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American Familia: A Conversation with David Morales – Act 2

David Morales opens Act 2 with his early days after moving to Lynn, Massachusetts, a diverse city that David describes as an urban gateway.  David’s experience of walking with his mother to register for school was a wake-up call, a mirror of the violence he witnessed in Puerto Rico.  He lived a double life, tough on the streets but, determined not to let his parents down, a good, studious son at home.

In David’s sophomore year of high school, his football coach David Dempsey, became “a pillar of direction and mentorship”, with whom he stays in touch to this very day.

Once in college - a story that could stand on its own, by the way - David learned a quick, impactful lesson, handily delivered by the woman who would become his wife.

And all that in just the first 15 minutes!

Growing up in a poor, mountainous region of Puerto Rico, David Morales had no idea he would end up where he is today: an executive shaping the future of health care and public policy in America and a father dedicated to faith, family, and community. 

David’s story is one of grit, integrity, and gratitude—all tenets of the American dream and the American promise. Faith, family and resilience brought him off the streets and out of poverty and he strongly believes these same principles of faith, family and resilience can empower young men and women to transcend poverty, violence, and despair and attain the American dream like he did. 

Over the last two decades, he has had an accomplished career in government, corporate America, and the not-for-profit sector. In addition to presently leading a health plan in Massachusetts, he served as chief strategy officer for a national health care company, founded his own consulting company, and enjoyed a rewarding career in public service. David served as Massachusetts Commissioner of Health Care Finance and Policy (now CHIA) and advised two governors (Republican and Democrat), a Senate president, and a Speaker of the House of Representatives. At 24 years old, David implemented the first-ever insurance-based prescription drug pilot for seniors, which became a model for Medicare Part D. Alongside his wife, Samanda, they co-founded Ahora Inc., a not-for-profit dedicated to empowering working class families and low-income individuals, especially Latinos, to build self-reliance through budgeting, money management, and wealth building. 

 His proudest accomplishment, by far, is raising two strong, God-fearing boys and getting them started on their own journeys toward self-reliance and prosperity.

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