“Take risks in [your] careers. Everyone should explore all of the opportunities that are available to them and learn as much as possible. It can be scary at times, but nothing will be more valuable for your career.” – Eddie Morris
WashingtonExec announced its winners for the 2023 Pinnacle Awards on November 16. Excella’s Eddie Morris, vice president of pricing and profitability, has won WashingtonExec’s 2023 Pinnacle Award for Private & Public Company Pricing Executive of the Year.
Continue reading to learn more about what makes Eddie a Pricing Executive of the Year.
What are you most proud of having been a part of in your current organization?
I’m most proud of my and my colleagues’ work with Homestretch, a Northern Virginia-based nonprofit that helps families experiencing homelessness obtain self-sufficiency, stability, and permanent affordable housing. Excella works with Homestretch through our award-winning community investment program ImpaX, and I believe that throughout our partnership we’ve been able to make a real difference in peoples’ lives. On top of volunteering for opportunities like inventorying the furniture in Homestretch’s storage pods, I have been able to attend a number of breakfasts we’ve hosted with them, and have been able to hear just how far some of these families have come. It’s really amazing to be part of.
What’s the biggest professional risk you’ve ever taken?
By far the biggest risk I’ve taken is that after 20 years and five promotions at a large, public company focused on IT infrastructure and support, I left my VP-level position to explore my options and gain new expertise and insights at other companies. The company I left started out as a smaller organization, but during my time there, we graduated from the SB program and successfully grew. While exploring what else was out there for my career, I discovered that I love working at smaller, agile organizations that have the opportunity for explosive growth – much like Excella, a company that is at an inflection point and that I’m very excited to be part of.
My job at Excella is made up of several things I have done in the past. What’s new and wonderful is that I’ve been given the latitude to use all of my big company experience at a smaller organization, and I’ve been able to help out in more areas of the business. With my diverse background, I have been able to help out with pricing (of course), but also financial planning and analysis (FP&A) and project control. And, most importantly to me, I’m able to spend time with the engagement leaders focusing on improving their overall business acumen. That’s the fun part! I get to help really smart Excellians understand the business aspects of what they do, and in turn help them become stronger, more well-rounded leaders. I’ve also been a mentor through Excella’s formal mentor process, which provides opportunities for growth for Excellians at every level.
Smaller companies need generalists as well as specialists. Thanks to the learning opportunities I’ve had throughout my career, I see myself as both. That gives me the ability to look across the organization and make a difference where it’s needed the most.
None of this would have happened if I hadn’t taken that big leap out of my comfort zone. My biggest piece of advice to young professionals today is to take risks in their careers. Everyone should explore all of the opportunities that are available to them and learn as much as possible. It can be scary at times, but nothing will be more valuable for your career.