Angela Blanchard is recognized for her pioneering work in asset-based community development that focuses on the human, social and cultural strengths of vulnerable populations. Blanchard is the President and CEO of Houston-based Neighborhood Centers Inc., one of the top 1% of U.S.-basedcharitable groups that serves 250,000 clients annually through 60 facilities in the Houston and Gulf Coast regions. Former HUD Assistant Secretary Roberta Achtenberg (who currently serves on theU.S. Commission on Civil Rights) has praised Blanchard for her innovation in developing "a powerful transformational model" with important implications for community redevelopment efforts throughout the nation. Blanchard has been honored by a number of organizations for advocacy, her excellence in nonprofit leadership, and outstanding achievements in community service. Most recently, she was named the ARAMARK Building Community 2011 National Innovation Award Leadership Honoree.Blanchard joined Neighborhood Centers in 1986 and was named president and CEO in 1998. She rapidly expanded the scale of the 104-year-old agency and grew its operating budget from $40 million to more than $258 million. Today, the agency is widely respected for achieving outstanding results in a number of public-service initiatives, including community schools and place-based education programs; immigration and citizenship outreach and advocacy; senior services; economic development; tax services; and disaster-recovery services coordinated in the wake of devastating hurricanes. In 2010, more than 300 organizations applied for Promise Neighborhood Grants from the U.S. Department of Education -- and Neighborhood Centers Inc. was selected as one of only 21 recipients nationwide.TED is a nonprofit organization devoted to Ideas Worth Spreading. Starting as a four-day conference in California 25 years ago, TED has grown to support those world-changing ideas with multiple initiatives. The annual TED Conference invites the world's leading thinkers and doers to speak for 18 minutes. Their talks are then made available, free, at TED.com. TED speakers have included Bill Gates, Al Gore, Jane Goodall, Elizabeth Gilbert, Sir Richard Branson, Nandan Nilekani,Philippe Starck, Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, Isabel Allende and UK Prime Minister Gordon Brown. The annual TED Conference takes place in Long Beach, California, with simulcast in Palm Springs.TEDx: The x = independently organized event. In the spirit of ideas worth spreading, TEDx is a program of local, self-organized events that bring people together to share a TED-like experience. At a TEDx event, TEDTalks video and live speakers combine to spark deep discussion and connection in a small group. These local, self-organized events are branded TEDx, where x = independently organized TED event. The TED Conference provides general guidance for the TEDx program, but individual TEDx events are self-organized.
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