Bonnie McElveen-Hunter is Chairman of the Board of the American Red Cross, founder and CEO of Pace, and a former U.S. Ambassador to the Republic of Finland (2001-2003).
Pace, the largest independently owned custom content agency in the nation (awarded 2013 Content Marketing Agency of the Year), serves Fortune 500 and other market leading companies such as Verizon, Walmart, Wells Fargo, USAA, Southwest Airlines and Four Seasons Hotels and Resorts, making Ambassador McElveen-Hunter one of the nation’s most successful women entrepreneurs, ranked by Working Woman Magazine as one of the top 175 women-owned businesses in America.
During her term as U.S. Ambassador to Finland, Ambassador McElveen-Hunter led several initiatives to success, including the Women Business Leaders Summit® in Helsinki in 2002 for women from the Baltic Region. A second Summit was held two years later in Riga, Latvia, and a third in 2007 in Amman, Jordan for women from Iraq, Palestine, Syria and other Middle East nations which continued into Bahrain and Dubai in the fall of 2008. These Summits advanced entrepreneurship and encouraged businesswomen from the Baltic Region to the Middle East to launch or expand business opportunities in their native countries. In 2003, Ambassador McElveen-Hunter initiated the Stop Child Trafficking: End Modern-Day Slavery and Children of Karelia program, which helped Finnish and international charities assist children at risk from drugs, crime, HIV/AIDS and trafficking. For her exceptional and outstanding services, the President of Finland awarded her one of Finland’s highest honors — the Commander Grand Cross of the Order of the Lion.
Ambassador McElveen-Hunter was originally appointed as Chairman of the Board of the American Red Cross in 2004, which marked the first time a woman has been named to that position. In 2007 she co-founded The Tiffany Circle Society of Women Leaders, a network of women philanthropists which has grown to include 43 communities nationwide. To-date Tiffany Circle members have invested over $80 million into the Red Cross mission.
As a long-time philanthropist and charitable-cause activist, Ambassador McElveen-Hunter has served as a member of the International Board of Directors of Habitat for Humanity, chaired the Alexis de Tocqueville Society, served on the United Way of America Board as a member of its National Leadership Council, and founded the United Way Billion Dollar National Women’s Leadership Initiative which has raised over $1 billion dollars.
Ambassador McElveen-Hunter is the recipient of numerous awards, including the Horatio Alger Award, Points of Light Tribute Award, Member of the Carolina Entrepreneur Hall of Fame, North Carolina Award for Public Service, Courage Visionary Award from National Historically Black Colleges & Universities Alumni Association, United Way Women’s Leadership Award, National Alexis de Tocqueville Society Award, Ellis Island Medal of Honor, Honorary Doctor of Humane Letters from North Carolina State University, Dr. Carl-Christian Rosenbröijer Award, and Woman Entrepreneur of the Year (National Foundation for Women Legislatures)