Marvin Price Enjoys the Culture of Grant County

Posted on Sep 30, 2015

Kent Jones, Jeanne Johnson and Marvin Price"People aren't aware there's an organization out here," Marvin Price says of the Grant County Economic Development Council. "And a lot of volunteer time goes into this organization." "We don't brag a lot," Price adds. He explains that a lot of the general public doesn't know about the EDC.

Price, Manager of Energy and Environmental at the Lamb-Weston BSW French fry plant in Warden, is a past president of the EDC and has served on the board of directors for about five and a half years. He grew up in Rexburg, Idaho and attended Brigham Young University and received a Master of Business Administration from the University of Utah. He moved to Grant County to work at the restart of the sugar plant. He's worked at Lamb-Weston BSW for eleven years now, about "five or six" of those in production. "There are lots of opportunities to contribute to the production and the plant," he says of his job. He also is the "public face" of the company being involved with the EDC along with attending PUD rate hearings and other community outreach. "I get involved in several community things for the plant and for myself."

Price enjoys the diversity of his work and the ability to contribute to the whole plant's success. "Comes back to the success of the plant and the company." He is challenged by "the environment we live in today with the push of agency regulations. It's a full time job." Price explains it's harder for small businesses because they don't have the recourses to ensure they don't "get bulldozed over."

The EDC first came to Price's attention when the then-manager of Basic American Foods, Brian Meiners, called him and said he ought to be attending board meetings. "After a couple of months they made me an ex-officio board member," Price says. He continued to attend meetings for two more years when he was asked why he was still coming. He said he was an ex-officio member and was told that had ended a year before. Then he received a call to be on the board. "With a lot of things, showing up is what people are looking for," Price explains.

EDC president Gary Ash presenting Marvin Price with an award.Price was on the EDC executive committee for a year before he became Vice-President. "And we all know where that leads: former president," he says with a chuckle. Price plans to finish out his term and see what else he can contribute.

"I think the EDC is a great organization to grow companies and bring companies to the community," Price says. And more companies mean more jobs and more growth, he adds. "The EDC is a one-stop shop for companies looking in the community to provide them the necessary information to determine if they want to relocate here." Price would like to see more opportunity in the area for college graduates. "Kids go off to college and they never come back. We need to grow either retail or manufacturing to make opportunities for kids." Then he adds with a smile, "So I don't have to travel so stinking far to see my grandkids."

During Price's year as EDC President, the organization started the five-year fundraising program, Building Prosperity, and brought in consultants to help with that.  "So the people of the EDC can do their jobs and not fund-raise all the time," Price explains. Also the EDC started in a new direction on retail, becoming more involved with trying to bring new retail to Grant County. "People don't talk about new manufacturing or companies," Price says, but they ask "when is the EDC going to bring in more retail?" Price explains that retail recruitment is not a primary function of the EDC but the organization is prepared to work with retail companies that may be looking at Grant County.

The biggest change Price says he's seen after living in Grant County for twenty years is the influx of data centers and other power-driven industries into an agricultural community. "If it weren't for the power, they'd probably still be in California or Japan." Price wonders "what's going to happen in the future?"

Price enjoys the small town appeal of Grant County and Moses Lake. He raised two children here and they've "been successful in school and gone on to successful careers. I attribute a lot of that to the culture here." He likes that Grant County is farther north so there's more daylight in the summer to golf or work in the yard in the evenings. "There are lots of things to do around the county."

He and his wife will do short day trips. He also enjoys longer trips. He plays golf "once in a while" and used to snow ski a lot. His wife has him working in the yard, too. "She tells me what to do."

Price wears a Gonzaga University cap, saying he is a big fan of their basketball program. "If you have any Gonzaga basketball tickets you can't use, give me a call," he concludes with a smile.