Michael Sorrell: Leadership and Service at Paul Quinn College


In addition to Michael Sorrell’s long list of well-deserved accolades for the impact he has made in Dallas, he is a self-proclaimed accidental college president.

“It turns out that I’m the world’s worst interim college president,” Michael said, laughing as he reflects on the last 11 years that he’s served as the President of Paul Quinn College. The higher education institution in southern Dallas received notable attention and praise in 2010 when the administration, under Michael’s leadership, changed the college for the better, reversing the course of the drastically decreasing student enrollment numbers in a matter of semesters. Namely, the media clamored to report the story of Michael and his team, including donors in Dallas, converting the campus’s underutilized football field into a farm that provided fresh produce to the college’s neighborhood, most of which is inhabited by individuals and families living well below the poverty line.

Brad Gautney: Innovating Better Healthcare for Moms and Babies


For those of us in the United States, the AIDS crisis is one that impacted our communities most publicly in the 1980s. For years after the initial impact of the disease domestically, doctors and researchers sought to find cures for this deadly illness, and with improved treatment options and better prevention methods, death rates in the U.S. have declined significantly since then. But this is not the case for many around the globe.

Imagine a mother in a developing country entering a hospital for a routine pregnancy exam. She’s excited and happy, thrilled at the thought of welcoming a baby into the world. And then she takes a standard test for diseases, one she thinks she’ll pass with flying colors. But when she gets the results back, she finds out she’s HIV positive. She’s horrified both for herself and for her unborn child. She not only needs to get healthy but she needs to prevent her child from getting the disease. And for so long, there was no way to help mothers like this one, nor her unborn child. But Brad Gautney wanted to find a solution for this crisis.

Sarah Harmeyer: Gathering Neighbors Around the Table


Sarah Harmeyer has always been good at planning dinners. For over ten years, Sarah worked for St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital, the amazing institution based in Memphis, Tennessee, that advances cures and means of prevention for pediatric catastrophic diseases free of charge. Sarah orchestrated logistics for fundraising dinners and galas for a living, and in 2010 she was relocated to Dallas. It was here she transitioned to work with St. Jude as a major gifts advisor and some time in planned giving for donors in Texas.

“As a young professional, I found a lot of my identity in my work,” Sarah said. “When I moved to Dallas, I kind of wanted to redefine my identify. I am a people-gatherer, and I love sharing in relationships with people.” 

Matthew "Trog" Trogdon: Crops and Community at Bonton Farms


Trog Trogdon grew up in a small town in Missouri with big dreams for his future. After graduating from high school, he moved to North Carolina for college, where he planned to study business in order to equip him with the skills he needed to succeed in the world of finance. Like any good business major, once Trog completed his undergraduate studies he moved on to acquire his MBA. By 2002 he was ready to live the corporate dream: he moved to Dallas and began living out his exciting career in finance.

“But the bottom line is that God had other plans,” Trog said. “I had grown up in the church, but I fell in love with Jesus all over again in 2002.” When he was not in the office, Trog had felt compelled to start serving in various roles at his church. He met a pastor, Mike Fechner, who invested in him and served as a mentor. Under Mike’s guidance, Trog made a radical career switch from the business world to a position in ministry at a local church. Mike continued to invest in Trog, and he specifically noted his passion serving the poor. Mike connected him with a friend, Daron Babcock, who was using a small garden and aquaponics unit on the side of his house to connect with and serve the underprivileged neighbors in his community.