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.
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.
Not only was Dee Nichols born in Alaska, she was crowned “Little Miss Alaska” when the territory became a state in 1959. Shortly after, she and her parents moved to Colorado where, as an adult, she began focusing on her passion of supporting people with unique differences through various foundations and charities.
Her impactful “track record” began as a proud mother who raised three kids as a single parent, guiding her children to excel in both academics and athletics. All three were varsity athletes in high school, with one of her daughters becoming a two-time state champion and All-American pole vaulter. Now, when not at work, she showers her love and support on two beautiful granddaughters.
For twenty of her years, Dee has made it her passion to search for ways to make people better, stronger, healthier, and more fulfilled, first through improved nutrition followed by pragmatic self-care.
Ever since her first encounter with the Courageous Faces Foundation, Dee has dedicated her talents and time to enhancing the quality of life for those living with chronic and rare health conditions. In many ways, she has become the “glue” that keeps the mission of the Foundation clearly focused, pulling all the separate parts together with dedication, detail, direction, and passion.
If you’ve ever had to guide and referee between kids, parents, teachers, state and federal standards, special needs, and changing academic programs, you’ll get a snapshot of Barb’s background. For 36-years she navigated a career supporting individuals of all ages and abilities needing special education in a large local school district before coming to Courageous Faces Foundation.
She’s tackled some of the most complex situations, problem solving for individuals, families and teams to provide the best solutions available. She advocates for equal access and active participation for all to enhance their quality of life so everyone can feel proud of themselves and thrive as contributing members of their communities.
Barb comes to Colorado via Missouri and Kansas and says she’s fortunate to call Colorado her home where her two children have grown up. She says she’s continually inspired by them. She relishes spending time with family and friends and enjoys the great outdoors while exploring new places to hike, bike, snowshoe, and more.
Barb says she considers it an honor to be a part of the Courageous Faces team and looks forward to creating new opportunities for the “Inspirational Faces” the foundation supports. Her energy is contagious as she looks forward to sharing the Courageous Faces story with everyone she meets.
Maybe his playing in an accordion band as a kid, going on a medical work mission to Bolivia for a summer, and working in high school as a night janitor in a steel plant foreshadowed the variety of life Neal was about to take on. In college, He began a broadcasting stint which spanned into a nearly 30-year career in radio and TV broadcast news both in front of and behind the camera.
Neal is the most recent member to join the Courageous Faces Foundation team as Media Director. “Striving to tell captivating stories” is what he says is his main goal, “to make people aware of both what’s being done for the “Inspirational Faces,” the “Champions” of the Foundation, as well as how our inspired donors are impacting our Faces so they can thrive.”
During his tenure in news, along with the day-to-day duties, he anchored a two-year long feature called “America Today,” broadcast on both PBS in America and Armed Forces Radio and Television in Europe. He won two regional Emmys for live reporting, one for breaking the story nationally of Gary Hart leaving the Presidential race in the late 1980s.
He lives in the Denver area, often emcees a variety of events, has four stepchildren, and three grandchildren, and enjoys anything outdoors in Colorado, as well as scuba diving when not landlocked.
Elaine “DeDe” Sherman has called Colorado home since 1973 after growing up in Missouri. She got into business early as the VP and co-owner of her husband’s company, overseeing the administration, management, and coordination of the industrial manufacturing of sewing products shipped all over the world.
Through much of her life, she’s been an unstoppable world traveler. Shortly after the death of her husband in 1998, DeDe went into the financial services world where she spent the next 19-years. Combining her financial experience with administration skills led her to run for Mayor of the small Colorado town of Foxfield where she garnered 80% of the popular vote, serving a six-year term.
She fulfilled another of her other burning ambitions by taking flying lessons and completed the training by soloing in a private plane as well.
Finally, DeDe “retired,” sort of. With earlier connections to Courageous Faces Foundation, she just couldn’t let her skills lay idle, so she bundled her talents and joined the CFF team to coordinate data, and donor information to help keep those vital elements organized and running smoothly and productively.
Terri was a Denver Broncos cheerleader in earlier days, her family claims a distant connection with singer Enya, and she has sung in various choirs for 30-years, as well as spending more than three decades teaching kids with special needs to read more proficiently.
Now Terri Hinkle directs her multiple talents part time to the Courageous Faces Foundation wherever the current need arises. She says she’s hooked by founder, President and CEO Trish Morris’ vision of serving others with significant needs, and like most teachers, loves to see the transformations that happen as a result.
As a former facilitator of Weight Watchers, she continues to mentor people to better health, and also leads a bible study for women at her church. She is committed to two different book clubs, but also finds time to get outside for gardening, shopping, and hiking in the Colorado high country.
After raising two daughters (now adults) she currently invests much of her life with her three grandchildren, relishing the time she can spend with them several days a week.
She says she feels blessed to be a contributing part to such a vital quality-of-life organization, adding, “If I could spend every day at Courageous Faces, I would.”
When it comes to taking care of people, Erin McDowell has done it all—Registered Nurse, with experience in ER, Intensive Care, and Acute care. She’s also served as a flight nurse, along with earning her master’s in nursing science as well.
But from her mid-teen years, her passion has been reaching out to the underserved, emphasized by her running a volunteer medical clinic in Littleton, CO that serves everyone from babies to seniors on a weekly basis.
Erin lends her experience, talents, and medical skills to some of the poorest countries in the world like Cambodia. She is part of an elite medical team who travel for several weeks per year to perform lifesaving surgeries replacing heart valves on people who had an untreated strep infection. Having made that annual trip over many years, she knew the importance that even a simple antibiotic could mean the difference between many dying before the age of 30 and having the chance to live out their lives.
Her expertise and perspective have been critical to several Champions of the Foundation as she’s assisted with medical assessments to better help the Foundation meet their fundamental needs and connect with the best specialists in the medical field.
As a Denver native, Erin loves what Colorado offers, especially outdoor sports, and has been an avid skier since she learned the skill at age 6. Her home is run by two dogs, who graciously allow her to live there and who keep her on her toes.
Recently, our Courageous Faces family had unbelievable heartache when one of our own, Erin McDowell, unexpectedly passed away. Read about her amazing life & impact by visiting the Erin McDowell’s tribute page.