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Opportunity International’s Muffy MacMillan Receives Ellis Island Medal of Honor

Governor of the microfinance organization recognized with prestigious award from NECO

OAK BROOK, Ill. – May 11, 2015 – Opportunity International is proud to announce that long-time Opportunity Governor Martha (Muffy) MacMillan is being honored with the Ellis Island Medal of Honor from the National Ethnic Coalition of Organizations (NECO), in recognition of patriotism, tolerance, brotherhood and diversity.

MacMillan has been a member of the Opportunity International family for six years and in 2013, became chair of the organization's $50 million agricultural-finance campaign, which is dedicated to providing small business loans and financial training to 1.1 million farmers in Africa. MacMillan currently serves as a Waycrosse Inc. Director leading the Executive, Corporate Governance, Education and Human Resources Committees. She is also a director on the Cargill Foundation Board and has served as a director on the board of Cargill Inc.

“We are thrilled Muffy is receiving this prestigious award for the positive impact she and her family have had on America,” said Vicki Escarra, Global CEO, Opportunity International. “On a global level, she is a pillar in our organization who has enabled us to expand our work in 27 countries to help people work their way out of poverty, transform their lives and strengthen their families and communities."

MacMillan is among 90 outstanding Americans being recognized at the 29th Annual Ellis Island Medal of Honor Ceremony. Fellow honorees include Talk Show Host Meredith Vieira, New York Yankees legend Mariano Rivera, U.S. Representatives Carolyn Maloney (D-NY) and Ted Poe (R-TX), twelve members of the U.S. Military, and Washington, D.C. Police Chief Cathy L. Lanier.

The Ellis Island Medal of Honor was founded in 1986 and ranks among the nation’s most prestigious awards that recognizes individuals who have made it their mission to share with those less fortunate their wealth of knowledge, indomitable courage, boundless compassion, unique talents and selfless generosity; all while maintaining the traditions of their ethnic heritage as they uphold the ideals and spirit of America. Past recipients include six Presidents of the United States; Nobel Prize recipient Elie Wiesel, Generals Norman Schwarzkopf and Colin Powell, Hon. Hillary Clinton, Sen. John McCain, Muhammad Ali, Frank Sinatra, Barbara Walters, Mike Wallace, Quincy Jones and Mia Farrow.

Opportunity International is a global non-profit organization that helps people in developing nations work their way out of poverty, strengthen their families and improve their communities. Founded in 1971, the organization has provided more than $9 billion in loans, savings programs, insurance, and other financial services and training to more than 12 million clients in 27 countries across Africa, Asia, Latin America and Europe. Clients use the resources to expand businesses, provide for their families and create jobs in their communities. The U.S. headquarters of Opportunity International are in Chicago, Ill., with other key offices in Australia, Canada, Germany, Hong Kong, Singapore, Switzerland and the United Kingdom. The organization proudly employs more than 17,500 people around the world.

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