Company ready to give back to the community
About a year ago, Michael Boyle was in a quandary.
His company - one of those successful startups that had gone from a one-man operation to a multimillion dollar enterprise - was approaching its 20th anniversary.
Boyle wondered how to celebrate. An expense-paid trip to Las Vegas for his employees? Rent out Meadowbrook and book a big-name band? Hand out big bonuses?
The founder of the Manchester-based Boyle Energy Services & Technology Inc., who likes to quote Greek philosophers about how the human spirit can flourish, said he wanted the anniversary to mean something.
"I said I can't do this; I can't waste money like this," he said. "We worked too hard for this. It seemed too much to throw it away on a party."
And so he took the microphone at last year's Taste of the Towns, an annual event to raise money for The Nashua Center, and pledged an unspecified portion of company revenues over the next 12 months. He off-handedly threw out a goal - $250,000.
On March 28, the effort - which included contributions from Boyle Energy employees and solicitations of the company's multinational corporate clients - comes to a close. Boyle will disclose how much he raised at this year's Taste of the Towns. It takes place Friday at the Radisson Hotel in Nashua.
"When he makes his presentation, it's going to be a proud moment. Everyone will be a part of it," said Brian Young, the long-serving executive director of the Nashua Center.
The Nashua Center provides support services to developmentally disabled, elderly and handicapped people in the greater Nashua area. Annually, it serves about 500 clients. It has an annual budget of about $5.2 million and receives funding from Medicaid, United Way and private donations.
The Taste of Towns is its biggest fundraiser, and this year marks its 12th year. Young expects the combined 12-year total of Taste of the Towns will top $1 million this year.
He said he was shocked when Young made the pledge. "He's trying to lead by example," Young said.
Boyle grew up in Billerica, Mass., in a family on welfare. He did a couple of hitches in the Navy, where he learned to be a boiler technician. He started his business in 1993 and eventually specialized in commissioning new power plants, a service that involves post-construction cleaning and preparation for start up.
He developed a patented process, Sigma Commissioning, and his company now has revenues of $30 million a year and a workforce of about 50 employees.
The company has completed more than 400 projects worldwide, and Boyle has spoken at the White House and served on an advisory board to the U.S. Import-Export Bank.
Give him a chance to talk, and he'll expound about eudiamonia, an ancient Greek concept that he said translates into human flourishing. He said the Nashua Center promotes the concepts of eudiamonia in its clients: autonomy, personal growth, self-acceptance, purpose in life, mastery of one's environment, and positive relationships with others.
As much as he tried this past year, Boyle didn't reach his $250,000 goal. He said two of this past year's projects were delayed, and the multinationals that he partners passed up his solicitations on behalf of the Nashua Center, saying it was too small an organization, Boyle said.
But Boyle said his employees were fantastic and donated portions of their bonuses toward the effort. As for the announcement on Friday?
"Although we're not the cake," Boyle said, "We're going to be a very, very tasty icing on the cake."