A co-founder of the Panama City, Panama, private equity, venture capital, and asset management firm iPoint Capital Partners, Hilt Tatum IV serves the investment group as president and CEO. Outside of his professional responsibilities, Hilt Tatum IV supports nonprofit aid organizations that provide relief to those in need in Panama and other countries in the region. Thanks to the generous contributions of donors like Hilt Tatum, the American Red Cross is able to assist those in Panama and other Latin American and Caribbean nations through disaster risk-reduction projects and the Resilience in the Americas (RITA) program.
Working with local Red Cross affiliates in Panama, Colombia, Paraguay, Costa Rica, Ecuador, and El Salvador, the American Red Cross began Latin America-based disaster risk-reduction initiatives in 2011 to safeguard local communities that are inadequately equipped to contend with natural disasters that regularly strike the region. With the goal of impacting more than 176,300 people in at-risk areas throughout the six countries, the American Red Cross has developed community-based education programs and has trained local Red Cross staff and volunteers to teach residents disaster-preparedness best practices, including earthquake survival methods, basic first-aid, and the importance of keeping an emergency response kit in the home. The American Red Cross has also supported infrastructural improvements, such as the installation of public address or very high frequency radio systems that can save lives by alerting citizens of an imminent disaster, allowing them to evacuate before it arrives.
RITA is a pilot program launched by the American Red Cross in 10 Latin American and Caribbean countries, including Panama, Guyana, Belize, the Bahamas, and Nicaragua. It is intended to benefit 3,500 people and enhance the resilience of 126 communities across these nations through a risk assessment process wherein community members themselves will identify locally available means they can develop to address pressing needs and secure against vulnerabilities. From the results of this pilot, the American Red Cross and local affiliates hope to develop tools and training manuals to model community resilience programs that can be applied in other areas of the world.
Hilt Tatum is CEO of Oxford Consulting Group - International business consulting