We celebrate our company anniversary on July 15th because that’s the date Texas recognized First Rate, Inc. as a company in 1991. However, in my mind, the beginning of First Rate goes back farther. Think of our birthdays. It took about nine months after our conceptions for our birthdays. When focusing on the birthday, we miss the effort necessary to have a birth. So it is with First Rate’s birthday. I think about the conception, the gestation, and labor that preceded the July 15, 1991 birthday of our company.
In July 1990, God gave me a vision of a new business in North Arlington that would attempt to reflect His character among its coworkers, customers, and community. A sort of conception.
The vision then went through a gestation. I recall some very difficult circumstances in my family and career. A woman giving birth to a child has pain Over the course of the next few months we moved twice, we lost a baby during pregnancy, the department I managed was categorized as ‘not strategic’, I looked for a new job, I made an offer to buy the department, I searched for funding, I negotiated a deal to buy only the technology, I sought wisdom from a few close friends and Trina and I stood on the only solid footing we could find – God.
The labor part was brief but intense. I thought the birth would be a purchase of the existing technology and then a few co-workers would transition with me to North Arlington. Instead, the birth was a quick and silent exit. I signed some papers agreeing to a termination. I was thanked for my service and shown the door. Actually, I was walked to my car without saying goodbye to any coworkers. By noon, I was sitting at home in a state of shock. No job, but a new “baby”.
Trina and I agreed the next day to take steps towards starting a new business. We cleared our dining room and set up two desks. I filed papers for a new company called Summit Software. The Texas Department of State declined the incorporation because the name was already taken. I filed a second time with the name First Rate. Accepted on July 15, 1991! We had a birthday!
Now you know why July 15th is an important celebration at First Rate. You also understand why I think about many other dates and the development leading up to our company’s birth.
I thank God for having a dream for a company called First Rate. I thank Him for all the people – coworkers, customers and our communities – who joined in God’s vision. We have many years behind us of fulfilling God’s vision. However, with His help and blessing, I believe we have many more years to see the dream expand. Happy Birthday, First Rate!
Love, Give, Serve & Enjoy!