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When the co-founders of Torch, Bill Roark and Don Holder, started the company, both had previously worked for companies that were sold. Despite each having grown organizations exceeding 200 employees, they were unable to influence the company’s ultimate decision to sell. Neither wanted to repeat that experience, and in establishing Torch, they wanted their employees to feel secure that their careers would not be derailed by a merger or acquisition. Additionally, they wanted to found a company that treated all employees fairly and allowed employees to share in ownership of the company. Thus, even before Torch’s incorporation, Roark and Holder set a goal of becoming 100-percent employee-owned within 10 years.

Toward this goal, in 2005, after reaching 50 employees, the Employee Stock Ownership Plan (ESOP) was implemented. The ESOP ensures that full consideration is given to each employee affected by ownership structure decisions. It also ensures a fair distribution of ownership benefits to every full-time employee of the company. Employee ownership of the company grew from 4 percent in 2005 to 40 percent by 2010—and to 100 percent on Dec. 30, 2011, a year ahead of schedule.


Torch Culture
Torch Culture

Employee-owner perspectives on life at Torch and our community involvement.

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