Crandall Challenge

WHARTON GRADUATE EMERITUS SOCIETY

Crandall Challenge

THE WHARTON GRADUATE EMERITUS SOCIETY

2022 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.

Lake Forest, IL

Robert founded Neighborhood Entrepreneurship Lab (NEL) in Chicago in 2017.  Paired with non-profit lender, NEL works with entrepreneurs from disadvantaged communities providing mentoring, business plan awards, capital.  Currently there are  20 entrepreneurs in program.

The Neighborhood Entrepreneurship Lab (NEL) provides grants for entre startups that focuses on disadvantaged communities.  It partners with the Chicago Community Trust. Bob formed Neighborhood Entrepreneurship Lab in 2018.  The organization identifies entrepreneurs in disadvantaged communities in Chicago and provides coaching, connections and capital.  In year 1 NEL had 1 entrepreneur.  In years 1 thru 4 there have been a total of 21 NEL alums.  In year 5 there are 20 entrepreneurs in this year’s class!

The NEL program was developed in partnership with The Chicago Community Trust and lead donor, Bob Crawford, to provide capital, coaching, and collaboration to entrepreneurs poised for growth. The program pairs small business owners with investors, advisors and strategists who provide intensive assistance as well as introductions to influential contacts within their personal networks. In addition, each entrepreneur receives a $20,000 grant to grow their business.

2022 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.