By Evan Cutts
As Associate Commodities Manager for Ocean Spray Cranberries, Christopher Morgan is responsible for a yearly budget of fifty-million dollars. He oversees purchases of key ingredients and packaging materials such as blackberry concentrate, pectin, flex films, and cans—both steel and aluminum.
“If you told me three, four years ago I’d be happily living in a Massachusetts suburb, working for a cranberry company buying plastic, I’d say you’re crazy,” said Morgan with a laugh.
Morgan, a goal-oriented individual and avid planner was a student-athlete at the College of the Holy Cross. He aspired to become a D-1 basketball player and orthopedic surgeon.
“I learned plans don’t always happen as you intend. At Holy Cross, I realized I didn’t love science. In three seasons, I broke my foot four times and had reconstructive surgery my senior year,” said Morgan.
He considers his navigation through injury a journey of personal growth through adversity. Morgan worked to share his wisdom with other young people of color and student-athletes as a panelist on the first Mental Health Awareness panel at the College of the Holy Cross.
Morgan’s compassion and tenacity are among the reasons his skills are recognized by Ocean Spray Cranberries. With barely two years at the company, Morgan has risen to impressive heights.
When working on day-to-day projects, Morgan employs a three-pronged approach: increase production efficiency, minimize risk, and deliver materials at competitive rates.
Ocean Spray Cranberries, as a Grower-Owner Cooperative, is faced with unique challenges in its daily operations.
“When it comes to finding a supplier that is the right fit for us we have to be strategic and contract with suppliers who will treat us like a number one customer,” he said.
On a personal note, Morgan shared his thoughts on being the sole millennial associate on a team of mostly Baby Boomers:
“When fresh academia meets twenty-five years of experience, we accomplish far more than a single mind could have.”
The dichotomy between ages fosters an environment where innovation and ambition are encouraged.
As a millennial of color, Morgan draws inspiration from the glass ceilings African-American’s have shattered in the private sector.
“It means a lot to be a young African-American male.We’re dreamers. As millennials of color, we not only should dream, we should follow our hearts and strive to achieve what might seem unachievable.”