By LAURA JOHNS
Fuse.Cloud—Creating a Corporate Culture with Eternal Purpose
Laying the Foundation
When Gary Watts founded the company Fuse.Cloud (formerly named Broadband Voice) in 2006, it was a step that required great faith. A decade-long venture owning a restaurant franchise ended with him in debt, so the step to start his own business came with doubts and fears. After several years managing a successful Christian concert promotion business, Gary went on to lead sales efforts for Unity Communications for a period of time before the decision to start his own company.
Leaving Unity to start Fuse.Cloud, Gary understood how critical the culture of a company is to employee satisfaction. Employees spend 40+ hours a week working, and the atmosphere and corporate practices can either lead them to feel valued or cause discouragement.
Gary’s experience as a believer, and the feeling of failure and defeat that came alongside sin, was transformed when he came to understand the significance and reality that is the Gospel. In his favorite book, The Ragamuffin Gospel, author Brennan Manning states, “Christianity happens when men and women accept with unwavering trust that their sins have not only been forgiven, but forgotten, washed away in the blood of the Lamb…a sad Christian is a phony Christian, and a guilty Christian is no Christian at all.”
As Gary grew the company, he knew he wanted to cultivate a corporate environment that communicated the Gospel and the life-changing message of the grace of Jesus. Gary’s prayer was that the company would be a place where his employees felt the freedom of the Gospel and the grace of Jesus, and he looked for practical ways to weave that into daily business.
Living It Out
Fuse.Cloud seeks ways to encourage and support employees in their spiritual journey. All employees are given one week of paid leave each year outside of their vacation time to use in a service-related capacity. This can range from a mission trip to investing time in local ministries.
Walter Donald, Director of Product Implementation at Fuse.Cloud, chooses to spend that week with a group of West Jackson students he mentors at Lake Forest Ranch camp in Macon, Mississippi. In recent years, Walter has witnessed the life-transforming power of God after a car accident that led to a sequence of events leaving him in a place where he had no one to turn to but Jesus. Through that experience, Walter moved to Jackson and later became involved in a tutoring and mentoring organization called The Red Door. Walter has touched countless lives through this program and his involvement with the children.
The company also prioritizes encouraging employees in their church life. Christopher Goolsby, Fuse.Cloud’s Director of Finance, serves as the worship leader at Grace Crossing Church in Madison. When Christopher felt a call to ministry, he had already begun working at Fuse.Cloud. In the spirit of encouraging employees in their area of gifting, Christopher now has established a schedule that allows him to remain a full-time employee and fully engage in his ministry work at Grace Crossing. “I’m grateful that being in the corporate world doesn’t prohibit me from serving in a church at a level I feel God has called me to serve,” Christopher said.
For Steve Dukes, the company’s director of customer service, Fuse.Cloud has been a significant part of his faith journey. Three years ago, Steve’s wife passed away from cancer. During his wife’s illness and the grief process, Steve experienced feelings of worthlessness. “I cling to Romans 8:38-39,” Steve said. “No matter what life throws at you—disease, death or anything else—nothing can separate us from His love.”
Through this challenging time, Steve learned that not only does God love lavishly, but He gives mercy abundantly. “Gary and the employees at Fuse.Cloud modeled a Christ-like love and showed me mercy,” he said. “I missed so much work and made many mistakes, yet the staff allowed and encouraged me to move forward. It encouraged and reminded me that we are called to live out our faith in the workplace showing the love of Christ.”
Gary expects significant growth for the company—both in revenue and employees—in 2017. And the most important thing to him as the company grows is that employees find joy in what they do. “A work culture that encourages spiritual growth is truly the most important thing to me as a CEO,” Gary explained.
Gary believes the freedom to explore God’s purpose shouldn’t be something done only after 5 p.m. on weekdays. “If our employees don’t experience their calling in some capacity between 8 a.m. and 5 p.m. Monday through Friday, then I’m not doing my job effectively as a CEO,” he said. “I want them to thrive spiritually above all else. It’s the most important type of company growth we could ever experience.”
Laura Johns is VP of Marketing & Corporate Development at Fuse.Cloud.