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Black Tie International:
Worldfund Annual Gala


Steve Shindler, Luanne Zurlo, Jorge Gerdau Johannpeter, Angelica Ocampo, Javier Arrigunaga

Steve Shindler, Luanne Zurlo, Jorge Gerdau Johannpeter, Angelica Ocampo, Javier Arrigunaga.


Worldfund Celebrates 11 Years of Fighting Poverty in Latin America
through Quality Education


To mark the milestone Worldfund:

        Hosted annual gala raising  US $1 million;

        Awarded Education Leadership Honor to Jorge Gerdau Johannpeter, Chairman, GERDAU; and the Asociación de Bancos de México (ABM), whose Chairman is Javier Arrigunaga, CEO in Mexico for Citi;

        Announced New Leadership to Expand Proven Programs in the Region

NEW YORK, June  6, 2013Worldfund, the premier US-based non-profit organization whose mission is to reduce poverty in Latin America by supporting and delivering quality education throughout the region, celebrated its eleventh anniversary during its annual gala Education Leadership Dinner in New York at the Mandarin Hotel.

The gala raised US $1 million and sold out. Over 400 business and education leaders from the U.S. and Latin America attended, including Mexico’s Ambassador to the United States, Mr. Manuel Medina Mora, who presented the Award to the ABM.

Worldfund’s founder and executive director, Luanne Zurlo, remarked that “For over a decade Worldfund has been working to raise the quality of education in Latin America.  We have developed three outstanding programs providing teachers and principals the technical and human-based skills and support required to deliver the top-quality teaching that is so important to preparing students for an increasingly demanding environment.”

Both Ambassador Medina Mora and Luanne Zurlo emphasized education as an urgent economic and humanitarian issue in Latin America as millions are being left out of the global economy, citing statistics from the OECD that show 50% of 15-year-olds in Mexico and Brazil – the region’s two largest economies – to be functionally illiterate.

Worldfund’s programs have trained over 2600 teachers and principals, who currently impact 450,000 students annually in the region.   The organization expects to reach over 1.2 students annually by 2016.

The recipients of the2013 Education Leadership Award are business leaders have demonstrated an outstanding and continuous commitment to education as a key driver of social and economic development.

The Ambassador of Mexico to the United States, Mr. Eduardo Medina Mora, presented the Award to the Asociación de Bancos de México.  

ABM Chairman Javier Arrigunaga accepted the Award on behalf of the 26 banks within ABM that partner with Fundacion Televisa to run Bécalos, one of the largest scholarship programs in Latin America.

The Ambassador said: “He who opens a school door closes a prison.  This has never been more true today.  Good education is no longer a privilege.  It is a pressing need.  I recognize how much government needs civil society organizations like Worldfund to perfect and complete policies and achieve long-term results.”

As he accepted the award on behalf of the ABM, Mr. Arrigunaga said:  Worldfund is one of the most distinguished friends of the Becalos scholarship program.  We deeply appreciate your partnership and shared vision in the mission to help build and sustain a growing infrastructure of committed educators for lasting change.”

Worldfund also presented its highest honor to GERDAU Chairman Jorge Johannpeter Gerdau.  Mr. Gerdau serves on numerous boards including Todos Pela Educação and is a member of the Council of Economic and Social Development, led by Brazil's President.

Mr. Gerdau said:  “The quality of a society is directly proportional to the quality of the individuals that make up that society. Those who have received a high-quality education will certainly have greater opportunities in life, exercise their choices more responsibly, and make important contributions to improving the society in which they live. Neglecting education is an ethical problem, the consequence of which is to condemn millions of children and adolescents to a life of social exclusion.”

During the evening Worldfund also announced new leadership as the organization looks to expand and deepen its reach and impact across Latin America.

After nearly 11 years serving as President and Executive Director, Luanne Zurlo, also founder of Worldfund, will assume the position of Board Co-Chair, together with Steven Shindler. Simultaneously, Angélica Ocampo joins Worldfund as Executive Director and will be responsible for the continued growth of the organization overseeing a staff of 17 across offices in Mexico City, New York and São Paulo.

Angélica brings to Worldfund extensive experience from both the private and the non-profit sectors and has held senior positions in communications, including Head of Public Affairs at HSBC Argentina, and Director of Public Affairs for Latin America at Starwood Hotels.

Luanne Zurlo remarked, “I am convinced that Angélica has the drive, passion and experience to work closely with the Worldfund board, staff, program partners and donors to reach many more students in Latin America.”

Angélica Ocampo added: “I am honored and thrilled to join this fantastic organization, as I am convinced that by turning teachers and principals into leaders, we can drive education reform, economic growth and prosperity in Latin America.  Teachers are the nucleus of change.  I look forward to working with Luanne and the entire Worldfund team to expand Worldfund’s reach throughout the region.”

“Luanne´s vision, drive and commitment have been critical in making Worldfund one of the premier non-profit organizations dedicated to education in Latin America. I look forward to continuing to work closely with Luanne in her new capacity as Board Co-Chair,” said Steven Shindler.

About Worldfund Education Leadership Award

The purpose of the Education Leadership award is to highlight and applaud a corporation or individual that has demonstrated a strong commitment to education in Latin America.  Worldfund typically bestows the Education Leadership Award on both a Latin American and U.S.-based corporation to drive home the point that individuals and corporations throughout the Americas have a common interest in improving education levels in Latin America.

Worldfund has presented the Education Leadership Award to the following senior executives of U.S. and Latin American companies since its inaugural dinner in June 2004:

·         Carlos Slim, Honorary Chairman, Telmex

·         Emilio Azcárraga Jean, Chairman and CEO, Televisa

·         Roberto Civita, Chariman and Editor-in-Chief, Grupo Abril

·         Jim O'Neill, Chairman, Goldman Sachs Asset Management

·         Jim Skinner, Vice President and CEO, McDonald's

·         Woods Staton, President and CEO, Arcos Dorados

·         Paolo Rocca, Chairman and CEO, The Techint Organization

·         Muhtar Kent, President and CEO, The Coca-Cola Company

·         José Antonio Fernández Carbajal, Chairman and CEO, FEMSA

·         Claudio X. González Laporte, Chairman, Kimberly-Clark de México

·         Marcos Magalhães, Founder and President, Instituto de Co-Responsabilidade pela Educação

·         Jeffrey Immelt, Chairman and CEO, GE

·         José Sergio Gabrielli, Petrobras

·         Roger Agnelli, President and CEO, Vale

·         Steven Shindler, Executive Chairman, NII Holdings, Inc.

·         Producers of ¡De Panzazo!: Daniela Alatorre, David Calderón, Claudio X. González Guajardo, Carlos Loret de Mola, Alejandro Ramírez, and Juan Carlos Rulfo  


About Worldfund

Worldfund is a U.S.-based 501(c)(3) whose vision is for every child in Latin America to benefit from exceptional educators who inspire them to learn the skills necessary for dignified work and life. Worldfund delivers world-class, practical, human-centered training and ongoing support to teachers and principals from underserved schools in Latin America.  Worldfund has invested over $12 million in education programs in the region since its 2002 launch.  It impacts over 400,000 students annually and aims to impact 1.2  million students annually by 2016.  Worldfund works in partnership with state governments and private corporations to scale its three programs — STEM (science and math teachers), LISTO (principal leadership training) and IAPE (public school English language teachers). Worldfund has offices in New York City, Mexico City,
 and São Paulo.


joyce brooks, gerard mckeon.  photo by:  rose billings

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