Thursday, March 7, 2013

Meet Margaret Morton, 2013 Woman of Distinction, Frances E. Couch Awardee

Margaret Morton has been the executive director of the Sylacauga Alliance for Family Enhancement, Inc. (SAFE) since 1997, and she is the president of the Alabama Network of Family Resource Centers. Under her leadership, SAFE has grown to offer more than 25 programs in the areas of case management, job searching, parenting education, marriage and family relationship skills, family literacy, youth empowerment and more.

When the city of Sylacauga had to shut down public transportation because of the recent economic downturn, Morton reached an agreement with city officials that allowed SAFE to take over management of the transportation system so that families and others who depended on the system would be able to get to work. The transportation system is now in the black financially.

She is known nationwide as having the model family service center, and has presented at national conferences in Denver and San Francisco.

Morton serves on the boards of the Sylacauga Literacy Council, the Talladega County Community Improvement Foundation, the Alabama Partnership for Children and others. She is also involved in state government to support family services.

Morton has received Sylacauga’s Woman of Achievement Award; the Award for Outstanding Commitment to the Children and Families of Alabama; and the Talladega County Women Committee to Excellence Award-Professional Category.

Morton says she has learned many lessons through Girl Scouting and her work in the community. “I have learned that leadership is not about being in an executive leadership position; it’s about responsibility, discipline, preparedness, cooperation and partnership, problem solving, service and shared vision,” she says. “Leadership is about being a role model without intention, but by nature. It’s about a moral compass that drives every aspect of the choices you make and the way you live your life. It’s about determination and persistence. It’s about service; it’s about service to the ‘least of these.’ And most importantly it’s about service to God.”

Morton will be honored at the 2013 East-Central Women of Distinction luncheon on Friday, March 8. For more information, visit