Marriott Alumni Magazine

Fall 2015

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Page 47 of 51

1985 The Ivy League has come calling for Peter Pilling. His lifelong goal has been to oversee ath- letics at an academically rigorous institution, making Pilling's recent appointment as athletic director at Columbia University something of a dream job. A former senior associate athletics director at BYU, Pilling comes to Columbia from IMG College, a large collegiate sports marketing company, where he focused on partnerships with the Mountain West, the West Coast, and the Big 12 conferences. He earned a bachelor's father, Cooper graduated from BYU with a BS in finance in 1992 and a MAcc from Utah State University in 1997. After working at Deloitte, Flipdog, Ivory, and Omniture, she founded Alpine Compa- nies, a certified minority- and woman- owned small business. As CEO Cooper manages a multilingual team and has a hand in the firm's many ventures: asset management, loan servicing, regulatory compliance, portfolio risk manage- ment, and other real estate services. The National Association of Hispanic Real Estate Professionals honored Cooper four times as a top-250 real estate broker, last year ranking her twenty-fourth. degree in accounting from BYU in 1985 and a master's degree in sports administration from Ohio University in 2010. Pilling and his wife, Deanna, have four children. As a family the Pillings have gone on eight humanitarian trips to Kenya and Uganda. 1992 Becoming a successful Latina entrepreneur while keeping family first is among April Thompson Cooper's proudest accomplish- ments. The daughter of a Peruvian immigrant mother and an American Doug Jackson is bringing sight to tens of thousands around the globe—thanks to a new kind of vision for humanitarian work. "e best charity work is when the locals are doing it," Jackson says. "Foreigners just come and go. If you don't set up the locals so they can do it and sustain themselves, you are just putting a Band-Aid on the problem. e solution has to be them." CharityVision was started thirty years ago by Jackson's father, a medical doctor, with the mission to enable other surgeons around the world to become humanitarians in their own backyards. Building on his father's work, Jackson brought the charity into twenty-five countries, recently narrow- ing its focus to reversing unnecessary blindness caused by untreated eye trauma or cataracts. Last year CharityVision performed forty thousand eye surgeries and is on track this year to bump it up to sixty thousand. Jackson coined the term "humanicapitalism" to describe the secret to CharityVision's growth. e organization gives state-of-the-art equipment to third-world doctors with the time, interest, and skill to serve. ese doctors are free to use the equipment in their private practices, says Jackson, as long as they "pay" CharityVision back by also using it for charity work—providing life-changing surgeries that restore sight to people who can't afford it. In just a matter of minutes, these surgeries remove barriers to employment or education that keep individuals and families in poverty. "We combine capitalism and entrepreneurialism with humanitarian work," says Jackson. "It's amazing because our doctors find out almost immediately that the more humanitarian work they do in their commu- nity, the stronger their private practice becomes"—even enabling them to purchase their own equipment and become sustainable. Charity has been a way of life for Jackson literally since the day he was born. He was born in Algeria, where his father, fresh out of medical school, was doing humanitarian work. As a child Jackson spent summers overseas with his family, helping in the operating room. In 1988 Jackson graduated from BYU with a BS in finance, adding a MAcc from BYU in 1992. After graduation Jackson was hired by Arthur Andersen but didn't stay long: "I've always been one to do my own thing," he says. He bought, managed, and grew dental offices in the Southwest. en about fifteen years ago his father asked him to take over the nonprofit, which was growing too fast for him to manage. Never big into marketing, CharityVision found itself in mainstream media this May thanks to a fundraiser—one pitting Mitt Romney against world heavyweight champion Evander Holyfield in the boxing ring. e Romney family has been involved with CharityVision for several years; Ann Romney sits on the board of directors, and Josh Romney volunteers his time to help run the organization. Jackson recalls Mitt perched atop a filing cabinet in the corner at a board meeting, piping up in a discussion of potential fundraisers like auctions and banquets: "ose are boring. Let's do something fun, like a boxing match." "We needed somebody to box," Jackson says—and so they turned to the man who suggested the idea. e event, held in Salt Lake City, brought $1 million in donations—and, with each eye surgery costing about twenty-five dollars, a lot of power to change more lives around the world. Jackson's family is still heavily involved with CharityVision: his father travels to check up on clinics, and Jackson's oldest son oversees four hospi- tals owned by the organization in the Philippines. Jackson played soccer for BYU and now enjoys coaching his children's teams. He and his wife, Sharon, have six children and three grandchildren, and they find every excuse they can to travel. "It's usually to visit clinics," Jackson says. "My wife is still waiting for a trip to Hawaii. I keep telling her the beaches are nicer in the Philippines and Indonesia." A New Vision for Charity 46 MARRIOTT

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