We founded 8th Light to be a place where our philosophy of approaching software as a craft could thrive. As we’ve grown and evolved, this has led us to evaluate tradeoffs and make decisions that prioritize long-term sustainability. In 2014, we determined the best way to ensure we remained committed to this philosophy was to become employee-owned.
Over the last seven years, our company has changed in many ways. We’ve opened new offices and expanded our line of services, and our base of employee ownership has allowed us to experiment in new and exciting ways without deviating from our commitment to our core values. Currently, over 40% of employees are owners who directly influence our company’s direction.
One of the biggest ways they can wield this influence is by electing a new Board of Directors each year. They both advise us as experts and act as compliance for the actions of management in the company. They help pave the path for us to behave as a bigger company with strong governance.
We’re thrilled to introduce the seven Board members who will be providing valuable guidance, advice, and checks on our overall operation as we explore new ways of improving the quality of software in the world.
Amelia Suchy has been an 8th Light employee for seven years, and currently serves as our Director of Operations out of London. As an employee-owner herself, Amelia brings a valuable perspective on how our teams work both in the U.S. and the U.K., and she helps ensure our company culture remains a first-class concern at the highest levels of our organization.
Carl Erickson is beginning his third year on 8th Light’s Board of Directors, and also works as the Founder and Chair of another professional software services organization, Atomic Object. Having navigated the tradeoffs of a values-driven, employee-owned organization himself, Carl brings a wealth of valuable experience that has helped us find our own ways of formalizing our own set of similar but unique processes.
Chris McGowan has served on 8th Light’s Board of Directors for the past four years, and is also the Managing Director of CJM Ventures and an Adjunct Professor at the University of Chicago Booth School of Business. His experience investing in and growing companies over the last 26 years provides a valuable balance to ensure our business and financial realities remain sustainable for the long term.
Fred Lee is beginning his second year as a member of 8th Light’s Board, though he has worked with 8th Light in the past and understands from first-hand experience how 8th Light’s approach is a differentiator that is worth investing in. He currently works as the CTO at Cars.com, and specializes in creating the kinds of healthy teams that ultimately produce great software, business value, and a culture that inspires all of our employees throughout their careers.
Maura Watson has been a member of the board since 2016, and has served as the Chair of the Board since 2019. During this time she has made a large impact on the way our Board operates, professionalizing and streamlining processes to optimize the Board’s effectiveness. Her professional experience is also a valuable asset for 8th Light. As former CIA Directorate of Operations for the Center for Cyber Intelligence and current SVP of Enterprise Risk Management for PenFed Credit Union, she is skilled at identifying and mitigating the unique risks facing a professional software services firm.
Shontra Powell is beginning her first year on our Board of Directors, and is the Co-Founder of Red Zone Fleet Service. She has a lifelong passion for the fundamentals of a thriving business, and brings deep experience and training to explore the different ways we can organize our teams and our business to have the greatest impact on our clients and our community.
Tari Haro is beginning her first year on our Board, and is CMO and Principal at Erie Street Capital. As a career B2B Marketer, Tari has already provided valuable insights into how we can grow our marketing operation to have the greatest impact over both the short and long term.