Big Brothers Big Sisters Awards William "Bill" Hanna Highest National Honor

Jun 26, 2013, 08:00 ET from Big Brothers Big Sisters

DENVER, June 26, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- Big Brothers Big Sisters of America has awarded William "Bill" Hanna, Retired President and COO of  Koch Industries with its 2013 Charles G. Berwind Lifetime Achievement Award, the organization's highest honor for a volunteer leader.  Hanna accepted his award today at the Big Brothers Big Sisters 2013 ReuniteNow National Conference in Denver, Colorado.


A committee of Hanna's peers selected him to be the recipient of the Berwind Lifetime Achievement Award, which recognizes outstanding volunteer leaders who have devoted substantial time and energy over the course of their lives to the cause of youth mentoring through Big Brothers Big Sisters.  The organization created the award in 1990 in honor of Charles Graham Berwind, a founding father of Big Brothers of America.  Berwind dedicated more than 40 years of his life to the organization, leading the national network for its first 23 years.

Hanna's relationship with Big Brothers Big Sisters began after the untimely passing of a colleague's daughter, Malisa Caffey in a car accident.  This tragic event profoundly affected Hanna.  He decided in Malisa's memory to do as much as he could to help disadvantaged youth beat the odds and become successful.  Hanna, already a fixture in the non-profit world, decided that Big Brothers Big Sisters with it vision that every child deserves the opportunity to succeed mirrored his own outlook on youth development and achievement. 

Hanna joined Kansas Big Brothers Big Sisters Board of Directors and later became Board Chair. Hanna was instrumental in organizing a more efficient reporting structure where local affiliates reported to a regional office in Kansas instead of a larger office in Missouri.  The new reporting structure allowed for more targeted fundraising efforts and the development of strong relationships between Big Brothers Big Sisters and local governmental officials.  During his tenure at Koch Industries, Hanna sponsored numerous Bowl for Kids' Sake fundraisers and events for children on Big Brothers Big Sisters' waiting list. Hanna on behalf of Koch Industries also routinely donated computers for use by staff and volunteers.  Inspired by Hanna's dedication to youth in the community, Koch executives began to lend their time, business expertise and even joined the local Big Brothers Big Sisters Board of Directors.

Upon his retirement from Koch industries in 2001, Hanna devoted himself full-time to improving the future for children in his community. As the regional committee chair and donor for Texas A&M University's One Spirit One Vision Campaign, Hanna has been able to assist high school students with a scholarship to attend college. The CONNECTS program matches engineering students who have a financial need with an opportunity at a higher education.  Preference is given to students who are first-generation college students and participants in the Big Brothers Big Sisters program.

"Bill Hanna has been a shining example of how just one person can make a BIG difference," said President and CEO Charles Pierson.  "A devoted fundraiser, organizer and leader, Hanna with the support of staff, volunteers and donors has fostered strong strategic partnerships, made advancements to organizational effectiveness and helped increase local fiscal earnings.  Hanna has made us more successful in providing children facing adversity with strong and enduring, professionally supported mentoring relationships that change the lives of children for the better, forever. We are deeply grateful for the his many years of generous support in the form of time and treasure."

As the nation's leader in quality youth mentoring services, Big Brothers Big Sisters holds itself accountable for helping children who face adversity achieve educational success; avoid risky behaviors such as juvenile delinquency; and have higher self-esteem, confidence and aspirations. The organization relies on donations to carefully make mentoring matches and provide ongoing assistance for mentors, mentees and families to help sustain the long, successful relationships unique to its programs and at the core of its positive outcomes.

Big Brothers Big Sisters Youth Outcomes Survey® finds children enrolled in the organization's community-based program for at least a year progress in areas related to education, behavior and socio-emotional wellbeing.

  • 94 percent maintained or improved in their attitudes towards risky behaviors
  • 85 percent maintained or improved in their educational expectations
  • 83 percent maintained or improved in social acceptance.

About Big Brothers Big Sisters
Big Brothers Big Sisters, the nation's largest donor and volunteer supported mentoring network, holds itself accountable for children in its program to achieve measurable outcomes, such as educational success; avoidance of risky behaviors; and higher aspirations, greater confidence and better relationships.  Partnering with parents/guardians, schools, corporations and others in the community, Big Brothers Big Sisters carefully pairs children ("Littles") with screened volunteer mentors ("Bigs") and monitors and supports these one-to-one mentoring matches throughout their course.  Big Brothers Big Sisters Youth Outcomes Survey Report reinforces the mentoring program's evidence base of positive academic, socio-emotional and behavioral outcomes for youth, areas linked to high school graduation, avoidance of juvenile delinquency and college or job readiness.

Big Brothers Big Sisters provides children facing adversity, often those of single or low-income households or families where a parent is incarcerated or serving in the military, with strong and enduring, professionally supported one-to-one mentoring relationships that change their lives for the better, forever.  This mission has been the cornerstone of the organization's 100-year history.  With about 350 agencies across the country, Big Brothers Big Sisters serves nearly 630,000 children, volunteers and families. The organization is engaged in a nationwide search to reunite with alumni mentors, mentees, donors, and family, staff and board members.  Learn more at

SOURCE Big Brothers Big Sisters