Global Ambassador - The Child Liberation Foundation

The organizer of the Global Anti-Trafficking Auction, Mitzi Perdue is an author, speaker, and businesswoman. She holds a BA with honors from Harvard University and an MPA from the George Washington University.

She is a past president of the 35,000-member American Agri-Women. She’s also a former syndicated columnist for Scripps Howard and her column, The Environment and You, was the most widely-syndicated environmental column in the country.

Her television series, Country Magazine, was syndicated to 76 stations. She’s the founder of CERES Farms, the second-generation family-owned commercial and agricultural real estate investment company that has owned rice fields, commercial and residential real estate. Today the family vineyards sell wine grapes to wineries such as Mondavi, Bogle, Folie a Deux, and Toasted Head.

Mitzi combines the experiences of three long-time family businesses. Her father Ernest Henderson co-founded the Sheraton Hotel Chain and her late husband Frank Perdue was the second generation in the poultry company that today operates in more than 50 countries. She herself founded CERES Farms in 1974. She wanted to become part of anti-human trafficking efforts after hearing Paul Hutchinson, anti-trafficking leader, give a talk on how we can rescue and rehabilitate victims of trafficking. It changed her life.

She wanted to make a donation but realized that donating to his organization, the Child Liberation Foundation, would mean cutting back on other charities she had committed to help. She wanted to make a donation, but as she sat in the audience, she asked herself, “What charity could I cut back on?”

But then she had an idea: “What if I auctioned the 16th Century De Medici desk my late parents gave me and donated the proceeds to Hutchinson’s organization?”

The desk was one of her favorite possessions, but she thought, “This was a gift from my parents. If it raises money to rescue kids from what sounds like hell, that would be worth thousands of times more to me than the desk itself.”

That led her to wonder, “Might other people have items who don’t have available cash, but who would be willing to sell heirlooms to raise funds for anti-trafficking organizations? Paintings…jewelry…china…historical items…anything?”

She began trying the idea out on friends in media, business, finance, Hollywood, sports, high society, even up to and including royalty. They all loved it and wanted in! They saw what she saw, that donating something to help stop human trafficking would be far more meaningful and satisfying than owning any particular possession.

Mitzi’s hope is that individuals who hear about the Anti-Trafficking Auction can change their, thinking about human trafficking, from, “This is so terrible!” to “I can do something about it!”.