SAN ANTONIO – Gordon Hartman, who – along with wife Maggie – founded world-renowned Morgan’s Wonderland theme park and other endeavors to benefit the special-needs community, has launched a nationwide search for a gifted chief executive to lead Morgan’s Inclusion Initiative, the new non-profit umbrella organization that coordinates planning, fundraising and communication among all Morgan’s Wonderland-associated endeavors.
In addition to Morgan’s Wonderland, the list of facilities designed and built with inclusion in mind includes Morgan’s Inspiration Island splash park, Morgan’s Wonderland Sports complex, Morgan’s Wonderland Camp and new ventures under construction such as the Multi-Assistance Center at Morgan’s Wonderland, or The MAC. For more information, visit www.InclusionStartsHere.com.
“The overwhelming growth of these venues has brought about the need for a strategic adjustment in order for us to achieve additional growth and do even more to accomplish our mission of inclusion,” Hartman said. “I will remain with the organization but remove myself from day-to-day operations so I can assume a new, broader role as ‘outreach ambassador.’ This will enable me to focus on continued growth as we seek to better serve the special-needs community on the statewide, national and international levels.”
To conduct the search for a new Morgan’s Inclusion Initiative chief executive, Hartman has retained the services of a nationally-known search firm – Lehman Associates (www.lehmanassociates.com) of Austin, Texas. All inquiries about the CEO position should be directed to Vanita Trippe (firstname.lastname@example.org) or Jan Lehman (email@example.com) and not to Hartman or his staff.
Hartman said the new CEO will oversee all Morgan’s Inclusion Initiative operations and “will uniquely combine outstanding business acumen with a true heart for our vision and mission of inclusion, that is, to bring together those with and without special needs for Ultra-Accessible™, fully-inclusive experiences that lead to better understanding of one another.”
Hartman hopes to announce the new chief executive before year’s end. Closely assisting him in the transition to the new Morgan’s Inclusion Initiative organizational and operational framework is Ron Morander, who has been in leadership roles with Morgan’s Wonderland since 2011. “I’m not going anywhere,” Hartman said, “and neither is Ron in the near future.”
Morgan’s Inclusion Initiative was established to coordinate among all Morgan’s Wonderland “family” members, Hartman explained. It’s a 501c3 non-profit organization, and all donations directly benefit Morgan’s Wonderland-related endeavors. Such generosity will help defray costs and will go a long way toward ensuring long-term success for Morgan’s Wonderland-associated ventures as they serve those with and without special needs for years to come.
In addition to pursuing its mission of inclusion, Morgan’s Inclusion Initiative seeks “to spark cultural change in order to create a more-inclusive world” and that “empower, include, educate and innovate” are the values that Morgan’s Inclusion Initiative espouses, Hartman said.
Hartman and wife Maggie created Morgan’s Wonderland as a result of their 27-year-old daughter Morgan’s inspiration. “Her soaring spirit despite physical and cognitive special needs since birth created within us a deep desire to help children and adults needing assistance,” he said. “We’ve been fortunate to accomplish a lot over the past decade, but with Morgan’s Inclusion Initiative, we’re truly just getting started.”
Ultra-Accessible™ refers to removing both physical and economic barriers that confront children and adults with special needs. This means that those with and without special needs can come together in fully-inclusive environments for fun and a better understanding of each other.