Q: What’s your background/ affiliation with Morgan County? Did you grow up here? Are you a transplant and if so, what brought you to Morgan County?
A: Julie is a transplant from Johnson County and a graduate from Center Grove High School in Greenwood. Her husband is from Plainfield and they settled in the middle here in Morgan County. They have a horse, Kashmir, and needed the space for him to roam.
Q: What do you love most about Morgan County?
A: Julie loves most the small town feel. She enjoys being close to the more cultural, urban areas but residing in a rural area. Growing up in a neighboring county, she feels that Mooresville still has super friendly people, and the more rural feel. People say hi to each other and help each other here in Morgan County.
Q: Is this where you thought you would end up?
A: Julie always thought she would want to become an estate planning attorney somewhere. She knew she would end up practicing law outside of an urban area and did not want to work as a “big-law” attorney. She preferred the ability to self-manage as an independent attorney. Life brought her here to Morgan County and she has established her own law firm, The Law Office of Julie Fred near downtown Mooresville.
Q: What professional/ philanthropic organizations are you associated with and in what ways?
A: Other than serving as a director of CFMC, Julie is a past board member of Churches in Mission. She still gives back to Churches in Mission by sponsoring their events and donating items for auctions. Julie is also involved in Networking Business Women of Morgan County which gives back through scholarships and supporting families at Christmastime. Julie is also affiliated with the Morgan County Bar Association and State Bar Association.
Q: How do you spend most of your time?
A: Julie does her best to balance work and home giving quality time to her family, traveling, caring for her horse and her animals, and making sure that each night she reads with her children. Her family values trips throughout the year including camping and visiting surrounding states and visiting all the national parks they can. Her favorite national park thus far is Zion National Park in Utah.
Q: Why is philanthropy important to you?
A: Julie believes in giving back to others as a way to better our world. She has a heart for uplifting others and a gift of empathy. When she was in law school, she studied abroad in Croatia. While there she visited Bosnia. She experienced the aftermath of the war and genocides, especially in Sarajevo. She shares that it was difficult to see and talk with survivors. You see peoples’ pain and how they rebuild their lives after losing loved ones and the destruction of everything people call home. This experience flipped a switch in her and permanently gave her a desire to be philanthropically involved through her time and generous donations.
Q: What motivates you to serve on CFMC’s board?
A: She feels she has the duty to always serve on one nonprofit board as a part of her generous nature. Julie is interested in everything we (CFMC) do/ does, especially scholarships for our Morgan County high school seniors. She also finds it important to proactively try to improve our communities through education and breaking the cycle of poverty.
Q: What are you most proud of?
A: Julie shares that as much pressure as attorneys feel to increase hours and work their life away, she is proud of the successful law firm that she has built and that it allows her to balance work and life and pour genuine time into her family and be present in her children’s lives. Another fun fact that she is proud of is that she passed the bar exam while still in law school, a feat not many attorneys can attest to.
Q: What would you tell community members Today about getting involved in their community?
A: Julie emphasizes the importance of teaching philanthropic work to young children. Every year, she sits her children down and explains what charity/ philanthropic work is, why they choose to be involved as a family, and allows her children to choose multiple charities to donate to. She has a 5-year-old and an 8-year-old. They learn about various charities, their goals and purposes. The children get to choose what organizations they would like to give back to at Christmastime as a family. Over the years, her children have chosen UNICEF, Wheeler Mission, Morgan County Humane Society, cancer research, refugees of war, and so many more. This teaches her children to look for opportunities to give back, learn empathy, and that we are here for more than ourselves.
Q: What’s the best advice you have received that you would pass along?
A: Julie believes that it’s important to keep perspective. “Life by an inch is a cinch, life by yard is hard.” Focus on what you need to do today, and always keep moving forward. Another favorite quote is from Mother Teresa, “To the world you may be one person, but to one person you may be the world.” To her, this means that each of us can make important changes in the lives of those around us, and incredible importance of showing up for others in their time of need.