Title: CEO of Reliable Payments, a payment processing business that was created this year with the merger between DP Payments, an affiliate of Dominion Payroll, and Reliable Bankcard LLC.
Born: 1982, Albuquerque, N.M.
Education: Benedictine High School, 2000; bachelor of science in financial economics, James Madison University, 2005
Career: Tax manager at Dominion Payroll, 2005-2010; founded DPS Merchant Services, 2010-2018; CEO of Reliable Payments, 2018-present.
What part of the metro area do you live?: Ashland
Best business decision: “I’ve been very selective in working with vendors. Most of the time, my decisions have come down to where can I find the best relationship, and the rest falls into place.”
Worst business decision: “As a business owner, various opportunities are frequently presented to me for new revenue streams. One of these opportunities presented itself in the infancy of my company. It could have been a large financial windfall, but it was a very large undertaking. As a new business, I was only focused on increasing revenue, and I lost sight of what kind of company I was building. For months, I spent a majority of my time trying to make this opportunity work, and not building my core business. After six months of negotiations, meetings, integrations, etc., the deal fell through because I ultimately could not provide the service required. I had just wasted six months in the beginning stages of building my business, not focused on my core competency. I had to spend the next six months working double time to make up for the lost revenue.”
Mistake you learned the most from: “Not taking direct accountability for the actions of my vendors. When I was just getting my company started, one of my vendors made a huge mistake that cost a client of mine thousands of dollars. I knew they were going to get that money back, but I was scared to talk to the client because they were so angry, and it was not my direct fault. My first response was to make sure they understood it was not my mistake, and then have them talk directly to the vendor. By not taking accountability and letting my vendor do all the talking, I had lost their faith in me as a local partner. I learned that as a business owner, my clients choose to partner with me, not my vendors, and I am 100 percent responsible for any and all actions of my company and my vendors.”
First job after college: Dominion Payroll.
If you had to do it all over again, what would you do differently: “Two things: I would have spent a few years after college living internationally. I visited Europe recently, and being immersed in that culture was amazing, I just wish I could have spent more time there. Also, I would have joined the military. I personally feel guilty that I never took the call to join.”
Book that inspired you the most, and why?: “Atlas Shrugged.” “I think it personally shows that life in general, and the decisions you make, are not always about what feels good or bad, but require true thought, and a consideration of facts. You cannot always will things to become the way you see them, and expecting that to be the case is ignorant.”
Favorite/least favorite subject in school: It varied more on the teacher than the actual subject. When I look back on it, the difference was solely whether or not the teacher engaged me to challenge myself. My least favorite class was an Econ class in college where the professor was too smart to teach. He just could not see the course work from a perspective of somebody who was still learning.”