We live in a global society. From our economies to our health to our environment, we are all connected. And though most people want to make the world a better, safer, more nurturing place, we need inspiration to awaken our own hero inside – and act.
That’s the realization that motivated Joseph Deitch to create the Elevate Prize.
We’re here to empower passionate purpose-driven leaders, innovators and activists, and dramatically amplify their impact – not only through financial support, but by building powerful platforms that resonate around the world.
By amplifying the impact of these heroes, we believe we can ignite a chain reaction of problem-solving, giving, social entrepreneurship, philanthropy, activism and goodness on a global scale.
We’re starting with a prize as big as our ambition – and our future’s as bold as the change we hope to inspire.
Alone it may seem impossible. Together, nothing is.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Megan joins The Elevate Prize Foundation with more than 20 years of experience in program and project management in the private and non-profit sectors. Having started off in the private sector planning and executing brand experience events for consumer products, Megan was driven to translate her skills into the non-profit and philanthropic sectors in order to contribute to positive social change.
Megan later joined the Clinton Health Matters Initiative (CHMI) at the Clinton Foundation working on efforts to apply systems-change thinking to improve health outcomes for communities across the United States.
Megan, a native of Oregon, has a BA in International Studies from the University of Oregon. She currently resides with her husband and three sons in the scenic Hudson Valley in New York.
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.
Vivienne joins the Elevate Prize Foundation with an unwavering commitment to address inequity, what has been a guiding principle in her work. In this role, she facilitates and supports social impact leaders that participate in the Prize, by connecting them with the resources and program elements to scale and amplify their efforts.
Prior to joining the Elevate Prize Foundation, Vivienne was a program officer at United Way of Miami-Dade. During that time, she managed the grantmaking processes of a $3 million portfolio to achieve the community investment goals of its school-age education impact area and a newer initiative to fund emerging local innovative nonprofits in Miami-Dade County.
Vivienne holds a Bachelor of Arts in Organizational Studies from Brown University. A Miami native, she enjoys the great outdoors with her dog, Rambo.