Jim and Becky Morgan: Preserving California's Majestic Sierras

Jun 25, 2013
By Jenesse Miller

Jim and Becky Morgan are well known as California entrepreneurs and philanthropists.

Becky Morgan is the retired president and CEO of Joint Venture: Silicon Valley and previously was a California state senator and a teacher. She is the catalyst behind the California Stewardship Network, which develops solutions to pressing economic, environmental, and community challenges, and the founder of Teen Success Inc., a program helping teen mothers.

Jim Morgan is retired Chairman of the Board and CEO of Applied Materials, the world's leading supplier of equipment for the manufacture of semiconductors, solar panels and flat-screen displays. He was the inspiration for the Tech Museum’s James C. Morgan Global Humanitarian Award and the recipient of the Spirit of Silicon Valley Lifetime Achievement Award from the Silicon Valley Leadership Group.

Despite their busy professional lives, the couple became leaders in yet another field: conservation.

After moving to Palo Alto from the Midwest in 1968, their frequent trips to the northern Sierra Nevada with their young children inspired a lifelong love for the area. According to an interview in the Los Altos Town Crier:

“We started skiing in Squaw Valley and Alpine when our children were 5 and 7, and we’ve been going there ever since,” Becky said. “Jim and I are both country kids; we both grew up on farms. Our rural backgrounds have given us an appreciation for our environment and the realization of our huge water problem.”

To help protect the fragile environment in the region, the Morgans spearheaded the formation of the Northern Sierra Partnership with founding partners the Feather River Land Trust, The Nature Conservancy, the Sierra Business Council, the Truckee Donner Land Trust and The Trust for Public Land. Together, the partners work together on strategy in order to "preserve one of the great regions of the world" says Jim Morgan.

In 1993 they started the Morgan Family Foundation along with their children, which advances philanthropic causes including environmental conservation and education.

Explaining their commitment to philanthropy, Becky Morgan says:

"Our desire to give back stems from our gratitude for our good fortune and our belief that those who are so blessed have a unique responsibility to help others. The Morgan Family Foundation is our effort to make a difference by helping individuals and organizations reach their full potential, just as we have been helped over the years to reach our goals. We believe that whether wealth is earned or inherited, it is important to help others. As a Tswana proverb says, 'To give away is to make provision for the future.'"

We are thrilled to honor conservation champions Jim and Becky Morgan at our annual Environmental Leadership Awards event in San Francisco on Thursday June 27. For more information visit: www.ecovote.org/awards/2013/sf



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