Hollie Neal Morgan, Creative Director at Fossil Group, Elected as Big Thought’s New Chair of the Board of Directors
A passionate advocate for helping youth unleash their potential, Morgan has been a member of the Big Thought Board since 2018. “Big Thought’s effective approach to empowering youth is very exciting to me,” she said. “We’re living in a moment of social and technological disruption. Now more than ever, it’s critically important to build creativity and social-emotional skills in our youth. All youth need these skills in order to thrive, collaborate, solve complex problems and use their authentic voices to create a better world.”
During her time with Big Thought, Morgan has served as the Chair of the Advocacy Committee and Chair of the Communications Committee.
“Hollie is an all-star board member,” Big Thought President and CEO Byron Sanders said. “From the work helping shape our messaging and branding, to her captaining our advocacy efforts, Hollie has shown she ‘gets it’ and has been a key member of our Board. Now with her leading us into this world after the pandemic where our partnership with the community is needed more than ever, we are very excited she’s here to carry on the legacy of catalytic leadership in this seat.”
Morgan has also served as a board member of the Fossil Foundation since 2016. Throughout the years, Big Thought and The Fossil Foundation have built a collaborative partnership and host an annual fundraising event, Works of Heart, where Fossil employees showcase their art and auction it off to benefit Big Thought. In 2019, during the 7th annual event, the organizations raised $22,000 to support Big Thought’s Creative Solutions program.
“It is no surprise that Hollie is representing the Fossil Foundation — they’ve been one of the most innovative ‘all-in’ corporate partners this organization has ever seen,” Sanders said. “This will surely take our relationship and what they’ve empowered for our young people into the stratosphere.”
During the Board of Directors meeting on June 29, 2021, Morgan took the reins from Danica Mathes, who served as Chair for the 2020-2021 year. Mathes will continue to serve as an Officer as Immediate Past Chair.
As Chair, Morgan hopes to help the Board embrace its theme for the year: Creating creators for a 21st-century world. “Big Thought’s programming is a powerful force for good in this world,” she said. “I want to help more people understand that the combination of building creative muscle, developing social and emotional well-being and fostering youth voice is truly transformational — for our kids and our communities.”
Along with measuring Big Thought’s impact through evidence-based models and curriculum, the Board of Directors will focus on leaning into the power of connection. Strengthening relationships with community partners, the local government, teaching artists, parents and young people is at the heart of what Big Thought does and key to driving change.
“I hope to drive more conversation and understanding about the intersection of youth agency, social-emotional learning, creativity and racial equity,” Morgan said. “These terms are dense and seem disparate, but Big Thought’s great success is in connecting these frameworks to create an effective theory of change — change that operates at the individual level, the communities level and the societal level. Put more simply, I want to champion Big Thought’s work and message because it is cutting-edge, effective and inspirational.”
ABOUT BIG THOUGHT
Big Thought is an impact education nonprofit that closes the opportunity gap by championing the creators of tomorrow through youth programs, learning communities, and advocacy. We believe all youth should be empowered to imagine and design a more equitable and innovative future. We equip learners with the space, tools and skills to think of new ways to approach challenges, make connections, and solve problems. Driven by its mission to make imagination a part of everyday learning, Big Thought has become a national model in arts education, out of school time systems, summer learning and juvenile justice intervention.
Jacqueline Chen Valencia