SOURCE: Operation HOPE, Inc.

December 11, 2007 14:00 ET

Operation HOPE Announces Election of Mid-Atlantic Board Chair

Celie Niehaus, Senior Vice President, E*TRADE Bank Will Lead Operation HOPE's Efforts to Promote Financial Literacy in Mid-Atlantic Region

WASHINGTON, DC--(Marketwire - December 11, 2007) - Financial literacy nonprofit Operation HOPE (HOPE) announced today that Celie Niehaus, Senior Vice President, E*TRADE Bank, has been elected chair of Operation HOPE's Mid-Atlantic Board. In her new role, Ms. Niehaus will help champion HOPE's efforts to provide economic empowerment to low-income individuals residing in the District of Columbia and surrounding areas.

"I am honored to be elected by my fellow board members to the position of chair of the Mid-Atlantic board," said Celie Niehaus, Senior Vice President, E*TRADE Bank. "Operation HOPE continually delivers on the promise of financial independence, providing access to and education about financial products and services. I am proud to lead the board as we embark on the next phase of expansion in the communities surrounding Washington, D.C."

Ms. Niehaus replaces former and founding Board Chair Steve Ryan, Esq, who successfully steered the cohesive Mid-Atlantic Board over the last three years. An accomplished attorney and senior partner at the prestigious law firm McDermott Will & Emery, it was under Mr. Ryan's stewardship that the Washington D.C./Anacostia HOPE Banking Center was established. This was also the site of HOPE's first historic HOPE Economic Summit.

"Celie Niehaus is a proven leader who has dedicated the past three years to serving as a member of the Mid-Atlantic board. We wholeheartedly welcome the dedicated leadership that Celie Niehaus will bring to the Mid-Atlantic board," stated Operation HOPE Chairman and CEO John Hope Bryant. "We are extremely fortunate to have the guidance of such an intelligent, dynamic and enthusiastic individual at the helm."

Ms. Niehaus has served on the Mid-Atlantic board of Operation HOPE since 2004, supporting the significant accomplishments of the region, including the opening of the Anacostia HOPE Center and the HOPE Economic Summit. At E*TRADE Bank, Ms. Niehaus is primarily responsible for the identification, assessment, and mitigation of regulatory risk, as well as community investment for the global banking entity solutions and services. Ms. Niehaus manages the company's relationships with regulatory agencies and numerous community and non-profit organizations, such as the Arlington (VA) Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors.

Ms. Niehaus will lead the Mid-Atlantic Board to promote HOPE's objectives with the assistance and support of 12 dedicated members. They are:

Matthew Geary           DeLise Bernard             Sandra Braunstein
Board Vice Chair        Special Assistant          (Emeritus)
Executive Vice          to the President           & Community Affairs
President               Beyond Excellence:         Federal Reserve Board
E*TRADE Bank            Expert Health Solutions    of Governors

Dana H. Bryson          R. Edward Ingle            Brian C. Jones
Vice President          Managing Director          Manager
Business Dir. of the    of Government              Dell
Division of Consumer    Affairs
Development             Microsoft Corporation
MacFarlane Partners,

Alyson Klug             Susan Mason                Bernard (Bernie) McKay
President               (Permanent guest)          Vice President of
Citibank, Mid-Atlantic  Corporate Affairs          Corporate Affairs
Citibank                Intuit                     Intuit

B. Doyle Mitchell       Steve Ryan, Esq.           Lionel Savage
(Emeritus)              Former Board Chair         Corporate Vice President
President & CEO         Partner                    The First American
Industrial Bank         McDermott, Will            Corporation
                        & Emery

Ed Stucky               Bernard (Bernie) Wilson
Managing Director       Senior Vice President
Republic Risk           H&R Block

Comprised of some of the nation's most powerful executives, decision-makers, bankers and economists, the HOPE Board is made up of seven regional boards, a national board and global advisory board. These individuals play an essential role in providing insight and guidance to the organization's direction.

About Operation HOPE, Inc.

Marking its 15th year anniversary as America's first nonprofit social investment bank and a national provider of financial literacy and economic empowerment programs, Operation HOPE works to bring self-sufficiency and a sustained spirit of revitalization to low-wealth and underserved communities. To date, HOPE has created some 800 new homeowners and raised more than $400 million in inner-city investments and educated more than 250,000 youth in financial literacy. To find out more about the organization and its programs, please visit us online at

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