CEO receives prestigious Fred Rogers Leadership Award

October 10, 2014

On October 15, Myrna J. Deckert, CEO of the Paso del Norte Health Foundation will be awarded the Fred Rogers Leadership Award in Philanthropy for children, youth and families for 2014.

Grantmakers for Children, Youth and Families (GCYF) gives this prestigious award annually in memory of one of the country’s most beloved advocates for children, Fred McFeely Rogers (“Mr. Rogers”). This award recognizes outstanding contributions and leadership by grantmaking staff, trustees and donors in all fields of children, youth and family philanthropy. This year’s award will be presented at GCYF’s annual conference in Detroit, MI. Mrs. Deckert will receive a plaque and “The Trolley,” an iconic symbol of Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood.

Mr. Rogers devoted his entire career to communicating with and for children. His goal was for children regardless of what their lives might bring, to know that they are special and liked just for who they are. Along with receiving many prestigious awards in television, in 2001 President W. Bush presented Mr. Rogers with the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the nation’s highest civilian honor recognizing Rogers’ contribution to the well-being of children and the importance of kindness, compassion and learning.

“Mrs. Deckert is well deserving of this award,” said David Fukuzawa, Chair, GCYF Awards Committee. “Her leadership, outstanding contributions, and unfailing commitment to service in the field of children, youth and family philanthropy, make her the perfect choice to receive this prestigious award.”

Mrs. Deckert has been with the Paso del Norte Health Foundation for more than seven-years. Prior to working for the Foundation, Mrs. Deckert served as the President and Chief Operating Officer (COO) of The Paso del Norte Group since 2004 and was the principal shareholder of MJD and Associates.

From 1970 to 2002, Mrs. Deckert was the CEO of the YWCA El Paso del Norte Region where she began working in 1963 as the Teen Program Director. During her tenure, the YWCA was transformed from a small community agency to one of the largest YWCA agencies in the United States. Mrs. Deckert has received numerous awards and has served on several local and national boards. She served on the GCYF board as treasurer for five-years.

“Mrs. Deckert was instrumental in her leadership while serving on our board,” said William Buster, Chair, GCYF Board of Directors. “Her drive and vision was instrumental in the development of new strategies, vision and implementation for GCYF.”

GCYF promotes effective grantmaking that integrates research, policy and practice that brings about systemic change for children, youth and families together. Their commitment creates a strong cross-section community and philanthropic leadership that advance equity through a large-scale movement and collective action for social change.

For a complete list of Fred Rogers Leadership Award recipients, visit

For more information regarding the Fred Rogers Leadership Award, contact Natacha Blain, Associate Director, GCYF at or 301-589-4293.

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