A brief history of Fathom.
It all started in downtown Cleveland, 1997, in a Web development firm called “Vendor Tech.” Vendor Tech grew and eventually merged with IT consulting firm Fathom IT in 2004. (Learn about why the name “Fathom” was chosen.) From this marriage an SEO firm was born—thanks to a handful of web designers, developers and marketers in a corner of the 2nd floor of the Caxton Building.
“If there are ways to get companies more quality traffic from higher organic rankings on Google, then why not charge them for this service?” the thinking went. Soon after, email distribution and pay-per-click management services were added to the new splinter company. This division of Fathom IT officially stood up on its own two legs as “Fathom SEO” in 2005.
By 2006, Fathom SEO needed more space, so the office moved south on I-77 to the village of Valley View, right across the street from the famous Ohio and Erie Canalway Towpath Trail. Within a year (2007), we maxed out the new space and moved a few suites down in the same building for more room.
Taking advantage of the bigger space next door, we built our own recording studio with a green screen to start online video production and marketing. Our service offerings continued to expand, and month after month we regularly shattered previous revenue records. In 2010, we were named to the Inc. 5000 list of fastest-growing U.S. private companies for the first time, in addition to being named the #2 fastest-growing company in Cleveland by the prestigious Weatherhead 100.
Knocking down the walls
By 2011, we had outgrown our workplace again, and expanded into the unused space next door, knocking down walls and retrofitting an old warehouse area to accommodate the growth to 80+ members. Not long after, we acquired Columbus-based Webbed Marketing to bring our staff up to well over 100.
We also had officially outgrown our previous identity as an SEO firm with added services. We now were a full-fledged online marketing operation with SEO as just one of our many competencies. Therefore, Fathom SEO logically dropped the SEO. We’re simply Fathom.
Throughout it all, we’ve never stopped having fun. We’ve seen Indians, Cavs and Lake Erie Monsters games, Cleveland Corporate Challenges, summer picnics, parking lot cookouts, river cruises and movies, along with Susan G. Komen fundraisers for breast cancer and LLS walks for leukemia and lymphoma. We’ve played whirlyball, volleyball and mini-golf. We’ve rented out parks, took over the Rock Hall, brought in a Kentucky derby, and torn up dance floors at the finest establishments in downtown Cleveland.
We are Fathom.
- Fathom SEO starts as a division of Fathom IT
- Moves from downtown Cleveland to the village of Valley View
- Moves to bigger office suite in same building
- Ownership restructuring and partnership with PromiseONE (Cleveland-based private equity partnership)
- Kevin Shaw and Scot Lowry join the company as chairman and CFO/Exec VP, respectively.
- Late founder and CEO Bill Fox passes away (read current CEO Scot Lowry’s tribute)
- Scot Lowry becomes president and CEO, Kevin Herendeen joins company as controller
- Named #2 on Weatherhead 100 list of “Northeast Ohio’s Fastest-Growing Companies”
- Named for the 1st time to Inc. magazine’s “Inc. 500 | 5000”
- Expanded office to accommodate more staff, conference rooms, and a weight room.
- Named one of NE Ohio’s “Top Workplaces 2011” by WorkplaceDynamics (#8 in “small company” category)
- Acquired Columbus-based Webbed Marketing
- Shortened name to Fathom
- Kevin Herendeen named “CFO”
- Jeff Herrmann joins as VP of Business Development
- Named to Weatherhead 100, Inc. 5000 for 2nd year in row
- Crain’s Cleveland Business names Fathom “2nd-Largest Marketing Firm in Cleveland”
- Steve Kessen joins as Director of Sports Marketing.
- Jeff Herrmann becomes Chief Revenue Officer