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Greater Tulsa Reporter


Olga Morgan’s Accomplishments Are ‘Vydayushciysya’

By BOB LEWIS
Contributing Writer

OLGA MORGAN



The tongue-twister in the headline is Russian for “outstanding,” a word that reflects the accomplishments of a woman who came to the United States from that country and has earned a place as one of the most credentialed professionals in Oklahoma’s financial services industry.

After successfully completing nine different business exams – eight of them on the first try – the controller of the First National Bank & Trust Co. of Broken Arrow proudly claims the title of “Olga Morgan, CPA, CFE, CITP.”

To put all those letters into the proper perspective, CPA is short for Certified Public Accountant. CFE designates her as a Certified Fraud Examiner. Her most recent designation, CITP, shows she has qualified as a Certified Information Technology Professional.

“I have a perfect career balance,” she jokes. “There are 10 letters in my name and 10 after it.”

Morgan’s rise to the top of her profession is “a true American success story,” according to Gregory Graham, First National’s Board chairman and CEO.

 “Olga is a tremendous individual and a tremendous asset to this bank. She has worked very hard to get where she is today and is a terrific role model for anyone who wonders if they will ever be able to make it in today’s highly competitive marketplace,” he says.

Born in Kazan, a city about 500 miles east of Moscow, Morgan earned a bachelor’s degree in mathematics and a master’s degree in applied mathematics (computer science) from Kazan Federal University and worked for a year as a computer programmer.

She came to the U.S. in 2002, married Bill Morgan, a long-time travel agent and financial investor, and later went to work for what is now Central Bank of Oklahoma.
Despite her university degrees, she says she realized further education was needed if she was to achieve her goal of becoming a Certified Public Accountant. So she enrolled in Northeastern State University and earned straight A’s while completing the accounting courses she needed to make that happen.

During this time, she says she had the opportunity to visit Broken Arrow on a number of occasions and was always impressed with the community. So, when invited to be part of it by joining First National as a credit analyst, she jumped at the opportunity. With her accounting expertise she was quickly promoted to assistant controller and, in 2016, assumed the position of controller.

While justifiably proud of what she has accomplished, Morgan is quick to note “It’s not just me. The people of First National gave me a chance, and they are there for me in every way.”

When asked to identify the biggest challenge she faced in relocating from Russia to Oklahoma, Morgan again flashed her keen sense of humor by saying, “learning the language. I thought I spoke English well when I came to this country, but Okie English is different from what I was taught in school. It was almost like learning an entirely new language. But I caught on pretty quickly.”

While admittedly uncomfortable in the spotlight, Morgan says she doesn’t mind telling her story in hopes it might prove to others that if you are willing to work for it, anything is possible.

“Persistence really does pay off,” she says. “I had to keep telling myself ‘you can watch TV or go out with friends when you get where you want to go.’ That kept me focused in the classroom and on the job. I still try to go the extra mile, because it isn’t crowded there. Anything I can do to make a better version of me, I want to do it.”

Away from the bank, she and her husband are travel enthusiasts. She said she has been back to Russia a few times, but her real love is visiting Spain, Italy, Great Britain and parts of Europe they haven’t seen before.

As a person responsible for focusing on the “big picture” in her job, Morgan says she can’t help but wonder what things would be like in the biggest picture of all if Russia and the United States could put aside differences and truly work together for the good of the planet.

“I would love to see it,” she notes. “Both countries have such terrific power, it is hard to imagine all the good things that could be accomplished.”

Updated 11-08-2017

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