Classmates Honor Social Innovator

Three friends made a gift to Stanford GSB on the occasion of their 20th reunion to recognize a classmate who has helped improve the lives of nearly two million people.

April 30, 2010

When three friends from the MBA Class of 1989 made a gift to Stanford GSB on the occasion of their 20th reunion, they decided to recognize a classmate who has helped improve the lives of nearly two million people.

Jonathan Reckford, MBA ’89

Jonathan Reckford, MBA ’89, and CEO of Habitat for Humanity International

Mark Koulogeorge, Scott Macomber, and David Wong felt making a $300,000 investment in the Center for Social Innovation (CSI) in honor of Jonathan Reckford, CEO of Habitat for Humanity International, was a fitting way to give back to the school. Their investment will be matched by $300,000 from the Morgridge CSI Matching Fund, which leverages gifts from alumni and friends, giving momentum to CSI as it seeks innovative and collaborative solutions to the world’s most pressing problems.

“One reason I wanted to do this is to recognize Jonathan’s service and leadership of Habitat for Humanity’s nonprofit work around the world,” said Koulogeorge, managing partner of MK Capital in Northbrook, Illinois. “Secondly, I wanted to do this as a message to the Stanford community, holding up Jonathan’s choices as an example. New MBA graduates need to realize nonprofit work is a career path and an option — a critically important one.”

Koulogeorge encouraged classmates Macomber, of Los Altos Hills, Calif., and Wong, of Los Angeles, to join him in making the investment in the CSI.

“It’s fitting to recognize Jonathan’s work with a contribution to the center since the business school helped prepare him for the life-changing work he does with Habitat,” said Wong, president of DHW Capital in Los Angeles. “We’re proud of what Jonathan has accomplished and support the school’s efforts to educate the next generation of principled business leaders.”

With professional experience ranging from Wall Street to corporate suite to church ministry, Jonathan Reckford has, since 2005, led an organization that has built more than 350,000 houses around the world, providing more than 1.75 million people in 3,000 communities with safe, decent, affordable shelter.

Before being named CEO of Habitat for Humanity International, Reckford served for two years as executive pastor of the 4,300-member Christ Presbyterian Church in Edina, Minnesota. Before that he was president of stores for the Musicland division of Best Buy, senior vice president of corporate planning and communications for Circuit City, and director of strategic planning for Disney Design and Development.

His classmates’ gift will help support programs like Service Learning Trips, where students work side by side with social entrepreneurs committed to improving their communities; events sponsored by student clubs that bring to campus the greatest minds in social innovation and environmental sustainability; and summer internships for students working in public, nonprofit, or social purpose for-profit organizations — all opportunities offered through the Public Management Program as part of CSI.

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