As someone who built his own successful businesses and collaborative communities over the last 40 years, Joseph Deitch has always been drawn to giving back and the concept of entrepreneurial philanthropy. He wanted to do more than simply write a check – he wanted to leverage his resources  to empower other passionate and purpose-driven leaders, innovators, and activists, and in doing so, dramatically amplify their impact.

But then, while researching philanthropic models and exploring his own and others’ deepest yearnings, he saw a much bigger and bolder dream… and a much more exciting opportunity.
What most of us really want is to make the whole world a much better, safer, and more nurturing home for all of us. We live in an interconnected global society – an extended family and community – and share both the positive and the negative energy we generate. This reality manifests in our hearts and souls as well as our economies and physical well-being.

The ultimate objective of The Elevate Prize Foundation is to elevate humanity at all levels. By sharing the stories of the Elevate Prize winners, as well as other global heroes, we will create a powerful fanbase for each winner as well as for social entrepreneurship in general. We believe this will ignite a chain reaction of problem-solving, giving, and goodness on a global scale… and ultimately awaken the hero in all of us.

The world is looking for heroes. We need them now more than ever. This is our story, and we all have our role to play.



photo joseph deitch



Joe is the chairman of Commonwealth Financial Network, which he founded in 1979 and which currently has $200B in assets under management.

He is also chairman of Southworth Development, a golf and resort real estate company with award-winning properties in the United States, Scotland and The Bahamas.

In 2011, he helped to form Commonwealth Cares to maximize the impact of Commonwealth Financial Network’s charitable efforts. Since its inception in 2010, Commonwealth Cares has supported more than 360 different organizations that relieve human suffering, promote social and economic growth, and protect our planet’s resources.


In 2012, Joe founded the Deitch Leadership Institute at the Boston Latin School, the oldest public school in the United States. The institute provides leadership training and focuses on the individual growth of students as well as on community improvement.

Joe is a Tony Award-winning Broadway producer of The Gershwin’s Porgy and Bess and the author of the bestselling book, > Elevate: An Essential Guide to Life.


photo carolina garcia



Carolina has more than two decades of experience in leading national institutions and initiatives dedicated to enriching and shaping social-impact, philanthropic and cultural communities across the United States.

She most recently served as CEO & President of the National Young Arts Foundation and, prior to that, as President & CEO of United States Artists, where she helped manage $25M in unrestricted awards to this country’s most accomplished artists and spearheaded a $20M operating endowment campaign.


Carolina was also Executive Director of the Chicago Artists Coalition (CAC). While there, she was a member of Mayor Rahm Emanuel’s Cultural Advisory Council and was named “Chicagoan of the Year in the Arts” by the Chicago Tribune.

Her philanthropic work extends to serving on the Advisory Council for Ruth’s List Florida (which aims to elect progressive women to public office in Florida) and on the Latin American and Latinx Committee for the Perez Art Museum.

Carolina received her JD (with honors) from the University of Miami School of Law, where she is now an Adjunct Professor as well as a member of the Advisory Committee for the Law School’s Art + Sports Law LLM program. She has also studied not-for-profit management at Harvard Business School.

In 2019, she delivered the commencement speech at Broward College and received an honorary degree for her commitment to community service and leadership.

photo carolina garcia



Ruth brings more than 25 years of diverse experience to her role as CMO of The Elevate Prize, as well as a number of awards and accolades that highlight her results-driven leadership in the world of marketing and communications.

Most recently, she was recognized as the “Maverick of the Year” by the Women in Business Awards and was named to The Holmes Report’s “Innovator 25.” Ruth has also been named to Fast Company’s “Top 100 Most Creative People in Business” and Ad Age’s “Top Women to Watch” among many other industry honors.


Ruth is the Founder of Kite-String Branding, a brand identity leadership design consultancy helping innovative start-ups and nonprofit organizations build brand from the inside out.

Prior to that, Ruth was the first-ever marketing chief for Entercom, a broadcasting company and radio network. She is credited for leading the company’s most high-profile and award-winning campaigns, including their rebrand after merging with CBS Radio in 2017.

Ruth has also been Executive Vice President of Corporate Marketing at Univision Communications as well as the Vice President of Hispanic Ventures at Meredith Corporation, where she was the founding editor and publisher of Siempre Mujer magazine.

Currently, Ruth serves on the board of ALSAC and St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital. She holds a bachelor’s degree from Tulane University.


photo matthew minor



Matthew has committed his career to developing and implementing dynamic and innovative social impact programs globally. He has been particularly focused on creating spaces that facilitate important conversations and amplify the voices of extraordinary people who are addressing critical issues with powerful, scalable solutions.

Prior to joining the Elevate Prize Foundation, Matthew played an essential role in creating and building Solve, an initiative of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology that finds and supports tech-based social entrepreneurs around the world.


As Director of International Programs at Solve, Matthew was responsible for the development and implementation of the organization’s global expansion, which contributed largely to the over $25 million in funding commitments for entrepreneurs that Solve brokered. Matthew had previously been Program Manager at the Clinton Global Initiative, where he led the recruitment of more than 300 speakers for the organization’s flagship Annual Meeting in New York, as well as the programming and production of the Clinton Global Citizen Awards at the Clinton Foundation.

photo matthew minor



With more than 20 years of experience in marketing, Lara is fueled by a passion for different cultures and backgrounds, driving her to develop integrated marketing strategies and campaigns that speak to diverse audiences, going beyond just demographics.

Prior to joining The Elevate Prize Foundation, Lara held the position of vice president, Global Brands for Hyatt Hotels. In this role, she oversaw the brand development, consumer marketing efforts and positioning for a portfolio of hotels, including all-inclusive luxury resorts and a boutique lifestyle hotel brand for Millennials, among others.


Lara also spearheaded the development of an original branded content and social media campaign for The Confidante hotel in Miami Beach with international artist Dua Lipa. Dua’s music video for “New Rules,” which organically wove the hotel into the storyline, reached the number one spot globally on Youtube® within the first month and currently has over 2.1B+ views.

Before Hyatt, Lara spent 12 years with Univision, directing consumer efforts across traditional and digital media platforms. During her time there, she received the CEO Award for Outstanding Leadership for her role in spearheading a media planning system for Univision’s networks.

Lara holds a B.A. in International Relations from Boston University and an M.B.A. in International Business from the Thunderbird School of Global Management. She is fully bilingual in English and Spanish.




Cynthia is a recognized change agent who orchestrates and leads strategy across business functions in times of intense growth and transformation. Using highly developed business acumen and data analytics, she is a designer of progressive, forward-thinking solutions.

As Chief Community Reinvestment Officer at BMO Harris Bank, she led the strategy and decisions necessary to ensure excellence in CRA performance, including establishing a high operational standard for low-to-moderate income programming.


Cynthia brings a wealth of senior leadership experience in the financial services sector, including roles as chief-of-staff to the division CEO, director of corporate communications for the global CEO’s growth agenda, and several key positions spanning global strategy to direct customer experience. Operating on a current-state to future-state mindset, Cynthia navigates change and transformation with sharp creativity that consistently yields strong results. Her solutions are adaptable, with deliberate action and performance top-of-mind.

Cynthia is devoted to organizations that offer access, whether to financial resources, health care, education, justice, or the arts. As a first-generation American whose parents and grandparents are and were deeply connected to the wellbeing of their communities, Cynthia is passionate about civic leadership, living a pledge to service and action.

Cynthia earned her MBA from Dalhousie University in Halifax, Canada. She lives, works, and laughs in her hometown of Chicago.







Interested in working with The Elevate Prize or have an idea how
we can awaken the hero in all of us? We’d love to hear from you.