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Heather Morgan has been named president of the Will Rogers Motion Picture Pioneers Foundation, making her the first woman to assume the top role in the charity’s 85-year history.
Morgan, a rising star in the exhibition business, is vp of content and programming at Harkins Theatres. She oversees the booking of more than 900 movies annually, as well as organizes films series designed to educate, promote inclusion and provide classic entertainment.
“Heather is an accomplished executive with innovative ideas whose expertise will lead the Will Rogers Motion Picture Pioneers Foundation to new heights as we create a path for growth and continue to care for members of our community in times of need,” said Todd Vradenburg, executive director of the Will Rogers Pioneers.
The COVID-19 pandemic highlighted the key role the foundation serves within the industry, including providing financial assistance to members of the distribution and exhibition community in times of need. The need had never been greater than during the pandemic, when theaters were shut entirely and employees furloughed. The charity administered more than $3.5 million in aid and helped 10,000 people remain in their homes, buy basic necessities and navigate the hardship.
“As our industry changes and evolves, so too do the needs of its members,” Morgan said in a statement. “This charity is a cornerstone of the industry and we will continue to reinvent ourselves and our programs to ensure that we are providing the support and resources needed to ensure the future success and prosperity of this place that so many of us call home.”
On becoming the first woman to serve as president of the charity, Morgan said, “While I am truly humbled and honored to have been chosen as the first to pave the way, it is far more gratifying knowing that I will not be the last.”
Morgan will begin serving in the role on Jan. 1, 2022, as the Foundation prepares to celebrate its 85th anniversary with the return of the Pioneer of the Year Dinner in September 2022.
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