Andy Miller hopes his ‘Seven for Seven’ giving campaign will inspire others to support the often-overlooked efforts of local charitable organizations
OAKLAND, Calif. – Former Polycom, Inc. CEO Andy M. Miller is continuing his campaign to increase support for under-recognized charitable organizations by making a donation today to The Hidden Genius Project. This Oakland, Calif.-based non-profit trains and mentors black male youth in technology creation, entrepreneurship, and leadership skills to transform their lives and communities.
Miller is contributing an initial amount of $25,000 to seven non-profit groups on seven days during May and June as part of a personal giving campaign to rally more support for deserving charities. He started this “Seven for Seven” initiative on May 16 by donating to the Javistrong54 Foundation, which is raising money for Jake Javier, a former high school football player with spinal cord injuries. Next, Miller contributed to the Greater Bay Area Chapter of the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society, followed by a contribution to the Moment by Moment Foundation, whose professional photographers create portraits of families with children that are battling life-limiting illnesses.
The Hidden Genius Project was founded in 2012 by five black male entrepreneurs and technologists concerned about the unemployment rates of black male youth in the Bay Area, which remain persistently high despite an apparent plethora of career opportunities in the local technology sector. To address this challenge, the founders established a two-year summer education program in which students develop a mobile app from concept through to completion. Hidden Genius participants learn fundamental problem solving and entrepreneurship skills, while cultivating a deeper commitment to leadership within their communities. To learn more about, and contribute to, The Hidden Genius Project, please visit: www.hiddengeniusproject.org/.
“This program is doing a great job of preparing young African-American men to pursue successful careers in the fields of science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM),” says Miller, who has served as CEO of Polycom, Inc. and Tandberg, and in other senior positions for companies including Cisco, IPC Systems and Monster Worldwide.
“We really appreciate it when business leaders like Andy are willing to help young black men pursue opportunities in the technology space,” says Brandon Nicholson, founding executive director of The Hidden Genius Project. “Our program works to inspire young people to reveal their potential by digging in to their passions and building for themselves and their communities. Whether or not we see a shift in the organizational cultures and hiring practices in the tech industry, we aim to ensure that our young people understand that the possibilities are limitless.”
Andy Miller has more than two decades of executive experience in industry leading companies. As a senior operating executive, he has excelled in focusing on strategic growth areas, leading global expansion, and driving improved profitability. As a director, he has collaborated on successful enterprise communications IPOs including Gigamon (GIMO).
In addition to guest lecturing at UCLA, USC and Stanford, Andy has spoken at the World Economic Forum in Davos and has given keynote addresses at Microsoft’s Worldwide Mobile Congress and the Aspen Ideas Festival.