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On a mission to change lives

The Morales family and their company, RF-SMART, are committed to making the world a better place – a focus that extends far beyond the company’s day-to-day operations and into the Jacksonville community. Jorge Morales, chairman, and his son, Michael, CEO, lead the innovative company that has been a key partner of the University of North Florida. 

 

Talk to any employee there and they will confirm that the company’s mission statement — “We exist to transform our customers and change lives” — is not just a plaque in the lobby, but the key to the culture at RF-SMART. Th e business motto extends to the company’s philanthropy and certainly to its involvement with UNF, which includes a recent $1 million gift  to the School of Computing to fund scholarships and an endowed professorship to enhance research. 

Jorge and Michael Morales outside the RF-SMART Jacksonville officesPresident Szymanski announced the generous gift  at his inauguration ceremony in February. “The Morales family and RF-SMART are building their legacy on our campus,” said Szymanski, commenting that the gift  will change lives. “It is truly transformational.” 

 

Past involvement with the University of North Florida has been significant. Jorge Morales has provided scholarships for computing students, endowed a scholarship fund and supported a senior capstone project. In 2017, the RF-SMART Computer Lab was established in the School of Computing to provide space for systems soft ware courses. 

 

Jorge has been just as generous with his time, serving on the UNF Foundation Board and Dean’s Leadership Council for the College of Computing, Engineering and Construction. He is grateful for the strong relationship UNF has with the business community, one he says benefits students and local companies. “It’s a great partnership,” Morales said. “We share ideas, what we are looking for in graduates and in curriculum, and the University listens.”  

 

RF-SMART regularly hosts interns and currently employs more than two dozen UNF graduates. Michael Morales said he is always impressed by the students who come to work at RF-SMART. “They are a cultural fit,” he said. “They are high caliber individuals, have strong work ethics, and they want to learn and grow.” UNF alumnus Charles Cox, ’13, customer transformation coordinator at RF-SMART, said a comment from Jorge during his first few weeks on the job has stuck with him: “I want this to be your first and your last job.” Cox said the words reflected the company and family’s commitment to a strong work environment that also promotes community involvement and responsibility. “They care about people,” said Cox. “It is obvious in everything they do.” 

 

Cox, who remains grateful for a scholarship he received in college, said he admires the philanthropy of the Morales family. 

 

“Seeing Jorge and Michael give to scholarships adds to my gratitude for them as leaders,” Cox said. “They continue to inspire us all.”