A couple of weeks ago, J.W.Morton & Associates was honored to be one of three finalists for Small Business of the Year by the Cedar Rapids Chamber of Commerce.
But I’ll spoil it… JWM did not win. Still, it was very special to be nominated, and to be a finalist. Following are the comments we prepared, had we won. I think they’re still appropriate to share:
This is indeed an honor. Thank you to The Chamber, and especially thank you to the people who work with us at J.W. Morton. Those of you who are here tonight, stand or raise your hand for a second. Give those people a round as they really are a part of this as well. We never forget that we work in a people business, what we have to sell is ourselves and our talents, and the people we surround ourselves with, make all the difference. That’s a very special group who nominated us for this award.
Thank you to our families. Jeff and I were only about 24 and 25 when we started this. Our kids don’t know any different, other than Dad owns a business. But our wives know. And through all the ins and outs of being a business owner, and it’s a pretty steep learning curve, they’ve always been there and toughed it out. Mary and I had only been married about 6 months when I lost my job and we decided to start the agency. My mother-in-law used to send me job clippings from the newspaper well into our 1st or 2nd year of business. And honey, I’m glad we ignored them.
Well, 25 years ago when Jeff and I started this, we received a few pieces of advice. One – partnerships don’t last. Well, I guess not always. But in our case, its been a blessing to have a partner. There’s a lot to be said for balance in life.
The other advice was from an old college professor of ours at UNI. He said, you know, you ought to consider setting up shop in Cedar Rapids. And, we did. And it was one of the best decisions we made. We’ve been very privileged to be a part of this community, and not only benefit from the environment, but to give back through our time and talents. We feel very fortunate to be part of the Cedar Rapids community. A big reason that we’re here today is because of the people we’ve met and the relationships we’ve forged.
And the best for last, Jeff and I both know that we’re here tonight because we’ve been blessed by a God who is good, all the time.