Passing the Baton – A Message from Outgoing Board President Marqueia Watson

As I sit down to write this letter, I am filled with a multitude of emotions– It is with a mixture of pride, gratitude, and a touch of sadness that I bid farewell to you and the incredible team at Empower Missouri. After six years of service, including two years as the Board President, it is time for me to pass on the baton to new leadership.

Reflecting on my time with Empower Missouri, I am overwhelmed by how far we have come in just a few short years. When I first joined this organization, I was inspired by its mission to advocate for change, to champion the rights of the underserved, and to be a voice for those who often go unheard. Throughout the years, I have had the privilege of witnessing the remarkable impact of our collective efforts on the lives of countless individuals across our state.

Our achievements, both big and small, stand as testaments to the dedication, passion, and resilience of everyone involved in this organization. From lobbying for legislative reforms to organizing grassroots campaigns, from raising awareness through community events and the work of Empower’s coalitions, to teaching others the power of advocacy, each endeavor has brought us closer to our vision of a more just and equitable society where everyone is healthy, housed, and whole.

I am immensely grateful for the opportunity to have served as the Board President of such an extraordinary organization. The support and camaraderie I have experienced from my fellow board members, staff, volunteers, and partners have been invaluable and I have learned so much from such talented people. Together, we have weathered challenges, celebrated successes, and forged lifelong partnerships that I will always cherish.

As I step down from my role, I do so with confidence in the capable hands that will guide Empower Missouri into the future. Change is inevitable, and it is through embracing new perspectives and ideas that we continue to evolve and grow. I have every belief that Dr. Tiffany Patton, our incoming president, will lead with the same dedication and commitment that has defined our organization for over 100 years.

While I may no longer serve the organization in this official capacity, please know that my support for our mission remains steadfast. I look forward to continuing to be a champion for Empower Missouri in whatever ways I can, and I eagerly anticipate witnessing the continued impact of our work in the years to come.

In closing, I extend my deepest gratitude to each and every one of you for the privilege of serving alongside you. Thank you for your unwavering dedication, your passion, and your friendship. Though my time as Board President may be ending, my pride in being a part of Empower Missouri will always remain.

With warmest regards and heartfelt appreciation,

Marqueia Watson, MSW | Executive Director, Greater Kansas City Coalition to End Homelessness
Outgoing Board President, Empower Missouri

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