Voice matters. When I assumed the role of President and CEO last July, I was very interested in voice. Habit 5 of Stephen Covey’s book, The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People, says seek first to understand, then to be understood. I was interested in the voice of the community, trustees, and staff of Morgan Foundation, to name a few.

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“People must be able to use their voice, tell their stories, have their experiences recognized and their voices heard.” ~Patricia Leavy

In 2022, Burton D. Morgan Foundation strove to listen more and uplift the voices of our program partners. We published blogs, essays and interviews to shine a spotlight on our grantees, the important work they do, and the entrepreneurs and students they serve.

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Abby Guerin Russell

Vice President of Development

Venture For America



This just happens to be the album that I play when I want to put my head down and get some good creative work done. There are no words to most of the songs but the energy and motivation I feel when playing songs like The Force or Chief, just fuel my confidence. Leading programs and now a fundraising program, the time I have to devote to deep work is rare and so valuable; music like this helps focus and motivate me.

Rick Krochka



City of Blinding Lights


I love how the intro is hope-building and then resolves and continues to pace/move along. The opening lyrics resonate too: The more you see, the less you know. The less you find out as you go. I knew much more then than I do now.

Elizabeth Prindle


Summit Artspace


Todd Rungren

The lyrics are uplifting and encouraging. Even though they are technically directed at another person, I can make them fit myself, as my journey to becoming an artist has included learning to not give up!

Kelly Coleman

Grants Manager and Development Associate

Lemonade Day

Lose Yourself


As a product of the California CPS system, I have faced a variety of obstacles in my life. Life-long anxiety and depression have made it a challenge to remain in the present. This song reminds me of what is at stake if I don't seize the opportunities in front of me in each moment and inspires me to keep fighting. I believe many of the disadvantaged youth we serve face similar barriers. When we, as a collective, support them, providing the tools they need to thrive, we are living this song for them.

Raymond Dean


Peter Gabriel

Peter Gabriel has been making and performing music my entire life. He was an inspiration in my teens, and now I am inspired by him into my 50s. I find this song "Darkness" inspiring because it is so raw and universal. The vulnerability in the lyrics is easily relatable. It gives me the feeling that I can overcome the same fears and mental challenges he describes in the song.

Fayez F Safadi

Director, Center of Medical Innovation, Ohio Res. Scholar and Professor

Northeast Ohio Medical University (NEOMED)/GPN Therapeutics, Inc.

That's the Way it is

Celine Dion

It gives me the strength to not give up on my dreams and goals. Good things will go to the people who deserve them.

John Dearborn


Board Member at Bounce

Baby Workout

Jackie Wilson

It's from an amazing artist who was full of energy and motivated those around him.

Stephanie Bull

Director, University Grants & Foundation Relations

Ashland University

This Little Light of Mine

The song is inspirational about the light each of us has within ourselves and what can transpire when each of us shines that light outward -- the power to believe in ourselves can move mountains.

Robin Eisen

Special Projects Manager, YEI

Fight Song

Rachel Platten

Keeps me motivated to fight back and believe in myself even when others might not. Helps define failure as a positive.

Cynthia A Sheeks

Director of Development Planned Giving

The University of Akron

The Prayer

Andrea Bocelli

It gives me hope. I love his voice.

Sean Vollman

Deputy Mayor Integrated Development

City of Akron

I Have Confidence

Julie Andrews

Since I was young, whenever I was scared to do something (primarily in public) I would blast that song and sing along.

Greg Sanders

Executive Director

The Lakeland Foundation

You Can Get It If You Really Want

Jimmy Cliff

I have the opportunity to represent Lakeland Community College and work with others to assist with college priorities specific to student persistence and completion. As an alum whose life was transformed by Lakeland, it's an honor to promote our students' needs and how their success ultimately leads to the success of our region.

Joanna Feathers

Program Manager

Junior Achievement of Mahoning Valley


David Archuleta

At times I have felt lost and uncertain as to what my place is. This song reminds me that everyone has a place and an important part to play. When we all play our part — the place we are specifically gifted — that’s when beautiful music happens.

Gretchen Skok DiSanto


Lakeland Community College


Kool & The Gang

This is just a happy song… time to party.

Thomas Chema


Gateway Consultants Group, Inc

Ode to Joy


It uplifts the spirit which in turn clears the mind.

Chris Keller



What a Wonderful World

Louis Armstrong

This song resonates for many reasons:

For its appreciation of the simple beauties of everyday life and how fortunate each of us is to be alive. For the soulfulness of the melody that makes me feel both at peace and inspired.

For Louis Armstrong who topped the UK charts with the song (1968) as an African American during the civil rights era – whereas it was less promoted in the U.S. and received limited air play. The song embodied such grace of Armstrong as a performer in the midst of racial oppression and discrimination - inspiring me to always remember the need to strive for kindness, fairness, equality, and justice for everyone

For others that have performed the song or have used it artistically in shows and movies. I am particularly moved by its use in the movie "Good Morning, Vietnam" in juxtaposing the beauty of the world with the horrors of the war in Vietnam, which drives home how we need to strive for peace and compromise rather than resorting to dehumanization and torture involved in trying to impose will.

Peter Corrigan

Assistant Professor

Notre Dame College

Hungarian Rhapsody No. 2

Franz Liszt

This orchestral piece has been historically used to draw a musical connection from slow, complex, and chaotic movements to clear, upbeat, and exciting themes. It perfectly represents a brisk and fun 'awakening' which is EXACTLY what we are trying to accomplish in educating, encouraging, and motivating the next generation. I think of its appropriateness often.

Liz Murphy

Executive Director

Destination Hudson

Thank You For the Music


I was not aware of this song until recently, but it inspires me. I have been granted many blessings and privileges in my life and would like to think that my actions can make a difference in people's lives. I aspire to make a small difference in the lives of the people I meet each day. I have been an integral part of Hudson since I bought the Learned Owl Book Shop in 1983 (sold it in 2013), and through my work at Destination Hudson am working to make Hudson the best it can be.

Nancy Brennan

President & Co-founder

Akron Soul Train

I Take My Chances

Mary Chapin Carpenter

I would rather try and fail, than not try at all. This song reflects that perfectly!

Jessie Jones

Director of Strategic Partnerships

Young Entrepreneur Institute


Pharrell Williams feat. Jay Z

The tone and message of the song illustrate empowerment — to change one's self and one's community. I love how it elevates black achievement, particularly in the video. It celebrates hope and shows how entrepreneurship transforms lives.

Tom Sudow

Director, Burton D. Morgan Center for Entrepreneurship

Ashland University

The Gambler

Kenny Rogers

Gambling and entrepreneurship are both high-risk/high-reward opportunities. As I work with students on their business ideas, they must know when to hold'em and know when to fold'em, know went to walk away, and know when to run. It is taking calculated chances and never counting your money when you're sitting at the table, There'll be time enough for countin' when the dealin's done. I always tell them never to count their money until the deal is done. For, in the end, every hand is a winner and every one a loser. The song is an important lesson for entrepreneurs and it has helped me shape my career over the years, knowing when it is time to stay and knowing when it is time to go. In his final words, I found an Ace I could keep. Learning from your experience is critical and building on your experiences is vital for all entrepreneurs.

Karen Hodge

Assistant Vice President for Advancement

Walsh University

My Life

Billy Joel

I love the freedom inspired by the song.

Al DiFranco


Junior Achievement of Greater Cleveland

Get Along

Kenny Chesney

So much of what we do at JA revolves around inspiring others through positive adult influences, and Get Along focuses on overcoming challenges and obstacles to create a better world through loving and supporting one another.

Bill Trainor

Managing Director

Mutual Capital Partners

Under Pressure


Life if challenging especially when you are or do something different. VC in NEHO hasn't performed well but we've proven it can despite limited NEOH investor support.


Henry Wadsworth Longfellow famously stated that music is the universal language of mankind. It has the power to inspire and motivate people in their work. It can boost positivity and productivity and reduce stress and anxiety. We asked you to share the music that motivates and inspires you, and you enthusiastically responded. From U2 to Beethoven, from Eminem to Celine Dion, a wide variety of artists and musical genres are energizing Northeast Ohio’s entrepreneurial community. Please enjoy the playlist created by you and for you.

Launch Playlist

Grants Awarded:


In order to achieve our mission of championing the entrepreneurial spirit, Burton D. Morgan Foundation draws upon the endowment resources placed under the careful stewardship of our Board of Trustees.

View Full Financial Info (PDF)


Seaman Richard N. Seaman Board Chairman
Brown Keith A. Brown Trustee
Finley Patrick T. Finley Trustee
Hochschwender J. Michael Hochschwender Trustee
Peshina Jenny Peshina Trustee
Robeson Mark D. Robeson Trustee
Taylor Eddie Taylor, Jr. Trustee
Hampu Daniel J. Hampu Trustee Ex-Officio


Hampu Daniel J. Hampu President & CEO
Griggs Denise Griggs Vice President & CFO
Evans Angela Kwallek Evans Senior Program Officer
Bean Emily Bean Director of Youth Entrepreneurship Education
Dotson Gina Dotson Grants & Communications Manager
Marcus Michal Marcus Program Officer
Pierce Souraya Pierce Office Manager & Bookkeeper
Silcox Jeanne Silcox Executive Assistant