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Shorebank Corporate President Mary Houghton Receives Opportunity Collaboration's 2009 Economic Opportunity Achievement Award

Submitted by: Opportunity Collaboration

Categories: Ratings & Awards, Finance

Posted: Mar 18, 2009 – 07:16 AM EST


New Award Recognizes Champions in the Fight to End Poverty

Mar. 18 /CSRwire/ - PHOENIX, AZ. - March 18, 2009 - The Opportunity Collaboration has selected Mary Houghton, co-founder and President of ShoreBank Corporation to receive the 2009 Economic Opportunity Achievement Award at the Opportunity Collaboration, taking place from October 17-20.

"It is remarkable that ShoreBank's responsible and innovative use of credit and operating financial institutions specializing in community development has earned a place at the table, where leaders and developers from around the world are convening to discuss ways to build emerging economies," says Houghton, the first recipient of this international award. Presented to individuals or institutions that consistently demonstrate the strength of their commitment to collaboration and cooperation in the service of ending poverty, Houghton is the ideal recipient for our first Achievement Award.

"Mary's career in banking has transformed underserved urban neighborhoods in the Midwest into sustainable communities and inspired a community banking development movement worldwide. Her leadership roles as founding chair of the Women's Self-Employment Project, the Aga Khan Rural Support Program in Pakistan, the Calvert Foundation and Women's World Banking demonstrates her commitment to alleviating poverty. Her work serves as an inspiration and example to us all," notes Opportunity Collaboration's Jonathan Lewis. Earlier this year, Houghton led ShoreBank's co-sponsorship with Triodos Bank in The Netherlands and BRAC Bank of Bangladesh of the Global Alliance for Banking on Values, an effort by 11 regulated banks to advocate for "back to basics" banking services for excluded populations and sectors.

Houghton will receive her award at the Opportunity Collaboration's annual summit which convenes in Ixtapa, Mexico from October 17-20, 2009. Candidates for the award are nominated by Opportunity Collaboration delegates, and its final recipient is selected by a panel that includes the Calvert Social Investment Foundation, the Global Philanthropy Forum, the Social Venture Network, the Stanford Social Innovation Review at the Stanford Center for Social Innovation, the Women Donors Network and Worldways Social Marketing.

Mary is a pioneer in providing financial services and information to residents who were excluded from traditional banking circles. By providing low to moderate individuals, businesses and nonprofits with access to financial services unavailable anywhere else, ShoreBank spurred the transformation of Chicago’s disinvested South and West Side neighborhoods. Due to these accomplishments, ShoreBank is now recognized as the inspiration for the Community Development Financial Institution industry which has invested approximately $2 trillion to revitalize the nation's urban communities since 1992. In the early 1980s, Mary served as an advisor to Nobel Peace Prize winner Muhammed Yunus and the Grameen Bank, the micro-credit institution in Bangladesh. This led to Mary helping ShoreBank to establish ShoreBank International, Ltd. (SBI), in 1987. She now serves as Chair of the organization. With consultants in over 40 countries in Asia, Africa, and the former Soviet Union, ShoreBank International is assisting equity institutions with financing small entrepreneurs to build strong and healthy economies. Earlier this year SBI closed a $68 million loan fund which will help BRAC to make thousands of loans to the poor in three South East African countries. "Through her innovative leadership and commitment to illustrating that a bank can do good, while doing good, Mary has demonstrated that catalyzing positive social change can be effectively advanced in partnership," says Ron Grzywinski, cofounder of ShoreBank.

About ShoreBank Corporation
Headquartered in Chicago, IL ShoreBank has banks and affiliated nonprofits in Chicago; Detroit, MI; Ilwaco and Seattle, WA; and Portland, Oregon; business development services in Michigan's Upper Peninsula and consulting services around the world. Since its inception in 1973, ShoreBank has financed the purchase and renovation of more than 52,000 units of affordable housing. And with $2.3 billion in assets, ShoreBank is among the largest community development banks in the nation. For additional information,please visit

About The Opportunity Collaboration:
From October 17-20, the Opportunity Collaboration is bringing together leaders from all over the world to create change, leverage resources and create new alliances in the fight against poverty. A learning, teaching and networking summit of of social investors/social ventures, entrepreneurial nonprofit leaders, foundation trustees/executives, policy thought leaders and agents of change.

An impartial, non-aligned forum, Opportunity Collaboration uses the power of connection and community to create economic justice and alleviate poverty.

How Can You Get Involved?
Registration is still open. To find out more about the Opportunity Collaboration or to register online, please visit

The Opportunity Collaboration is a learning, teaching and networking summit - a diverse community of social investors/social ventures, entrepreneurial nonprofit leaders, foundation trustees/executives, policy thought leaders and agents of change.

For more information, please contact:

Jessica Colon-Polk Opportunity Collaboration
Phone: 303-763-1305


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