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CEO of QMobius Helps Lead Meadows CCPA Advisory Board

Carolyn Covey Morris Serves as Vice President on Board

Carolyn Covey Morris has proved her passion for the communication arts at the collegiate level. She is known for her dedication to the Meadows School of the Arts’ Corporate Communications & Public Affairs program.

Morris joined the CCPA Advisory Board in spring 2008 and is currently its vice president. Morris spearheaded the creation of bylaws for the board, restructured committees and clarified expectations for board members’ participation.

“Our goal as an advisory board is to help make each CCPA student’s experience as meaningful and relevant as possible so that all of them can secure terrific jobs and have great career potential,” she said.

According to Morris, what she likes best about the board is “the caliber of people” who serve and “their commitment to help make CCPA the best it can be.”

Morris’s goals for the CCPA Advisory Board include attracting great board members, offering students more opportunities to interact with the board members and leading companies, nonprofits, and government agencies and building CCPA’s reputation with potential employers.

“Her presence and leadership on the board have provided a springboard of momentum in the arenas of increased student involvement and development, board participation and growth, as well as curricular interest and guidance,” said Becky Hewitt, CCPA department administrator.

Morris started QMobius, a corporate communications, public relations and brand marketing firm, nearly two years ago.

“One of the unique things about me is I’m more of a businessperson first versus a communications or marketing professional—I can do a lot of things,” Morris said. “I can talk with corporate leaders about, and understand, their business challenges to tailor communications and marketing efforts to help them progress.”

According to its Web site, QMobius works with companies in the chemical, energy, consumer products, fashion, retail, financial services and technology industries. Some of its clients include Hostess Brands, RadioShack, Celanese, BNSF and 7-Eleven.

Morris explained that a mobius is a geometric shape with no inside or outside. Likewise, QMobius is made up of senior executives from top companies who now support corporate clients as consultants. QMobius’s concept is to blend the notions of inside and outside to bring the best ideas and solutions to move companies ahead.

She and her associates added the letter Q because another company with the name Mobius existed. They took “Q” from the word qualia, which describes sensory perceptions in the brain and relates to how people perceive their experiences at any given moment in time.

“We help our clients have great experiences with their customers and stakeholders,” Morris said. “And, we also want to have great experiences with our clients and working as a team. We thought QMobius sounded cool and fresh, and described the kind of environment we want to cultivate.”

One of the common challenges Morris comes across is that companies don’t always begin projects by thinking through their purpose and how they relate to and impact their overall brand.

“I love the fact that people approach me with their toughest problems,” Morris said.

Morris gave an example of a company that hires an agency to turn its image around before it has made conscious decisions about its business and brand strategy. QMobius begins by asking every client and potential client questions such as, “What are you trying to accomplish? What are your goals -- more customers, improve the reputation, enter new markets? How is your offering unique and different?”

To improve a company’s communications and positioning in the marketplace, Morris said that sometimes a wakeup call has to occur.

“It’s sad. Sometimes something bad has to happen.”

Bad things are bound to plague a company “if they project an image that isn’t congruent with their internal practices. That’s often what happens,” Morris said.

Regarding QMobius, Morris’s goals for her company are as follows: achieve $30 million in annual sales, continue to work with Fortune 500 top-tier companies, attract the best people to her team, and continue to be approached by clients with interesting projects.

Prior to starting her own company, Morris led public relations for JCPenney during its turnaround. “It was fun to be a part of it,” she noted.

According to Cfo.com, the key changes responsible for the turnaround were editing the amount of product variety, establishing more off-mall locations, allowing online purchases to take precedence over paper catalogues and re-emphasizing the quality of products. James Cash Penney was known for his thoroughness, and he made sure that quality stuck with his company. Morris added that JCPenney’s important documents are held in Southern Methodist University’s DeGolyer Library.

Before working for JCPenney, Morris lived in Washington, D.C., where she was employed in the chemical and financial services industries in companies as well as trade associations. In Washington she met her British husband, who worked for the British Embassy at the time and has now been a long-time Capital One employee. Chuckling, she said, they have “no kids, no pets; lots of good friends, extended family, and travel.”

Morris earned her M.B.A. at the University of Maryland in marketing and international business and her bachelor’s degree in biochemistry at James Madison University. She has also studied at Oxford University.

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