, and my best friend. She’s where I find the motivation to get up every day and make the most out of every moment, no matter the obstacles. She’s wise beyond her years yet still gets mistaken as my sister. She rocks tattoos on both of her forearms, has the best taste in music, and lets me push her off rocks (okay maybe not willingly).Circa 2011, New River Gorge, West VirginiaCirca 2011, New River Gorge, West VirginiaAs if all of those qualities weren’t good enough, my favorite part about my mom is that she’s willing to try just about anything. Starting tomorrow, my mom will be joining me on the road for the next two weeks. From the mountains of western North Carolina to the Shenandoah Valley of Virginia, this pretty lady is going to be my partner-in-crime, sidekick, copilot, cooking buddy, Go-mate. The best part? I couldn’t be more excited.Stay tuned for updates from our ramblings and we’ll see you on the road!last_img read more

This week: Congressional Caucus, Dodd-Frank hearing, more

first_img 9SHARESShareShareSharePrintMailGooglePinterestDiggRedditStumbleuponDeliciousBufferTumblr NAFCU’s Congressional Caucus kicks off tomorrow in Washington, D.C., as the association prepares for a busy week that will also include testimony by Dixies Federal Credit Union President and CEO Scott Eagerton about the Dodd-Frank Act on behalf of NAFCU before a House subcommittee.Tomorrow at Caucus, former Reps. Tom Davis, R-Va., and Martin Frost, D-Texas, will deliver a keynote address to attendees on what could help solve the legislative stalemate in Washington. They will be followed by close to 30 other speakers from the Senate, House, NCUA and other federal agencies during the week’s general sessions.On Thursday, Eagerton will testify on the impact of the Dodd-Frank regulatory burden on his $41 million, South Carolina-based credit union before the House Small Business Subcommittee on Economic Growth, Tax and Capital Access. The hearing will mark NAFCU’s fourth time testifying before Congress this year. continue reading »last_img read more

The evolution of credit unions

first_imgWe all know that our economy and our society is evolving rapidly through data collection and advanced analytics, yet we are surprised by news each day of another business area adopting advanced techniques. Within the world of finance, credit unions are beginning this same evolution.We might think “even credit unions” are changing, but with thousands of credit unions and a naturally more collaborative environment, groups of credit unions are combining resources to deploy advanced analytics. Although this will happen naturally, the proposed CECL accounting rules for loan loss reserves will cause a dramatic shift in the use of data and analytics at credit unions, comparable to the changes occurring at larger banks due to CCAR and DFAST.Recently, I had the pleasure of presenting a webinar sponsored by OnApproach, a Credit Union Service Organization, and Deep Future Analytics, an advanced predictive analytics solution for Credit Unions and Community Banks.In Preparing for CECL I discussed what will be needed to estimate the numbers needed for CECL. Vintage analysis, macroeconomic factors, and credit quality adjustments will all be key components. I believe that those who designed CECL asked for all the right things, but did not realize the effort and investment required to comply. The goal of my talk was to highlight that CECL is an investment, not a cost, because if done right, the insights gained will directly impact pricing and underwriting, portfolio management, and risk appetite assessment. continue reading » 2SHARESShareShareSharePrintMailGooglePinterestDiggRedditStumbleuponDeliciousBufferTumblrlast_img read more

Maintaining your position as a primary financial institution with connected payments

first_img 10SHARESShareShareSharePrintMailGooglePinterestDiggRedditStumbleuponDeliciousBufferTumblr,Dr. Debbie Bartoo Dr. Debbie Bartoo focuses on creating innovative new service offerings in financial services in her role as Head of Innovation at PSCU. Her experience spans innovation, strategy and analytics in … Web: www.pscu.com Details Findings from a recently released white paper indicate that the explosion of the Internet of Things (IoT) represents a massive opportunity for credit unions. The white paper – which is based on a report by Javelin Strategy & Research – can be downloaded in its entirety here. According to recently released findings by Javelin Strategy & Research, customers of giant banks are more willing to adopt the latest technologies, such as fingerprint authentication and mobile wallets, and tend to have higher ownership rates of smart devices such as smartphones, fitness bands and smartwatches. In contrast, credit union members appear to lag or be at par with the general population in a number of categories, such as smartphone ownership and usage of fingerprint authentication. However, slower adoption rates and lower willingness to use the latest technology should be viewed as both a potential opportunity and challenge for credit unions.The opportunity rests with how credit unions introduce new technologies and features to their members in a way that does not take away from the desired personal relationship. The challenge is that as new technologies become proven and mainstream, credit unions must be able to offer them to their members or else face potential attrition. One potential key driver to consider is that credit union members tend to prefer having a personal relationship with their financial institution (FI) over using technology. For example, among nonusers of mobile banking, 39 percent of credit union members report they, “prefer dealing with people,” compared with 34 percent in the general population. Further, skepticism for new and unproven technology, such as voice banking, is high among credit union members, with 36 percent stating they do not feel it is secure, compared with just 29 percent of the general population. Given these findings, credit unions should consider implementing four strategies to ensure they remain the primary FI relationship:Encourage members to adopt a “set it and forget it” payment preference for all new connected devices and mobile wallets.Promote the credit unions’ debit and credit cards as the preferred payment method, allowing members to concentrate their digital spend with their primary FI (the credit union) and have the greatest control over their cash flow. Getting members to initially sign up with their credit union card as the payment choice (“set it”) for each new connected technology adopted (e.g., smart washing machine) creates an obstacle for competitors due to the mindset of the consumer to “forget it” when it comes to changing the preferred payment method. Only in cases of dissatisfaction or an extreme competitive reward offer will a consumer go back into setup to change a payment preference, and the same holds true for mobile wallets. This “set it and forget it” approach can be a powerful tool for credit unions, as it becomes an educational awareness program that can be accompanied by small, one-time incentives to be effective.Drive mobile wallet adoption among credit union membership. It is no longer a question of if a member will use a mobile wallet but rather a question of when. In order to get ahead of the game, the credit union should proactively educate members about how to use the wallet and incentives to drive its payment cards into that wallet. Once the card is in the wallet, the consumer mindset becomes “set it and forget it,” as described earlier. Develop a strategy to drive credit union cards as the preferred payment choice for six key companies, due to their size and relation to digital payments.Amazon is the largest e-commerce player and has deployed Alexa, its digital assistant, to control connected device paymentsWalmart is the largest physical point-of-sale merchant that has deployed its own wallet and is investing heavily in e-commerceSamsung, a leader in digital technology and IoT devices with its own wallet, is positioned to perform well in tomorrow’s connected homeApple, a key wallet player, is gaining power in the connected world and will soon deploy its digital assistant for the homeGoogle, which is investing heavily in the IoT, the connected home (e.g., Nest) and Android Pay/Google Wallet, is critical to future adoption for credit union members Facebook, the largest social media site and owner of Instagram, is investing heavily in e-commerceCredit unions should focus on these companies as critical to driving their future payment strategies, as these six players are likely to control the majority of digital dollars spent in the near future by all consumers, including members. By promoting their cards as preferred payment choices, combined with a “set it and forget it” approach, credit unions can position themselves to capture significant payment volume from the IoT, e-commerce and mobile wallets. Consider using education to drive adoption of more advanced banking technologies in combination with the desire for a face-to-face relationship.The desire for members to prefer interacting with actual people presents an opportunity for credit unions. For example, they can use this personal touch to explain how fingerprint biometrics can be used as an improved method of authentication for mobile banking login. Credit unions should always consider how they deploy new technologies in light of members’ desire for human interaction. This could be as simple as hosting mobile banking tutorial sessions at a branch or deploying a button on a mobile banking app allowing the user to contact a live agent during a mobile banking session. Providing the option for members to interact with a human being while using their smart devices will further enhance their experience with your credit union. last_img read more

24-Hour Red Kettle Challenge hopes to raise money for Salvation Army

first_imgVESTAL (WBNG) — You can find bell ringers with the Salvation Army outside many stores throughout the holiday season. Chet Schultz of Greene will be manning a kettle at the main door starting at 4 p.m. and ending Saturday at 4 p.m. “That invitation stands for everybody in the community! Come on down! We don’t need a lull,” he said. So no matter the hour, come out and help Schultz spread some holiday cheer. Schultz has been involved with the Salvation Army of Binghamton for several years. But Friday evening at the Vestal Walmart, one man will be stationed there for 24 hours. “I generally ring at Walmart at the main door and sing Christmas carols for two straight hours while I ring,” said Schultz. “I’ve never gone longer than two hours so it will be a little bit of an endurance test for me but I thought, hey why not? Let’s go ahead and give it a shot, let’s see what we can do,” said Schultz. “Growing up I’ve seen bells out on the street corners and in front of various businesses for years and for me it’s just a very easy but a very nostalgic way to raise money for a fantastic cause that helps a lot of people,” he said. “This is extremely important because we are running behind in our kettle collections due to the late start of the holiday season. And all of this money stays in the community and helps families in need,” said Schultz. But he’s never done something like this. “As an organization to have someone like Chet step up to take on this challenge is an enormous blessing to us. To have somebody just say ‘I want to help you guys in the most extreme way possible and I’m going to stand at a kettle for 24 straight hours,’ that’s a big deal,” said Captain Joseph Hansen with the organization. He said while it may be tough, he volunteered to help out a good cause. And the Salvation Army couldn’t be more thankful. There will be some guest ringers stopping by as well throughout the 24 hours.last_img read more

Better health care will lower abortions

first_imgThis isn’t because they want to have more abortions. It’s because their underfunded, substandard, erratic and chaotic health care leaves them little alternative. The situation is only likely to become worse as more red states line up to adopt Republican cuts in Medicaid that will make it even harder for poor women to get regular checkups.Because of limited medical options, low-income women have a much lower rate of effective contraception than women higher on the income scale. With regular gynecological care, there’s every reason to expect that poor women’s use of contraception would resemble that of other women in the United States.Unfortunately, that’s not currently the case. The result of ignoring poor women’s health needs is that we end up with approximately 600,000 more unplanned pregnancies and 300,000 more abortions each year than if we provided all women with accessible medical care.If we truly want to lower the abortion rate, we should be increasing funding for organizations such as Planned Parenthood. “De-fund Planned Parenthood” may be an effective slogan for whipping up the conservative base. But for the hundreds of thousands of additional fetuses that will be aborted each year due to wretched health care for low-income women, that slogan is a death sentence.Well-funded health care translates into vastly fewer abortions. Isn’t that what “pro-life” people say they want?Jacqueline DoneganSchenectadyMore from The Daily Gazette:Foss: Should main downtown branch of the Schenectady County Public Library reopen?Schenectady department heads: Budget cutbacks would further stress already-stretched departmentsSchenectady man dies following Cutler Street dirt bike crashEDITORIAL: Beware of voter intimidationSchenectady’s Lucas Rodriguez forging his own path in dance, theater, music Categories: Letters to the Editor, OpinionIf anti-abortion proponents really want to drastically reduce the number of abortions in America, instead of just using the issue to score political points, there is a straightforward solution: Provide decent health care for low-income women.In his book, “Sex and the Constitution,” University of Chicago constitutional scholar Geoffrey R. Stone notes that while poor women make up 15 percent of the population, they account for 42 percent of all abortions.last_img read more

ISVA and RICS to merge after 10-year debate

first_imgTo access this article REGISTER NOWWould you like print copies, app and digital replica access too? SUBSCRIBE for as little as £5 per week. Would you like to read more?Register for free to finish this article.Sign up now for the following benefits:Four FREE articles of your choice per monthBreaking news, comment and analysis from industry experts as it happensChoose from our portfolio of email newsletterslast_img