Odyssey of the Mind is a rigorous academic competition for students from kindergarten through college, held in every US state, with finalists competing nationally.
Des Hague, an acclaimed retail executive and public speaker, has been a longtime supporter and contributor of the Stamford Youth Foundation (SYF). As the organization’s board member, he is particularly delighted to take the opportunity to congratulate the SYF teams with their participation and victory at the annual Odyssey of the Mind tournament. Competing against more than 160 teams from throughout the state, SYF saw three of their ten teams advance to the World Finals last year. Odyssey of the Mind is a rigorous academic competition for students from kindergarten through college, held in every US state, with finalists competing nationally.—
Recently elevated to the board of the Stamford Youth Foundation (SYF), Hague has been running the Corporate Donations Fundraising since, applying his decades of experience in raising money for non-profits on a global scale to the local organization, which allowed them to send their teams to the prestigious tournament. “I couldn’t be more proud of SYF’s success in the Connecticut State Odyssey of the Mind competition,” said Des Hague. “It is a tribute to the hard work of both our students and our teacher coaches who share in the victory. I’m happy to be associated with a great organization like the Stamford Youth Foundation and look forward to the upcoming world finals.”
Developed in 1978 to promote team problem solving skills, the Odyssey of the Mind competition includes students in all 50 states and a number of foreign countries, amongst them the United Kingdom, Japan, China, and Russia. Students are presented with five long-term problems to solve, each incorporating the use of critical thinking skills. Areas covered by the tournament include mechanics, literature, architecture, and much more, challenging the creativity of its young participants. Teams of five to seven members select from five given problems, work together for several months on a solution, and then deliver it as an eight-minute presentation at the state tournament. With the support of Mr. Hague’s corporate fundraising efforts, this year’s Stamford Youth Foundation saw two of their teams place first in their assigned problem and division. Both teams also received the special Jill Riggles Award for Excellence in having placed first in the spontaneous portion of the competition.
Des Hague is an internationally renowned corporate executive and inspirational speaker who can tap into vast experience in the public and private sectors. Over the course of his career he repeatedly demonstrated an impressive level of excellence in leading companies onto a path of growth and success. Hague invests much of is time and energy in supporting worthy causes, as a private individual as well as throughout his professional life. In his position at CEO of Centerplate, the largest event hospitality company in North America, where he managed 43,000 from 2009 to 2014, he established a corporate fundraising program that collected more than $100 million in charitable donations that benefitted a large number of non-profit organizations, including the Stamford Youth Foundation.
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