LETTER TO OUR SHAREHOLDERS
February 28, 2021
A Shared Retrospection as the Sun Breaks Through Dark Clouds
Not everything should be written in legalese! There are times, special times, times when winters are about to yield to springs, when long harsh roads approach warm homes and, joyful, at journey’s end, the heart insists on expressing itself. For us at Puget Technologies, Inc. (“Puget”), this is one such time, a message to those who have joined us on our voyage and for whom we feel a special kind of warmth, a kinship, even a strange form of affection given that we’ve yet to meet.
There are times when writing is important to inform people. There are times as well when it is important to transcribe a vision. The first is always the easier of the two. Today, as I sit here, thinking about a future full of possibilities, I harken back to a time when troubled waters were everywhere as toxic lenders circled this young company seeking what they perceived of as easy prey. Survival was not an easy task. There were lawsuits in New York and inequitable settlement agreements to be entered into and complied with. In short, the kind of job that I would not wish on anyone.
Still, Tom Jaspers, secure in his faith, continued pouring what turned out to be hundreds of thousands of dollars of his own hard-earned money into our company and we worked on the belief that if we persevered and stayed true, we would eventually succeed and, having succeeded, we would be repaid. However, when that moment came, when we were just about to liquidate all of the pending convertible debt, we realized that repaying ourselves meant substituting our debt for theirs in our company’s books. We thought about it long and hard. Eventually, we decided that what was in the best interest of our shareholders would be to bite the bullet and convert all of our debt into equity. That was a leap of faith. In essence, what we were telling you was that we believed in ourselves. In addition, we continued making loans as needed and decided that if we expected others to have faith in us, we needed to share that faith, so rather than draw the salaries we’d been promised when we started, we converted those to equity as well. We took the gamble so many of you have taken and felt secure that it was and still is the right choice. The truth is that since I assumed the presidency of our company, Puget has not received a penny from any investors other than Tom Jaspers, our parent Qest, or me. I think you’ll agree, that demonstrates a profound commitment!
Today we find ourselves on the road to prosperity. You, our shareholders many of whom have shared our faith, will become the beneficiaries of a shared vision forged from determination and hard work. Our convertible debt is fully paid, all of the corporate debt owed to Tom Jaspers and I personally has been converted to equity, we are current with our latest Commission filings and, what is owed by Puget now consists mostly of continued advances from a line of credit provided by Qest.
We are ready to move forward and that now requires that we consider interesting opportunities offered by new potential investors. That, for us, is a huge responsibility. As we move in that direction, we require more structure and transparency mechanisms to assure those who would now join us that their money will be carefully spent, even when Tom and I are no longer here to steer the ship. Consequently, we have decided that we need to start a carefully monitored transition starting with the hiring of a comptroller independent from Tom or I to manage Puget’s fiscal affairs and report to an ever expanding and independent Board of Directors. We need that as an ethical and practical pre-condition to accepting funds invested by others. Accordingly, we are now interviewing qualified individuals who are ethical, diligent, experienced, capable and willing to share in our vision.
As we have stated before, our intention is to hand over the reins of our company to a new generation, one best suited to handle the challenges now posed not by mere survival but by the promise of real growth, hopefully, explosive growth. We have developed and started to implement a four-pronged operating plan in which we have great faith and which we shared with you in our annual report. Others seem to agree that it provides synergy and flexibility, ballast to carry us through whatever winds may come. Over time, Tom and l, as we become certain that our successors have been well selected and well trained, will move into more of a senior mentor role. We’ll still be around as part of Qest, however in the role of helping to craft an evolving future.
This may be the last time that I will write about the story of Puget in this unusual manner, but perhaps, if our dreams come true, it will reappear on glossy brochures that future stockholders receive at meetings years from now. When that happens, we will be content in knowing that our shared vision resulted in a path to fiscal prosperity for those who counted on us.
President & Chief Executive Officer