While enlisted in the Marines, Lance Corporal Sean Morgan applied his training as a machine-gunner and in a tour of Narco-Terrorism in South America. As a civilian, Sean continues to use his Marine Corps experience as General Manager at Car-Mart of Springdale East, Ark.
The Marines shaped Sean’s work ethic and changed his expectations about life. “I now have a high bar of expectations,” says Sean of his four years in the Marines. “And, it’s what we do at Car-Mart where we can achieve goals for our dealership and company.”
The high-energy Sean enlisted in the marines at age 17½ – with his grandmother’s blessing – because he felt he needed guidance for his future. “I was drawn to push myself a little harder,” Sean says. “College wasn’t for me. I had too much energy, so military was the best thing.
“I, also, loved the uniform,” continues Sean. During basic training, he quickly learned the drill sergeant was not his mother. The daily regimen of physical and mental exercises was challenging at first for Sean, but he persevered and he’s proud that he’s done something not achieved by many people.
Semper Fi – pride and brotherhood
“Once you’re a marine, you’re always a marine,” says Sean. “You learn the brotherhood of the marine corps. It’s the people and the friendships that you make for life.” Sean tips his hat to all marines, whether they are 75 years old or 19 years old. “We all know what everyone has gone through. We have all experienced boot camp. It gives a respect,” he continues.
Sean, also, has deep admiration for his grandfather, who was an officer in the Army in World War II (WWII). That piqued his interest to learn more about this war and the Greatest Generation. When learning the stories of the soldiers fighting at the Battle of the Bulge, the D-Day invasion and the rescues at the concentration camps, he became an avid military history buff. He has a profound appreciation for the valiant acts of courage undertaken by the men and women who fought during WWII.
It’s all military for Sean. His labradoodle, Murphy, is named after Michael Patrick Murphy, a United States Navy Seal officer who was awarded the Medal of Honor for his actions during the war in Afghanistan and was part of Operation Red Wings, the story portrayed in the movie, “Lone Survivor.” Plus, his dream car, a 2016 Jeep Rubicon, is adorned in the American flag.
Hope for Heroes
It’s not surprising that Sean is pleased that Car-Mart supports Hope for Heroes. Annually, Car-Mart donates a portion of proceeds from vehicle sales to Hope for Heroes, an organization focused on supporting disabled veterans and first responders.
“I love the fact that our company gives back to Hope for Heroes. It’s an opportunity to give back to those who have given their lives and we can help them in so many different ways. This one is special to me because it helps those who really need it,” says Sean, a commissioned school security officer for his church.
Sean also leads a Toys for Tots drive in partnership with the Marines and supports Team Rubicon, a veteran service organization that uses disaster response to help reintegrate veterans back into civilian life.
Marines to sports retail to cars
After leaving the military, Sean joined the world of sporting goods retail where he worked throughout the United States. In 2010, he opened the Academy store in northwest Arkansas. Sean says working for big box retail was valuable preparation for working at Car-Mart and provided him numerous skill sets including multi-tasking, customer service and leadership.
And, then it was a random visit from his neighbor while mowing his yard that brought Sean to Car-Mart. His neighbor asked him if he would like to sell cars. Since Sean had been looking for a career change, Sean applied at Car-Mart and was selected to be the Assistant Manager of Car-Mart of Rogers, Arkansas in August 2013.
Indeed, it was the right career move for Sean because Car-Mart is like his second family, thanks to his customers and associates. “Working at Car-Mart is all about relationships. It’s more than selling cars. We build these bonds as tight as family at home,” says Sean.
He appreciates the one-on-one interactions he establishes with his diverse customers. Some are long-time customers. Others are sent by their parents. Some have bad credit, and some have perfect credit.
“I have so many cultures from all over the world at my Car-Mart. We get to hear their life stories and we get to be a part of their lives. We get to help people. We hear the good and the bad,” says Sean.
“Car-Mart is still that place where people can connect with people. It keeps us connected in a world where technology keeps us isolated,” continues Sean. “Plus, our customers get so excited about getting a car.”
His favorite customer story is about an older man who was diagnosed with spinal cancer. Unfortunately, the customer couldn’t pay his loan and therefore drive his car. Sean talked and prayed with the young man. Nearly a year later, the customer’s cancer was gone and he bought another vehicle from Sean. “It was inspiring to see how faith works and how we, as a company, help people,” comments Sean.
Conceivably, it’s this keen devotion to his customers that propelled Sean’s store to win Lot of the Month in June.
Inspired by his mother and grandmother
Raised by his mother and grandmother, he learned the value of hard work growing up in Santa Rosa, Calif. His stint in the Marines simply illuminated his commitment to be the best at everything in life. Every day he tries to be a good father to his two sons, Christopher and Luke, and a good husband to his wife, Lisa.
Sean strives to be a good friend, as well as a good leader and boss at Car-Mart. His overall goal is to be a better man today than what he was yesterday.
“Once a marine, always a marine.”