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Salute to Service Award

Arthur Blank - Falcons

Arthur Blank (Owner)

Honor. Empower. Connect – the core values of NFL's Salute to Service initiative also applies to nationally recognized business legend, philanthropist and Atlanta Falcons owner, Arthur M. Blank, who is committed to serving America's heroes. Arthur started his family foundation in 1995. After 25+ years and more than $800 million in giving as of July 2021, The Arthur M. Blank Family Foundation has committed to significantly accelerating the impact of its philanthropy over the next 10+ years. Since 2008, the foundation has committed more than $28 million in grants to nonprofits supporting the military and veterans. The foundation also guides seven associate-led giving committees operating across the Blank Family of Businesses, one of which has a focus on supporting veterans and their families. The Overwatch Fund is a group of associates from across the Blank Family of Businesses who are U.S. military veterans or have strong personal connections to military service including family of service members. To date, the committee has committed more than $2 million in grants. Since purchasing West Creek Ranch in 2017, Arthur has transformed the property in Paradise Valley, Montana, into a no-cost, five-star venue for nonprofit partners, to focus on relationships and pursue innovative solutions. In this 2021 season, nonprofit partners like the Boulder Crest Foundation: Warrior PATHH (Progressive Alternative Training for Healing Heroes), Mission 85 and TAPS (Tragedy Assistance Program for Survivors), have come together at West Creek. Arthur also believes in the power of partnership and connection to grow and scale ideas. In February 2021, Arthur joined his Home Depot co-founder, Bernie Marcus, and actor and humanitarian Gary Sinise to launch the Gary Sinise Foundation Avalon Network. This cognitive health and mental wellness network provides transformative care to veterans and first responders experiencing post-traumatic stress, traumatic brain injuries and substance abuse. Between its 20 centers nationwide, The Gary Sinise Foundation Avalon Network will treat nearly 10,000 veterans a year. Perhaps Arthur's most influential and visible businesses – the Atlanta Falcons – brings immeasurable national attention to our military. Since 2012, the Falcons have initiated more than 150 engagements to help our troops, veterans, and their families. In recognition of these types of commitments to military, Arthur was named to a two-year term as Honorary Commander of the Georgia National Guard from 2017-2019. In 2019, Arthur joined Falcons players, coaches, and staff on a two-day trip to the United States Military Academy at West Point where he led engagements on leadership and service with cadets, academy leaders and the Army football team. Veterans serve as key leaders in the Blank Family of Businesses. Arthur believes that hiring veterans not only creates a culture of appreciation, but it also enables action to support military that matters.