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Transplant finds home in Kalamazoo

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Matt Morgan

Matt Morgan has many loves including his family, dog, all things Michigan State University, and, most recently, Kalamazoo. The Mason, Mich., native came to Kalamazoo following his future wife and ended up falling in love with the community as well.

Morgan is Vice President and Controller at First National Bank of Michigan. He is responsible for the bank's accounting system and financial records including preparation of financial statements, schedules, and reports.

"The people I work with allow me to look forward to coming to work," Morgan said. "I enjoy that my superiors continually challenge and push me with new tasks and responsibilities as well."

Originally a computer technician, Morgan didn't initially foresee himself working in the finance industry.

"I earned a bachelor's degree in computer science from Baker College while working as a Computer Technician for the State of Michigan," he said. "I decided to make a change and went back to school and earned my master's degree in accountancy from Western Michigan University (WMU)."

Prior to enrolling at WMU, Morgan's now wife, Sarah, took a job at LKF Marketing, Inc. in downtown Kalamazoo.

"Kalamazoo first peaked my interest when my future wife took a job in town after college. I then moved to Kalamazoo for a year to pursue my master's degree at WMU. The more time I spent in Kalamazoo and familiarized myself, the more I knew this was a place I would be happy remaining long-term as we looked toward getting married and growing a family," he said.

After graduating from WMU, Morgan worked as an Auditor and Tax Preparer for Plante Moran for more than three years before working at Manatron, Inc, which has since been bought out by Thomson Reuters, as their Accounting Manager for four years. He joined the bank in May 2013.

If given the opportunity to go back and give himself advice upon graduation, Morgan said he would stress the importance of focusing on a goal.

"Always keep your ultimate career goals in mind and do what's best for you to achieve those goals," Morgan said. "Resist frustration if things don't progress as quickly as you'd like and continue to work hard.

Ultimately, your work ethic and character are what you are judged by and will enable you to succeed.

"Don't stress about the little trivial things. If you just work hard and apply yourself and show kindness and appreciation to others, you will be rewarded."

The benefit of working hard and being rewarded is finding a comfortable area to raise a family, the Cooper Charter Township resident said.

"We live near Parchment," Morgan said. "This area gives us the small-town feel while also allowing us to be in close proximity to downtown Kalamazoo.

"We enjoy all of the events and activities downtown and the blend between the community and local students at events."

Morgan said getting involved makes him feel connected to the community.

"I accomplish this by participating in community events such as WMU athletics, Art Hop, frequenting locally-owned restaurants and businesses, going to the Kalamazoo Farmers' Market, and getting involved in community organization governing boards," he said.

In part due to his involvement in the community, Morgan sees a bright future for Kalamazoo.

"Kalamazoo has weathered the storm of a down economy and continues to grow and succeed," he said. "While it has evolved over the last several years, it continues to offer many opportunities for recent graduates in varying industries such as medical, science, finance, and technology."

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