November 10, 2010 - Grameen Foundation has announced Tricia Medrano Bridges as the 2010 recipient of its annual Susan M. Davis Lifetime Achievement Award. Bridges, president and CEO of Chiapas International , is being recognized for her unwavering dedication to fighting poverty across Latin America and the Caribbean. She will be honored by the Grameen Foundation Board of Directors at a ceremony in Washington, D.C., on Nov. 11.
Bridges joined Chiapas International (then called the Chiapas Project) in 2005 as its president and CEO and first employee just after the grassroots organization became a formal non-profit. Over the past five years, she has been instrumental in growing it from a volunteer group focused on poor Mayan women in Chiapas, Mexico, to a nonprofit organization that has raised more than $4 million and helped more than 100,000 poor women and their families. Even before she became involved in microfinance, Bridges had been working with underserved communities while serving as advancement director of the YMCA of Metropolitan Dallas. She worked with a safe house for children in a Texas border community, volunteered with a group that managed a range of projects for the poor and the elderly, and helped to train staff at an NGO in Africa on ways to engage its poorest members.
Lucy Billingsley, a noted Dallas real estate developer who founded the organization as the Chiapas Project in 2003, said, “Tricia Bridges has given a lifetime of work to lifting the hidden capacities inside so many of us to become more. In her work in microfinance, she has led the Dallas community to not only give a great deal, but she has also helped us to develop a great respect for these women who live in poverty.”
Since its founding, Chiapas International has been a major supporter of Grameen Foundation’s work in Latin America and the Caribbean.
”Over the past five years, I have worked closely with Tricia Medrano Bridges and also participated in Chiapas International events to raise vital funding for Grameen Foundation activities across Latin America and the Caribbean,” said Alex Counts, president of Grameen Foundation. “I want to applaud her for her advocacy, generosity and resourcefulness in ensuring that poor women in this region get the opportunity they deserve to build better lives for their families.“
“I am humbled and honored to have been considered for such a meaningful award and accept this honor on behalf of the women in Latin America that I have met and our Chiapas family in Dallas,” said Bridges. “It is a validation of what Chiapas International dreamed it could be, and encourages us to reach even higher. I want to thank the Grameen Foundation Board of Directors for recognizing our work.”
Bridges is particularly proud of Chiapas International’s Young Professionals program, which is establishing a new generation of microfinance leaders and champions among Dallas’s young professionals and students.
The Grameen Foundation Susan M. Davis Lifetime Achievement Award recognizes individuals whose life achievements exemplify excellence in microfinance and a persistent commitment to ending poverty. It is named for the Foundation’s longest-serving chair, to recognize her years of exceptional service to Grameen Foundation and her unwavering commitment to empowering the world’s poorest people to improve their own lives. Past recipients include Sam Daley-Harris, founder of RESULTS and executive director of the Microcredit Summit Campaign, and Nurjuhan Begum, general manager of Grameen Bank.
About Grameen Foundation
Grameen Foundation, a global nonprofit organization, helps the world's poorest people lift themselves out of poverty by providing financing, technology support and management strategies to the local organizations that serve them. It also spearheads technology initiatives that create new microbusiness opportunities for the poor and improve the poor's access to health, agricultural and financial information and other services. Founded in 1997, Grameen Foundation has offices in Washington, DC; Seattle, WA; Colombia; Ghana; Hong Kong; the Philippines; and Uganda. Microfinance pioneer Dr. Muhammad Yunus, founder of Grameen Bank and winner of the 2006 Nobel Peace Prize, is a founding member of its Board of Directors, and now serves as director emeritus. For more information, please visit grameenfoundation.org.