Contact: Lindsay Hyman
Earl W. Stafford, Sr. Named 2010 Horatio Alger Award Recipient
The Stafford Foundation Chairman and CEO to be Inducted April 2010 in Washington, D.C. for Overcoming Adversity
WASHINGTON, January 13, 2010 – The Horatio Alger Association of Distinguished Americans is pleased to announce that Earl W. Stafford, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of The Stafford Foundation, Inc., will receive the 2010 Horatio Alger Award in recognition of his personal and professional success despite humble and challenging beginnings.
Stafford will be formally inducted into the association when he accepts the Horatio Alger Award on April 9, 2010, in Washington, D.C. Recipients of the award have overcome great adversity to achieve admirable accomplishments, to serve as examples of achieving the American Dream, and to offer their time and resources to help others in need.
“We are delighted to induct these individuals into the Horatio Alger Association and to honor their stories of success in the face of significant struggle,” said David L. Sokol, president and CEO of the Horatio Alger Association. “We believe that adversity builds character, and Earl W. Stafford’s story is no exception. Stafford’s life story of strength, resolve and achievement is commendable, and he will help fulfill our mission of helping other young people achieve similar success.”
Earl W. Stafford was born the ninth of 12 children in Mount Holly, New Jersey. His father, worked as a laborer for 40 years and his mother was a domestic worker in wealthy homes. Although they had very little money, the children never considered themselves poor. Stafford and his siblings developed a strong work ethic at an early age. Whenever they needed money they collected soda bottles, cut lawns or performed other tasks to earn it. After high school, Stafford entered the Air Force and became an air traffic controller. He pursued college-level courses during his off-duty time and was awarded a full scholarship to the University of Massachusetts, Amherst, where he earned a bachelor’s degree in business administration. Stafford later received his MBA from Southern Illinois University and graduated from Harvard Business School's OPM Executive Program.
Following his Air Force career, Stafford founded Universal Systems & Technology Inc. (UNITECH) in 1988. Under his leadership, UNITECH grew from a small professional services firm into a robust business with more than 400 employees. After leading the company for 21 years, Stafford sold UNITECH to Lockheed Martin in January 2009.
Currently, Stafford serves as chairman and chief executive officer of The Stafford Foundation, Inc. (TSF), headquartered in Reston, Virginia. TSF is a non-profit organization that provides assistance to the underserved, marginalized, and economically distressed, and assists these individuals in helping themselves so they can, in turn, help others. TSF created and funded the People’s Inaugural Project (PIP) that brought together hundreds of underserved people to participate in the inauguration of President Barack Obama. TSF recently launched The People’s Project and the Doing Good campaign to continue helping the underserved become self-reliant and live in dignity.
Stafford is also chief executive officer of The Wentworth Group LLC, a holding company established to provide financial and business support to small businesses operating in the Federal market. The Wentworth Group, LLC is also headquartered in Reston, Virginia.
Stafford will be honored among 10 other remarkable individuals who will receive the 2010 award for their hard work, self-reliance and perseverance:
- Albert T. Annexstad, Chairman, Federated Insurance Companies
- William Alfred Cook, Founder and Chief Executive Officer, Cook Group Incorporated
- Tommy Ray Franks, Former Commander-in-Chief, US Central Command, and Chairman, Franks & Associates
- Joseph M. “Jody” Grant, Partner and Senior Advisor, BankCap Partners, and Chairman Emeritus, Texas Capital Bank
- Jenard M. Gross, President, Gross Investments
- Lawrence Mead Higby, CEO (Retired), Vice Chairman and Advisor, Apria Healthcare Group Inc.
- Richard D. Holland, Philanthropist and Chairman (Retired), Rollheiser Holland Kahler Advertising
- Alan B. Miller, Chairman of the Board and Chief Executive Officer, Universal Health Services, Inc.
- Condoleezza Rice, Former Secretary of State, US Department of State, and Provost, Stanford University
- James M. Seneff Jr., Founder and CEO, CNL Financial Group, Inc.
In addition, the 2010 Norman Vincent Peale Award will be presented to Supreme Court Associate Justice Clarence Thomas. The Norman Vincent Peale Award is annually conferred on an association member who has made exceptional humanitarian contributions to society, who has been an active participant in the association, and who continues to exhibit courage, tenacity and integrity in the face of great challenges. The award is named in honor of Dr. Peale, who was an outstanding leader of the association for more than 40 years.
The 2010 members will receive their awards at the 2010 Horatio Alger Awards Induction Ceremonies April 8-10, 2010. Activities include three days of meetings and celebrations in some of the nation’s most historic buildings. The Horatio Alger National Scholars, remarkable high school seniors who have excelled despite adversity, also will be formally honored during the three-day gathering.
A complete list of all of the Horatio Alger Members can be found at http://www.horatioalger.org/members.cfm.
About The Horatio Alger Association
Founded in 1947, the Horatio Alger Association of Distinguished Americans continues to fulfill its mission of honoring the achievements of outstanding individuals in our society who have succeeded in spite of adversity and of encouraging young people to pursue their dreams through higher education. The Horatio Alger Association offers three annual scholarship programs: the National Scholarship Program, state scholarship rpograms, and graduate grants. The association awards nearly $7 million annually in college scholarships and has given more than $70 million to deserving students since 1984. The association is a 2009 Combined Federal Campaign participant, ID# 77062. For more information, please visit www.horatioalger.org.
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