Just in time for their upcoming 20th anniversary this fall, Huntsville’s Torch Technologies completed their Evergreen certification, a status awarded to enduring private companies that intend to adapt and grow profitably for 100 years and more. The certification is a serious commitment to remaining a 100% employee-owned private company.
Awarded by the Tugboat Institute, which is committed to helping private companies redefine success in business, the Evergreen certification means the technology company has undergone an extensive, rigorous assessment by the Institute with the intention of continual improvement and enduring excellence around values, practices and people.
Evergreen status means Torch puts their people first, and avoids raising capital that puts money before mission, imposing a growth-at-all-costs mindset that often leads to the sale of a company. This certification signifies not only Torch’s commitment to being a forever company, but it also signifies Torch’s commitment to Tugboat Institute’s seven core values known as the Evergreen 7Ps.
The first three Ps—Purpose, Perseverance, and People First—define the character of the leaders and team. The last four Ps—Private, Profit, Paced Growth, and Pragmatic Innovation—reflect the long-term strategy tenets of an Evergreen business.
Torch co-founder Bill Roark explained that selling Torch has never been in the company’s plan.
“From the beginning, we had a goal to be 100% employee-owned because my co-founder and I had worked for companies that were acquired and we saw firsthand how that changed the culture and morale,” Roark said. “We did not want to do that to our employees who contribute daily to the success of the company; we wanted to be able to control our own destiny.”
Torch president and CEO John Watson said Torch is honored to be recognized as a Certified Evergreen company and is happy to be part of a peer group of private companies who share the same values as a company.
“The Evergreen certification represents a commitment that we have made to our employee-owners and to our customers,” said Watson. “Torch is evergreen. We are proud of the dedication that Torch employee-owners have demonstrated to the Warfighter, to our communities, and to one another, and we look forward to what Torch will accomplish in the years to come as an Evergreen company.”