In October, ACG National Capital will be celebrating 25 years of middle market growth at the 25th Anniversary Celebration and Networking Event. Corporate Growth, Capital Style will be posting insightful interviews with past ACG presidents leading up to the big event.
In our last post in the series, we featured an interview with former president Tony Cancelosi. Our next conversation was with former chapter president Ronald Morgan, who served from 2012 until 2013.
Ronald Morgan co-founded MorganFranklin in 1998, and led all aspects of the firm’s consulting practice, including practice management, business development, client service, and personnel development. He also served as Chief Financial Officer from 1998 to 2004, and closely worked with the executive leadership team to shape the company’s strategy and long-term vision. In May 2013, Ron became an active director and advisor.
Prior to forming MorganFranklin, Mr. Morgan served as the director of financial compliance at Concert Communications. In this role, he oversaw the external and internal audit process and numerous controls-related initiatives for a $7 billion joint venture between AT&T and British Telecommunications (BT). He also spent five years in public accounting at PricewaterhouseCoopers and Aronson & Company performing financial audits of private and public corporations and nonprofit organizations.
Here is what Mr. Morgan had to say about his time with the ACG, as well as how corporate growth activity and the business market has changed in the National Capital region since he was president:
CGCS: Can you describe something significant that happened during your time as chapter president
Mr. Morgan: Sequestration – I suspect most people in my position would say the threat of sequestration caused a change in mindset, particularly in the government contracting world. While the full impact on the business community remains to be seen, during my tenure as ACG National Capital Chapter President, and as a business owner, it was clear that sequestration materially impacted decision making relative to hiring, M&A and other forms of business investment.
CGCS: What changes have you seen in the DC business community in the last 25 years? How has the business climate changed? Any new industries to take note of?
Mr. Morgan: I’m seeing more grey hair, but then again, maybe that’s just me. Kidding aside, I think the regional market has matured and become more sophisticated with every passing year. We have more experienced executives who have built and sold businesses, and a stronger than ever network of service providers who have successfully helped companies grow organically and inorganically.
In my opinion, the business climate changes every few years, but the foundation for growth in this region has steadily matured.
In terms of industry changes, the D.C. business community has always had a strong base of government contracting. However, the diversity of the region is often under recognized.
Over the last couple of decades, the D.C. area has experienced significant growth and diversification in industries such as technology, life sciences, healthcare, and hospitality. I believe that continuing to support the growth of these sectors is critical to the long-term viability of the region, and I look forward to watching the role the ACG National Capital Chapter plays in supporting this mission.
CGCS: Can you describe some of the major trends shaping and influencing the business environment in DC today. How has that shaped corporate growth activity?
Mr. Morgan: An entrepreneurial spirit. In many respects the cost of starting a business has come down, especially in the technology space. Over the last few years, start-up activity has increased, and if I look to the future, I see our region at the national forefront for entrepreneurial activity. This will create and attract jobs, build a new wave of business leaders, and hopefully drive growth for the region in light of some of the government cuts. I sense there is a lot of energy these days in entrepreneurship.
Government cuts are creating opportunity. Although the impact of cuts is being debated, there is no question that the government is looking for ways to improve operational efficiencies. This creates a great deal of opportunity for companies in our region, and nationally, who have innovative solutions to help the government meet tax holder expectations while keeping spending in check. I’d expect to see companies thrive who can deliver process improvements, new technology, and fresh ideas on improving the business of government.
To hear more from Ronald Morgan and the rest of the ACG National Capital past presidents, register for the 25th Anniversary Celebration and Networking Event on Wednesday, October 9, 2013 at the Waterview Center in Arlington, VA. Additional details and event registration are available HERE.