Press Release 11.15.00 - 1

For Immediate Release 
For more information, contact: 

Kathy Rowan 704.541.7529 or Stephanie Ansaldo 704.347.3844


November 15, 2000 (Charlotte, NC) – The Echo Foundation will bring together 21 leaders from all sectors of the Charlotte community for a roundtable discussion with Nobel Peace Prize Winner and Holocaust survivor Elie Wiesel in Boston, December 4, 2000. The first annual Forum for Hope is designed to provide local civic and business leaders with inspiration and action ideas to increase justice, peace, tolerance and understanding through their work.

Wiesel, honorary chair and co-founder of The Echo Foundation, and Forum for Hope participants will talk about local and global humanitarian concerns and urgent social issues confronting humankind in the 21st century. Through such dialogue, The Echo Foundation seeks to inspire an active response from this leadership group as they explore community-building ideas with a man whose international humanitarian efforts are world renown. "We believe the participants will return to Charlotte with substantive ideas for action that will strengthen our local community’s desire to work for peace and unity," says Echo Foundation President Stephanie Ansaldo. "We anticipate a ripple effect in our city as participants share this experience with others they encounter in the business, educational, civic and religious communities."

Forum for Hope members will meet before and during the two-day Boston trip for intense preparation to maximize the outcome of their conversation with Wiesel. The group will come together again in Charlotte, January 2001, to transform ideas into action steps.

Forum for Hope participants are:


Stephanie Ansaldo, President, The Echo Foundation

Jim Preston, Partner, Parker, Poe, Adams and Bernstein


Reverend Claude Alexander, University Park Baptist Church

Mark Argosh, Senior Vice President, Bank of America

Bishop George Battle, Jr., African Methodist Episcopal Zion Church

Bobbi Bernstein, Community Volunteer

Nick Bradick, Vice President, American Management Systems, Inc.

Mike Collins, Creative Director, Collins, Haynes and Lully

Fred Dabney, President, d2 Consulting

Mac Everett, President of the Mid-Atlantic Region, First Union

Judge Shirley Fulton, Senior Resident Superior Court Judge, Mecklenburg County

Steve Hall, Principal, Pawtuckett Elementary School

Michael Marsicano, President, Foundation for the Carolinas

Cyndee Patterson, President, The Lynwood Foundation

Lisa Renstrom, Environmental Activist

Kathy Rowan, Public Relations Consultant

Andy Silver, Mediator

Dr. Eric Smith, Superintendent, Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools

Dr. Billy Wireman, President, Queens College

Dr. Jim Woodward, Chancellor, University of NC at Charlotte

Joan Zimmerman, President, Southern Shows, Inc.

The Echo Foundation was founded in 1997 by Stephanie G. Ansaldo to carry on the message that Nobel Peace Prize Winner Elie Wiesel brought to Charlotte during The Elie Wiesel Project. Most recently, the Foundation sponsored The Harry Wu Project (Spring 2000), an educational program in conjunction with the visit of Chinese dissident and human rights activist, Harry Wu. The Foundation has also sponsored a production of "The White Rose" (Spring 1999), The Varian Fry Project (Fall 1999), and a Charles Fawcett Visit (Fall 1998).