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The United Way Tocqueville Award recognizes exceptional and sustained volunteer and philanthropic leadership across community or national borders. The award is named after Alexis de Tocqueville, a French scholar who visited North America in 1830 and documented in his treatise, Democracy in America, 1835 and 1840, the spirit of voluntary association and effort for the common good that he observed in these communities.  2013 United Way Tocqueville Society Award Honoree:  Michael K. Hayde Mike Hayde grew up in an extremely economically challenged area.  His early experiences there influenced his philosophy of philanthropy, volunteerism and the value of “second chances”, and inspired his passion for creating opportunities for all at home in Orange County and around the world. Mike’s involvement with United Way began in Orange County when the Tocqueville Society was in its formative stages and he was asked to join by a business competitor and philanthropist, Peter Ochs. Since then, Mike’s financial support has increased year over year and he is currently a member of the $10 Million Roundtable of the Tocqueville Society.  His strategic and thoughtful giving includes support for United Way infrastructure and for valuable staff recognition and retention incentives.  He also challenged Orange County United Way to “think differently” by inspiring the establishment of endowment that will provide a sustainable source of funding for the future.  His contributions are not only financial.  As a volunteer leader he has invited many of his peers to join him as members of the Million Dollar Roundtable and Tocqueville Society.  He led the effort to grow the endowment through the Tocqueville Legacy Circle, asking board members and Tocqueville members to endow their gifts. He supported a partnership between United Way and the California Apartment Association that will result in funding for the rapid re-housing efforts that are a key component to reducing the number of homeless and housing insecure children by half in the next 10 years.  Mike’s interest in the national and global efforts was piqued when, during a Million Dollar Roundtable member trip to the Chateau de Tocqueville in Normandy, he met the descendants of Alexis de Tocqueville and learned there was no United Way in France.   At that point, he became passionate about bringing the legacy of Alexis de Tocqueville “back home” and his involvement expanded to the global arena. Mike provided seed funding to found United Way Tocqueville in Paris and has been involved in every aspect of starting and sustaining the organization.  He took a leadership role in recruiting the founding board, engaging with non-profit organizations to establish community impact partnerships, and visited CEOs of US, French and Canadian companies to encourage their involvement.  He has presented United Way’s role in education, income and health at key gatherings of government and business leaders including the Forbes CEO Forum in Cannes and the US Embassy’s Forum on Philanthropy.  He has served as the Chairman of the Board for 5 years, and in that role has mentored the staff and inspired the volunteers.  Mike’s impact in France obviously reaches beyond the borders of his home community in California, but his impact isn’t limited to these two countries.  He is committed to strengthening and expanding the United Way throughout Europe.  Toward that end, he has provided funding to staff the regional office of United Way Worldwide and to fund key strategies to strengthen staff and volunteer capacity in the region.  He’s an active member of the European Regional Council, has supported the Tocqueville Society of Romania with a challenge match and visits to donors in Bucharest and is currently helping to recruit volunteer leaders for the newly forming United Way of the United Kingdom.  In addition, as the founding chairman of the United Way Worldwide Leadership Council he has recruited a group of major donors and volunteer leaders from eight countries to serve as a strategic partner to the United Way Worldwide board in promoting the involvement of societal and business leaders in United Way’s education, health and income work.  This group has sponsored gatherings of these leaders in the US, China and France.  In 2014 they will meet in London, and in 2015, in Seoul.   These meetings have led to a stronger relationship in the network, which makes the network stronger. Thank you, Mike, for your inspirational efforts to create opportunities for all in your hometown in Orange County, in France and throughout the United Way network worldwide.