Photography by SARAH ODEN
Susie & Charles Morgan
A self-proclaimed gadget geek, Charles Morgan is considered an entrepreneurial visionary. His leadership with Acxiom Corporation, which specializes in data gathering and accompanying technology, started as a small Arkansas company with 25 people that now has 7,000 employees globally. At First Orion, one of the fastest-growing telecommunications technology providers, he works with more than 400 employees worldwide building revolutionary communication solutions.
As the couple reflect on the humble beginnings of this unprecedented success, Charles recognizes a balance between hard work and a certain measure of luck that turns opportunities into riches. And with this, comes a civic responsibility to share good fortune with organizations that enrich the lives of fellow Arkansans. Susie expands, “When you are involved with organizations like those we currently support, it is easy to put your whole heart into helping them succeed and fulfill their important missions.”
Because Arkansas is home, philanthropy for the Morgans means making our community and the state a better place to live + work. “There are so many needs, but focusing on where and how we can make a difference has allowed us to do more than just write a check,” Susie explains. She notes that the organizations include Ronald McDonald House Charities of Arkansas, the Arkansas Symphony, Arkansas Center for Data Sciences, Miss Arkansas Scholarship Foundation and Children’s Tumor Foundation.
It is measurable results that the couple appreciate most. “We see first-hand the effects on the recipients and that completes the circle for us. We want needs to be met, projects completed and plans for future growth to help Arkansans.” This pattern of prosperity reflects a pragmatic approach to business. Charles works closely with Arkansas Center for Data Sciences to improve delivery of technical education and create more job with higher income opportunities. “By training hundreds of Arkansans each year, they are now able to make a difference for families and employers. This qualified workforce attracts new businesses to the state.”
Susie believes that time and talent are also invaluable resources for any nonprofit organization. “There is a mission out there that will speak to you and when you focus on it, engage beyond giving a donation.” She continues, “We like to work with and support organizations that have forward-thinking leadership, a long-term strategy and are good stewards of gifts.” With quick reference to this Max Lucado quote, Susie encourages fellow Arkansans to get involved. “‘No one can do everything, but everyone can do something.”