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  • Ami Kassar

AmiSight 10/19: So What is an Evergreen Company?

Today I sat down with Dave Whorton to talk about the benefits of having a peer group and some of the business lessons learned from the pandemic. Dave is an entrepreneur and venture capitalist who founded the Tugboat Institute® in 2013 to connect, support, and inspire purpose-driven leaders of Evergreen® businesses. Dave uses the term “evergreen” to describe business owners building companies they hope will last forever. These companies have avoided venture capital and private equity because they wanted to stay an independent, private company. These companies didn’t want to be put on a timeline or be sold and go public, which was in direct contrast to what Dave saw with the venture capitalist model. Instead of solely focusing on value and money, these companies would always start by talking about their culture, employees, customers, and purpose.

This inspired Dave. There were companies not deemed "successful" by mainstream society who were doing things differently and were proud of what they were doing. Some of these companies have been around for hundreds of years now and are continuing to be successful. These companies don’t have to be a family or generational business, but they have those same values. The Tugboat Institute is where all the evergreen CEOs and presidents can gather to share insights and show support.

Dave is responsible for all aspects of the Tugboat Institute, including setting the long-term strategy, curating the experiences, developing relevant programming for the Tugboat Institute, and championing and celebrating the importance of Evergreen companies. Dave believes Evergreen leaders and their businesses are simply capitalism at its best.

What lessons did Dave see companies learn during the pandemic? What diversification looked like for them. Depending on your industry, successful diversification may mean geographically or expanding your product line and services. Find what method of diversification best protects your business in times of crisis.


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