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Each year the Denver Business Journal highlights top executives across the city that deserve recognition for their outstanding leadership. As innovators, standard-bearers, and role models these individuals give much to the companies they lead and the community at large. Being that 2020 was an unprecedented time for all companies, nominated CEOs were also evaluated on their demonstrated leadership while navigating the challenges of COVID-19.
PaySimple is happy to participate in this year’s celebration by congratulating our own David Sharp for being listed as a Most Admired CEO by Denver Business Journal. Those that have worked alongside David know that his leadership style is steady, kind and inspiring.
David Sharp has served as President of PaySimple for the past three years and he has been with the company since 2008 when he joined as Vice President of Business Development. His nearly 13-year tenure has led the company through multiple growth periods. With David’s leadership, PaySimple has grown from serving 6,000 customers to over 20,000 between direct and integrated partners nationwide. In 2019 David partnered PaySimple with HighView, a nonprofit program focused on improving educational outcomes and career opportunities for students from underserved and underrepresented communities.
Continue below to read captured interview pieces from David’s nomination including responses from Nicole Sherman, Founder and CEO of HighView. Full award honorees can be viewed in the Denver Business Journal’s video slideshow.
Responses former PaySimple employee and HighView Founder and CEO, Nicole Sherman
Nicole was asked a series of questions from The Denver Business Journal about David, his leadership and his commitment to the Denver community. Here is what she shared.
If you could use three words to describe David what would they be?
Kind, empathetic and humble. And genuine. David is hands down one of the nicest people I’ve ever met and every interaction you have with him feels so genuine. He’s empathetic and compassionate beyond measure. During my second week on the job at PaySimple, one of my best friends got very sick and ended up in the ICU in Boston. I asked if I could take off work to be with her and he didn’t hesitate to tell me to go. This set the stage for the rest of our time together in that he was so understanding of the important, human elements of work and truly cared about his employees in a way that many leaders do not.
What is his “superpower”?
David’s superpower is his ability to inspire people to do their best and achieve greatness.
Tell us about the impact David had on your nonprofit.
I hadn’t seen David in over 3 years after I left to work for another company. When I reached out to grab coffee and tell him about my new venture, he immediately accepted. I was nervous, because he was one of the first people I pitched this idea to and I was planning to ask him to participate as a partner company. I was about three sentences in to my pitch when David said “I’m in. Whatever you need, I’m in.” I was completely floored and had to fight back tears because I was so moved. That’s the kind of loyal person he is. He knew me after working alongside me and mentoring me for years, and he didn’t need to hear the full pitch. He believed in me and that was all that mattered.
David impacted HighView by signing up to be one of our five partner companies for the launch. This was invaluable as it added yet another Denver unicorn to the launch group and lent credibility to my venture through his endorsement. Having his participation also made me feel confident that what I was building was truly worthwhile.
Nomination Interview Responses from PaySimple CEO, David Sharp
Your nomination form says that your business approach/leadership style is purpose-driven. Do you agree? Why is that important to an organization, and how do you put it into action?
Yes, I am intensely purpose-driven and am passionate about helping our customers, employees and investors realize their full potential with the same simplicity and flow that PaySimple’s commerce enablement platform brings to the marketplace. I believe that by helping our employees grow and reach their full potential through education and support, they can help our customers do the same. We believe that if we focus on purpose, profits will follow.
Tell us about HighView: Why did you choose them as your philanthropic partner for this recognition, and how does their mission and impact align with yours and that of PaySimple?
HighView is a great organization that pairs high-achieving high school students from low-income communities with successful companies in their local areas. Prior to the COVID-19 stay-at-home orders, we hosted a cohort of students in our offices after school every week. In addition to providing an inspirational space for students to do their homework, we offered a first-hand look at promising career paths in high growth industries like technology and 1:1 mentorship through our employees.
I am very excited for PaySimple to be partnered with HighView. The organization provides our teams with the opportunity to expand our service commitment beyond the business. HighView provides a program that delivers a tangible, positive impact and our teams are proud to be involved.
As a payments management company, you work with nearly 20,000 businesses. What have they been looking to PaySimple for when it comes to assistance during the pandemic?
Since most of our customers are serviced-based businesses, the COVID-19 pandemic and stay-at-home orders had a significant impact. We helped many of our customers transition to contactless payments to continue getting payments from customers and to do it safely with social distancing. We also launched a multi-touch COVID-19 business assistance campaign that provided information, guides and resources across multiple channels. This included a comprehensive COVID-19 resource center that outlined the CARES ACT relief programs, application requirements, deadlines and links to apply for financial aid.
What’s next for PaySimple?
In addition to evolving our existing payment solution to continue to serve the needs of our primary customers, service-based businesses, we’ll also focus making our integration payment platform more widely available to vertical-specific software companies. This platform allows companies to integrate a custom payment experience within their software to elevate their brand, drive additional value to grow revenue, and improve the customer experience with the extension of integrated payments. This approach enables us to work with software companies to expand their offerings and deliver a more secure, omni-channel payment experience to their customers.