Our Team

Meet Our Team

Gordon Hartman

Founder

Native San Antonian Gordon 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. Gordon was also inducted into the San Antonio Sports Hall of Fame in 2018 for bringing professional soccer to San Antonio.

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 26-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™, fully-inclusive theme park designed with individuals with special needs 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.

Morgan’s Wonderland, ranked by TripAdvisor as being among the top theme parks in the U. S., has welcomed approximately 1.8 million guests from all 50 states and 76 other 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.

On June 17, 2017, Gordon unveiled Morgan’s Inspiration Island, the world’s first ultra-accessible™, fully-inclusive splash park. 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 pneumatic 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 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.

In April 2019, Gordon announced the construction of Morgan’s Wonderland Camp, a 102-acre recreational oasis on the northern outskirts of San Antonio that year-round will offer an ultra-accessible™, fully-inclusive camp experience to those with and without special needs. Facilities with a projected completion in the latter half of 2020 will be able to accommodate at one time up to 525 campers of all ages and abilities along with staff for day, weekend or week-long camp sessions.

Meanwhile, Gordon is building Morgan’s Wonderland Sports, a 3-acre ultra-accessible™, fully- inclusive sports complex not far from the theme park offering fitness and competition for athletes with different abilities. It will provide 3 acres of sports activities including basketball, volleyball, softball, baseball, football, soccer, pickleball and tennis. Grand opening is set for 2020.

Planning and design continue on a bold new approach to caregiving for those with special needs – the Multi-Assistance Center, or The MAC. This unique, one-stop-shop care model will provide many medical and non-medical services in one location. Medical, therapeutic and social determinates of health will be addressed in the first of two, 165,000-square-foot buildings at Morgan’s Wonderland. The MAC, scheduled to begin welcoming clients in the fall of 2022, will be comprised of partner organizations working together under one roof to address the multi-faceted needs of people with cognitive and physical challenges. This model of providing services in a coordinated manner will establish a new standard, not only in San Antonio but across the nation as well as internationally.
Since 2005, Gordon and Maggie Hartman and The Gordon Hartman Family Foundation have committed more than $60 million for the betterment of people with special needs. This is just the beginning for the Hartmans since they have pledged to donate 95 percent of their financial resources during their lifetimes or via their estate per the Giving Pledge, founded by philanthropists Bill and Melinda Gates and Warren Buffet. Gordon Hartman became the 210th member of the Giving Pledge, a commitment by individuals worldwide to give more than 50 percent of their wealth to philanthropy or charitable causes.

Because of his generosity and vision, Gordon has earned extensive local, regional and national recognition including an honorary doctor of social work from San Antonio’s Our Lady of the Lake University. In 2019, Gordon was named recipient of The Governor’s Trophy, highest honor for lifetime achievement in support of Texans with disabilities.

In the beginning, Gordon’s guiding motto was: “Together, we CAN make a difference!” As a result of many successes and lots more to come, that motto now is: “Together, we ARE making a difference!”

Maggie Hartman

Co-Founder

Maggie, co-founder of the Gordon Hartman Family Foundation, 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

Director of Resources & Special Events

Jaime joined the Gordon Hartman Family Foundation team in October 2008. She oversees the Foundation’s Online Resource Directory and frequently works with parents, caregivers and individuals with special needs in finding the appropriate resources for their specific situations. Jaime also chairs the Excellence in Caregiving Awards event each spring where 25 deserving caregivers are recognized for their devotion to the special needs community and oversees the annual Holiday Party for individuals with special needs and their families held in December at Morgan’s Wonderland.

Jaime earned a Bachelor of Science in Family & Consumer Sciences with a major in fashion merchandising and a minor in business administration from Texas State University. She also attended the Paris Fashion Institute where she earned a certification in fashion design and marketing. She is the 3rd generation in her family to have a career that focuses on improving the lives of individuals with special needs. In her free time she enjoys volunteering at charitable organizations throughout the San Antonio and Austin areas, hiking and yoga but her favorite hobby is caring for her special needs 8-year-old miniature dachshund/terrier mix named Jazzy.