From the beginning, the leader who has been at the helm of Courageous Faces Foundation is Trish Morris, President, Founder and CEO. She maintains the direction and vision of the only foundation of its kind that provides ongoing, direct and personalized care for people with rare and severe medical conditions to enhance their quality of life.
EXPERIENCE WITH A HEART
Trish has had more than a decade of compassionate caring for people with differences and always championed better futures for people who are differently abled. She coordinated hundreds of athletes with unique needs on the Rocky Mountain Special Olympics Team, and served on multiple boards and committees with similar vision before starting the Courageous Faces Foundation.
A CAREFUL MONEY STEWARD
As a bonus, Trish also brings a savvy and strategic sense of financial management to the Foundation so donors can be assured their dollars are being allocated in the most carefully planned and cost-effective ways. Prior to embarking on her philanthropic journey, she served as Associate Vice President and Portfolio Manager at Wells Fargo Advisors. In 2010, Trish retired from the position to fully embrace her passion for helping people who have unique medical conditions to not just survive but thrive.
She and her husband Rick share their home with their dogs who are adoring enough to let them continue living there.
Marcus was born and raised in Denver Colorado. He is a proud graduate of the Montbello High School class of 1993. Marcus attended Idaho State University on a football scholarship where he received All-American accolades and in 2005, he was inducted to the Idaho State Hall of Fame. In 1996, Marcus suffered a paralyzing neck injury during a football game in his senior year. He returned to college in the fall of 1997 and graduated two years later with a Bachelor of Business Administration.
Marcus is the Founder and Executive Director of “Only the Strong Foundation”, started in 2005, promoting a pursuit of education in the Montbello – Green Valley Community. He hosts hundreds of children and their families at the “Burger and Bags” event in the neighborhood where he provides back packs filled with school supplies and burgers for all that attend this great event. In addition, he volunteers his time with Boys & Girls Club and True-Life Baptist Church.
Jeff is a Denver native. Early years brought exposure to baseball, football, gymnastics and diving, leading to Springboard Diving recognition at the National level at the University of Hawaii where he obtained an economics degree.
Jeff graduated from the Navy Aviation Officer Candidate School as a Navy helicopter pilot, serving out of Naval Air Station North Island, San Diego, including a tour in the Persian Gulf in 1988. Jeff became a helicopter flight instructor in the Naval Aviation Training Command in Florida & was also a back-up pilot for the Grand Canyon National Park Service.
On July 1, 1994 Jeff had been called to fly with the Forest Service battling wildfires near the Tucson area. A mechanical malfunction led to a catastrophic helicopter accident that left him burned over 57% of his body with third- and fourth-degree burns. Years of recovery and reconstruction presented challenges few will ever face.
Becky was born & raised in Colorado where she currently resides, sharing her home with her dog Minnie. In retirement, Becky enjoys traveling and volunteering with the Arthritis Foundation, Special Olympics Colorado, Nine News Health Fair, Children’s Hospital Blood Drive and Lipbar Inc.
Becky has been on the Courageous Faces Foundation Board as Treasurer since the start of the foundation in 2014. Becky is a proud advocate of the Courageous Faces Foundation and dedicates enormous amounts of time at every foundation event, serving on the board and working behind the scenes to increase the awareness of the foundation to others.
Whether it’s academic achievement, excellence in the arts, or science fiction, Dr. Francis Smith has done it all, studying biology at Purdue University & craniofacial embryonic development and facial birth defects at King’s College in London, England, where he was given great career opportunities that had been denied in the U.S.
He received his doctorate in craniofacial embryology at the University of California-San Francisco in 2012 and then went on to do a postdoctoral research fellowship in craniofacial 3-D imaging and morphometrics at the University of Calgary from 2012-2015.
Dr. Smith authored a book, “Wonderfully Made” where he shares his story of living with a rare craniofacial syndrome, Treacher Collins. Dr. Smith is a life-long learner and is exploring options for his next adventure with his career after completing his second postdoctoral fellowship at the University of Colorado Denver Anschutz Medical Campus in craniofacial biology.
Francis is an artist, musician (piano and violin), avid traveler, reader, and Trekkie, with an ever-expanding range of interests.
Sandee is one of Colorado’s most beloved activists and an avid sports fan. For over 20 years, Sandee has been involved in many non-profit organizations, where she lends her knowledge, experience and passion to everything she does. Currently serving on many boards, Rocky Mountain M.S. Center, Co Uplift, Family Homestead, University Library Association, Denver Center Alliance, Volunteers of America Guild, Achievement Rewards for College Scientists and the Courageous Faces Foundation, keeps Sandee busy and her finger on the pulse of the needs of people and how best to help them. In addition, she has added Firefly Autism to the list of places where she supports. Her desire to make a meaningful impact to help others is a sign of her faith and strength.
In the mid 1990’s Sandee was diagnosed with Multiple Scleroses. She continues to be active with the Rocky Mountain MS Center and has been honored with numerous awards for her dedication, commitment and personal contributions. She is particularly proud to have played a part in attracting to Denver, Dr. Tim Vollmer as Director of Neurosciences Clinical Research at the University of Colorado Anshutz Medical Center, who has completed multiple clinical studies in Multiple Sclerosis.
Sandee holds a master’s degree in speech pathology and a masters in psychiatric social work. She has worked in rehabilitation hospitals, day care programs and takes great pride in her work with youth and adults with intellectual and physical challenges, all while raising her two young children after divorce.
“The Courageous Faces Foundation and the work they do moves me greatly. The incredible impact they are having, the lives they touch, and the happiness they bring are truly amazing. I have spent many years working with other foundations and individuals with special needs and what the Courageous Faces Foundation is doing goes beyond anything I have ever experienced.”
Alison graduated from Mountain Vista High School in Douglas County. Upon graduation Alison was hired by the district and began her career in the food service department as a Kitchen Assistant. She continues to be successful after ten plus years working in elementary school kitchens. She enjoys her job, her coworkers and all the students.
When not working, Alison enjoys staying busy with social opportunities. She thrives when she is with others, sharing laughter and fun with friends. She is involved in bowling and basketball through Special Olympics and serves on the Young Professional Board for Tall Tales Ranch. In addition, Alison likes to read, listen to music, dance and travel.