Ryan Stephens, co-founder and CEO of Indianapolis-based data management firm Perpetual Technologies, might have imagined
meeting the Secretary of Defense while on duty in the Indiana National Guard.
But in September he met not only
Secretary of Defense Robert Gates but also the commander and chief, President Barack Obama.
firm was one of only 15 in the nation to receive the Secretary of Defense Employer Support Freedom Award, for support of employees
in the Guard and Reserve. The firm was nominated by Sgt. 1st Class Chris Zeis, an officer at Perpetual, who is serving in
U.S. Rep. Andre Carson, D-Indianapolis, said Perpetual has shown the importance of companies standing
behind employees serving overseas, who “fear that they will no longer be able to provide the basic needs of their families
without the security of their civilian paychecks and benefits.”
Stephens’ firm is based at the former
Fort Benjamin Harrison and counts the Department of Defense among its clients. With about 100 employees, last year Perpetual
had sales of just over $10 million.