Updated: Apr 20, 2022
From a peer leader in her Princeton, NJ community to a leader now on MENTOR New York’s Board of Directors, Morgan Slade, Director of Product Marketing and Brand at Reonomy, is making her mark on the New York Mentoring Movement.
Even as a high school senior, Morgan’s desire to make an impact through service was clear. She joined a rigorous service program for peer leaders, HiTOPS (Health Interested Teens Own Program on Sexuality) where she connected with middle and high school-aged youth in her community by leading interactive workshops to teach sex education.
“It was one of my most formative experiences, and it exposed the gap for youth who don’t have the same resources that others may have,” said Morgan. “It exposed that inequality to me, and I got a lot of energy out of learning about those topics and sharing with others across my community.”
Years later, her journey with MENTOR New York began in 2016 when she sat in on a meeting for the Young Professionals Advisory Board (YPAB).
“The board members just felt so invested in what they were doing,” said Morgan. “Their enthusiasm was infectious.”
Within one year, Morgan joined the YPAB and soon stepped into the leadership role of Co-Chair and began leading meetings to plan for the annual Mentoring’s Night Out (MNO) event. It was due to Morgan’s organization, innovation, and initiative that the YPAB continued to host successful events that propelled MENTOR NY's mission forward.
As a leader, Morgan was driven to try new things and ensure greater success for the organization. Her determination and vision led to countless donations over the years in support of MENTOR New York’s silent auctions and ticket sales.
“It ignited this skill in me that I didn’t even know I possessed,” said Morgan. “It became a challenge to determine how many businesses in NY I could convince on the value of mentoring and how many of them would agree to support the cause in the form of donated goods and services.”
Discovering the Depth of Her Leadership
Much like mentoring, her relationship with MENTOR NY had reciprocal impacts. While Morgan led the YPAB and ensured the success of several major events raising money to fuel mentoring in New York, she gained experience and skills that impacted her career advancement.
“I think the most profound impact [of leading the YPAB was when] I was at a juncture in my career in 2019 where I had been in the same role and elevated a few times and had started to specialize within marketing,” shared Morgan.
She was looking for the next challenge when she was recruited to interview for a position that included supervising 4-5 direct reports. At that point in her career, she had never officially managed anyone professionally, but her leadership with the YPAB was extensive.
“When I was interviewing, it occurred to me, ‘Wait a second, I have led a team before.’ I had been doing this with the YPAB for 2 or 3 years by then. I had operationalized and figured out ways to get people involved and engaged. I actually talked about that a lot in my interview process.”
Morgan spent five years on the YPAB with four of those years as the Co-Chair. When she stepped down, she expressed how much she had enjoyed her time and had gained a lot from it, but she felt ready to “pass the baton to the next person who could pick it up and make it their own.”
A Pivotal Moment For Morgan
Morgan’s investment in MENTOR New York only grew from there. Through her role at Reonomy, Morgan was able to donate time to a nonprofit organization to enhance their capacity and skill. In 2021, Morgan shared her expertise through several product workshops that enhanced MENTOR New York’s strategy and outcomes. It was the summer of 2021 when Morgan took the next step of her journey with MENTOR NY and joined the Board of Directors.
Joining the board felt like a pivotal moment. “I was so grateful when Brenda walked me through her vision of welcoming me onto the Board. It felt very organic. It felt like the right time to make that move,” said Morgan.
Now, six months into her time on the Board of Directors, Morgan is poised to continue impacting MENTOR New York and share her voice to guide the organization.
“It’s a stretch opportunity yet again,” said Morgan. “In the same way the YPAB was a stretch opportunity for me in 2016, this feels like another level where I'm interacting with really accomplished professionals and they all bring a lot of really incredible background and expertise. I think there's a ton to learn from them.”
Morgan’s advice to young professionals interested in becoming involved with philanthropy through a cause-based organization: “Dig in, understand the impact, and soak up what you can. And if you put a lot in, you’re going to get a ton out of the opportunity.”
Ready to start your journey? Apply for MENTOR New York's Young Professionals Advisory Board today.