The CRO Conference Hosts Silent Auction for Yoga Session with Russell Simmons; Hip Hop Mogul and Corporate Activist will Announce the Winner after his Fireside Chat Keynote at The CRO on November 1 in New York City

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Hip hop mogul and corporate activist will announce the winner after his fireside chat keynote at The CRO on November 1 in New York City.

The CRO today announced they will auction a Yoga Session with Russell Simmons as part of the first annual CRO Conference to be held on November 1 at the Marriott Financial Center in New York City. All proceeds will benefit Rush Philanthropic Arts Foundation of which Simmons is both Co-Founder and Chairman. The winner will be announced by Russell Simmons himself at 4pm following his "Fireside Chat" scheduled for 3pm which will be a Q&A on the topic of corporate social responsibility.

"Many C-level conferences will conduct a silent auction for lunch or dinner with someone famous to benefit a charity," said Jay Whitehead, CEO of The CRO. "But, in keeping with the theme of the CRO event and Russell Simmons' healthy lifestyle, we are proud to offer this unique experience." Whitehead notes that all proceeds will benefit Rush Philanthropic Arts Foundation (, which has always aligned with corporations in support of quality arts education programs.

Since launching in August, The CRO, the first member-based media platform for Corporate Responsibility Officers (CROs) has signed 100 companies and non-profits as members. The CRO's areas of coverage include compliance, governance, ethics, financial reporting, CSR, public affairs, corporate communications, investor relations, SRI, sustainability and philanthropy. Last month, The CRO magazine ( launched with a cover story on The GAP and their involvement in the Bono initiative, RED, to raise awareness and funds for AIDS in Africa.

Russell Simmons attended the City College of New York and quickly became instrumental in bringing hip-hop to every facet of business and media since its inception in the late 1970s. His business success is evident across many industries: music, fashion, TV and film, financial services, and philanthropy. In 1995, along with his brothers Danny Simmons and Joseph "Rev. Run" Simmons, he founded Rush Philanthropic Arts Foundation. The organization is dedicated to providing disadvantaged urban youth with significant exposure and access to the arts, as well as offering exhibition opportunities to underrepresented artists and artists of color. Following the historic Hip-Hop Summit he organized in June 2001, Russell founded the Hip-Hop Summit Action Network (HSAN) to harness the cultural relevance of hip-hop music as a catalyst for education advocacy and other societal concerns fundamental to the well being of at-risk youth throughout the United States. Currently, Russell also serves as the Chairman of the Foundation for Ethnic Understanding, a non-profit organization dedicated to strengthening relations between ethnic communities.

Tangie Murray, Executive Director of Rush Philanthropic, says, "Russell's active participation in the CRO Conference underscores Rush Philanthropic's ongoing focus of working alongside corporations to meet the needs of disadvantaged youth in the most relevant, effective ways possible." In its first 11 years, Rush Philanthropic has directed millions in funding from donors that include leading corporations, giving out more than 620 community grants and impacting the lives of more than 700,000 children. The foundation has established two arts exhibition and education facilities, Corridor Gallery in Brooklyn's Clinton Hill neighborhood and Rush Arts Gallery in Manhattan's Chelsea, and is planning to open an arts education and resource center in East New York, Brooklyn in the coming year. In 2005, the foundation's Art For Life benefits raised more than $2 million.

The CRO Silent Auction is only available to CRO Member and Conference Attendees. Bidding will begin the morning of The CRO on November 1 and end promptly at 3:45pm. The bidding will begin at $5,000 with $500 increments in order to insure serious and enthusiastic participants. For more info on The CRO event, speakers, and silent auction, please visit: or contact: Carrol Van Stone, 304-876-2065


Founded in 1995 by brothers Russell, Danny and Joseph Simmons, Rush Philanthropic Arts Foundation is dedicated to providing disadvantaged urban youth with significant exposure and access to the arts, as well as providing exhibition opportunities to under-represented artists and artists of color. While its primary emphasis is the arts, Rush Philanthropic is committed to the general well being of young people by considering a wide range of concerns. A 501(C)3 organization, Rush Philanthropic fulfills its mission through three core programs: grants, exhibitions and mentoring. The Rush Community Grants Program annually provides direct funding to over 50 nonprofit organizations that offer education programming in all disciplines of the arts to New York City youth. Rush also runs two arts exhibition and education facilities: Rush Arts Gallery and Resource Center in Manhattan's Chelsea arts district and the Corridor Gallery in Brooklyn's Clinton Hill neighborhood. Our Rush Kids Visual Arts Mentorship Programs use arts education to create a spark that fires the imagination and creativity of the urban youth we serve. The Rush Impact Mentorship Initiative allows the foundation's leadership to reach out to young people by taking them behind the scenes at Rush Communications' headquarters for in-depth Q&A sessions with Russell Simmons and executives in music, fashion, and creative-related professions. Rush Philanthropic believes in the vital importance of lifelong exposure to the arts, nurtured in early childhood, and anchored in sustained, creative experiences throughout one's life.


The CRO was founded by professional media veteran Jay Whitehead and Business Ethics Magazine owner Michael Connor. As a corporate membership organization with partnerships among several non-profit corporate responsibility industry associations, The CRO increases the strategic impact of Corporate Responsibility Officers (CROs) by further professionalizing and integrating 3 related disciplines: a) Audit, Risk Management, Compliance & Ethics, b) Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR), and c) Socially Responsible Investing (SRI), Sustainability and Philanthropy. Through media—CRO Conferences, CRO Magazines and The—The CRO allows members and partners to expand the $20 billion, 11-service-segment CRO industry and the strategic value of its professional practice. Members include corporate practitioners, professional service providers and influencers (NGOs and government). Outside investors in the firm include Lincoln Institute for Applied Ethics director James Lincoln and Outsourcing Today co-founder and CEO Harry Feinberg. More information can be found at The

Media Contact:

Carrol Van Stone, Visibility Bookings,


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