By Angela Rabke :: Photography by West Vita
Cindy and Brad Morrison have lived at Cordillera Ranch since 2005. “We moved in just after Maya was born, and have been here for over ten years. We have five kids now, and they all call Boerne and Cordillera home,” says Brad. A large family with diverse interests, the Morrisons are unified in their embrace of faith, family and service.
Cindy and Brad were married in 1998 at the Kelly Air Force Base Chapel when she was a kindergarten teacher and he a military officer out of the United States Air Force Academy. Brad proposed to Cindy in front of a class full of young students, perhaps an early indication that they would build an active life surrounded by children together. “What an incredible ride it has been, and it is only getting started,” reflects Brad.
After a stint in Florida serving at Eglin AFB, the couple followed a professional opportunity to Dallas before packing it up to start his business and build a life together in Boerne. “When I left military service in May 2001, I went to work for KPMG, LLP as a management consultant in the telecommunications sector. Feeling a tug to get back to supporting the military after 9/11, Cindy and I had the opportunity to come back to San Antonio with two kids in tow and start Innové in 2003. Today Innové provides secure network solutions for government and private sector clients around the country.”
Cordillera Ranch was exactly what they were looking for as they made the transition from Dallas. The tight knit community of families and the bounty of outdoor activities were a big draw for the growing family. The couple describes Cordillera as a slice of Americana. “We wanted to find a community that we could engage in and make a difference,” says Cindy, and they have indeed made service a significant part of their life, especially through involvement at their church, St. John’s Lutheran, and many other community organizations in Boerne. One of the more memorable and meaningful ways that the family is “making a difference” is through a tradition that began in 2013 of taking mission trips to Project Talitha Cumi (PTC) in Honduras during Thanksgiving break following the lead of Greg Rickert, another Cordillera Ranch resident. PTC ministers to the abused and abandoned children of Honduras. The family plans to continue this tradition annually, incorporating their children and teaching them service in a demonstrable way. Cindy has also served her faith community as a Sunday School Teacher, Young Life / youth group volunteer and Vacation Bible School Director. “Giving is rewarding; giving together as a family is even more satisfying, especially when trying to get the seven of us through immigration and customs in a foreign country,” says Cindy.
Five kids equals a busy life for the Morrisons, but they find great joy in the community that surrounds their various activities. In addition to church involvement, each of the kids keeps busy with many athletic and artistic endeavors. Their oldest, 14-year old Josh, started kindergarten at Cibolo Creek the first year it was open, and where all five kids will work their way through school. Josh is actively involved in theater, 4H and, like all of the boys in the family, baseball. Bradley splits his time between orchestra, football, basketball and Little League, while 10-year old Mayah is busy with cheerleading. Their youngest are twins, seven-year-old Jeff and Lila, who enjoy recess, coach pitch and dance. With dad running a growing business and coaching various youth sports teams, and mom running such things as the PTO, it is hard to imagine that the Morrisons find time to slow down and relax together, but that is exactly what their community has added to their life. “As we have grown, we have seen Cordillera grow. We have great friends and experiences…the wine cellar where we’ve been able to enjoy our anniversary, pool parties for baseball teams, the Shindig at the horse barn, and all of the time we have spent down at the creek and Guadalupe River.” All of which make up a scrapbook of memories that the family keeps adding to.
“We’ve been so blessed to be a part of such a community,” shares Brad as he speaks about a health scare that Cindy experienced last summer. Cindy was diagnosed with a brain tumor, and with the support of a strong community, the family was able to maintain a sense of normalcy for their kids as they dealt with the emergency and treatment. “The experience brought everything into clear focus. The community support we felt…prayers, assistance…we cannot say thank you enough to the friends we have in the Boerne community and what it meant to us for them to be there in our time of need.” Happily, Cindy has a clean bill of health, and lost no time getting back to living her life fully and giving back to the very community which provided support for their family, as well as providing the logistical expertise to manage a family of seven while Brad grows the business, Innové.
Established within the aerospace and defense industry, Innové was recognized by INC. Magazine in both 2008 and 2009 as one of the fastest growing companies in the U.S. and named among the Top 50 private companies in San Antonio by the San Antonio Business Journal in 2010. Brad understands that smart growth is key, and that San Antonio is an ideal hub for Innové. “The economic environment that we have in Texas creates a really neat place to grow a full service, secure communications solution provider as part of the cyber security industry. As Internet use grows exponentially, so does the demand for secure communication networks and data security. And, Texas is largely looking to San Antonio to be the nexus of cyber security leveraging its unique military, academic and business assets in this space. We are excited to be a part of the answer, supporting both government and commercial clients that need to protect and keep data flowing over communication networks.”
Thanks to the right leadership, the right business climate and a steady stream of Texas talent, Innové is positioned to take advantage of these trends. “Our first opportunity was to help the Air Force modernize military encryption systems under the guidance of the National Security Agency and now we see opportunity to leverage our expertise into the private sector with a team that puts our customers first. This is a marathon, not a sprint, to build a company of lasting value and pass economic opportunity on to our employees and other generations of workers.”
Brad also gives back to the military in other ways because of what the military has done for him. He was key to getting a San Antonio Chamber initiative underway supporting veterans with aspirations to start their own business — the Cyber Security Business Bootcamp. The intent of the program is to help those interested in starting a business get the venture off the ground using experiences from other veterans that have done the same. He is an Honorary Commander to the 67th Cyberspace Wing and a Director of the Texas Lyceum comprised of emerging political and business leaders from around the State that have an interest in making Texas better. He will be bringing these leaders to San Antonio this fall. “I am really excited about hosting my fellow Directors and other U.S. and state political leaders at the Alamo to discuss the storied relationship between the U.S. Military and Texas. This is a dialogue that continues to this day with its roots going all the way back to the fight for Texas Independence. This is an important part of the legacy of Texas and one that our political leaders from around the state must not forget, especially those representing us in Washington DC.” He also intends to show off Cordillera Ranch during this important conference.
Through all of this, Brad maintains focus on the priorities that brought he and Cindy to Boerne and Cordillera Ranch: “Our children have been exposed to things that will help them discover and commit to using their God given talents to make the world a better place. That is our hope and prayer for them.”