Dikembe Mutombos Charity Work Makes Him More Than Deserving

Dikembe Mutombo, the shot-blocking, finger-wagging former NBA all-star center, was named as a finalist for the upcoming Basketball Hall of Fame class. It is debatable if he should get the call based on his 18-year career. But if humanitarian deeds were the criteria, he’d be a unanimous choice.The 7-foot-1 Congo native arguably has done more off the court for his country and Africa than perhaps any athlete has ever done for his native land. That alone should get him in the Hall. How can one not vote for a man who has been so committed to serving others, including in the United States?Mutombo showed the moment he joined the NBA in 1991 after a stellar career at Georgetown that he was cut from a special and unique cloth. He understood the value of his position and supported his troubled homeland as soon as his significant paychecks started being deposited.He’s done so much for so long that his basketball career would be considered secondary, except that basketball gave him a global platform and the resources to reach the masses. You’d think he graduated from Georgetown with a degree in humanitarian work instead of the double degrees in linguistics and diplomacy.In 2007, through his Dikembe Mutombo Foundation, he opened a hospital in Kinshasa—a hospital—called the Biamba Marie Mutombo Hospital. Named after his mother, it is a 170-bed facility that cost $29 million to build. It’s the first new hospital there in 40 years. Futhermore, Mutombo raised money through his rich friends and fellow former Georgetown centers Patrick Ewing and Alonzo Mourning as well as others. He also donated about $8 million of his own money to have it built.In his deep, hoarse voice with a heavy African accent, Mutombo told the Wall Street Journal that he was pained visiting the Congo and seeing his people suffer.The Biamba Marie Mutombo Hospital in Kinsasha, Congo“I got sick and tired of seeing people dying at a young age,” he said. “It hurt me a lot. People were dying from diseases that were treatable. I thought I could be part of the change and contribute to society and to mankind.”In 1994, Mutombo, Ewing, Mourning and others from the NBA office took a trip to Johannesburg and Cape Town, South Africa, where they helped build basketball courts and speak to youths about achievement. Mutombo was the most comfortable person in the contingent. The Black South Africans were wowed by his height and connected to him because of his heritage.“These are my people,” he said back then. “We’re all from Africa.”Those who did not see Mutombo play in the NBA know him from the Geico commercials, where he blocks people’s attempts to discard things—and then waves his finger (as he did in the NBA) before running out of the scene.He is second all-time in blocks in NBA history, which is his strongest basketball case to make for the Hall. On the offensive end, Mutombo worked hard but was not a fluid or big scorer. But he was extremely fluid in business and charity.Here’s some of what he does: He’s active with Hughes Spalding Children’s Hospital Christmas toy drive, Hosea Feed the Hungry and the Atlanta Community Food Bank. For the past 12 years, Mutombo has been one of the leaders of Basketball Without Borders/Africa, the NBA and the International Basketball Federation’s (FIBA) global basketball development and community outreach program that unites young African basketball players from across the continent to promote the sport and encourage positive social change in the areas of education, health and wellness.He’s been a spokesman for CARE and on the Advisory Board for the Fogarty International Center at the National Institutes of Health. Mutombo has received numerous honors and awards including the 32nd Annual Thurman Munson Award, the Goodermote Humanitarian Award, the President’s Service Award from President Clinton, Big Brothers Big Sisters New York City Achievement in Public Service Award, the Steve Patterson Award for Excellence in Sports Philanthropy, and the John Thompson Jr. Legacy of a Dream Award. Mutombo is a graduate of Leadership Atlanta 2014. And that’s not half of what he does.Mutombo recently spoke in Atlanta about ending human and sex trafficking in Africa and America.“It’s not hard, because I love my job,” Mutombo said of being so charity-driven. “I thank the NBA organization for putting the trust in me to carry on this mission of social innovation worldwide. We’re having such a huge impact to our youth with our game of basketball. We invested more than $200 million in social innovation to improve health and literacy.”He said playing in the NBA has helped him see how important his work is.“It taught me how to be a good leader, a good competitor and how to win,” he said to the Journal. “It’s not easy to teach a child how to win. I’m glad I had a great mentor. [John Thompson] told me, ‘I know you want to be a doctor, but you can go out to make a lot of money and go out to save lives at the same time.’“I think it was the right choice, and I don’t regret that I didn’t go to medical school. I can go to medical school today if I want to. What I’ve done now is more than just treating people today—I’ve treated future generations to come.”Mutombo name might not be called when inductees to the Basketball Hall of Fame are announced in April. But no one who makes it can claim to have done more good for more people than Mutombo. read more

Jamaicas PM hails Land Information Council for advancing GIS in Jamaica

first_imgFacebook Twitter Google+LinkedInPinterestWhatsApp#Jamaica, October 12, 2017 – Kingston – Prime Minister, the Most Hon. Andrew Holness, has lauded the Land Information Council of Jamaica (LICJ) for pioneering the development and maintenance of a national Geographic Information System (GIS) network over the past 25 years.   He said that more than 50 State entities have implemented GIS in their operations, resulting in greater efficiency in the execution of their mandates.These include the National Environment and Planning Agency (NEPA), National Works Agency (NWA), National Water Commission (NWC), and Social Development Commission (SDC).“Through the innovative use of GIS applications, we are becoming more effective and efficient in harnessing the power of our limited resources. We, however, acknowledge that there is still much more that can be done.  We must think spatially to improve overall planning, monitoring, evaluation, information-sharing and communication,” Mr. Holness said.He was delivering the keynote address at Tuesday’s (October 10) opening of the inaugural two-day Jamaica GIS User Conference held at The Jamaica Pegasus hotel in New Kingston.   The Prime Minister said geospatial technology is applicable in assisting the Government’s strategic objectives, noting that its use in providing data to inform policy and action is invaluable.“If we know how things are happening and why they are happening, then we can predict where they will happen, who will cause things to happen or who (they) will happen to…what will happen and when (they) will happen.    In other words, geospatial information creates a predictive cycle,” he pointed out.The Prime Minster praised former LICJ Chairperson, Jacqueline daCosta, for her indelible contribution to advancing GIS in Jamaica and modernising and reforming the planning, land policy and land management sectors.  He further commended the National Spatial Data Management Division (NSDMD) for staging the conference in tandem with the LICJ, and urged the participants to explore how best GIS technology can be utilised to expand economic growth and job creation.For his part, Minister without Portfolio in the Ministry of Economic Growth and Job Creation, Hon. Daryl Vaz, who has responsibility for the NSDMD, said he is encouraged by the number of public-sector agencies that have been utilising GIS technology.   He noted that these entities have used GIS to create data sets and applications in health, land administration, national security, and natural resources management, which have assisted in strengthening their core business processes and functions.Mr. Vaz noted that the conference, under the theme ‘Geospatial Technologies: Mapping Our Way to Secure Communities’, is relevant and “synergises this Government’s commitment to ensuring the safety and protection of our people”.“I affirm that GIS in Jamaica is poised for great things. As we move forward, I wish to encourage us to continue the work that has begun. I am confident that at the end of these two days, we will have a greater understanding and deeper appreciation of GIS and its contribution to nation building and community development,” he added.The conference, which concludes on Wednesday (October 11) forms part of activities marking the LICJ’s 25th anniversary.Release: JIS Facebook Twitter Google+LinkedInPinterestWhatsApp Related Items:last_img read more

Bonnier Corp Taps Former Meredith Exec as New SVP People on the

first_imgElise ContarsyElise Contarsy started at Bonnier Corp. this week as its new SVP, Bonnier Consumer Products. Based in the New York City office, Contarsy is tasked with further developing the company’s consumer products and brand licensing programs and will report directly to CEO Eric Zinczenko.Contarsy brings to the role a decade of experience as VP of brand licensing at Meredith Corp., as well as experience she collected as the VP, general merchandise manager of product development and branding at Bed Bath & Beyond. She also currently serves on the board of the Licensing Industry Merchandising Association (LIMA) and is a consultant to the Private Label Manufacturers Association.“I am thrilled to be joining Eric and the Bonnier team on the path to creating deeper consumer connections and growing non-advertising revenue,” Contarsy said in a statement. “The Bonnier portfolio of enthusiast brands has great potential to expand through strategic licensing and joint venture partnerships.”Here are the rest of this week’s people on the move… Ryan PauleyVox Media promoted Ryan Pauley to chief revenue officer from his former title of SVP of business operations. In his former role, Pauley led the launch and expansion of the company’s ad marketplace, Concert, and led new business and advertising strategies across the company. In his new role, Pauley will report directly to CEO Jim Bankoff and will be based in New York. “He knows better than anyone how to leverage Vox Media’s premium quality scale and creative along with our technology and analytical strength to ensure continued success and growth for our clients, and in turn, our business,” said Bankoff in a statement. “He’ll lead an immensely talented team that has consistently excelled through attention to client success, innovation and integrity.”In addition to this, Courtney Glaze and Regina Zaremba were promoted on Pauley’s team. Glaze is taking on the role of VP of revenue operations where she will continue lead the revenue strategy across solutions planning, inventory management, and revenue operations, but will take on the added responsibilities of ad operations and paid social as well.Zaremba will take on the titles of both chief of staff of Pauley’s team and head of operations for Vox Media, which is a newly created position. She will be tasked with running the operational functions in the revenue organization, as well as taking on training and enablement, and special projects. Zaremba formerly worked alongside Pauley on Concert.Katy ByronKaty Byron was appointed as the first MediaWise editor and program manager at The Poynter Institute and is responsible for managing dozens of teenage fact-checkers as well as a team of professional reporters in order to help teenagers determine fact versus fiction online. In this new role, Byron will also be tasked with expanding the fact-checking product onto Snapchat and other platforms that are aimed at younger demographics. She joins Poynter from Snapchat where she served as the managing editor of news and oversaw the production and curation of all news “Our Stories” on Snapchat, which garners millions of views. Prior to that, worked as a producer for both CNBC and CNN. Poynter Institute president Neil Brown said in a statement that “Katy’s expertise in visual storytelling and her leadership on platforms like Snapchat will catapult MediaWise to new places and secure additional partners as we aim to reach one million teenagers in the next two years.” Jim KirkByron started in her new role Oct. 15 and reports to the executive director of PolitiFact, Aaron Sharockman.Crain Communications Inc. tapped Jim Kirk for the newly created position of publisher and executive editor of Crain’s Chicago Business. In this role, Kirk will be responsible for editorial and business operations of the weekly and will directly report to group publisher Mary Kramer. He is joining the company from the Los Angeles Times where he served as editor-in-chief.“[Kirk’s] experience both in journalism and in the rapidly changing media business will support growth for our flagship city business publication,” said Crain Communication Inc. president KC Crain in a statement. Yara Bayoumy is joining The Atlantic as a senior editor leading national security coverage. Most recently, she served as a national security editor and foreign correspondent at Reuters, and reported exclusively from the Middle East and Africa. Bayoumy starts her new position next month and will work closely with politics editor Vernon Loeb to build and operate the expanding team of national security reporters, as well as with London-based editor Prashant Rao and the reporters on the global desk.Yara Bayoumy“Yara is a brilliant editor and reporter with a great feel for Atlantic journalism, and she has a strong sense of where and how major stories develop,” EIC Jeffrey Goldberg and TheAtlantic.com editor Adrienne LaFrance wrote in a memo to their staff. “She has a talent for getting scoops, as well as for identifying patterns and larger themes behind the day’s most complicated stories.”The Atlantic also tapped Hugo Rojo as its new communications team manager in Washington. Most recently, Rojo served as manager, social media communications for NPR where he was tasked with managing strategic and digital communications with the media relations team and helping to spearhead new initiatives.Danni Santana was hired to Skift’s Skift Table team as its new business reporter, restaurants. Most recently an associate editor at Digital Insurance, where he covered the technology strategies of insurance companies around topics like artificial intelligence and big data, Santana says that he’s excited “to bring my B2B journalism experience and apply it to this rapidly changing industry.”Danni SantanaBusiness Insider hired Keenan Trotter as its first investigations editor for its Insider site. Trotter most recently worked at Gizmodo on special projects and also previously served as a staff writer at Gawker. Former editor-in-chief of Popular Science, Jacob Ward, is joining NBC News as a technology correspondent and will be based in San Francisco. He also recently served as a correspondent for Al Jazeera and as a commentator for the BBC.Dana DiScenza announced that she is starting at C&NE BrandLab as a project associate on Oct. 29. She recently graduated from the University of Rhode Island with a Ph.D. in chemistry and served as a graduate research assistant while earning her degree.last_img read more