Wednesday, June 16, 2021
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2020 40 Under 40 Marcus Morris

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MARCUS MORRIS, 35

PRESIDENT/CEO, FIRST FINANCIAL BANK – FORT WORTH

Marcus Morris says he was born in “beautiful Abilene, Texas,” and moved to Amarillo – which he didn’t refer to as “beautiful” although he did use “lovely” in reference to Tori, the woman he married there – after graduation from Abilene Christian University.

After earning a master’s degree in finance and economics at West Texas A&M University, he moved back to Abilene to work for First Financial as a credit analyst. Two years later, he was

transferred to the bank’s office in Keller as assistant vice president of commercial loans.

He’s a member of the current class of Leadership Fort Worth’s LeaderPrime program, and says in the blurb prepared for the class directory that the Morris family spent the next seven years living, working and volunteering in Keller.

During that time, the family became a licensed foster family and has fostered three children and adopted one. Jack is 5, Goddaughter Jordyn is 4 and Genesis, a foster child, is 8 months.

In the spring of 2019, Morris was promoted to his current position – a dream come true.

– Paul K. Harral

Where did your first paycheck come from?

During the summers, my Dad made sure I had the worst assignment possible with a mechanical contractor in Abilene. My first summer working, I was a welder’s assistant. We replaced all the duct work in the crawl space at the county jail. I learned a lot of things during those summers, most of which would not make a mother real proud. Way to go Dad!

What movie, TV series, play or video game influenced you growing up?

Movies: Cool Runnings, The Mighty Ducks, Blank Check, Rookie of the Year, 3 Ninjas, Billy Madison, Robin Hood: Men in Tights. TV: Hey Dude, Salute Your Shorts, The Wonder Years, Fresh Prince of Bel-Air.

What other profession would you like to try?

There is no hope for me outside of banking. Maybe I would try my luck as a social media influencer.

Tell us about an influential person in your life, how they influenced you and why he or

she was important.

My family has been incredible. I have worked with great people like Sean Shope and Mark Jones who have taught me the art of, well, a lot of things. They both probably don’t realize the impact they had on my development.

My wife gets the prize for MOST influential. I have been very fortunate, lucky, or blessed in my

lifetime. I have been able to achieve several goals far earlier than I ever thought possible. My wife has never allowed me to stop chasing. There have been times I have wanted to sit back and relax because I was content but she (like my mom) believes I am capable of bigger things, so she has pushed me to set new goals and push further. She has been with me the entire way and I would not be where I am without her.

When did you know what you wanted to be when you grew up?

I worked for an insurance agent right out of college. The job required me to cold call with a phone book and try to convince folks to let me quote their car insurance. I knew quickly I did not want to do that when I grew up. The banking thing just kind of happened.

What is your favorite song?

Gangster’s Paradise, Coolio

Tell us about your photo shoot prop.

I showed up with a coffee cup. The photographer gave me this look like, “You really brought a coffee cup?” I explained that I have a family with young kids, some say I am disturbed because I really like to work and I love the people I work with, and I love rock n’ roll. The photographer said, “What else do you have in your car?” So that’s my prop – everything in the back of my car, plus the coffee cup.

Paul Harral
Paul is a lifelong journalist with experience in wire service, newspaper, magazine, local and network television and digital media. He was vice president and editor of the editorial page of the Fort Worth Star-Telegram and editor of Fort Worth, Texas magazine before joining the Business Press. What he likes best is writing about people in detail and introducing them to others in the community. Specific areas of passion are homelessness, human trafficking, health care and aerospace.

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