Forbes Says Alabama’s Torch Technologies is “Best”


Forbes has recognized Business Council of Alabama member Torch Technologies of Huntsville as one of America’s Best Small Companies.

Torch Technologies was the only Alabama company to make the inaugural ranking, which includes 25 firms that “have chosen to be great, instead of big,” Forbes reported.

“At most companies, proposals for government contracts are handled by senior managers,” Forbes said. “At Torch Technologies, which is 100-percent employee-owned and provides engineering services such as missile-systems modeling and simulation to the U.S. Army, everyone is encouraged to participate.”

Forbes said the employee-owned company is outstanding because:

  • It has been acknowledged as outstanding by those who know the industry best;
  • It has had the opportunity to grow much faster, but its leaders decided to focus on being great rather than just big;
  • It has been recognized for its contributions to its community and to society;
  • It has maintained its financial health for at least 10 years by having a sound business model, a strong balance sheet and steady profit margins;
  • It is privately owned and closely held, and;
  • It is human-scale, meaning frontline employees have real interaction with top leaders.

Torch began in 2002 and sales have grown 35 percent annually. At last counting, Torch had 460 employees and $240 million in revenues. Last spring it broke ground on an expansion project that included a renovation.

The previously announced construction includes renovating a 40,000-square-foot vacant facility as well as a 40,000-square-foot, four-story building, the headquarters for Torch, and related buildings.

Torch was recognized in 2006 as one of the 100 fastest-growing companies in America by Entrepreneur Magazine. And the company won the Small Business of the Year award in the technology category a year later from the Chamber of Commerce of Huntsville/Madison County. It has been ranked on the Inc. 5000 list for eight years.

Torch was the recipient of the 2015 North Alabama Better Business Bureau Torch Award for Marketplace Ethics in the Government Contractor category. Torch Technologies is a three-time recipient of the Torch Award, having also won in the Mid-size company category and in the Large-size company category.