This gives me an opportunity to brag about a man making a difference in this world; his own mark, from community to corporate, and back to community again. But the last move back to support community was completely by choice. The man is Brian Tippens, an executive with HP, one of the world's leading companies.
Brian happens to be Black, or African-American, but he is certainly not "Black for a living." Brian Tippens is a strong leader and a responsible corporate executive who also happens to "be Black."
I have known Brian for some time, but didn't really know him well until I saw what he did for others. About this time last year I was asked by one of my offices if I could make a trip out to the Bay Area to say 'thank you' to HP corporation, which had donated computers for our HOPE Inner-City Cyber Cafe in our Oakland HOPE Center, in turn supported by Center signature partner Bank of the West.
The interesting thing is, this was as much a leadership commitment of one Brian Tippens, as it was a corporate philanthropic commitment from and by HP. We and I thanked both. The commitment said a great deal about both also.
And so now you will know what I mean, when I say that I was deeply touched and honored to have Brian Tippens note me as his "Most Influential Leader" at a recent leadership development conference.
An admiration that goes both ways.
"Like most corporate execs I have the opportunity to attend leadership development summits from time to time. For this week's training we were asked to identify our "most influencial leader". — with John Hope Bryant."
John Hope Bryant is a thought leader, founder, chairman and CEO of Operation HOPE and Bryant Group Companies, Inc. Magazine/CEO READ bestselling business author of LOVE LEADERSHIP: The New Way to Lead in a Fear-Based World (Jossey-Bass), the only African-American bestselling business author in America, and is chairman of the Subcommittee for the Under-Served and Community Empowerment for the U.S. President’s Advisory Council on Financial Capability, for President Barack Obama. Mr. Bryant is the co-founder of the Gallup-HOPE Index, the only national research poll on youth financial dignity and youth economic energy in the U.S. He is also a co-founder of Global Dignity with HRH Crown Prince Haakon of Norway and Professor Pekka Himanen of Finland. Global Dignity is affiliated with the Forum of Young Global Leaders and the World Economic Forum. Mr. Bryant is a thought leader represented by the Bright Sight Group for public speaking. Mr. Bryant serves on the board of directors of Ares Commercial Real Estate Corporation (NYSE: ACRE), a specialty finance company that is managed by an affiliate of Ares Management LLC, a global alternative asset manager with approximately $59 billion in committed capital under management as of December 31, 2012.