GREAT TEAMS START WITH GREAT PEOPLE.
Meet Blake Thompson.
What is the most interesting thing that your teammates here at MorganFranklin do not know about you?
For the past two years, I have been a member of the Redstone Arsenal’s Army Ten Miler teams that compete in the all-comers and government agency divisions at Army Ten Miler every October in Washington, D.C. Our teams are comprised of active duty soldiers, civilian employees, and government contractors representing Redstone and the local chapter of the Association of the United States Army.
Please tell us about your professional background, and what led you to pursue a career at MorganFranklin?
For the first 10 years of my career, I worked in banking supporting all aspects of operations from credit analysis to internal audit. The main reason I decided to pursue a career with MorganFranklin was the opportunity to use my skills to support the Department of Defense. Being from Huntsville, Alabama, and seeing the city grow over the years mainly due to the increase in Department of Defense commands at Redstone Arsenal, I thought it would be exciting to be involved and help support the life blood of our city.
How did completing the Certified Public Accountant (CPA) examination and licensing process prepare you for your role at MorganFranklin?
In my current role providing audit readiness support to the Department of Defense, the CPA experience helped out tremendously through the extensive testing around the audit process and having to display that knowledge. Aside from that, the CPA examination process was definitely an exercise in character building.
How have you taken ownership of your career at MorganFranklin?
I’m currently working on attaining my MBA and will add the PMP certification in the future. I have had the opportunity to pursue business development opportunities with other invaluable MorganFranklin team members, culminating in the winning of an additional engagement for the firm. With MorganFranklin, if you pursue a business-related path that can be beneficial to the firm, you can expect full support.
What does “surpassing expectations” mean to you and in the work you do?
It means delivering when you are specifically asked to take the initiative to research a topic or develop a template that could benefit the team in completing the task at hand. On all of our engagements, we surpass expectations because we take the time to get to know our customers and the tasks that they dislike the most. We then make an effort to add value in those areas.
What characteristics and disciplines do you need to be successful in your role at MorganFranklin?
I feel the most important characteristic is selflessness and the most important discipline is patience. When working in a team environment, a team member cannot put their own needs above the needs of the team or the firm, otherwise tasks would never be achieved and projects would never be completed. Patience also is important because team members and customers have a wide array of personality traits, and having the patience to maintain professionalism is essential.
Years ago you were Nic Dowd’s (#26 for the Washington Capitals) hockey coach. What are some parallels between the game of hockey and your work at MorganFranklin?
The two parallels that stick out to me the most are the team aspect and the ability to persevere. No one wants to be the team member who let their team down. This desire to contribute to the team’s efforts, always work hard, and do your best to help the team achieve the set goals is really what I’m talking about. It takes the whole team believing in the same end goal.
The ability to preserve is more self-explanatory. An NHL hockey season is 82 highly physical games, with 28 potential playoff games. The ability to go out on the ice shift after shift and grind it out for your teammates is the parallel I’m attempting to draw. No matter how amazing your current engagement might be, there will always be times when the tasks aren’t that enticing, so the ability to persevere will help one to overcome and help the team stay on course to achievement.
What do you consider to be your most significant non-professional accomplishment?
Aside from marrying my beautiful wife, Sarah, and the births of our two amazing sons, Everett and Cameron, I would have to say completing my first 100-mile ultramarathon (Pinhoti 100). It took me almost 28 hours, with lots of complaining.
What do you like to do on your days off?
I like to go for long runs, make breakfast with the family, take trips to Target and the neighborhood swimming pool, and maybe watch a Disney movie or two.
You find a time machine but can only choose to go in one direction. Do you blast into the past or launch into the future, and why?
The past for sure. I always hear the same story, be it from business professionals or good friends, and that is that they wish they would have done things sooner. Myself for instance, I wish I would have gotten married and started a family sooner, I wish I would have completed the CPA experience sooner, I wish I would have entered the management consulting industry sooner, and I wish I would have joined the amazing team at MorganFranklin sooner. Don’t get me wrong, I have no regrets, but once you know how amazing good life and career choices can be, it is hard to not think that way.
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