Dominion Post Profiles Agile5, ‘Where Team Meets Family’

Check out The Dominion Post’s newspaper article on Agile5 from March 20, 2024 here:

By Jim Bissett, The Dominion Post

FAIRMONT — The reaction couldn’t be more typical, Adam Leach said.

Leach is vice president of operations for Agile5 Technologies, Inc., a firm that does its work at the I-79 Technology Park.

That’s the expanse just past Fairmont on the southern end of Marion County, and right at the epicenter of north-central West Virginia’s burgeoning tech industry.

Meanwhile, if you go to work for his company, be prepared.

Because once you get seven years in — you’re going be asked to leave.

“Yeah, people will just look at us,” he said.

“They say, ‘Seriously? You’re really doing this?’”

You’d better believe it, he’ll respond, smiling.

Then, those suddenly let-loose employees will smile back, as they happily head out the door.

On the way to their paid, three-week sabbatical.

Said perk also carries a corporate caveat to which they are more than happy to abide.

They’re not to call in.

It will all be here when you get back.  

Nor are they to take work with them — no matter how tempted — and the perusing of texts, email or any other communication related to any Agile5 job or project on any platform out there is strictly prohibited.

Well, at least it’s strongly encouraged to not engage, anyway.

“And we don’t call them,” seconded Lisa Fritsch, Agile5’s president and CEO.

“That’s their time to recharge,” she said.

“That’s our appreciation, for the talent they bring and the hard work they do. Our people are the chief byproduct and service of our company.”

Programming a reputation

The work of that company, by its people, is why it was recognized earlier this month by the U.S. Small Business Administration.

Agile5 Technologies was tapped by the SBA as West Virginia’s Small Business of the Year for 2024.

“This is big for us,” said Pete Fritsch, who is Lisa’s spouse.

“It’s recognition, and it’s validation.”

Along with Leach and Chet Tobrey, the company’s vice president of research and development, the quartet sat down to talk about their philosophy and the history of the company founded by all four in 2011.

“I was technically the first employee,” Tobrey said, “even though I’m also a co-founder. I just believed in our team.”

“Team” is the watchword for Agile5, all said.

Tobrey, Leach and Pete Fritsch were all working in other tech-sector jobs on a contract that had just ended. Rather than go their separate ways in pursuit of other jobs, they started talking.

All have diverse degrees and resumes.

Tobrey holds degrees in computer science and political science.

In college, Leach was a double-major in computer engineering and electrical engineering and also earned a graduate degree in information systems.

Pete Fritsch is a computing engineering graduate who also holds a master’s in computer science, and Lisa Fritsch has an MBA to go with her undergraduate degree in chemistry.

“I always wanted to start a company,” she said, “and we didn’t want to break up the team.”

Agile5 Technologies is a company that helps other companies manage their information. It has also new levels of security it’s developing to help protect that information from hackers and other breaches.

Visit for the full range of their services.

Clouds (kids, too)

Much of their work, these days, is helping companies transition to cloud storage, whereby information is housed in whole networks of off-site servers — opposed to workplace mainframes that may have been the industry standard 20 years ago, but not now.

All four founders, who are all West Virginia natives, have a keen interest in bringing their technologies and services to municipal and county governments across the Mountain State.

“We want to be in all 55 counties,” Pete Fritsch said.

Tobrey won’t name names or locations, but he’s been in such offices where he’s seen coffee makers and cups sitting atop servers that are presumably outdated — “end-of-life,” in industry parlance — and most definitely ripe for a data breach.

“That’s not just West Virginia,” Lisa Fritsch said. “That’s everywhere.”

In 2011, all four, as said, were ripe for making their own destiny.

Lisa and Pete then were parents to three children under the age of 10, and Leach and Tobrey were new dads, too.

They all hung out after work and weekends and during one such gathering, Lisa Fritsch said, out loud, what everyone was thinking.

“We were all sitting around, bouncing babies and toddlers on our laps, and I said, ‘Maybe we need to do something for us.’”

That led to the family aspect of their business, which is known just as much for its support of community causes and its sponsoring of youth sports teams and advocacy of flex-time schedules and other benefits — as it is for its front-line work in the tech industry.

And those seven-year, prodigal employees coming off sabbatical?

Well, Leach said, they all return with basically the same reaction — and one that also couldn’t be more typical.

“First thing they say is, ‘Wow, you guys really didn’t call. I didn’t get one message.’”