THIS MONTH'S SCRIPTURE:
Keynote: Mr. Bill Roark
Torch Technologies, Inc. - Co-founder
Starfish Holdings, Inc. - Founder and CEO
Freedom Real Estate & Capital, LLC - Founder
Marketplace Leadership Luncheon invites you to fellowship with us on the 4th THURSDAY of every month for a 30-minute message focused on how to keep GOD in the Marketplace.
Monthly Scripture: Colossians 3:23
"Work willingly at whatever you do, as though you were working for the LORD rather than for people."
Time & Location: Huntsville Country Club (11:30 AM - 12:30 PM, CST)
Date: 26 October 2023
Keynote Speaker: Mr. Bill Roark
From very humble origins, Bill has been driven to create opportunity and give back, inspiring his team to do the same. Bill Roark grew up in a small town called Mozelle, Kentucky, a no-stoplight burg on Highway 421 in the coal mining region of southeastern Kentucky, where his father was a schoolteacher, and his mother ran a grocery store. He attended the University of Kentucky (UK) as a freshman but promptly found himself being more concerned with the pursuit of a girlfriend (now wife, Mrs. Brenda Roark) than the pursuit of academics. He left UK, transferred to Cumberland College to be near Brenda, then returned to Kentucky for his master’s in physics. Roark is a physicist by education, but a businessman by experience. He helped run the family grocery store, then managed the dairy department at a larger store while in high school. He “spent several years flipping burgers” at McDonalds, immersing himself in and learning from that company’s efficient management philosophy. He moved to Huntsville in 1984 for a low-tier job at Nichols Research Company and rose to level of president of one of the company’s divisions. Twenty (20) years ago, after a departure from Nichols and a brief stint at Camber Corporation Camber as the Senior Vice President, he was inspired to co-create Torch Technologies, Inc.
Mr. Bill Roark has over thirty (30) years of Department of Defense (DoD)-related experience. In 2002, Bill became the co-founder of Torch Technologies, Inc. As CEO of Torch, Roark guided the organization to national recognition as one of Forbes’ Small Giants in the America’s Best Small Companies list and Entrepreneur Magazine’s Top 100 Fastest Growing Companies in America. Among countless other awards, Torch has been recognized for fifteen consecutive years on the Inc. 5000 list. Locally, Torch has received the BBB Torch Award for business ethics four (4) times. Roark works to expand employee ownership to other organizations and will share the experiences of Torch’s transition to 100% employee-owned S Corporation (ESOP).
As Torch’s popularity soared, Roark founded Freedom Real Estate & Capital, LLC and Starfish Holdings, Inc. (as the parent company of Torch Technologies). Established in 2014, Freedom Real Estate offers a wide range of services, including property brokerage, tenant representation, property management, and developing projects through its in-house development and construction arm. The team at Freedom Real Estate is highly experienced and uses this expertise to provide valuable advice and consultation to local developers, organizations, and businesses throughout the development process. In the first quarter of 2023, Freedom has two significant projects breaking ground. In North Huntsville, the company is building a 70-acre industrial park that will include multiple industrial facilities totaling around 700,000 square feet. This park will be located across from the Toyota Motor Manufacturing plant. In South Huntsville, Freedom is developing a Class A 72,000-square-foot office facility at Hays Farm. Roark is excited for Freedom to continue building up the North Alabama region, one relationship at a time. “We are local market experts in the business of long-term ownership and management of commercial real estate,” states Roark. “We are dedicated to building relationships in the community and with our clients.”
In addition to his organization support, Roark has been a grower, tinkerer, and all-around fix-it guy his whole life. He loves old cars and works to restore them in his home garage like his 1934 Chevy. Roark has been a strong philanthropic supporter of many organizations in the Huntsville community, including the Community Foundation of Greater Huntsville, HudsonAlpha, and Huntsville Hospital. Furthermore, Bill has encouraged Torch to pay-it-forward as well by presenting several grants over the years to local and national nonprofit organizations to include EarlyWorks Children’s Museum, Downtown Rescue Mission, HEALS, Huntsville Hospital Foundation, Kids to Love, Community Foundation of Huntsville/Madison County, Boys & Girls Club, Still Serving Veterans, The ARC, the Community Foundation Cap & Gown Fund, Semper Fi Task Force, American Cancer Society, American Heart Association, ALS Association, and American Red Cross.
We look forward to seeing you IN-PERSON at the Huntsville Country Club (2601 Oakwood Ave NW, Huntsville, AL 35810)! The price to attend is $20.00 covering the cost of the venue and lunch to include (salad, entrée, dessert, beverage, and tip). As always, the cost for FELLOWSHIP is PRICELESS!!!
(NOTE: If you are unable to attend IN-PERSON, we also invite you to join us virtually on FACEBOOK LIVE at 12:00 PM CST https://www.facebook.com/marketplaceleadershipluncheon.)