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Business Observer Thursday, Jul. 1, 2010 12 years ago

Meet the Morgans

40 UNDER 40 WINNER: Frank Morgan, 34, Michele Morgan, 39, Bradenton
by: Mark Gordon Managing Editor

The Morgan household juggle was already high-level hectic when Christmas gave way to New Year's Day.

To start with, Frank and Michele Morgan each held top executive positions with well-regarded Sarasota institutions: Michele Morgan, 39, ran the Sarasota branch of Keiser University, a position that included overseeing an annual budget of $20 million, a little more than 1,000 students and 160 employees. Meanwhile, Frank Morgan, 34, was in charge of the outpatient services unit of Sarasota Memorial Hospital, which included supervising 85 employees spread over five offices.

Next there was Brock Morgan, the couple's precocious 18-month-old toddler. Brock, of course, took up a lot of the Morgan's non-work time.

Then, on Jan. 26, the Morgans had their second baby, a girl named Ali. And if that wasn't enough, Michele Morgan ended her three-month maternity leave April 26 with a promotion: She is now regional vice chancellor of operations at Keiser, which puts her in charge of five Florida campuses for the Fort Lauderdale-based university.

That's when the hectic juggle went into hyper drive for the Morgans, who live in east Manatee County. Days, and many times, nights, became filled with work deadlines, meetings, daycare drop-offs and pick-ups, networking dinners and a lot of e-mails.

Both Morgans approached the new phase in life with the same business-like, just-get-it-done mentality they used to advance their careers. They also have a trusted daycare and a network of parents and babysitters to fill in the child-care gaps, which is a big help.

“You hear people talk about how hard [having kids] can be when you are single,” says Frank Morgan. “But when it's you, you just do it. You really learn how to do what needs to be done.”

Michele Morgan has likewise honed a keen ability to sift through the unimportant issues in crisis management. Her priority in dealing with priorities at Keiser is to have face-to-face contact with the people involved. “I want to see the whites of the their eyes,” she says.

The next step is to slow down the decision-making process whenever possible. “I'm not really tied to a clock,” says Michele Morgan. “I don't like to make issues into a to-do list.”

Michele Morgan was born in Maine and relocated to Florida soon after she graduated from the University of Maine. Her first job with Keiser was in 1996, in admissions.

Promotions to director of student services and to dean of academic affairs followed that job. She was named president of the Sarasota campus, which is now in Lakewood Ranch, in 2002.

Like his wife, Frank Morgan's current executive position is the result of several internal promotions. He started at Sarasota Memorial in 2002 while in graduate school for health care administration at the University of Missouri. The program is similar to a medical school residency, only Morgan worked in the business side of a hospital, with short stints in finance, human relations and marketing.

Morgan stayed with SMH after he earned his master's degree. He became director of the outpatient services department in 2005.

Even with the juggle of executive jobs and two young children, the Morgans do squeeze in some time for fun, including weekend boat rides and the occasional dinner out with just husband and wife.

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