Big Thinkers Founder & President | Jill Morgan
Recognized as a Woman of Action and Connector of People & Business.
With more than 20 years of proven success in strategic planning, business development and product/program launches, Jill, prides herself in offering superior value by aligning all elements of an “over the top” successful program from concept development to marketing and operations coordination. Jill has started 3 successful businesses, and has operated businesses in different industries. As President & Founder of Big Thinker, Jill has put together a team of experts that provides their clients with only the best revenue generating solutions.
It all started 30 years ago, when Jill Morgan moved to Rochester with nothing but a duffle bag of clothes and a bucket list of dreams. Though she didn’t finish college, she was willing to work hard to find success.
The Webster resident has rung the opening bell at the New York Stock Exchange, appeared as a guest on “The Martha Stewart Show” and traveled the country with Ed Smart, father of Elizabeth Smart, to raise awareness for missing children and surviving parents. Now, she is writing her first book, titled “Round Hole Square Peg - Square Peg Round Hole.”
“It’s been a long journey and I have a varied background,” she said. Morgan is a Senior Partner and CEO of Big Thinkers, LLC, an event planning firm. She is also a partner of the Corporate Cup, a golf tournament for charity, and the president of FemCityRochester, the area’s newest professional women’s organization.
“I have planned events all my life; my parents were Masons,” says Morgan. For nearly 10 years, she worked as a development director and public relations spokesperson for an area firm. She had the opportunity to represent major events like the Lilac Festival, which drew the attention of Martha Stewart.
She started her career as a buyer for catalog companies before making a move to Continental Express airlines. After 9/11, she launched a program to promote careers in aviation. The program’s success boosted company morale and when Continental went public, Morgan was chosen to represent the station at the New York Stock Exchange.
In July, she opened Big Thinkers, LLC with friend and business partner, Elizabeth Byrnes Crony. “We are trying to look at things in a very unique way.” On February 16, Big Thinkers will host their first major event, the New York State Ice Wine and Culinary Festival at Casa Larga. “I always work for a client as if I work for their company, and that philosophy has paid off.”
Morgan is looking to inspire other women as the President of FemCityRochester, the local chapter of a national group. “It isn’t a networking organization, it is a connection organization,” she says. “We are creating an open dialogue to help women perform better in the professional world.”
Though she has worn many hats throughout her career, she is always looking for her next challenge. “It used to bother me that I didn’t get my degree, but I have educated myself along the way. You have to walk through the door when the opportunity is there.”
Personal: Age 50, lives in Webster.
Occupation: Senior Partner & CEO of Big Thinkers, LLC; partner of The Corporate Cup.
Community activities: President, FemCity Rochester; Board of Directors, Rochester Diocese of the Catholic Courier; Board Director, Children Awaiting Parents; Public Relations Committee, Honor Flight Rochester; President, New York State Chapter Army of Angels
My favorite thing to do in Rochester: In a city like ours that has so much to offer, I can’t pick just one thing. That is the beauty of Rochester, and why I have called it home for more than 25 years.
Biggest challenge I’ve overcome and how I did it: Starting my life over in a new city with no family, no friends and no money. My thirst for knowledge, my faith, and my compassion for people along with my hard work ethic and passion to succeed opened the doors of opportunity; it was my job to make the decision to step through.
One thing I’ve always wanted to do but never have: Drive a race car – Danica for a day!
If I could change one thing about myself it would be: I am vertically challenged. I would love to be taller!
The talent I would most like to have: Pianist – how fun it would be to cut the tension at one of those awkward moments by sitting down at a piano and belting some energizing songs like Billy Joel or Elton John would.
The one thing I can’t live without: My friends and family. I moved to Rochester not knowing anyone and now I can’t live without those I know. Those friends have become my family.
My favorite movie: Dead Poets Society (seize the day!)
One of my favorite sayings is: “You cannot do a kindness too soon, for you never know how soon it will be too late.” - Ralph Waldo Emerson
A person who has inspired me (and why): A day doesn’t go by that someone doesn’t inspire me. That is why I love my business. I get to meet such great people and am always inspired by their ideas and success.
FemCity Rochester, started in October 2012, recently celebrated its one-year anniversary with its own "Femfessionals Day."
When Jill Morgan became President of FemCity Rochester in October 2012, she brought together four local women professionals who didn't know each other and started a board. Now FemCity Rochester, the local chapter of Femfessionals, a national business community for women, has celebrated its one-year anniversary with its own "Femfessionals Day" and more than 50 members...
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