Thursday, June 18, 2015

Karen Morrison Hopes to "Be the Change"

We can't help but love any woman that confesses that they are a shower singer. Our Community/ Nonprofit Most Admired Woman winner this year is a woman of balance, talent and heart. 

Today's Woman: What motivates you in your work?
Karen Morrison: I’d always wanted to somehow make a positive impact on the world, to leave it better than I found it. My name doesn’t need to be known after I’m gone, but I need to know that people were better for having known me or benefitted from something that I had a part of. I think it comes from my grandmother. She was probably the biggest influence in my early life, and she ended up living with us for five and a half years until her death. My oldest daughter was 15 months old when my grandmother died, and they were so close. My grandmother always felt for the underdog, and I think that’s a theme that is true not only for me, but for my kids too.

TW: How do you balance work and family?
KM: I think balance is the most elusive thing in most people’s lives, and I haven’t cracked the code on that one yet. I always joke that I get my family to volunteer because I want to see them. They all do a lot of things behind the scenes for Gilda’s Club and are very engaged in the community. The other thing that’s nice is that my family is very understanding when I work crazy hours because they really value the work that I do. But I just try to sleep a little less and pack a lot in, and I make sure that when I am at home, I’m not checked out.

TW: What would you do if you had unlimited time and money?
KM: I would definitely take my whole extended family and friends on a fabulous vacation, maybe to Tahiti. And I would also make sure that Gilda’s Club was endowed so that it would be there as long as cancer is there, for generations to come. I also love doing things like giving waitstaff huge tips and giving experiences to people who really appreciate them. My daughter and I come up with some fun things like that to do around Christmas, and I wish I could do that all the time. I can honestly say that I get more pleasure out of watching someone else enjoy something than I do from enjoying it myself. That’s something I got from my grandmother.

TW: Do you have a personal motto?
KM: The first thing that comes to mind is “Be the change.”

TW: What would surprise people about you?
KM: I love to sing.  My mother was a singer – she actually opened for Clayton “Pappy” McMichen in Louisville when she was 14 years old – but I wish I could sing better. I might sing if we have karaoke at Gilda’s, especially if my kids do it with me, but I’m pretty much just a shower singer.

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