Our Team

Meet Our Team

Gordon Hartman

Founder

Native San Antonian Gordon V. Hartman is a philanthropist and former homebuilder who at the age of 15 started his own landscaping business while attending a local seminary. By age 19, he had saved enough to begin his homebuilding business, and by age 23, he had started a land development company. Founded in 1983, Gordon Hartman Homes built housing for low- to moderate-income families. Over the next 22 years, Gordon grew his company into the largest locally-owned homebuilding and land development enterprise in San Antonio. In recognition of his successes in business, he has earned membership in both the San Antonio Business Hall of Fame and the Texas Business Hall of Fame.

In 2005, Gordon sold his companies and established The Gordon Hartman Family Foundation so he and his wife, Maggie, could pursue their dream of helping children and adults with special needs. Their devotion to this cause is inspired by their now 25-year-old daughter, Morgan, who was born with cognitive and physical challenges.

In 2007, Gordon recognized the tremendous need for fully-accessible outdoor recreational facilities, so he made another dream come true – the April 2010 grand opening of non-profit Morgan’s Wonderland, the world’s first ultra-accessible™ theme park designed with special-needs individuals in mind and built to be enjoyed by everyone. Two years later, global automotive giant Toyota, the leader in mobility solutions for drivers with disabilities, opted to become the presenting sponsor of Morgan’s Wonderland under a long-term philanthropic agreement with Gordon.

Morgan’s Wonderland, ranked by TripAdvisor as being among the top theme parks in the U. S., has welcomed approximately 1.3 million guests from all 50 states and 73 countries through park visitation and special events. Gordon’s realization that families with special-needs members have great demands on both their financial and emotional resources led to his commitment to admit anyone with a special need free of charge.

Always looking to the future, Gordon added Morgan’s Inspiration Island, the world’s first ultra-accessible™ splash park, which officially opened June 17, 2017. In addition to tropically-themed aquatic attractions that everyone can enjoy, the park includes the Wheelchair Valet where guests can transfer out of their personal wheelchairs into revolutionary waterproof wheelchairs developed in collaboration with the University of Pittsburgh.

The World Waterpark Association honored Morgan’s Inspiration Island with its 2017 Leading Edge Award, and in 2018, TIME magazine named the splash park to its first annual list of World’s Greatest Places. Amusement Today, an internationally-circulated publication covering the theme park and amusements industry proclaimed Morgan’s Wonderland as “Park of the Year” during the presentation of the 2017 Golden Ticket Awards to “the best of the best.” In addition, Paralyzed Veterans of America presented the 2018 Barrier-Free America award to Morgan’s Wonderland and Morgan’s Inspiration Island.

When Gordon unveiled Morgan’s Wonderland in 2010, he also opened the STAR (South Texas Area Regional) Soccer Complex, a 75-acre facility adjacent to the park for practices, tournaments and league play. He also launched Soccer for a Cause, a grassroots effort to establish pro soccer in San Antonio that led to the establishment of the San Antonio Scorpions. The team began competition in spring 2012, moved into their new home – Toyota Field – a year later and won the 2014 North American Soccer League championship. Gordon created a business model unique to pro sports – utilizing pro soccer to generate financial support for Morgan’s Wonderland and the special-needs community.

In December 2015, Gordon sold Toyota Field to the City of San Antonio and Bexar County. All proceeds from the sale went directly to Morgan’s Wonderland, which will make it possible for the park to pursue its mission of inclusion far into the future. Thus, Soccer for a Cause achieved both of its objectives – bringing exciting pro soccer to San Antonio and generating financial support for Morgan’s Wonderland. For creating Soccer for a Cause and boosting soccer in San Antonio, Gordon was named a 2018 inductee into the San Antonio Sports Hall of Fame.

Gordon and Maggie also collaborated with other families on creation in 2011 of The Academy at Morgan’s Wonderland to offer academic and life-skills training to young people with special needs. This school, which has benefitted hundreds of students, will continue operating until June 2019. Then, in the future as plans become final, an announcement will be made about another cutting-edge venture that can assist literally thousands and adults with special needs.

In addition, Gordon has played a key role in partnering with CRIT (Children’s Rehabilitation Institute of TeletónUSA), a $17- million clinic next to Morgan’s Wonderland serving children with neurological, muscular and skeletal challenges. Modeled after successful CRITs in Mexico, CRIT USA is the first CRIT rehab center built in the U.S. Morgan’s Wonderland plays an important role in the healing process by offering families respite from their treatment regimen and a chance to make memories together in a fun atmosphere.

Because of his generosity and vision, Gordon has earned extensive local, regional and national recognition including an honorary Doctorate of Social Work from San Antonio’s Our Lady of the Lake University. Gordon’s guiding motto is: “Together, we ARE making a difference!”

Maggie Hartman

Co-Founder

Maggie, co-founder of The Gordon Hartman Family Foundation and The Academy at Morgan’s Wonderland, has worked tirelessly alongside her husband in trying to make life better for individuals with special needs. Their daughter with special needs – Morgan – is the inspiration for their ongoing vision and leadership.

A lifelong San Antonian, Maggie was working in the mortgage business when she met Gordon. They married in 1991, and Morgan was born in 1993. Maggie became a stay-at-home mom to focus on Morgan’s care and well-being. In 2013, Maggie successfully beat a breast cancer diagnosis. As a result of that experience, she has become a staunch advocate for early detection. She is an ardent supporter of WINGS (Women Involved in Nurturing, Giving Sharing), a breast-cancer treatment organization and ThriveWell Cancer Foundation.

Becky Thomas

Assistant to Gordon Hartman - Foundation Administrator

Becky has been Gordon’s assistant since 2000 when he was in the home building business. In 2005, after the sale of his businesses, she transitioned with Gordon when he established The Gordon Hartman Family Foundation. She is responsible for managing all daily office operations and scheduling and oversees the Foundation’s annual grant cycle.

Becky also chairs the Annual Free to Soar Gala which is the single largest fundraiser benefiting Morgan’s Wonderland.

Becky grew up in McAllen, Texas and earned a Bachelor of Social Work from the University of Texas at Arlington. She is an avid gardener and Monarch butterfly advocate. She is married to Thomas Thomas (aka “T2”) who volunteers at Morgan’s Wonderland playing his alter ego, Sgt. Segway, raising awareness for veterans. They have a son, Stephen, who resides in Columbus, OH and daughter, Becca, who lives in New Braunfels, TX.

Jaime Johnson

Program Manager

Jaime joined The Gordon Hartman Family Foundation in October of 2008. She is responsible for implementing and managing all programs and special projects for the Foundation including hosting annual dances and events for individuals with special needs and their immediate families. She also updates the Foundation’s Online Resource Directory and assists parents, caregivers & individuals with special needs in finding the appropriate resources for their specific situations.

Jaime is an active board member of the City of San Antonio’s Tax Increment Reinvestment Zone (TIRZ) #15, and has served on this board since 2010. In her free time she enjoys volunteering and supporting several different special needs focused non-profit organizations and other charitable organizations throughout the San Antonio and Austin areas; as well as spending time with her beloved miniature dachshund/terrier mix named Jazzy.