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Published:May 10th, 2007 06:02 EST
Judyth Piazza chats with Eddy Bayardelle, MD, Director of Global Philanthropy at Merrill Lynch & Co., Inc.

Judyth Piazza chats with Eddy Bayardelle, MD, Director of Global Philanthropy at Merrill Lynch & Co., Inc.

By Judyth Piazza CEO (Editor)

Eddy Bayardelle is the Director of Global Philanthropy at Merrill Lynch & Co., Inc., and Secretary of the Merrill Lynch Foundation. Mr. Bayardelle is the former Superintendent of Hempstead Public Schools in Long Island and former Executive Director of the Division of Special Education for New York City Public Schools. Mr. Bayardelle is the Chairman of the Board of Directors of the National Coalition of Haitian Rights.  

Eddy Bayardelle Honored at Virtual Enterprises` Annual Fair

As Virtual Enterprises International celebrated its 10th annual trade fair for high school student entrepreneurs, the New York-based program honored MD Eddy Bayardelle for his longtime commitment to supporting youth education.

The president of the Merrill Lynch Foundation was honored at a breakfast in Manhattan on March 30. Also honored were Russell Simmons, founder and CEO of Rush Communications, and Carmen Farina, former deputy chancellor for Teaching and Learning for the New York City Department of Education.

Mr. Bayardelle has long held leadership roles in education and philanthropy, noted Dennis Walcott, New York`s deputy mayor for Education and Community Development, who presented him with the Virtual Enterprises International Crystal Leadership Award.

"His commitment to education and to young people is extraordinary and is exemplified by the unique and innovative projects that his organization has funded," Mr. Walcott said.

Those programs include the U.S. Network of Virtual Enterprises, a program pioneered by the city`s Department of Education; the Merrill Lynch National Business Plan Competition, the Merrill Lynch/Baruch College Investing Pays Off® Challenge and the Merrill Lynch Global Business Challenge. The latter program was added this year, and the winners were announced during the trade fair on March 30.

"I share this award with all of the Merrill Lynch employees who take time out of their busy schedules to coach and mentor young people and make a difference in their lives," Mr. Bayardelle said. Employee commitment is the focus of the current Global Volunteer Awareness Campaign, which runs through May 22.

The Virtual Enterprises program gives young people the experience of business operations, money management, finance and entrepreneurship. It also allows them to develop interpersonal skills, presentation skills and self-confidence.

"Every child, especially those in our city`s underserved neighborhoods, deserves a shot at success," Mr. Simmons told a local newspaper after the event. "This Virtual Enterprise business plan competition helps to do just that, by allowing our youth to develop a viable business opportunity and imagine a better future for themselves."

Merrill Lynch launched the National Business Plan Competition in 2005 to motivate Virtual Enterprises students to plan realistic and effective business strategies. The competition offers the students advice from industry experts, exposure to peers` work and rewards for excellence.

MD Carol DeNatale, chief operating officer of Global Markets and Investment Banking`s Americas Origination, served as lead judge for the competition. "I`ve had the honor of participating in this program for the past two years and become more impressed each year with the quality and caliber of the students. It`s been my privilege to be a part of a program focused on the development of tomorrow`s business leaders," she said.

At the trade fair in Manhattan, which was attended by New York City Schools Chancellor Joel Klein, Mr. Simmons and Mr. Bayardelle announced the winners of the business plan competition. A team of students from Edward R. Murrow High School in Brooklyn received $3,000 for the promotional product business they created. Each team member also got $1,500.

Last year`s first-prize recipient of the National Business Plan Competition, a team of students at Centennial High School in Bakersfield, California, came in second in the competition. Third place went to a team from Frank W. Cox High School in Virginia Beach, Virginia, for its seating company.

Todd Sears, a leader of Global Private Client`s U.S. LGBT Financial Services Team GPC`s Northeast Division diversity manager, served as a judge. Financial Advisor Jessica Lee, of New York, and Mr. Sears`s assistant, Bryce Smith, also were judges, along with employees of Deutsche Bank.

"The winning team had kids from France, Romania, Italy, the U.S. and Sweden," Mr. Sears said. "It was an amazing experience to watch students from various countries and cultures come together as a team and compete. I was incredibly proud that Merrill Lynch was able to give so many kids such an amazing opportunity."

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