Dick Patten is the Executive Director of the American Family Business Institute, a nation-wide organization of family business owners devoted to the permanent repeal of the Federal Estate Tax (also known as the Death Tax). Under his leadership the AFBI has gained a dominant role in the Death Tax repeal battle. The AFBI has offices in Washington D.C., Birmingham AL, and Seattle WA.
According to Patten, The Death Tax is a survival issue for family businesses. It puts family businesses at a competitive disadvantage with their publicly-traded competitors often forcing families to sell off their businesses and farms to pay for Estate Taxes.
Dick Pattens history in fighting the Death Tax began in 1981 when he filed an initiative to the voters of the State of Washington (Initiative 402) to repeal the Washington State Inheritance and Gift Taxes. The organization he founded collected approximately 200,000 signatures and was approved by 72% of Washington State voters.
He has been involved in Federal Estate Tax repeal efforts since 1997.
Dick comes from a multi-generation family business background. He helped his father grow their family business. They began with 7 employees and grew to become an Inc.500 company. They eventually became Eastman Kodaks largest reprographics customer on the West Coast and the 3rd largest business of its type in the nation.
Dick also founded and grew a Seattle-based temporary employment and executive search firm that became Puget Sounds largest temporary employment contractor. They eventually employed 19,242 Seattle-area workers. Dick and his wife Monica successfully sold their business in 2002.
Dick is a founder of the Childrens Hospital Golf Marathon, an annual event that has raised over $700,000 for unfunded medical care for children in Seattle. He is also a member of the Endowment Funding Committee for Seattle Pacific University. He has been an active member of the Rotary Club of Seattle for 14 years.