Inaugural California Prize Awarded

LYNN FRITZ, founder of the nonprofit Fritz Institute, has won the University of San Francisco’s first annual California Prize for Service and the Common Good for his organization’s development and deployment of software aimed at improving logistical response during disasters.

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The California Prize, which comes with a $10,000 purse and handcrafted medal, will be awarded each year to a person who creates advancements or innovations in private or public sector service on behalf of underserved populations.

The former CEO of Fritz Companies, a Fortune 1000 world-wide freight transporter, Fritz sold his firm to United Postal Service (UPS) in 2001, then turned his logistical expertise to streamlining humanitarian relief efforts around the globe.

Under Fritz’s guidance, the San Francisco-based institute developed the first Web-based software designed to connect all steps of the supply chain and enable real-time matching of a population’s needs during a disaster. Locally, the institute’s Bay Prep Initiative seeks to advance the ability of the Bay Area to prepare, withstand, and recover from a major disaster, such as an earthquake.

“Lynn’s work makes it clear that creating a more just world is not the exclusive preserve of direct service providers—relief workers, social workers, and nurses—but includes those with business acumen, technical knowledge, and research skills who are critical for effective and immediate post-disaster relief,” said USF President Stephen A. Privett, S.J.

In sponsoring the California Prize, USF celebrates individuals who personify the ideals of Jesuit education and embody the university’s mission of offering a socially responsible and rigorous education while promoting the common good of all.

“Improving the lives of others from behind the scenes is a critical platform for the Fritz Institute,” Fritz said. “Thus, it is of particular importance to me to be recognized by a university that encourages and educates students to work for a more humane world.”

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