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2018 in Review: Relationships Matter

Mark Morton, Founder & President

In life, all relationships matter. I was constantly reminded of this in 2018, as my business and my family experienced a lot of changes throughout the past year. Each change reminded me how important it was to stop and appreciate every person in my life. As 2018 comes to a close, I want to share a few relationship experiences I had this year, and how they impacted both my life and business.


Personal Relationship: An Unexpected Change
In 2017, I was diagnosed with an autoimmune disease. Through this experience, I developed really good relationships with my doctors. I had my general practioner, a functional medicine specialist, and because of the nature of the autoimmune disease, I also had a nephrologist. Most of my treatment came from the nephrologist and I developed a pretty solid relationship with him over the past year. He helped me stabilize my health by crafting a treatment plan that got the autoimmune disease under control.

In September, he called me out of the blue. He had recently attended a conference and collaborated with some peers on my case. The purpose of his call was to let me know that, based on the conversations he’d had with his peers, he was changing my diagnosis. He was never truly satisfied with the original diagnosis and made it his mission to figure out what was going on with me. I feel he truly took our doctor/patient relationship to the next level. Suffice it to say, these relationships matter.


Community Relationship: Be the Change
A couple years ago, I had the chance to introduce Scott Moorehead at a YPO event. Scott is the author behind a book called Build a Culture of Good. I highly recommend it. An output of Scott’s efforts is his company donates 100,000 backpacks in the fall of every year to communities in need.

The relationship I have with Scott and the impact his book had on me served as an inspiration for Morton’s community engagement. In 2017, we gave away close to 100 backpacks through a community organization in RVA to assist children most in need in our community. In 2018, we set ourselves a significantly larger goal and gave away over 500 fully stocked backpacks. In RVA, 500 backpacks outfit an entire elementary school.

Everyone on our team pitched in with the project, along with several members of my family, including my aunt who has been a key relationship throughout my life. At the time, my aunt was battling cancer; but true to her character, she came into our office, filled with thousands of pieces of school supplies, on one of the hottest days of the year, and gave unconditionally to help stuff backpacks. She lost her battle this fall and she will be deeply missed. Blending the personal and professional relationships to help support our community had a significant impact on me in 2018.


Business Relationships: Change Fosters Growth
2018 saw quite a number of changes at Morton. We refreshed our brand in the spring, increased our staff size by nearly half over the past year, and moved our business headquarters to Scott’s Addition in late September. Each change was stemmed from our reflection on our relationships with our clients and consultants.

The changes have all been a lot of fun and we absolutely love our new work space and new location. In fact, it was key relationship that created the opportunity for us to even be able make the move to Scott’s Addition and we are thankful for that. We have started forming some new relationships with many of the area businesses – some work and some play all mixed in, of course. With the new faces at Morton, we are forming new relationships and bonds that will last a lifetime for many of us.


What we do at Morton, day in and day out, is based on relationships. This is the foundation of our success. Our goal is to get even better in 2019. We are constantly taking feedback from our associates and using the feedback from these key relationships to improve our service. We are committed to The Morton Way, every day.


No one knows what 2019 will bring for any of us. I would challenge you to reflect on what relationships matter to you and see how you can make the most of them in the new year. I am certain you will create a lot of memories and experiences that will last a lifetime.