ACCION President to be Awarded ‘Ellis Island Medal of Honor’
María Otero to be Recognized at Ellis Island Ceremony on May 10th
Boston, MA, May 9, 2008 - ACCION® International, a pioneer and leader in microfinance, today announced that its president and CEO, María Otero, will be awarded the ‘Ellis Island Medal of Honor’ on Saturday, May 10th, by the National Ethnic Coalition (NECO). NECO annually presents the medals to American citizens of diverse origins for their outstanding contributions to their communities, their nation and the world.
Ms. Otero was born and raised in La Paz, Bolivia. She joined ACCION in 1986 as director of its lending program in Honduras and in 2000 was named president and CEO of the organization. Ms. Otero is a leading voice on sustainable microfinance, and has published extensively on the subject, including as co-editor of The New World of Microfinance, published by Kumarian Press. She speaks throughout the world on microfinance and the use of market mechanisms to fight poverty.
“I’m truly grateful to NECO for recognizing me along with so many remarkable citizens, and to have the opportunity to highlight ACCION’s work and how microfinance can impact global poverty alleviation,” said Otero.
Since 1986, NECO has been presenting the medals at Ellis Island each May. Past Ellis Island Medal of Honor recipients include six presidents of the United States, Nobel Prize winners, athletes, leaders of industry, artists, and others whose work has had a lasting impact on humanity.
About ACCION InternationalACCION International is a private, nonprofit organization with the mission of giving people the financial tools they need – microenterprise loans, business training and other financial services – to work their way out of poverty. A world pioneer in microfinance, ACCION was founded in 1961 and issued its first microloan in 1973 in Brazil. ACCION International’s partner microfinance institutions today are providing loans as low as $100 to poor men and women entrepreneurs in 25 countries in Latin America, Asia, Africa and the United States. In the last decade alone, ACCION partners have disbursed more than 17.9 million loans totaling more than $12.3 billion; 97 percent of the loans have been repaid. Selected for the fifth consecutive year for its pioneering approaches to poverty alleviation, ACCION was among 45 organizations awarded the 2008 Social Capitalist Award by Fast Company Magazine/Monitor Group. ACCION has also been awarded Charity Navigator’s highest rating – four stars – for efficiency and sound fiscal management. For more information, visit www.accion.org.
ACCION® is a registered trademark of ACCION International.
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Contact:Nicole CassidyCommunications SpecialistACCION InternationalTel. +1 617-616 –firstname.lastname@example.org