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Combat Flip Flops’ CEO, Matthew Griffin, Named Aspen Institute Henry Crown Fellow

Aspen Institute Mobilizes New Generation of Leaders

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The Aspen Institute has announced its 2019 Class of Henry Crown Fellows, including Combat Flip Flops’ CEO, Matthew ‘Griff’ Griffin. The Henry Crown Fellowship mobilizes a new breed of leaders, between 30-45 years, to tackle the world’s most intractable problems. All are proven entrepreneurial leaders, mostly from the world of business, who, having achieved professional success, are now ready to apply their creative talents and skill sets to building a better society.

Henry Crown Fellows explore their leadership, core values, vision for a Good Society and their desired legacies. But the Fellowship is not just about reflection. It is also about action: each Fellow launches a Leadership Venture that will stretch them and have a positive impact on their communities, their country, or the world.

“We are especially delighted with this year’s class of Henry Crown Fellows, the most politically and geographically diverse ever,” said Tonya Hinch, executive director of the program. “For society, they represent a potent force of talent, ready to focus their energies on some of the greatest challenges of our times. For them, they are embarking on a personal journey—a journey ‘from success to significance’—that will change their lives forever. I know. I’m a Henry Crown Fellow too.”

“It’s humbling to be nominated and selected as a Henry Crown Fellow,” state Griff. “This was made possible by the family and friends that supported the dream of Combat Flip flops and backed that support with relentless action. I look forward to the challenge of the fellowship and will endeavor to use the experience to positively contribute back to my communitity, country, and planet.”

2019 Henry Crown Fellows:
Yemi Dele Akinyemi, Creative Director, Founder & CEO, JAD Productions, Prague, CZ.
Sean Bielat, Chief Executive Officer, Endeavor Robotics, Carlisle, MA.
Sarah Bird, Chief Executive Officer, Moz, Seattle, WA.
Jewel Burks Solomon, Founder, Partpic (acquired by Amazon), Atlanta, GA.
Jerry Coleman, Founder, Offerpad, Gilbert, AZ.
Beau Ferrari, Executive Vice President, NBCUniversal Telemundo Enterprises, Miami, FL.
Jose Garcia-Aranda, President, Alberici Global Automotive Constructors, LLC., St. Louis, MO.
Max Goldberg, Co-Owner, Strategic Hospitality, Nashville, TN.
Matthew Griffin, Cofounder & CEO, Combat Flip Flops, Issaquah, WA.
Yvonne Hao, Chief Operating Officer, PillPack, Cambridge, MA.
Poppy Harlow, Anchor, CNN Newsroom, CNN, Brooklyn, NY.
Taavet Hinrikus, Chairman & Cofounder, TransferWise, London, UK.
Tara Hovey, President & COO, Optima, Chicago, IL.
Pete Kadens, Cofounder & Former CEO, Green Thumb Industries, Winnetka, IL.
Toni Ko, Founder, TKRP LLC & NYX Cosmetics, Los Angeles, CA.
Brit Morin, Founder & CEO, Brit + Co, Mill Valley, CA.
Shegun Otulana, Founder & CEO, Therapy Brands, Birmingham, AL.
Ruben Sigala, Former EVP & CMO, Caesars Entertainment, Denver, CO.
Stacey Tank, Vice President, Home Services, The Home Depot, Atlanta, GA.
Amber Venz Box, Cofounder & President, rewardStyle, Dallas, TX.
Rodney Williams, Cofounder and Chief Commercial Officer, LISNR, Cincinnati, OH.

For more information on the Fellowship, please visit

About Combat Flip Flops
Combat Flip Flops is a veteran-owned small business that manufactures products in conflict and post conflict areas. Empowering the mindful consumer to manufacture peace through trade, Combat Flip Flops’ profits have funded the education of over 600 Afghan girls and the clearance of over 10,000 square meters of landmines in Laos. In 2018, Griff was recognized by Real Leaders magazine as one of the world’s top 100 Global Visionaries and by HillVets100 as one of the 100 most influential veterans in America. In 2016, Puget Sound Business Journal named him one of their 40 under 40 business leaders. Griff is the co-author of the business and leadership book, Steps Ascending: Rise of the Unarmed Forces. For media inquiries, please contact Kate Ketschek, For all other inquiries, please contact Griff,

About the Henry Crown Fellowship and The Aspen Institute
The Henry Crown Fellowship Program was established in 1997 to honor the life and career of Chicago industrialist Henry Crown (1896-1990) and was initially funded by the Henry and Gladys Crown Charitable Trust Fund. The Fellowship is the flagship program within the Aspen Global Leadership Network. For more information, visit

The Aspen Institute is an educational and policy studies organization based in Washington, DC. Its mission is to foster leadership based on enduring values and to provide a nonpartisan venue for dealing with critical issues. The Institute is based in Washington, DC; Aspen, Colorado; and on the Wye River on Maryland’s Eastern Shore. It also has offices in New York City and an international network of partners. For more information, visit