The 2014 Executive Excellence Awards: Dan Price

| FROM THE PRINT EDITION |
 
 

Dan Price, Cofounder and CEO, Gravity Payments

Dan Price fuels the growth of his credit card payments company from the same passion that drove him to launch it. Community businesses, he saw, were poorly served by most competitors, who offered little service and whose transaction fees could rise without notice. The industry, he observed, “was set up to extract money from them and not provide much value.”

Price had this insight at age 19, when he cofounded Gravity Payments in his dorm room at Seattle Pacific University with the help of his older brother. Gravity charges a lower percentage fee, sends easy-to-follow bills, and provides quick, personal service. Less than 10 years later, it is among the top 50 credit card processors in the United States, with customers in all 50 states.

“I originally thought we wouldn’t make any profit,” Price admits, but growth through referrals and low turnover keep costs lower than most competitors. “We rarely lose customers unless they go out of business.”

In the office, Price has an open-door policy — or would if he had a door. He shares desk space with nearly 100 employees and joins in on customer calls. It helps him remain connected to his original mission of service. “If an issue is impacting a customer,” he says, “I flip out about it.”

Related Content

Harvey Kanter has taken Blue Nile, a struggling online jeweler, and returned it to a growth trajectory.

EDITOR’S NOTE: This is one in a monthly series of miniprofiles featuring local executives “off the clock.”

 
Tom Kundig is a principal and owner at Olson Kundig, the Seattle architecture firm and design practice founded on the idea that “buildings can serve as a bridge between nature, culture and people.”
 

Leslie Alexandre, whose leadership of the state-funded North Carolina Biotechnology Center helped strengthen that state’s life sciences sector, hopes to revitalize Washington’s biotech sector as CEO and president of Life Science Washington.