Toppers Pizza franchisee Chad Hatch got a chance to see the United States from a soldier's point of view, and he has used that to his advantage ever since.
Hatch attended the University of South Dakota on an ROTC scholarship and was placed on active duty after graduating in 1992. While he was never deployed, Hatch wore many hats at his station in Fort Carson, CO.
He was a member of the armor branch, served as a Quartermaster for two years and helped train the National Guard. While his time in the military taught him discipline, organization and the importance of a strong work ethic, Hatch came away with something that he might value above all else: A sense of patriotism and a desire to give back.
“Once you’re a soldier, you develop this strong feeling for your country and those who serve, so you want to give back when you can,” said Hatch. “When you’re deployed, you can’t call in sick. I have a profound respect for those who served in any way.”
The work ethic that Hatch developed while he served set him up for success in life after the military, and put him in a position to give back in the present day.
Hatch knew that he wanted to one day be a partner in a private equity firm, so he again wore many hats in order to achieve that goal. He passed the CPA and worked for an accounting firm on audits, was a portfolio manager for a Venture Capital & Private Equity firm before becoming the Vice President of an investment management company in South Dakota.
All of that led to Hatch being named the CFO and senior Vice President of US BioEnergy – an ethanol company – back in 2005 that he took all the way from inception through its eventual public offering. Through these experiences and others, Hatch was finally able to achieve his dream of becoming a partner in a private equity firm after joining forces with Bird Dog Equity Partners, LLC in Sioux Falls, SD.
With Bird Dog Equity Partners, Hatch and his peers have been able to buy into many investment opportunities, including Toppers Pizza.
“My daughter attended the University of Nebraska in Lincoln and said that Toppers was the only pizza that she and her friends bought,” said Hatch. “I researched the brand and knew right away that it was a great concept to buy into.”
After finding his footing with Bird Dog Equity Partners and Toppers Pizza in Sioux Falls, SD, Hatch is now able to give back in a way that he has always wanted. He and his business partner, Shane Quail, give a 50 percent off discount to veterans on Mondays, and offer a 10 percent discount to veterans and active military every other day of the week.
Hatch is thrilled to be in a position to give back to the vibrant veteran community in Sioux Falls that he respects so much, but he does not limit his outreach to just that group. Hatch is a board member for the non-profit organization, “Mission Haiti” in Sioux Falls, and recently returned from his sixth trip to Haiti in five years. The group’s mission is to educate Haitian children, teaching them English so they can connect with the outside world.
“If you know English, you know the language of business,” said Hatch. “We are giving these kids opportunities now so that in 20 years they might be able to change Haiti from within. We aim to create leaders through our programs.”
The giving does not stop there for Hatch, however. For his 25th wedding anniversary the day after Christmas, Hatch and his wife provided 800 slices of Toppers Pizza to over 400 homeless and less fortunate citizens in Sioux Falls.
Hatch has been able to give back due to the success he built from a work ethic developed during his time in the military. It’s his way of making sure that he does not forget where he came from.
“I see rich people who aren’t happy,” said Hatch. “The people who truly lead the richest lives have the best relationships. It feels good to give back when you have the ability to do it, but it’s also simply the right thing to do.”