Pastor David Brown named White House “Champion of Change”

David Brown

David W. Brown (right), makes a point to Michael Strautmanis, Deputy Assistant to the President and Counselor to Senior Advisor, Valerie Jarrett. Brown participated in a panel discussion at the White House where he was named a “Champion of Change” by President Obama and was one of eight other individuals who received the first-ever 2012 Drum Major for Service Award presented by the Corporation for National and Community Service. Rev. Brown is a Deacon in the Eastern Pennsylvania Conference working as a member of the ministry staff at Camphor Memorial United Methodist Church and he serves as President of the Black United Methodist Preachers (BUMP) and Vice Coordinator of Black Methodists for Church Renewal (BMCR).   

White House Highlights David W. Brown as a “Champion of Change” For Following in the Footsteps of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

Thursday, January 12th, eight local leaders who are following in the legacy of Martin Luther King, Jr. were honored at the White House as Champions of Change.

These men and women, who include business and non-profit leaders and community volunteers, have each taken great strides to improve the lives of others through volunteerism and in providing economic opportunity to others in their community.

The Champions of Change program was created as a part of President Obama’s Winning the Future initiative. Each week, a different issue is highlighted and groups of Champions, ranging from educators to entrepreneurs to community leaders, are recognized for the work they are doing to better their communities.

As a minority business owner for 20 years, David W. Brown has employed dozens of individuals from under-represented communities, provided internships to students of color and made contracting opportunities available to other disadvantaged businesses.

When Brown served as the General Manager for 900 AM WURD – Pennsylvania’s only black-owned talk radio station – he provided a communications outlet for minority- and neighborhood-based businesses while preparing African American high school and college students for careers in broadcasting. When he founded BrownPartners – an award-winning ad agency – he created a program called “The Big Pitch” which exposed inner city high school students to careers in advertising through a competition where the youth created campaigns addressing urban issues.

Now as a top executive for United Healthcare as one of the nation’s largest health insurers, Brown leads Pennsylvania’s Disadvantaged Business Enterprise program making millions of dollars available in contracting opportunities while enabling health coverage for more than 250,000 income-eligible individuals and families.

Additionally, as a United Methodist pastor, Brown helped build faith-based social service and economic development programs throughout Philadelphia for the last 25 years.

The other seven honorees included:

·         James Bailey, Market Vice President for the Southeast Region of Operation HOPE, a global non-profit, public benefit organization and the country’s leading provider of economic tools, services, and financial dignity for the underserved;

·         Todd Bernstein, President of Global Citizen and the founder and director of the Greater Philadelphia Martin Luther King Day of Service, the largest King Day event in the nation; and Rachel Turner, Outreach and Programs Manager at Global Citizen;

·         Edwin Fizer, a Senior Companion with the Suburban Cook County Senior Companion program in suburban Chicago;

·         Gevonee EuGene Ford, Founder and Executive Director of Network for the Development of Children of African Descent (NdCAD), a non-profit family education center in St. Paul, MN that focuses on education and community revitalization in communities of African descent;

·         Stephen Powell, Executive Director of Mentoring USA based in New York which creates positive and supportive mentor relationships for youth ages 7-21

·         Maureen Roche, director of The Campus Kitchens Project, the national program of DC Central Kitchen which has recovered more than 2 million pounds of food over the last 10 years.

SHARING A STAGE AT THE WHITE HOUSE, this handful of individuals was named “Champions of Change” by the Obama Administration for their work around improving the lives of others through volunteerism and in providing economic opportunity to others in their community. The honorees also received the first-ever 2012 Drum Major for Service Award presented by the Corporation for National and Community Service on behalf of the President.

Pictured (seated from left to right) include Edwin Fizer, a Senior Companion with the Suburban Cook County Senior Companion program in suburban Chicago; Maureen Roche, director of The Campus Kitchens Project, the national program of DC Central Kitchen which has recovered more than 2 million pounds of food over the last 10 years; Rachel Turner and Todd Bernstein, Outreach and Programs Manager and President of Global Citizen and the founder/director respectively of the Greater Philadelphia Martin Luther King Day of Service, the largest King Day event in the nation. Standing (from left to right) David W. Brown, Vice President of Marketing and Community Outreach for United Healthcare in Pennsylvania; Gevonee EuGene Ford, Founder and Executive Director of Network for the Development of Children of African Descent (NdCAD), a non-profit family education center in St. Paul, MN that focuses on education and community revitalization in communities of African descent; Stephen Powell, Executive Director of Mentoring USA based in New York which creates positive and supportive mentor relationships for youth ages 7-21; and James Bailey, Market Vice President for the Southeast Region of Operation HOPE, a global non-profit, public benefit organization and the country’s leading provider of economic tools, services, and financial dignity for the underserved.