Morgan Shepard: My inspiration for joining the Cleveland Heart Walk 2015


I am so looking forward to the Cleveland Heart Walk at the end of this month and am so thankful that the American Heart Association has given me the opportunity to be part of this wonderful community event.  In 2001, my dad passed away from a massive heart attack at only 45 years old.  Although it was a very sad time for my family, it was through this experience that my calling in life became very clear to me.

My dad, like my grandpa, worked as a financial planner and it was only after his passing when I experienced first-hand the benefits of what my father did.  As a child, the true value of these benefits were not clear to me, but as a teenager that benefitted from his foresight, and as college student who was able to attend John Carroll and graduate without educational debt, I came to fully understand and appreciate how much he helped and protected others.

When I graduated, I decided to have a heart-to-heart with my mom.  I wanted to understand how she handled the transition from wife to widow.  One of her major concerns was how to understand and manage family finances because my mom, like so many women, had relied on my dad to handle this.  As I examined the financial services industry, I learned, unfortunately, that my mother’s experience was not unique.  So with a desire to carry on the legacy left to me by my father and my grandfather, I joined Skylight Financial Group in 2014 because I want to help individuals gain a comprehensive understanding of their money and help those facing life’s inevitable transitions – be it a death of a spouse, divorce or retirement.

What happened to my family has not only fueled a passion in me to help others but also a desire to promote greater education, research and an understanding of what it truly means to live a healthy lifestyle.  What I love about the Cleveland Heart Walk is that, in addition to raising funds, one of the American Heart Association’s key goals is to do just that - promote physical activity by building healthy lifestyles. One of my attributes that I will always accredit to my father is giving to others. My dad was the type of guy who would give you the last penny in his pocket. He simply always wanted to help other people and he will be doing that in spirit as we join the community on September 26th to spread awareness about heart disease and stroke.

If you are interested in visiting my Heart Walk page or making a donation please visit  Thanks as always for your support!

The AHA Cleveland Heart Walk is taking place on Saturday September 26, starting at the Port of Cleveland Dock 32.  For further information please visit


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