Baylor alum leaves corporate climb to lead a South Dallas nonprofit
Gabe Madison’s résumé is the kind Fortune 500 bosses drool over: 22 years of corporate experience (including over a decade at Thomson Reuters), numerous placements on “most powerful business leaders” lists… Her corporate climb was surely on track to the top.
That all changed in September when Madison (BBA ’00) left the corporate sphere to lead a nonprofit that aims to redefine South Dallas.
Bonton Farms started out as a small garden, eventually growing into two fully functioning farms, a Farmer’s Market, and a Café & Coffee House. Today, the nonprofit is working to transform the Dallas community by creating jobs and volunteer opportunities, while offering healthy, organic food options for the area’s underserved Bonton neighborhood — and Madison is leading the charge.
“There’s a spiritual freedom that I can’t quite put into words with this position,” says Madison. “Not only do I work in this beautiful space, but I’m able to walk alongside those who are experiencing the most challenging situations in life. I get to hug them. I get to pray with them. And it’s so special.”
While many challenged Madison’s decision to transition from the corporate sector, she (and her supporters) knew it was her experience in these entities that could elevate Bonton’s footprint and exposure. In her role at Thomson Reuters, a software development giant, Madison developed community engagement strategies and oversaw community outreach programs, building strategic relationships with a wide variety of local and regional leaders, educators and nonprofits.
“When I saw there were so many ways for me to use my skills to serve, I couldn’t say no,” says Madison. “Bonton Farms can be the change the world needs, and it’s my greatest honor to continue bringing that vision to life.”
Aside from her role at Bonton Farms, Madison is a member of the southwest regional board of directors of the American Heart Association and a board member of Trusted World, a nonprofit that works to resolve situational poverty for first responders, social workers, and others who work on someone else’s behalf. She’s also served as a scholar for the last 18 years.
“My time at Baylor certainly prepared me to be a businesswoman, but, even more, it taught me how to love others well and appreciate God’s great work,” says Madison.
Sic ’em, Gabe!