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Look deeper into the history of Ocean Insight and you’ll find a supportive mother with the wherewithal to invest in her son and his dream.
Mother’s Day is observed around the world, with nearly 90 countries celebrating Mom’s special day on the second Sunday in May. Which makes this an opportune time to acknowledge the love and support of mothers everywhere – starting with someone close to home.
Long before there was an Ocean Insight, or even an Ocean Optics, there was a researcher and would-be entrepreneur named Mike Morris with a passion for science and business. His dream would become a reality in 1989, when Ocean Optics – creator of the “world’s first miniature spectrometer” – was officially incorporated.
That part of our origin story has been well documented and shared frequently over the years. But dig a little deeper, and you’ll discover that Mike’s first, tentative steps as an entrepreneur were boosted by a $20,000 loan from his mother, Marguerite “Peggy” Morris. Rather, our mother. Mike is my big brother.
Our mother grew up during the Great Depression and clearly valued self-sufficiency in her children. In my case, for example, one too many complaints from me about the slow pace at which my dirty clothes hamper was emptied led to important lessons in laundry load sizes and proper rinse cycles.
Mom and our dad were supportive, too, which is why they encouraged Mike, me and our four other siblings throughout our lives, through countless trips to ballet classes, horseback riding, football practice, spelling bee competitions and more. And although Dad didn’t live long enough to write that first check investing in Ocean Optics, Mom got to see Ocean Optics become a vital, thriving business.
For those of us fortunate to have a mother in our corner, the road to success can often be just a little less bumpy. So, thanks to mothers everywhere who put love before judgment, kindness before criticism.
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, more than 70% of working women with children under 18 work full-time. As difficult as managing a healthy work-life balance can be, for many of us in the past year COVID-19 has added the challenge of working from home with children present. We’ve all witnessed a few Zoom or Team meetings being crashed by a wee one on the prowl for mommy.
So, let’s acknowledge and appreciate the working mothers in our own lives – our spouses, friends and colleagues who are our collaborators in work and play, help raise our children, and do great things.
Thank you and Happy Mother’s Day 2021.
Mothers hold their children's hands for a short while, but their hearts forever.
Ocean Optics started in the late ‘80s, seeded by a federal grant for a marine pH sensor. By 1992, the “world’s first miniature spectrometer” ushered in a new way of utilizing spectroscopy. Founder Mike Morris (pictured) demonstrates the evolution of spectrometers from floor unit-sized to handheld.
On February 24, 2021, Ocean Insight President Michael Edwards and employees welcomed political and business leaders to our facility for a ribbon-cutting ceremony.