Crandall Challenge

WHARTON GRADUATE EMERITUS SOCIETY

Crandall Challenge

THE WHARTON GRADUATE EMERITUS SOCIETY

2021 Crandall Challenge Citation Winners

State College, PA

Co-founded the Bridge Alliance in 2014 of which I am now the chairman of the board.  The Bridge Alliance has had remarkable growth and is now an alliance of over 100 organizations all working to create the healthy self-governance that is promised in our founding documents and so badly needed in our country.  The work of the Bridge Alliance the last 5 years is now recognized and referenced as a critical component and coalition….a cross-partisan constituency of 11+ million Americans who are dedicated to renewing our democracy.

San Deigo, CA

My private equity group bought Precision Alternator and Starter.  Thereafter I started a private/public sector non-profit to provide transportation to the needy, Vehicles for Change (VFC).  VFC has been a home run.  Today, 22 years after inception in 1998, we have provided over 8000 vehicles to the needy, who have achieved 30% higher wages as a result of having their own transportation.  In addition VFC trains released prisoners to become auto mechanics through training and ASE certification.  Since 2015 VFC has placed 150 mechanics in gainful employment with several graduates earning six figures.  Key Advisor to Kitchens for Good (KFG), which trains ex-cons to work in the food service industry.  Trainees take donated commodities and prepare meals donated to the homeless and the disadvantaged.

2021 Crandall Challenge Citation Honor Roll

Alan Ahrens, WG’63

Lynchburg, VA

Alan has devoted himself to being a “Business Mentor” for SCORE (a nonprofit dedicated to providing experienced ‘retired’ business executives to provide face-to-face help for new businesses as business counselors and mentors.) The Lynchburg SCORE chapter has provided business counseling to over 600 clients from several large counties in Central Virginia.

Alan was also a founding director of the central Virginia Academy for Nonprofit Excellence (CVANE), which is affiliated with the Central Virginia Community College and has established a Certification in Non-Profit Management.

John Baker, WG’68

Wallowa, OR

When John and his wife retired to a 63 acre ranch in Oregon, in 2001, they devoted their talents, time and energy as Founders, Board member and Treasurer of the “Joseph Branch Trail “ consortium which is a $20,000,000 trail restoration project in Wallowa County, Oregon. In addition to walking/biking/hiking/riding trails, a major goal is also to improve the fish habitats of Steelhead and Chinook salmon. In addition to working with Oregon and federal agencies and the Bonneville Power Administration, John works closely with the sovereign nation of the New Pierce Tribe to restore Fish Habitat in the Wallowa River in Oregon, which is part of the coho salmon 600 mile journey that includes the Pacific Ocean, as well as the Columbia and Snake Rivers

Alan was also a founding director of the central Virginia Academy for Nonprofit Excellence (CVANE), which is affiliated with the Central Virginia Community College and has established a Certification in Non-Profit Management.

Filemon Berba, WG’64

Antipolo, Philippines

Following his career in several Philippine companies that included electric and water public utilities, electronic and pharmaceutical industries, Filemon has devoted his retirement to the Philippine Foundation for Science and Technology (PFST). This Foundation, of which he was a founder, has the objective of creating a critical mass of young people exposed to science with the intent of preparing them for engineering and technological careers. As President and Chair of the PFST Board of Trustees, he has developed outreach programs that involve 400,000 Philippine high school students each year. They created the Philippine Science Centrum, the first interactive science museum in the country. Since the Philippines is an archipelago, they created 7 mobile exhibits that over the years have been visited by 7 million students and teachers. They have trained 6000 teachers all over the country. Filemon also serves as a member of the Board of Trustees for the Philippine Science High School, the University of the Philippines and the Batangas State University, both of which have a student population of over 35,000.

Alan was also a founding director of the central Virginia Academy for Nonprofit Excellence (CVANE), which is affiliated with the Central Virginia Community College and has established a Certification in Non-Profit Management.