From 1979 to 1986 I worked at the Morgan family-owned Town & Country Leader and Daily Standard. Being in the news business was a great way to become connected in the community. Since then, Kevin and I have owned our own businesses locally … Leader Press, which became Morgan Printing, and

I am a member of the Thrive Excelsior Housing Task Force. The task force is tackling such issues as: Not enough quality workforce housing stock; prospective first-time home buyers are unprepared; some neighborhoods or areas are viewed as undesirable because of blight. In addition, we get regular updates from outside committees on the state of homelessness and working towards providing a drop-in shelter (daytime only).

I have been selected to serve on the newly formed Excelsior Springs Hospital Patient and Family Advisory Committee (PFAC). This is an exciting opportunity for residents to bring ideas and suggestions on how to improve the experience at ESH for patients and families. The first meeting will be held this March.

I have been a member of the Excelsior Springs Job Corps Center Community Relations Council for many years, first as a local business owner, now as a council member. I appreciate this program that prepares young people with an education and work experience. The ESJCC has been a great partner for the City of Excelsior Springs and community organizations.

I am a member of the newly formed non-profit Excelsior Springs Community Foundation, serving as secretary. The ESCF will provide an opportunity for charitable giving to projects that benefit the citizens of Excelsior Springs and residents of surrounding communities. The foundation will also support other organizations who share a common link or mission. 

I have served on the Board of Directors for the Chamber of Commerce twice, once as Treasurer. Today, I serve on the Marketing Committee. Having a strong business community provides sharing of ideas, brings in training opportunities for management and employees, and provides a collective voice for advocating a streamlined path for doing business in Excelsior Springs.

I served on the Historic Preservation Commission, twice, and today I am the council liaison. I see historic preservation as economic development. Tourism is the second largest industry in Missouri. Excelsior Springs is an ideal community to build on its tourism economy. Being minutes from Watkins Mill State Park and the Jesse James Farm increases our opportunity to capture more of the tourism market.

I am a member of Friends of the Wells because I still want to find a way to restore one or more of our mineral waters to make available. Visitors to the Hall of Waters always ask, “Where can we sample the mineral water?” I would like that answer to be there, at the Hall of Waters water bar. Our breweries have also shown an interest in being able to produce craft beers using the mineral water.

I am a past chairman of the Excelsior Springs Museum. What a great showcase of our history! Volunteers do an incredible job of making new displays available, bringing in traveling displays for patrons to enjoy and participating in community festivals. They have an extensive genealogical department and are happy to provide research for a small fee. The City of Excelsior Springs partners with the Museum to provide additional museum space inside the Hall of Waters and supports it with some financial resources from the Elms Hotel event fee budget.

Downtown Excelsior Partnership (DEP) has helped to accomplish so much in our downtown historic district. I first was involved with the Main Action Group and DEP has taken on that role and evolved it into a National Main Street Program community. We have supported this effort through membership with and Kevin Morgan Photography, are Friends of the Downtown, and serve on the website marketing committee.

I have been a member of the Excelsior Springs Business Professional Women since I was 20, with co-worker Edna Swafford inviting me to my first meeting. I found a wonderful group of business women supporting each other. Today it is the Excelsior Springs Business Women of Missouri. I consider myself an introvert, but these women pushed me into public speaking and provided leadership skills that have benefited me through all areas of my life.

I am also a member of the P.E.O.  Chapter CJ. This is a great sisterhood to belong to and I love the fact that the organization is involved in the financial backing of the Cottey College 2-year women’s college in Nevada, Missouri. Our daughter, Courtney, attended Cottey for her first two years of higher education and was a legacy, as her aunt, Shannon Morgan, had also been a student. Providing educational opportunities for our youth is a responsibility that community leaders need to support through our local public education programs. Students staying in school and receiving a diploma, then continuing to higher education changes the outcomes in people being able to provide for themselves and their families.

I am a member of St. Ann Catholic Church. While a member of the St. Vincent de Paul Society, I served on the founding board of the Good Samaritan Center. The Good Samaritan Center has grown through the support of the entire community of Excelsior Springs and beyond. Providing basic needs of food and clothing, and help with housing, utilities and medicine, the center lifts up our most vulnerable residents. I have served as president of the board, worked part-time in preparing the center’s newsletter, grant writing, and event promotions. Kevin was a caseworker at GSC for seven years. I encourage our business owners to support the center through the Neighborhood Assistance Program (NAP credits) and residents can become involved as volunteers and donors of food, clothing and financial assistance. With COVID-19, the needs have grown. Luckily the center has been eligible for some financial assistance through CARES, but volunteers are always needed to perform the acts of the Good Samaritan.

Throughout the years, I have helped pull trash from Fishing River and participated in the City’s Pride Clean-up activities to help neighbors, I have worked on food drives for GSC, and worked as a Chamber volunteer for Waterfest. I participated in the Homeless Run/Walk/Roll and spent the rest of the day and all night experiencing homelessness. I took my young daughter with me. It was an experience neither of us will forget. I have worked on each One Day of Hope to help find resources for the homeless. I walked door-to-door to advocate for passage of the 1/2-cent sales tax to fund the Community Center. There are so many opportunities to be involved in positive change.