Whole Planet Foundation Hall of Fame
Whole Planet Foundation’s Hall of Fame recognizes the volunteers, fundraisers, and supporters who have gone above and beyond to help us reach more entrepreneurs living in poverty. By recognizing these champions, we honor their enthusiasm, outreach, and innovation in engaging people in our mission.
Craig Williams took Whole Planet Foundation’s website to another level. Thanks to Craig’s work over several years, more than $100,000 was raised online and the Foundation gained a new audience. Craig embodied the qualities of a Hall of Fame contributor so much that he is the inaugural member! Craig inspired Whole Planet Foundation and his team with a dedication to quietly and expertly program our website, behind the scenes and not needing any appreciation except the knowledge that he was helping to alleviate poverty. Craig also made meetings fun – he was always sharing his love for coffee and keeping us caffeinated – whilst taking care of business with a dry joke and being game for a laugh even when deadlines were serious. Although we lost Craig in 2015, he lives on in our memories as one of the early adopters of Whole Planet Foundation, which makes him even more special. Thank you Craig! We appreciate you.
Bobby’s tireless commitment to Whole Planet Foundation and to alleviating poverty around the globe is legendary on our team. As Senior Executive Assistant, he supports Whole Planet Foundation in a myriad of ways, from scheduling meetings for and supporting our Board of Directors to participating in the 2014 Whole Foods Market Team Member Volunteer Program in Ghana. On return from Ghana he created the 2015 Road To Prosperity 5K, organizing the run and raising $7,000 to benefit WPF and The Blessing Basket Project’s education fund. Currently he continues to support education for several children in Ghana. Thank you Bobby! We appreciate you.
Southern Pacific Region
Bryan Reese is a gem! From his enthusiasm about being chosen to participate in the Whole Foods Market Team Member Volunteer Program, to his jubilation at having been assigned the destination of Madagascar, Bryan has been an exemplary Team Member Volunteer. On return to the Southern Pacific region of Whole Foods Market, he trained no fewer than 1,000 employees on the work of Whole Planet Foundation and the opportunity to participate in the WFM TM Volunteer Program. He also made a video that was distributed region-wide, describing his experience and offering the opportunity for so many people to learn about the Team Member Volunteer program and the microlending projects that WPF supports. Thank you Bryan! We appreciate you.
Renee is a powerhouse! She is bursting with good energy and the desire to help people towards the opportunity
for a better life. At the Whole Foods Market store in Lincoln, Nebraska she led an initiative on Poverty is Unnecessary Day, partnering with THE BAY and SKATE FOR CHANGE to support poverty alleviation in her local community while spotlighting global poverty alleviation through Whole Planet Foundation. She appeared on local television, raising awareness about WPF and rallying the community to help on Poverty Is Unnecessary Day by joining her in distributing lunches, hand warmers and other goods to the homeless. She was a Whole Foods Market Team Member Volunteer in India in 2015 and helped organize a booth, supporting WPF for the WFM Northeast Region “NE Feed” event. Thank you Renee! We appreciate you.
Danny Ohren is a phenomenon. He has been one of the top fundraisers at the register in his Whole Foods Market store in Omaha for years and one year even raised over $8000, one donation at a time! He represented his region with Whole Planet Foundation on the WFM Team Member Volunteer Program in Togo and and visited Mexico with WPF as a result of his deep commitment to communicating the mission of the foundation to his customers during each day of the Annual Prosperity Campaign. His stellar attitude and love of helping people have catapulted him into the top tier of fundraisers for Whole Planet Foundation. Thank you Danny! We appreciate you.
What can we say about Michael Beard? He is amazing! He was number 2 in fundraising at the register for the entire company in 2017, and he has supported Whole Planet Foundation in a big way since at least 2008. Michael’s mantra for fundraising at the registers is: “While I was in Guatemala, I saw the difference these loans make. You have to believe in what you’re talking about. I believe in it.” A customer once told Michael, “I never want to donate to these things, but you seem so passionate about it that it makes me want to give.” His year after year commitment to and achievement of helping people to lift themselves out of poverty is outstanding, along with his beautiful attitude and generosity. Thank you Michael! We appreciate you.
The McEwen Whole Foods Market store has led the South Region in dollars raised since it opened 6 years ago. They have also finished in the top 10 globally. As Store Team Leader, Heather has fostered an environment in her store where each Team Member, regardless of department, gets behind the Whole Planet Foundation Prosperity Campaign every year. Though humble about her part in her store’s success, she is the glue that holds it all together. Thank you Heather!
Cherish Garrett & Lauren O’Mara
Florida Regional Office
Talk about a “dream team!” Cherish and Lauren went on the 2016 Whole Foods Market Team Member Volunteer Program to Ghana and their feet have not touched the ground since! Their drive to support microentrepreneurs and serve the people of Ghana in particular is impressive. When they returned from their volunteer program started a Whole Planet Foundation road show in Orlando and Sarasota, raising awareness through mini trainings, all store meetings, presenting in Team Member breakrooms and educating in WFM stores. They taught the WFM Florida regional team and new hires, reaching over 700 TMs and countless Whole Foods Market customers with their personal experience of meeting microcredit clients and providing community service in a rural community in Ghana. They created informational in-store displays with literature, did back of house trainings, created PowerPoints and led discussions about volunteer impact, spreading the word about Whole Foods Market’s higher purpose. Thank you Cherish and Lauren! We appreciate you.
Southern Pacific Region
Amy has been the top fundraiser at the Sedona Whole Foods Market store for 3 years in a row! It was inspiring to hear her approach with Whole Foods Market shoppers and Team Members who came through her line. Not only did she ask if people wanted to donate, she gave each individual a mini-education on Whole Planet Foundation and the work that we do. Her care in educating shoppers and Team Members is remarkable and even resulted in a one-time donation of $1,000! Thank you Amy! We appreciate you.
North Atlantic Region
Zach provided a huge amount of passion, training and encouragement to the customer service team at Ink Block. He has brought empowerment and passion to multiple stores and multiple teams. He is a real mentor to all, providing fundraising best practices to his fellow Team Members. He allows Team Members to be as creative and active as they can be, making time for fundraising and awareness building. He has been a force for Whole Planet Foundation in every store in which he has worked. As a Customer Service Team Leader, he has helped his teams to raise over $125,000 to alleviate poverty. Zach has driven the program and has shared his strategy in a way that has created multiple Team Leaders and Associate Team Leaders that have worked under his leadership to do the same. Thank you Zach! We appreciate you.
Southern Pacific/Southwest Region
If you’ve stopped in to Whole Foods Market in downtown Austin lately, you may have seen a man behind the register with an amazingly tall (sometimes rainbow) mohawk. Why the mohawk? Because of Nathaniel’s super creative “Hack it or Hawk it” campaign, which has raised over $70K between the three Whole Foods Market foundations. Impressively, Nathaniel doubled what he raised in 2016 to raise over $4600 at the cash register in 2017. He also traveled with WPF to Morocco in 2013, representing the Southern Pacific Region. His travel with Whole Planet Foundation helps him speak about the foundation’s mission with shoppers and his passion for giving back to local and global communities shines brightly. Thank you Nathaniel!
What can we say about Scott? He has supported Whole Planet Foundation forever! It all started when he was a supervisor at the Global Help Desk. His attention to detail and forward thinking kept all of us on track and able to efficiently do our jobs. He has helped the Whole Planet Foundation team in so many ways over the years that it would be impossible to list them all. At WFM Gateway in Austin, Scott was in the top 10 fundraising cashiers in his store from 2012-16, motivated by how he has met microcredit clients in Africa and in the United States. Scott is ready and willing to help the WPF team day or night, regardless of the hour. He has loaded, hauled and set up equipment, he has spoken at events about his own personal experience meeting microcredit clients, he has brought the WPF team sustenance when we were in the midst of a huge project, he has helped ideate the vision of WPF for our Annual Prosperity Campaign and our events, he shot and edited a video to share our mission, he has solved a myriad of last minute problems and saved the day, and last but not least he always has a joke and a smile, keeping the team strong and spirits high. Thank you Scott! We appreciate you.
Jason sneaks up on you. He is so quiet and calm that sometimes you do not even realize that he is there, but he is, always listening and figuring out how he can best help the Whole Planet Foundation team with any event that we plan in Austin. We are blessed to have someone who cares as much about the mission of alleviating poverty and at the same time, has the patience and know how to get so much done. His commitment is evident in everything that he does. At any given WPF event he is the first to arrive and the last to depart, having made sure that everything is ship shape before he leaves. He helps wrangle volunteers and is game for anything that helps WPF’s goals get achieved. He was an exemplary Team Captain on the 2016 Whole Foods Market Team Member Volunteer Program in Togo, looking out for his team from the US to Togo and back and was instrumental in creating the 2016 WFM TMVP Togo Impact Report. On his return from Togo he organized “Ping Pong for the Planet” at the WFM Global office, hilarious good fun that raised over $500 to support poverty alleviation through Whole Planet Foundation. Thank you Jason! We appreciate you.
Lorraine Kayser is the Senior National Account Executive overseeing Whole Foods Market for Presence Marketing/Dynamic Presence. Lorraine shepherds brands to engage with Whole Planet Foundation. The best part about Lorraine’s support is that she has traveled extensively throughout the world and is motivated to introduce like-minded partners who want to join in the impact of microcredit, so her work is full of energy and passion! Lorraine’s support can be seen in the supplier partners who now donate to WPF at these levels- $100,000 Fund: Chobani and Zico, $50,000 Supplier Alliance for Microcredit: Bonafide, Boulder Brands, Frontera, Organic India, Sambazon, and Traditional Medicinals, $25,000 Poverty is Unnecessary Fund: High Brew and WTRMLN WTR, and $10,000 Fund: Late July. Lorraine also supported these brands in donating to alleviate poverty: Bhakti, Dang, Divine, Illy, PopChips, ProBar and Suja, as well as her employer Presence Marketing, for a grand total of helping brands donate over a million dollars for microcredit!
Gayle is the Natural Channel Sales Director for Unilever, a founding member of the Supplier Alliance for Microcredit since 2007 through Seventh Generation. Gayle has been a constant supporter in many ways for years! She stewards a $50,000 annual contribution to Whole Planet Foundation and engages as deeply as possible. Gayle has traveled to meet microcredit clients in Togo, West Africa, in Paraguay, South America, in Guatemala in Central America and in the United States in Austin, Phoenix and San Diego. She learns from each visit and uses her first-hand knowledge of poverty alleviation and the success stories of the women to inspire others! Gayle also provides in-kind donations for team members and shoppers so they can better understand the interconnectivity of Whole Planet Foundation and Seventh Generation’s shared mission to empower impoverished communities around the globe. Among other events, Gayle attended the Whole Foods Market Midwest Region Vision Day in 2017 to give her personal testimonial of the transformative power of microcredit. She also attended and sponsored Whole Planet Foundation’s Poverty Is Unnecessary Benefit and Live Auction in October 2017. Gayle is pictured here with Whole Planet Foundation’s Guatemala partner Friendship Bridge and microcredit clients in Huehuetenango.
Want to know what it takes to be in the Hall of Fame? Want to nominate someone to be in the Hall of Fame? Email Genie Bolduc, WPF’s Whole Foods Market Team Member Volunteer Program Manager and WPF Global Educator.