An Alternative Path
to Growing Lasting,
Private Companies.

We believe in the vital importance of humans coming together to create and grow enduring, private businesses that make a dent in the universe.

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An Alternative Path
to Growing Lasting,
Private Companies.

We believe in the vital importance of humans coming together to create and grow enduring, private businesses that make a dent in the universe.

The Evergreen Entrepreneur

The leaders of these enduring businesses are seasoned entrepreneurs and CEOs with the vision, creativity, resourcefulness, patience and grit to build and scale a business that will stay private indefinitely.
We exist to support these leaders and their companies.

The Evergreen 7Ps


Purpose

Being passionately driven by a compelling vision and mission.

The Evergreen Entrepreneur

The leaders of these enduring businesses are seasoned entrepreneurs and CEOs with the vision, creativity, resourcefulness, patience and grit to build and scale a business that will stay private indefinitely.

We exist to support these leaders and their companies.

The Evergreen 7Ps


Purpose

Being passionately driven by a compelling vision and mission.


Perseverance

Having the ambition and the resilience to overcome obstacles and keep pursuing the mission indefinitely into the future.


People First

Engaging a workforce of talented associates who excel as a team and are motivated by the mission and the culture, as well as total compensation, in the belief that, by taking care of them, they will take care of the customers, suppliers, partners, communities and their families.


Profit

Not mistaking profit as the purpose of the business; but recognizing it is essential to survival and independence, and the most accurate measure of customer value delivered.


Private

Taking advantage of the ability of closely-held private companies to have a longer-term view, greater confidentiality around strategies, and more operating flexibility than public or exit-oriented businesses.


Paced Growth

Having the discipline to focus on long term strategy, balance short term and long term performance, and grow steadily and consistently from year to year.


Pragmatic Innovation

Embracing a continuous-improvement process built around taking capital efficient, calculated risks to innovate creatively within constraints.

Our Community

The Tugboat Institute, a membership organization, brings together Evergreen CEOs across industry sectors to share best practices and unique insights, and to develop trusted bonds for their respective Evergreen Journeys.

Connecting Evergreen Leaders

Our annual invitation-only Tugboat Summit is dedicated to Evergreen CEOs. Short presentations and small group discussions focus on a range of topics from scaling great cultures to building great brands.

Engaging Evergreen Exemplars

Established Evergreen companies host us at their headquarters to talk candidly about the unique strengths and common challenges associated with running a privately held company.



“I’m pleased that Tugboat is supporting businesses with the same Evergreen principles that have served SAS so well for 38 years.”


Dr. Jim Goodnight, CEO SAS Institute

Give and Take

All members are encouraged to contribute their best practices and knowledge of building and sustaining an Evergreen business and Evergreen family. The broader community can enjoy some of this insightful and inspiring content through our Evergreen Journal.

Our Community

The Tugboat Institute, a membership organization, brings together Evergreen CEOs across industry sectors to share best practices and unique insights, and to develop trusted bonds for their respective Evergreen Journeys.

Connecting Evergreen Leaders

Our annual invitation-only Tugboat Summit is dedicated to Evergreen CEOs. Short presentations and small group discussions focus on a range of topics from scaling great cultures to building great brands.

Engaging Evergreen Exemplars

Established Evergreen companies host us at their headquarters to talk candidly about the unique strengths and common challenges associated with running a privately held company.


“I’m pleased that Tugboat is supporting businesses with the same Evergreen principles that have served SAS so well for 38 years.”

Dr. Jim Goodnight, CEO SAS Institute

Give and Take

All members are encouraged to contribute their best practices and knowledge of building and sustaining an Evergreen business and Evergreen family. The broader community can enjoy some of this insightful and inspiring content through our Evergreen Journal.

Evergreen Capital

“When we own portions of outstanding businesses with outstanding management, our favorite holding period is forever.”


Warren Buffett, Berkshire Hathaway

You Asked, We Delivered

Evergreen leaders want investors who will allow them to stay private forever, sharing in and contributing to the long-term success
of their company.

Our Evergreen investment approach was innovated with these
entrepreneurs in mind.

Structured For You

We deeply align the interests of management, owners and our investors by employing a structural orientation towards ongoing cash distributions instead of an exit.

Evergreen Investments

We invest capital to provide liquidity to founders, family members or legacy investors, and fund profitable growth initiatives.

Our investments are made in Evergreen companies with outstanding management and growing cash flows. We invest across various industry sectors and geographies.

Evergreen Capital

“When we own portions of outstanding businesses with outstanding management, our favorite holding period is forever.”


Warren Buffett, Berkshire Hathaway

You Asked, We Delivered

Evergreen leaders want investors who will allow them to stay private forever, sharing in and contributing to the long-term success of their company.

Our Evergreen investment approach was innovated with these entrepreneurs in mind.

Structured For You

We deeply align the interests of management, owners and our investors by employing a structural orientation towards ongoing cash distributions instead of an exit.

Evergreen Investments

We invest capital to provide liquidity to founders, family members or legacy investors, and fund profitable growth initiatives.

Our investments are made in Evergreen companies with outstanding management and growing cash flows. We invest across various industry sectors and geographies.

Let’s Talk

Are you Evergreen or inspired by the Evergreen path?

Share With Us

Our Team

We have dedicated our careers to supporting great entrepreneurs and we believe that supporting Evergreen leaders is our calling.

Dave Whorton

Dave is an entrepreneur, business leader, education reformer, and investor. More

Dan Benetz

Dan is a finance professional with over 25 years of experience. More

Loida Knox

Loida has been a member of the Tugboat team since 2007. More

Sherylyn Sabado

Sherylyn has vast knowledge in administrative support and communications within various industries. More

Carlie Belmodis

Carlie has held various administrative support positions within different capabilities. More

Jennifer Guo

Jennifer’s work at The Tugboat Group involves recruiting Evergreen leaders and entrepreneurs to Tugboat Institute. More

Sean Zak

Sean is classically trained in finance, but has a unique ability to connect meaningfully with people and strives to be of service to them. More

Dave Whorton

Dave is an entrepreneur, business leader, education reformer, and investor. At the age of sixteen, he began working at Hewlett Packard. From the manufacturing workers that he sat beside, Dave learned about the remarkable founders of HP and their HP Way. Later in life, Dave came to learn that too few companies lived by similar values.

Dave founded four companies including Good Technology and Drugstore.com. He also worked for three venture capital firms, KPCB, TPG, and Interwest. In his capacity as an investor, he worked with many successful companies, including Google, Amazon, Successfactors and Autotrader. Dave also helped develop the business plan and recruit the leadership team for Newschools Venture Fund. He continues to serve as a founding board member.

Dave founded Tugboat Ventures in 2005, an innovative entity with the objective of helping entrepreneurs bring their dreams to life through a long-term commitment to promising enterprises.

A small angel investment prior to Tugboat eventually opened his eyes to seasoned entrepreneurs who wanted to build large, profitable, innovative businesses that they would run privately for their lifetimes. In late 2012, Dave began a process of interviewing a number of these entrepreneurs—eventually over 100. He loved their persistence and purposefulness, and came to see that many embraced a people-first value system very similar to David and Bill’s at HP. Yet, across the board they felt underappreciated and often ignored due to having no plans to raise VC or PE, sell or IPO. These inspirational conversations led to a gathering in Sun Valley in October 2013, and the beginnings of the Tugboat Institute and Tugboat Evergreen, under The Tugboat Group.

Mr. Whorton has a BS in Mechanical Engineering from Berkeley and an MBA from Stanford. Dave enjoys spending time between innovative Silicon Valley and mindful Sun Valley, Idaho.

Dan Benetz

Dan is a finance professional with over 25 years of experience. His particular focus has been driving profitable growth in operating companies.

Dan has been involved in both growth and transition phases of companies such as Intel Corporation, Affymetrix Inc. and NuGEN Technologies Inc. As a key finance business partner, he provided strong analytics, leveraged system capability and drove operational efficiencies at all levels of the organization. Additionally, Dan’s experience and leadership include international finance as well as financial partnership for a large corporate venture arm.

The Tugboat Group provides an opportunity to have impact in partnership with a group of innovative leaders who have a passion to build meaningful, long-lasting and profitable businesses. Dan looks to provide finance and operational leadership in growing Tugboat.

Mr. Benetz has a BS in Math-Applied Science from UCLA. Dan is based in Silicon Valley.

Carlie Belmodis

Carlie is a Hawaii native, who is always eager to learn and try new things. She has held various administrative support positions within different capabilities. She received her diploma from Menlo College with a BS in Business Management with a concentration in Marketing.

Not only is Carlie a dynamic administrative professional with vast knowledge in different fields, she is also an enthusiastic friend with a passion for knowledge and enjoying life’s experiences. Carlie brings over five years of administrative experience to the team. At The Tugboat Group, she will provide administrative support in various aspects of the company.

Loida Knox

Loida began her administrative career at Robertson Stephens where she spent 12 years in Corporate and Venture Services administering the Friends and Family program and stock distributions for the venture community. She has a wealth of experience and has worked with executives at top firms such as KKR and Worldview Technology Partners. Loida has been a member of the Tugboat team since 2007, providing comprehensive operational and administrative support for the organization.

Sherylyn Sabado

Sherylyn has vast knowledge in administrative support and communications within various industries. She graduated from Menlo College and received a BS in Business Management with an international concentration. She represented Menlo College through the growing collegiate sport of Women’s Wrestling and currently uses the sport as an outlet to advocate for the empowerment of young women.

Sherylyn has over three years of administrative experience and over a year of coaching and mentoring experience. She has served in multiple roles in the areas of recruiting, human resources, and administrative operations.

Geraldine Chan

Geraldine is the Chief Operating Officer of The Tugboat Group. Geraldine has over 15 years of extensive business, operational, strategic and analytical skills across industries from venture capital, biotech, cleantech, manufacturing, consumer and technology companies.

Jennifer Guo

Jennifer joined The Tugboat Group after spending over three years at LinkedIn as a key accounts manager where she worked closely with global companies on their talent and recruiting strategies. Prior, Jennifer worked in executive recruiting and audit/tax at PwC.

Jennifer’s work at The Tugboat Group involves recruiting Evergreen leaders and entrepreneurs to Tugboat Institute, and supporting their ongoing experience as members of our Evergreen tribe. Jennifer also works on the Evergreen Journal team and marketing programs that foster awareness of the power and importance of the Evergreen path.

A Canadian native born in China, Jennifer is fluent in Mandarin and holds a BA from the University of Waterloo and MA from McMaster University. She enjoys reading and is an avid supporter of the arts. Jennifer is based in Palo Alto.

Sean Zak

Sean is classically trained in finance, but has a unique ability to connect meaningfully with people and strives to be of service to them.

Sean’s background has been in building trusted relationships throughout his career at Deloitte, Barclays, and at a family office. His previous experience involved helping high net worth families and individuals identify suitable investment opportunities to achieve their financial goals.

Sean’s work at The Tugboat Group revolves around recruiting and supporting Evergreen leaders, entrepreneurs and families to realize their full potential through an intimate community where they share inspiration, ideas, strengths, support and in some cases, capital. His passion is to help Evergreen businesses, with their foundational values, grow and thrive for decades.

Sean has his BS in Finance from the University of Denver and is based in Silicon Valley. Sean thoroughly enjoys kiteboarding, golfing, sailing, skiing, fishing, and playing bass guitar.

Fellows & Chairs

Advisors