Previous Winners of the SEN Sustainability Awards

Award Winners for 2012

Alvaro Rodriguez-Arregui Category:
Economic Justice
Alvaro Rodriguez-Arregui (YPO Monterrey)
IGNIA Partners, LLC

Blazing the Economic Justice and Social Impact Trail
Alvaro Rodriguez-Arregui is the founder and managing partner of IGNIA Partners, LLC – a social enterprise building investment firm based in Monterrey, Mexico – focused on investing in and developing commercial enterprises that serve the base of the socioeconomic pyramid and foster entrepreneurship and social impact projects. He credits his solid team for much of the company’s success, but says there is still more work to do.

Alvaro Rodriguez-Arregui
Monterrey, Mexico

“I am humbled and thankful to YPO for this distinction. Starting in the late 1980s, when I had the opportunity to interact with YPOers for the first time during YPO’s University in Mexico City, I became a great admirer of this organization. Now having been recognized by my fellow YPOers is one of those lifetime achievements — something for which I can only be tremendously grateful. These distinctions, although great, need to be handled with care. They are further motivation that we are on the right course, but should not mean an accomplishment since we have yet much to demonstrate and accomplish!

Rodriguez-Arregui’s leadership, his strong commitment to microfinance and the extensive reach his company’s efforts have had in the area of economic justice, impressed the judges.

“Over the years of judging, choosing one amazing YPOer or WPOer over another has proven challenging each and every year,” said YPOer Gregg Steinberg. “This year was an exception. Rodriguez-Arregui stands light years ahead of his peers. By all accounts there could have been no other rational decision. Fantastic, and well deserved, a guiding example for the rest of us.”


Leo Schlesinger Category:
Sustainable Environmental Business Practices
Leo Schlesinger (YPO Mexico City)

Doing Well While Doing Good
Schlesinger, a Chilean and U.S. citizen, moved to Mexico to head the operations of Masisa, a wood-based board producer and forestry company. The operation, a fully-integrated sustainable forestry, industrial and retail business, is one of Mexico´s largest wood board manufacturing facilities as well as a leading chemical and resins plant with approximately 80 franchised retail stores.

Schlesinger is a member of several for-profit and non-profit boards and a well-known sustainable development and sustainable business strategy teacher and advocate. In 2010, he was recognized as a Young Global Leader by the World Economic Forum and has since been an active member of the WEF. In 2011, Schlesinger was named as one of the “20 most important ecology and sustainability advocates in Mexico” by the Economista newspaper.

Leo Schlesinger,
Mexico City, Mexico

“Sustainable business is not only about doing no harm, but also about doing good. It’s not only about restrictions and controls but also about innovation and opportunities. Today we are facing some of humanity´s biggest societal and environmental challenges, and it’s the business community the one that holds the key to much of the solution. And most of it lies with its capacity to innovate”

Schlesinger ‘s leadership of Masisa, and its company’s philosophy of sustainable development at the core of its business strategy, has allowed him to show outstanding progress in the area of environmental sustainability.


Fernando Zobel de Ayala Category:
Fernando Zobel de Ayala (WPO Philippines)
Ayala Corporation

Creating Shared Value Through Sustainable Development
Fernando Zobel de Ayala is president and chief operating officer of Ayala Corporation, one of the Philippines’ largest conglomerates involved in real estate, financial services, telecommunications, water, electronics, automotive, international investments, business process outsourcing and power. He is board chairman of Ayala Land and Manila Water Company; vice chairman of the executive committee of Bank of the Philippine Islands and board member of Globe Telecom. Zobel de Ayala is also co-chairman of Ayala Foundation, which supports projects in education, art and culture, environment and sustainable development.

His leadership of the Manila Water Company, a water and wastewater service provider that caters to more than 6.1 million people from 23 cities and municipalities in eastern metro Manila, exemplifies the spirit and values of YPO-WPO.

This strong commitment to sustainability is one of the company’s key success factors and is evident in all levels of the organization. Its sustainability efforts are guided by the desire to build communities, safeguard health and safety, protect the environment, contribute to local and national economies and develop its employees.

Fernando Zobel de Ayala
Makati City, Philippines

“The tremendous quality of applications for the Leadership Award is testimony to YPO and WPO members trailblazing the inclusive business concept of integrating the low-income population in their companies’ core business model. Zobel de Ayala has wholeheartedly embraced and successfully implemented the idea of creating shared value even before the concept became popular and has, thereby, demonstrated true leadership in best YPO-WPO tradition.”YPOer Markus Dietrich on Fernando Zobel de Ayala


Bill Strathmann Category:
Outstanding Philanthropy
Bill Strathmann (YPO US Capital)
Network for Good

Network for Good: Generosity Unleashed
As CEO of Network for Good, Bill Strathmann has led the company in its distribution of more than US$650 million to more than 60,000 charities in the past eight years, building it into a sustainable social enterprise. Network for Good, a non-profit that enables charitable acts anytime, anywhere through technology, offers web services and other innovations that enable individuals and companies to unleash generosity quickly to thousands of non-profits on a massive scale.

Network for Good has subsequently taken advantage of technology advances to evolve their products and services to benefit a variety of customer groups, including ordinary citizens, small and medium-sized non-profits, for-profit social enterprises, app developers and even Fortune 500 corporations.

Bill Strathmann
Bethesda, Maryland

“Winning the SEN award among an international field of YPOers was a special honor for Network for Good. I was blown away, and I deeply appreciate the acknowledgement of my team’s hard work as we scale our technology platform toward our ultimate vision: Generosity Unleashed!”

The organization has sustained double-digit growth for the past several years and will distribute US$140 million in donations this year alone. Since inception, a broad base of almost 2 million citizens have driven more than US$500 million, hundreds of hours of expert know-how and dozens of training tools and resources to 65,000 different causes across the United States.


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