Founded in 2002, Morrison & Company provides specialized consulting services and grant writing for clients in the US and beyond. Turns out they're not only exceptional at what they do, they're exceptional at having fun while doing it. We sat down with Toni Scott, one of Morrison & Co's four principals, to find out more.
How long have you been with the company?
I have been with the company for six years, beginning as a consultant. I am now one of four owners in the business and lead our competitive grants practice. We have 11 full-time professionals working company-wide, all in our Chico office.
I joined the team because of the opportunity to work directly with other businesses. In the type of work we do, we have the chance to learn about many different industries and build relationships with so many different people: from small farmers to marketing professionals at billion dollar companies. No day looks the same and we have the unique opportunity to work on a wide variety of projects in a wide variety of industries.
Morrison & Company is a unique consulting company. Tell us more.
We provide specialized consulting services including business planning, interim/outsource executive assistance, "People" solutions (e.g., recruiting, leadership development, HR), and specialized grant writing. We help our clients to find the right people, strategically grow in the right direction, and find the right capital to accomplish their goals, all with us, a trusted advisor, by their side.
Our clients have included a wide variety of organizations including for-profit businesses, individual farms and ranches, start-up businesses, small businesses, governmental entities, economic development corporations, agricultural cooperatives, universities, and other groups.
A significant amount of the work we do is in food and agriculture – these clients grow crops, and make and sell a lot of the food and wine you see on grocery store shelves.
Every remarkable company has its secret sauce. What's yours?
You can’t really open a phone book and find someone like us – and we like that. The work that we do is out of the box and that means we are too. We have analytical accountants working alongside creative writers and we sharpen each other well to provide our clients an unparalleled experience.
Why did you decide to locate in Chico? Do you serve clients beyond the area?
We’ve proudly been within the city limits for a decade! Our business began just down the road in Durham but the Chico office opened in 2007.
We’re everywhere! Most of our work is completed in California, as we work heavily in food and agriculture and California is the number on agriculture state. But we have clients across the United States.
Speaking of Chico, what's your first memory here?
My first memory was actually coming to Chico when I was 15 for an FFA Leadership Conference at Chico State! Funny – I ended up studying agriculture business at Chico State and now work with many Chico-based agriculture companies.
What makes you most proud of your business and share an example of what your business is really all about.
What makes me most proud is helping other businesses grow and succeed.
Perhaps this isn’t what we’re all about, but who the people we work with are all about. Many of our clients are as deeply invested in us as we are in them. We’ve been invited to our client’s birthday parties, received wedding presents from them, and have had them ask us to be a part of some of their most significant moments in their company’s history. We really are more than grant writers or interim controllers to many of our clients – we’re their trusted business advisors, their cheerleaders, and their confidants and they give us an incredible opportunity to walk through life together professionally and personally.
Describe the company culture at Morrison & Co.
We eat a lot. And eat a lot together. Which is great when you do so much work for clients in the food and wine industry – it’s always research! Every month, we ask members of the team to invite out another member for a meal, which can include spouses – we call them MoCo meals, and the company picks up the tab. It’s a time to get to know each other on a deeper level and allow our team to invest in one another outside of the office.
Our measuring stick for the quality of our work is high, but there’s an even higher bar for the level of grace we extend to one another.
What do you love most about living in Chico?
The amazing community. I love living in a town that is so invested in this place – City Council meetings are well attended, the Letters to the Editor sections of the newspapers are always filled, and I see Park Watch volunteers every time I’m in Bidwell Park. This is a place that inspires citizens to be generous with their time and we all benefit from it.
Thank you for your time, Toni. Let's leave with a few fun facts about your team and/or company.
We’re a young team – the majority of us are millennials or Gen X-ers. We’ve never experienced the negative stereotypes some might have of millennials. Our team works long hours, weekends, and every person is incredibly dedicated to our work and the community.
We try to do a service project together at least once a quarter. We have spent time weeding and planting flowers at the Jesus Center Farm, assembling snacks for the Boys and Girls Club, and volunteering at a temporary shelter when Oroville was evacuated due the issues with the Oroville Dam.
To learn more, please visit Morrison & Company's website.