What My Life Has Taught Me: A Message from Baker Harrell

On July 1, It’s Time Texas Founder Baker Harrell officially passed the baton and welcomed Amy McGeady, who joined the organization to serve as Chief Strategy Officer in 2016, to her new position as CEO. We’re honored to share his remarkable story – and the journey that brought us to this next chapter.Amy McGeady, new CEO of It's Time Texas, wears a dark top and stands in front a wall of greenery. Baker Harrell, founder stands next to her. Both are smiling at the camera.

“My life has taught me that if a person is supported, understood, and loved – and has the encouragement to effect change – incredible things can happen. Every one of us has that potential. And It’s Time Texas exists to help people find it.”

At 11 years old, I had spent most of my childhood overweight. I was bullied for it, and at a certain point, I knew I needed to change. I told my mom I thought that meant our family needed to change, too.

That’s when she did this amazing thing. She told me, “Okay, son, but you need to lead this for our family. I’ll support you, but you need to be the leader.”

In that moment, she gave me a cause that was bigger than myself – and it set me and my family on a completely different path.

The summer between my 5th and 6th grade years, I exercised every morning. My family not only supported and encouraged me, they changed along with me. My mom started experimenting with different recipes to create a healthier diet for our family. And we started sharing what we were doing with other families in our community. I went from dreading school to being one of the top students in my class.

As I got older, I realized that health is a gateway to a better life. It’s foundational. And I knew that if I wanted to serve others, health would my mechanism to do that. That’s really when the dream of It’s Time Texas began.

When I look back at this amazing journey – all of the wonderful relationships, the incredibly hard work, and the many milestones, lessons learned, and sacrifices that have brought us here – I am filled with such awe and gratitude for the countless people, including each of you, who have believed in It’s Time Texas and been a part of this movement to transform health in our state.

As I transition to this new role as Founder, I am more hopeful for this movement than I have ever been.

Every day, you’re motivating each other to live healthier lives. You’re partnering with those around you to build healthier communities. And you’re opening up new pathways for Texans to connect with each other and improve their health.

Healthy change is underway in Texas, and we’re not slowing down.

More than I can ever adequately express, I thank each of you for walking this journey with me. Keep moving together, supporting one another, and serving as a model for the rest of the nation.

You have a forever friend and fan in me.

– Baker Harrell, PhD

As a servant, volunteer, and champion in the movement for a healthier Texas, Baker has worked to break down barriers and make healthy living accessible to all Texans. Learn more about about the campaign to honor his legacy of empowering Texans to lead healthier lives and build healthier communities.

What’s in store for Baker as he transitions from CEO to a new role as Founder? And how is Amy preparing to lead the organization forward as his successor? Find out in these highlights from their conversation  in June.