Our History

It’s simple, really. We’ve built an entire company on the foundation of purpose.

A company that believes all people are hard-wired to be valued and effective. We were born out of the truth that people are inspired to perform when they know it contributes to something bigger than themselves.

What is your bigger quest? Moon landing? Summit?

Today, at Visible Applause, we are inspired to value your champions at work. When you do that, employees reciprocate tomorrow, the next day and the day after that.

Our own unforseen quest.

This gallery reveals my zigzag journey and passion for making achievements visible. I built an air-conditioned picture framing shop in the corner of our garage to frame family photos and artwork – yes, even some of my own photography. The photo of a renowned Houston surgeon at my son’s Cub Scout Blue & Gold Banquet, and the shadowbox of my Dad’s military service are examples.

During my EPC engineering career, I often framed professional photographs of completed projects as a thank you to clients. Before I knew it, the hobby found me framing VIP certificates for the local school district and chapters of organizations like American Heart Association – always with the touch of originality.

A lightbulb moment.

One day I saw this version of the Vince Lombardy award. That was it. I was blown away by the symbolism. I thought, why not equally meaningful symbols for industry as more typically bestowed to music, theater and sports achievements? That’s our quest today.

The rest is history.

Today that dream is labeled Visible Applause – and the passion to honor industrial champions, or heroes, is at the heart of everything we do.

Photo of Tom Ferguson

Tom Ferguson

Founder and Principal

Phone: 281.451.7663
Email: tom@visibleapplause.com

I love helping executives transfer ownership of success to those who do the work. My industrial engineering background gave me a perspective of great achievements that last. I’m particularly drawn to builders – workforces required to be technically skilled, efficient, and vigilant. They are the champions that design, move materials, maintain facilities, control production and build factories or skyscrapers. They don’t throw touchdown passes or hit home runs, but they win games for you in the arena of industry and commerce. And my 22-years in this business has proven that if you honor your champions they’ll often surprise you by making history, setting records or shaping culture in ways you could not imagine.

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