YPO Honors Extraordinary CEOs for Making Global Impact
Each year, YPO members who are using their skills to make extraordinary, beneficial impacts in their communities around the world are named Global Impact Honorees.
In 2019, four inspirational YPO members are being so honored.
Charlotte (Lotte) Davis, Founder and CEO of One Girl Can
Through One Girl Can, Lotte Davis is channeling a force that has driven her since her childhood in South Africa: gender imbalance and racism. She founded this passion project to empower girls through education to break the cycles of poverty and gender inequality.
One Girl Can supports girls from the time they exit elementary school until they are fully educated and gainfully employed. The organization has built or fully renovated 102 buildings in its nine schools in Kenya and Uganda and mentored more than 20,000 students. It has provided high school scholarships for 442 girls plus 212 for university, for a total of 654 students in five years. In addition, One Girl Can provides a two-day conference in Nairobi each year to prepare university students for the job market.
Davis is the founder and continued hands-on leader of One Girl Can. She raises funds and in-kind donations through a percentage of proceeds from her business, AG Hair, high-end galas and grassroots projects that connect girls in Canada with girls in Kenya and Uganda.
Marc Lubner, CEO of Afrika Tikkun
Marc Lubner is an evangelist for the good business can do.
Dedication to business lifted his immigrant grandfather out of desperate poverty and led his father to found the transformational charity that Lubner has directed to new heights, Afrika Tikkun.
Afrika Tikkun empowers youth by proactively finding solutions to poverty through a Cradle-to-Career program Lubner developed. More than 200,000 children have been aided through the organization, with his family foundation contributing significantly to office costs, infrastructure and overall management.
Afrika Tikkun earned acclaim from the beginning, including an endorsement by the late Nelson Mandela, who said the program “demonstrates in a practical and sustainable manner what can be done with limited resource, great commitment and passion.”
Marc also is Founder and Executive Chairman of The Smile Foundation, which provides surgical relief, psychosocial support and training support to state hospitals. The organization, launched with Mandela, was driven by Lubner’s determination to build facilities and systems that would materially change life outcomes for children who reside in impoverished areas with facial and hand disfigurements and have no access to medical aid. More than 2,000 children and their families have been assisted to date, and the organization has broadened its scope to build infrastructure projects such as the development of burns units and social media clubs for patients and their families.
Evan Marwell, CEO and Founder of EducationSuperHighway
Evan Marwell founded EducationSuperHighway to take on one of the biggest challenges facing public education in America – the digital divide. Through collaboration with federal and state policy makers, service providers, and school districts, EducationSuperHighway has helped put digital learning technology at the fingertips of nearly every student in America.
In just a few years, EducationSuperHighway has connected more than 40 million students to the broadband they need for digital learning and has secured commitments from 49 governors to upgrade their schools for the 21st century. Because of Marwell’s innovative data-driven and focused approach, 98 percent of public schools now have access to high-speed Internet in the classroom, and the K-12 digital divide is projected to be a thing of the past by the start of the 2020 school year.
Kristin Groos Richmond, Co-Founder and CEO of Revolution Foods
Kristin Groos Richmond leads Revolution Foods, which provides healthy, delicious school and community meals nationwide. Revolution Foods’ vision is to transform citywide wellness, ensuring students have access to affordable, healthy meals and advancing systems change in the communities they serve – from policy and food systems to driving positive student academic and health outcomes.
When they were in start-up mode in 2006, Richmond and her business partner, Kirsten Saenz Tobey, cooked, packaged and delivered the meals themselves. Now they have revolutionized the school lunch line —and created more than 1,500 jobs — by designing, producing and delivering 2 million kid-inspired, chef-crafted meals to 2,500 sites across 15 states every week, including early childhood education centers, districts, charter schools, and community and afterschool youth programs.
The best lead by example
Global Impact was launched in 2012 by former YPO chairmen who wanted the world to hear what these extraordinary members were doing. They created a Global Impact Steering Team (GIST) comprising international leaders of YPO and established measurable criteria for selection.
“Even to be considered for Global Impact is an honor,” says Alain Chetrit, Co-Founder and GIST Chair. “To be chosen means your efforts are truly extraordinary. Each of these honorees inspire us to be better leaders and better world citizens.”
This brings the total number of YPO Global Impact Honorees to 30. They remain in the honoree circle as long as they are members of YPO, sharing their stories in hopes of inspiring others to also make the world a better place.
“Honors like this are one way to give YPO members a target to aim for,” says Buddy Teaster, CEO of Soles4Souls and a Global Impact Honoree since 2015. “YPO is full of amazing people doing amazing things. I look forward to the day when there are hundreds more members whose inspiring stories are shared with YPO and the world.”