I started Atomic Object in the summer of 2001 with Bill Bereza, one of my former students at Grand Valley State University. We raised Atomic from the ashes of a dot-com startup where I had been VP of Engineering. When that company failed to get a second round of funding, it went under and left us with some office furniture, three interns, the remainder of a lease, and a missing month's pay.
In May of 2019 I moved to Executive Chairman, passing the CEO reins to Michael Marsiglia and Shawn Crowley. In this position, I worked on a strategy for purpose-driven growth, the evolution of our governance, ownership, and structure, and memorializing our culture—work that I believe improves our odds of reaching our 100-year goal.
In January of 2023 I retired from Atomic, fulfilling the prediction I'd made in 2008 that I'd be the first long-term Atom to retire from the company. That wasn't a very bold prediction at the time given our company average age was in the late 20s. What's pretty amazing and very satisfying to me personally is that at my retirement, 9 of the 19 people who worked at Atomic in 2008 still worked here.
The non-ESOP employee ownership plan I created in 2009 moved 65% of Atomic's shares to non-founder Atoms. My remaining 35% was redeemed by the company at my retirement. With the exception of continuing to manage Atomic's investment portfolio, I have no formal responsibilities. My retirement is complete and Atomic has transitioned fully and successfully from the founder's era
Grand Rapids 200, Grand Rapids Business Journal | 2021