Progress. Movement. Advancement. Matriculation. Enlightenment. Action which needs to be pursued if a person, organization, business or foundation wish to accomplish their goals and embrace their vision.
So too with The Morgan Foundation.
When the Foundation was started, it began as many foundations do. Born out of a tragedy. Clouded vision. Great passion. Wanting to make a positive difference while at the same time, finding and then preserving a legacy for their loved one who was taken. Believing, perhaps naively so, that the memory of your loved one can be used as a catalyst to inspire others to increase their efforts and service with the noble goal of “saving lives.”
However, unless that foundation or business consistently finds new avenues and means of overcoming obstacles placed before it, it is in peril of languishing and then perhaps perishing. Time marches on. We must stay one step ahead of the tidal wave of mortality pursing us all lest we be overtaken by obsolescence.
And so, the Morgan Foundation boldly marches forward.
New Chairman of the Board
Effective January 1, 2019, the Chairman of the Board of Directors will be Judge John Payton of Texas. Judge Payton’s history and life of service is as unique as the man himself.
Judge Payton was first elected to office in 1990 when he was eighteen (18) years old. In fact, he was listed in the Guinness Book of World Records as the youngest judge ever elected. Then a senior in high school, he defeated a popular incumbent who had been sitting on the bench. He held that judgeship for 28 years and overall was elected seven (7) consecutive times.
Judge Payton had tremendous success with those with whom he has worked in his court. He is a firm believer in servant leadership. Judge Payton created a community service program training students to lead the organization and teaching them how to connect with community needs. Judge Payton had the students from his truancy court name the program that he led for 28 years….Students On Service…..S.O.S. Over 30,000 students went through his program performing with him side by side over 750,000 hours of community service in Collin and surrounding counties.
Judge Payton started a juvenile truancy program that has been replicated throughout the State of Texas. Through this program, Judge Payton had the opportunity to help mold the lives of more than 98,000 children who came through his court. It is this exposure to and interaction with so many of our youth that gives him a unique view of eating disorders.
Judge Payton committed his judicial career to serving children and has been recognized by Mental Health of America, Sierra Tucson, and Tough Love Inc. for his exemplary service to his community. Habitat for Humanity and running his own food bank are just a few ways he has used positive projects to help at risk students. He and his students built 14 homes for families demonstrating the “learn by doing” mantra, and did it side by side with the kids exemplifying the “lead by example” attitude.
He has worked with county, state and federal agencies and has extensive experience reading and interpreting legislation. Because he has spent a great deal of time in the Texas state capitol working with lawmakers on legislation, he has an insider’s understanding of the legislative process.
He has been a leader in the Collin County Republican Party for more than 25 years, serving as the victory chair in both 2014 and 2016 and heading up block-walks, phone banks and sign distribution. Because of his extensive work in the party, he has received numerous recognitions, including the Dixie Clem Award, three chairman awards, the Fred & Mazzie Moses Community Builder Award and the John McVeigh Lifetime Achievement Award. It is this same drive and dedication that Judge Payton will bring to the Morgan Foundation as its Chairman of the Board of Directors.
Judge Payton has seen first hand the devastating impact eating disorders can have not just on those who are suffering from this disease but on entire families as well. He has seen the early signs of this disease and referring numerous teenagers to treatment. And just as he helped thousands of children stay in school and pursue their life dreams, he brings this tireless passion and experience not just to The Morgan Foundation, but the eating disorder industry as a whole.
In conjunction with its founder, Steven Dunn, its new Executive Director, Desiree Whitten, and the Morgan Foundation’s existing Board of Directors we are looking forward to reenergizing The Foundation and have appointed Judge John Payton as the new Chairman of our Board.
New Executive Director
New leadership to the Morgan Foundation is being spearheaded by its incoming Executive Director, Desiree Whitten. Ms. Whitten has decades of marketing and communications experience having leant her considerable talents to corporate entities such as McKesson Financial Center where she was a Senior Manager in Communications; Constant Care Management Company where she was Vice President of Marketing; Farmer Brothers Coffee Company where she was Marketing Communications & Digital Marketing Manager; Fischer & Company where she was Director of Corporate Communications and Quest Diagnostics, where she was a Manager of Corporate Identity/Corporate Communications.
Ms. Whitten is the Aunt of Morgan Dunn and will be utilizing her talents to refine the message of the Foundation and to be a liaison with corporations and entities who have not yet contributed their resources to the eating disorder industry.
Together, Judge Payton and Ms. Whitten will be handling the day-to-day operations of The Morgan Foundation, fund raising, marketing and growing the legacy of The Foundation.
As for …
Steven Dunn … I will still be listed as the Founder. I will give talks on behalf of my beloved daughter. I will continue to write messages which I hope will inspire, amuse, educate and sometimes, infuriate. And yet, the memory of my daughter’s life, her legacy and the incredible good the Morgan Foundation will accomplish for those who are still suffering cannot be tainted or negatively impacted by the battles which inevitably lie ahead.
Talking with Assistant Attorneys General, State Boards of Insurance, State Boards of Psychologists and Psychiatrists, pursuing legislative agendas and negotiating with legislators, instituting lawsuits, assisting as an expert witness in other matters are all matters which are being pursued and involve controversial matters which sometimes must be approached in aggressive manners. Exposing corruption in the industry, exposing those actors who take advantage of those entrusted to their care are all matters which require illumination. And yet, they cannot be allowed to negatively impact the hope and vision for a greater tomorrow.
The mission of the Morgan Foundation … “To Save Lives, One Precious Life at a Time,” must remain sacrosanct.
2019 and the future await.