Palm Beach Tech AssociationPalm Beach Tech Association

By Nancy Dahlberg

LevatasHQ: Palm Beach Gardens

Business: A digital transformation agency

CEO: Ryan Gay

No. of employees: about 100

 

Ryan Gay Levatas

Ryan Gay is CEO of Levatas.

Digital transformation is in this company’s DNA.

Levatas, a digital agency serving a who’s who of national brands, uses technology and data science to enhance customer experiences, said CEO Ryan Gay. “We help drive revenue, increase operational efficiencies and create better experiences for employees and customers of brands.”

It comes down to this, Gay said: “We love helping our customers solve hard problems.”

A decade ago, Levatas started in founder Chris Nielsen‘s garage as a website development company. Gay was employee No. 4. Even then, Levatas asked its customers the why questions – why do you want this website and what do you hope to get from it? That led to a lot of hows – and new solutions to help drive eyeballs to the sites.

Under Nielsen’s creative energy and Gay’s operational expertise, Levatas spread its wings, solving harder technology problems for bigger clients. About 10 years ago, Levatas built a robotic arm for Cisco’s production functions.

“That set us on the path to becoming a digital transformation agency,” said Gay, an FAU business grad.
“Today we are about 100 people strong who work for some of the biggest brands.” Those include IBM, HSBC, NextEra, Office Depot, H-P, G4S, Emerson and Dell.

For HSBC, Levatas modernizes digital customer experiences, particularly with credit card signups. As part of the banking company’s innovation initiative, Levatas runs workshops with cross-functional HSBC teams that prototype solutions and pitch them to the C-suite. For other companies, Levatas’ work includes chat bots, augmented reality and other cutting edge technologies.

“We do a lot with machine learning and data science to help brands take data silos they already have and merge them into a data warehouse that can produce insights to drive their business forward,” Gay said. “That’s where we see the market heading.”

Levatas has posted 10 straight years of growth, and has no debt. Its annual revenues are north of $10 million.

Still, Levatas can’t hire data scientists and senior architects fast enough and may open satellite offices in other U.S. cities to attract more talent. Levatas’ weapon of choice for talent retention is work-life balance.

“Our ethos is to have happy clients and to be happy ourselves.” Gay explained. “A lot of agencies do it at the expense of the team – you see high turnover, low retention, you see 70 or 80 workweeks. … That’s not who we are.”

Levatas

After one of their weekly staff huddles, the team enjoys lunch provided by a local Greek food truck.

One of Levatas’ two offices in Downtown at the Gardens opens to a congenial café atmosphere complete with a bar and ping pong. In the other, teams are casually huddled in inviting communal areas. As the team grows, it may open a “destination headquarters” in Palm Beach County, perhaps on the water, that complements its live-work- play ethos, Gay said.

Along with good salaries, Levatas offers unlimited time off, 401K matching, flexible work hours, gym memberships, free lunches and bonuses. Its GenerosiTeam makes certain Levatas actively gives back to its community and Levatas matches employees’ charitable giving.

Said Gay: “We know happy people do great work.”

Nancy Dahlberg

Nancy Dahlberg

I am a writer, editor and a leader with extensive media experience and a passion for journalism and serving the community. Most of my career has been spent with the Miami Herald in business news, and my expertise is writing about entrepreneurs. I'm also good at research and project planning. I enjoy running community-focused projects and utilizing social media. Contact me at ndahlbergbiz@gmail.com.
Nancy Dahlberg

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Talking Tech with Levatas