Five Social Innovators Over Age 60 Receive $100,000 Purpose Prize

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Winners Serve as Role Models for Those Who Want to Change the World
in ‘Encore Careers’
SAN FRANCISCO “” Civic Ventures (, today announced the winners of its 2007 Purpose Prize, a three-year, $9 million program that invests in social innovators over age 60. Now in its second year, The Purpose Prize is the nation’s only large-scale award for those in the second half of life working on critical social issues.

The five $100,000 winners, chosen from more than 1,000 nominees around the country, were selected for their creative and effective work to tackle some of the nation’s most pressing problems. They have developed new ways to help children succeed in life through reforms to the education and foster care systems, and new methods to save lives through improvements in hospital safety, newborn care, and search-and-rescue efforts. Ten $10,000 winners were also selected. Short summaries for all winners are below, and fuller summaries are online at

“The Purpose Prize winners are inspired innovators who have turned their experience and passion into new ventures that meet difficult societal challenges. But they are also much more than that,” said Marc Freedman, founder and CEO of Civic Ventures, co-founder of the Purpose Prize, and author of Encore: Finding Work That Matters in the Second Half of Life (PublicAffairs Press, June 2007). “They are encouraging signs of what’s to come as baby boomers leave their midlife careers and enter a new stage of work and contribution.”

In Encore (, Freedman outlines a new stage of life – and work – between the end of midlife careers and the beginning of true old age. He has coined the term “encore career” to describe work that combines continued income, new meaning and greater impact. “Prize winners,” Freedman said, “show that the new face of social innovation is one of experience, expertise and the desire to give back in dynamic new careers in the second half of life.”

To share their knowledge and experiences, about 150 Purpose Prize winners and Fellows from 2006 and 2007 will participate in a summit on innovation November 10-12 at Stanford University’s Graduate School of Business’ Center on Social Innovation, one of the world’s leading academic centers focused on social entrepreneurship. Funding for the summit and Prize comes from The Atlantic Philanthropies and The John Templeton Foundation.

Attending the summit will be Sherry Lansing, CEO of the Sherry Lansing Foundation and former Chair of Paramount Pictures’ Motion Picture Group. For the second year, Lansing is chair of the jury that selected this year’s winners. The 21 judges are leaders in business, politics, journalism and the nonprofit sector – including actor Sidney Poitier, Harvard professor and former presidential advisor David Gergen, journalist Cokie Roberts, author Gloria Steinem and business entrepreneur Jeffrey Taylor. For the full list of judges, visit

The five $100,000 winners are:

* Donald Berwick (age 60, Cambridge, Massachussets)
Institute for Healthcare Improvement (
For enlisting wide-scale cooperation and scientifically-proven protocols to help hospitals improve care and save more than 100,000 lives.
* Gordon Johnson (age 74, Daytona Beach, Florida)
Neighbor To Family, Inc. (
For creating new approaches to foster care that keep siblings together and improve the quality of care and attention given to each child.
* H. Gene Jones (age 91, Tucson, Arizona)
Opening Minds through the Arts (
For accelerating student achievement by integrating music and art in a districtwide curriculum that improves critical thinking, problem-solving and test scores.
* Wilma Melville (age 73, Ojai, California)
National Disaster Search Dog Foundation (
For saving lives at disaster sites by training rescued dogs to serve on canine-firefighter search teams.
* Sharon Rohrbach (age 64, St. Louis, Missouri) Sharon Rohrbach (age 64, St. Louis, Missouri)
Nurses for Newborns Foundation (
For saving the lives of newborns through home visits by nurses.

The ten $10,000 winners are:

* Ray Anderson, Interface (age 73, Atlanta, Georgia)
For leading the business community in adopting practices that protect the environment and boost profits
* Gloria Jackson Bacon, Project 18 (age 69, Chicago, Illinois)
For building healthy families to help poor children thrive
* Sally Bingham, Interfaith Power and Light (age 66, San Francisco, California)
For leading a religious response to global warming
* Phil Borges, Bridges to Understanding (age 64, Seattle, Washington)
For using technology to expand cross-cultural understanding among youth
* Richard Cherry, Community Environmental Center (age 64, New York, New York)
For providing energy conservation and green building services for low-income New Yorkers
* Adele Douglass, Humane Farm Animal Care (age 60, Herndon, Virginia)
For advancing humane treatment of farm animals through certification and labeling
* Jose-Pablo Fernandez, CCA Alliance, Inc. (age 62, Houston, Texas)
For engaging Hispanic parents in the education of their children
* Sara J. Gonzalez, Georgia Hispanic Chamber of Commerce (age 71, Atlanta, Georgia)
For incubating new Hispanic businesses and linking them to the larger business world
* Marian Kramer, National Welfare Rights Union (age 63, Detroit, Michigan)
For organizing a grassroots, legal and legislative fight for the right to water in Detroit
* Gary Maxworthy, San Francisco Food Bank (age 69, San Francisco, California)
For redistributing tons of nutritious produce to people in need

About Civic Ventures
Civic Ventures ( is a think tank and program incubator, working to help society achieve the greatest return on experience.

About the Atlantic Philanthropies
The Atlantic Philanthropies ( are dedicated to bringing about lasting changes in the lives of disadvantaged and vulnerable people. Their work is aimed at ageing, disadvantaged children and youth, population health, and reconciliation and human rights.

About the John Templeton Foundation
The John Templeton Foundation ( serves as a philanthropic catalyst for discovery in the areas engaging life’s biggest questions. These questions range from explorations into the laws of nature and the universe to questions on the nature of love, gratitude, forgiveness and creativity.

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