100+ Speakers Representing the Best of Fintech in Georgia and Globally
The Fintech South 2023 speaker lineup will feature startup founders, corporate CEOs and C-level executives, venture investors, financial regulators, retailers, top analysts and journalists, and all leaders from the most important organizations in the fintech ecosystem in Georgia and around the world!
Featured 2023 Speakers
Co-founder & Chief Technology Officer
IEX Group, Inc.
Rob Park is the co-founder and Chief Technology Officer of IEX Group, Inc. where he oversees the full spectrum of the company’s technology functions – from the development and user experience of its high-performance technology platforms to the company’s quantitative strategy.
Rob has spent his career removing barriers, unlocking scale and helping people seize new opportunities for growth across the equities, digital assets and technology spaces. As an entrepreneur who loves tech and is inspired by meaningful work, Rob is passionate about building transformative technology that does good, whether that’s leveling the playing field with technology that powers regulated, transparent and well-defined financial markets or exploring the applicability of advances in AI. Rob holds 10 technology patents including the Synchronized Processing of Data by Networked Computing Resources algorithm featured in the New York Times bestseller “Flash Boys” by Michael Lewis.
Prior to co-founding IEX, Rob was the Head of Global Algorithmic Trading for RBC Capital Markets, where his team was instrumental in the creation of client-facing algorithms and smart order routing strategies. Rob also co-founded Quantera Financial Corp., a proprietary high frequency trading firm that specialized in statistical and machine learning algorithms.
He is a graduate of the University of Toronto and resides in NYC with his wife and children.
Ashley D. Bell
Executive Chairman & CEO, Redemption Bank; CEO
Ashley is the Chairman of the Board and Chief Executive Officer for Redemption Holding Company, a Black-owned holding company that recently announced its agreement to purchase Utah-based Holladay Bank and Trust –marking the first time in American history that an existing commercial bank will become a Black-owned Minority Depository Institution (“MDI”) through acquisition. RHC will become the only Black-owned bank serving the Mountain West region pending federal regulatory approval.
Ashley is also the Founder and CEO of Ready Finance, Inc., the new financial technology company that is disrupting the mortgage industry by pioneering a new path to homeownership that eliminates the need for credit scores. Individuals using the Ready Pay Debit Card or digital account to pay their rent, can apply to obtain a mortgage without a credit score review– leveling the playing field for the over 17 million renters looking to own a home.
As an attorney focused on corporate finance and banking, hailing from the world’s largest law firm, Dentons, LLP, Ashley is committed to furthering the growth of entrepreneurs, and has worked closely with venture capital funds, opportunity zone funds, and traditional lenders to leverage public and private resources to support economic growth across the country. Earlier in his legal career, Ashley focused on public finance and government litigation. As the youngest black lawyer listed in the “Red Book” of America’s top municipal bond attorneys, Ashley has guided over a billion dollars in successful bond transactions that have revitalized urban areas across America. Ashley serves as the General Counsel for the National Black Bank Foundation and the $250 million Black Bank Fund, and in this role, he facilitated the refinance of the construction loan for the
Emory Sports Medicine Complex with a syndicate of 11 Black-owned banks. The $35 million loan
marked the first time a professional sports franchise had a significant loan underwritten exclusively by Black banks. Ashley and NBBF followed this up with a $45 million transaction featuring two Black-owned banks to develop The Trade, a new Autograph Collection® hotel by Marriott at the steps of the Fiserv Forum in Milwaukee’s Deer District. The scope and nature of these transactions diversify Black banks’ loan portfolios and bolster their capital cushion, allowing them to extend new capital into disadvantaged communities of color.
Ashley also serves as the Lead Director of the Minority Depository Institution Innovation Committee recently formed as part of a partnership between JAM-FINTOP and NBBF. Ashley led a team of attorneys at Dentons working on the launch of a new Mission-Driven Bank Fund, a capital investment vehicle being developed by the FDIC to support insured Minority Depository Institutions (MDIs) and Community Development Financial Institutions (CDFIs). This work resulted in Denton’s team being named Law360’s Fund Formation Group of the Year.
Previously, Ashley served as the White House Policy Advisor for Entrepreneurship & Innovation and the Regional Administrator for the U.S. Small Business Administration for the Southeastern United States. At the SBA, Ashley focused on supporting underserved communities, women and minorities. In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, he played an instrumental role in the promotion and implementation of the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) to help businesses navigate the unprecedented crisis. As a senior executive at the SBA, he worked to increase access to capital and contracting dollars for minority owned businesses through partnerships with the public and private sector. Tasked with procurement oversight of $6 billion in financing, under his leadership, the SBA provided access to capital and federal contracting opportunities, counseling and mentorship, and financial assistance following declared natural disasters.
A former Hall County Commissioner elected at the young age of 27, Ashley was one of the youngest commissioners ever elected in the State of Georgia, representing the third fastest growing metropolitan area in America. Ashley began his legal career as a public defender and went on to become a celebrated trial attorney. He co-founded the law firm Bell & Washington LLP, based in Atlanta, Georgia, over 15 years ago.
Ashley has been named a 2020 Georgia “Super Lawyer Rising Star” (first named in 2017) and is a recent graduate of the Fiftieth Anniversary Class of Leadership Atlanta for 2020, having previously completed Leadership Georgia in 2012. He is one of the 2016 “Top 40 Young Lawyers” in the country by the American Bar Association, and a 2016 “Lawyer on the Rise” by Georgia’s leading legal journal, “The Daily Report,” recognizing Georgia’s top 25 lawyers under 40.
Ashley is a graduate of Valdosta State University, where he was President of the Student Government Association and founded the school’s chapter of Iota Phi Theta Fraternity, Inc. In 2019, he received the Distinguished Alumni Award from the College of Arts & Sciences and joined the VSU Foundation Board of Trustees, where he serves on the institutional investment committee that manages their assets and investments. Ashley obtained his law degree from Louisiana State University, where he attended on a full scholarship, and has an honorary doctorate from Lighthouse College. Ashley was a 21st Century Leadership Fellow at the Harvard University John F. Kennedy School of Government, and currently is a Fellow of the inaugural class of the Civil Society Fellowship, a Partnership of ADL and The Aspen Institute, and a member of the Aspen Global Leadership Network.
2018 Innovation Challenge Winner; Co-Founder & CEO
VP | Global Head of Product Management & Strategy
Christina Shim is a global strategist, with an emphasis on innovation, sustainability, and growth. She is currently the Global Head of Product Management and Strategy for IBM Sustainability Software. She sits on IBM’s AI Ethics Board and the ESG Steering Committee.
Her experience includes time with Booz Allen Hamilton, Bain & Co, PricewaterhouseCoopers, and as the Managing Director for Palladium International at the intersection of strategy, technology, and impact. Additionally, she worked at the Central Intelligence Agency.
Ms. Shim has spoken and been quoted on sustainability and ESG in Forbes, Fortune, Reuters, Bloomberg, and at the UN, among others. She holds an MBA from Columbia Business School and a BA degree from Princeton University’s School of Public and International Affairs, where she was a Rotary Ambassadorial Scholar.
Head of Southeast Region
De’Havia is an investor on the team at Serena Ventures, where she assists with sourcing, with diligence, and with portfolio support of early stage startups. De’Havia has a passion and makes an effort to help increase diverse representation in venture capital as she actively supports underrepresented founders and investors. De’Havia began her venture capital career supporting SoftBank’s Opportunity Fund, where she helped invest $100M+ into early stage founders led by underrepresented minorities. De’Havia has mentored 200+ founders through organizations such as Microsoft for Startups, Google for Startups, Techstars, etc.
President, Sustainable Finance & Chief Regulatory Officer
Elizabeth King is President, Sustainable Finance, ICE’s product initiative around sustainable investing. In this role, she also oversees the NYSE’s Board Advisory Council, which works with the CEOs of NYSE-listed firms to identify diverse candidates for boards of directors of venture-funded and newly public companies. She is also the Chair of NYSE’s Sustainability Advisory Council, composed of select sustainability leaders representing NYSE-listed companies that identify and share global best practices in sustainability.
As ICE’s Chief Regulatory Officer, King oversees the company’s global regulatory and government affairs initiatives.
Prior to 2022, King was General Counsel and Corporate Secretary of NYSE Group and, prior to joining ICE in March 2014, Deputy General Counsel and Global Head of Regulatory Affairs at securities trading firm KCG Holdings, Inc. Before joining KCG, she was Associate Director, Division of Trading and Markets at the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission, where she was responsible for the SEC’s regulatory program for oversight of the securities markets.
King holds a J.D. from the University of Pennsylvania, and an A.B. from Duke University.
Head of Product
Financial Data Exchange
Global Payments; Board Member, Private Equity and Venture Capital Investor; Retired CEO
Julie Bennett Bunuan
Group Head, Sustainability Investment Banking
Kathryn Petralia is the Co-Founder of Keep Financial, a fintech pioneering flexible compensation. Prior to Keep, Kathryn Co-Founded Kabbage, a financial services platform for small businesses acquired by American Express in 2020. Before starting Kabbage, Kathryn spent 15 years with fintech and ecommerce startups. In 2018, she was named to Forbes’ World’s Most Powerful Women.
Kathryn serves on the boards of CARE, Tricolor, CoreCard (NYSE:CCRD), Near (NASDAQ:NIR), PadSplit, The Woodruff Arts Center (trustee), and the Atlanta Chamber Music Festival.
Co-Founder, President & CEO
Larry K. Williams
President & CEO
Technology Association of Georgia
2021 Georgia Fintech Hall of Fame Inductee; Co-Founder, Cardlytics; Partner
CEO + Co-Founder, THE GATHERING SPOT; CCO
Ryan Wilson is the co-founder and CEO of The Gathering Spot, a private membership network that serves as a hub for collaboration, connections and experiences and is the Chief Community Officer of Greenwood, a digital banking services platform.
At the age of 24, with a mission to create a world where opportunity is the byproduct of community and collaboration, Ryan and his business partner raised capital to open their first Gathering Spot location in Atlanta. The club has since established itself nationally as a home for creatives, business professionals, and entrepreneurs, and regularly hosts notable and culturally impactful events. Responsible for the company’s overall management and strategic vision, Ryan has led the club’s physical expansion with location openings in Washington D.C. and Los Angeles, launch of membership communities in New York City, Detroit, Charlotte, Houston, and Chicago; as well as the digital expansion of the company’s platform TGS Connect.
In 2022, The Gathering Spot was acquired by Greenwood, Inc, creating the largest fintech and community platform for Blacks and minorities with a combined community of over 1 million people. The companies share a mission of closing the wealth gap for minorities through community building, entrepreneurship and education. This partnership represents a historic move as one of the few black-on-black M&A transactions at scale and was recognized as one of the most influential Deals of Year in 2022 by the Atlanta Business Chronicle.
Ryan has been honored as the Small Business Person of the Year by the Atlanta Business Chronicle, was selected as one of the 2020 Atlanta Business Chronicle’s 40 under Forty honorees and one of their 100 Most Powerful leaders, was named one of Goldman Sach’s Most Intriguing Entrepreneurs in 2021, and named as one of Georgia’s 500 Most Powerful Leaders by Georgia Trend. The Mayor of Atlanta honored Ryan and his business partner with the prestigious Phoenix Award, the city’s highest honor, was named by Atlanta Magazine as one of “Atlanta’s 500 most powerful leaders’’, and he has been recognized as one of Inc.‘s 30 under 30. He has also been named one of the country’s most influential African-Americans in The Root 100 and the Ebony Power 100.
Ryan has been featured in notable national publications such as The Wall Street Journal, Fast Company, Forbes, Inc, The New York Times, Revolt, Black Enterprise, Bloomberg Businessweek, The Huffington Post, and USA Today. He is a trusted speaker and regularly moderates conversations with thought leaders and notable individuals ranging from political figures like President Joe Biden and Senator Raphael Warnock, to business pioneers like Thasunda Duckett and Ben Chestnut, as well as leaders in the entertainment industry including Will Packer, Kelly Rowland, and Gabrielle Union. His work has led to several keynote presentations for various companies including Goldman Sachs, Delta, Google, Meta, Ford Motor Company, and Nike. He also led to keynote presentations at some of the nation’s most prestigious universities including Georgetown University Law Center, the Fuqua School of Business at Duke University, Tuck School of Business at Dartmouth University, and The Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University, and the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania.
A native to Atlanta, Ryan is currently an active participant in several Atlanta civic and community organizations. He proudly serves on the boards of The Community Foundation for Greater Atlanta, Usher’s New Look, The Woodruff Arts Center, The Atlanta Business League, The Atlanta Metro Chamber of Commerce, Invest Atlanta’s Foundation and previously served on the boards of Hands on Atlanta and Peace Preparatory Academy. He is a member of the Atlanta Chapter of the 100 Black Men and Atlanta Rotary Club.
Ryan graduated from Georgetown University and Georgetown University Law Center where he proudly serves on the Board of Regents. He currently resides happily in Atlanta, Georgia with his wife and two children.
Fintech Investor & Entrepeneur; New York Times Bestselling Author; Co-Founder
Stacey Abrams is an entrepreneur; investor and co-founder in the fintech space; New York Times bestselling author; and political leader. She served as Minority Leader in the Georgia House of Representatives, and she was the first black woman to become the gubernatorial nominee for a major party in United States history. Abrams has launched multiple nonprofit organizations devoted to democracy protection, voting rights, and effective public policy. She has also co-founded successful companies including a financial services firm, an energy and infrastructure consulting firm, and the media company, Sage Works Productions, Inc.
Founder & CEO, Guppy; Wizard
He has worked for large organizations like Citi, managing one of the largest credit card portfolios in the world, Intel, launching their graphics chip business, and Google, working on Google Wallet, as well for multiple startups with multiple exits.
He is an investor/advisor in several startups including TripleBlind, Tilli Software, Tutored by Teachers, MPOWER Financing, Hypercard, Silicon Islands, Draper Startup House Caricom, and Impact Analytics.
Sanjib has an MBA from the Kellogg School of Management as well as Bachelors and Masters in Electrical Engineering from Cornell University, where he built lasers, electric cars, hi-fi audio systems, and AI systems for ECGs classification.
Vanessa Indriolo Vreeland
Founder & Managing Partner
Vanessa Vreeland has spent the last 25 years in venture capital and private equity, blazing a path for female executives. Over this time, she has built venture capital programs and led teams that have invested over $600MM into a variety of funds and over 40 operating businesses across multiple stages and industries. She recently left corporate to launch Vree Ventures with a highly complementary team bringing decades of combined experience.
Vree Ventures is a female-owned fund poised to be the preeminent expansion-stage venture investor designed to generate superior returns by partnering with female-centric* B2B Enterprise Technology and B2B Enterprise Tech-Enabled Services companies.
Vree Ventures takes an operationally focused, hands-on approach to supporting founders and brings curated resources specific to each company’s aspirations. This support includes a variety of both traditional and non-traditional resources.
* Female founders, co-founders and gender diverse management teams.
Other 2023 Speakers
Director, Industry Cloud for Banking Product Owner
Aloke is the Product Owner for PwC’s Industry Cloud for Banking offering, helping PwC’s clients significantly accelerate their modernization and transformation roadmaps. He has 20+ years of banking technology, new product development, and IT leadership experience at a large global Bank, where he spearheaded digital and front / back-office transformations, branch digitization, core modernizations, cloud migration, and adoption of cutting-edge technologies working with Apple, Google, and many other FinTechs.
Felipe Lopez Alaniz
VP Global Partnerships & Segments
Felipe joined Mastercard in 2016 to lead the development of Global Enterprise Partnerships working across a variety of industries including Consumer Package Goods, Insurance and Business Platforms. A performance driven executive with international experience in payments and marketing analytics across North America, Asia Pacific and Latin American markets. Passionate about innovation and building long term relationship with Industry leaders and Fintech’s to eliminate inefficiencies and capture untapped opportunities. Felipe’s prior roles include serving as Executive Director for customer analytics, new business development and payments for different Financial Institutions in Latin America and Asia Pacific.
Host, Decent Millionaire Podcast; Founder
Dara Albright Media
Dara Albright is a recognized thought provoker and frequent speaker on topics including fintech, digitalfinance, cryptofinance, peerfinance & crowdfinance.
Her leading-edge articles and research papers that have helped shape and continue to set the direction of modern finance can be found in Financial Advisor Magazine, FinTek News, BanklessTimes, Equities.com, Crowdfund Insider, Crowdfund Beat, Seeking Alpha, Investing.com, FINalternatives, Real Assets Adviser, CNBC and Business Insider. Albright has been featured in a number of publications including the NY Times, Forbes, Huffington Post, ABA Banking Journal, Thestreet.com and Private Wealth Magazine.
Albright possesses a distinguished 28-year career in financial services encompassing IPO execution, investment banking, trading, corporate communications, financial conference production as well as institutional and retail sales.
Albright presently advises organizations on their fintech, blockchain and digital finance initiatives, and currently serves on the boards of emerging fintech companies and alternative asset funds. Albright is a graduate of the George Washington University. She presently resides in Georgia with her husband and two children.
Director - Data & AI
Siraj is a Data & Analytics expert with almost two decades of experience
working with blue-chip companies globally, helping address their data
challenges. He is a certified specialist on all leading tools in D&A.
He has been using his tool-agnostic technical skills to help clients identify
the right technology stack, define roadmaps and enable them to be more
effective in their analytics journey.
Siraj is an Information Technology graduate from Cochin University of
Science & Technology and holds a Post Graduate degree from IIT-Bangalore.
He has been living in London since 2010; when he is not working with data,
Siraj often spends his time making music with his children.
US Director & Global Chief Marketing Officer
Lisa Arthur holds the US Director and Global CMO role at a pivotal moment of growth for Sensedia, a leader in API management and microservices helping companies overcome diverse challenges to implement increasingly digital and integrated businesses through APIs. Arthur brings over 30 years of marketing leadership experience crafting business strategies and marketing solutions for multiple organizations, from Fortune 50 to start-ups, including Akamai, Teradata/Aprimo, and Relativity. She has served as an industry resource and expert on marketing, marketing technology, data-driven marketing, and customer experience. She authored Big Data Marketing: How to Engage Customers to Drive More Value.
Head of Software Engineering - Crypto
Nick Baes is a hands-on technology leader with 20+ years of experience in the TradFi, FInTech, and crypto market segments, and currently leads the crypto engineering department at Bakkt. Nick has built platforms in all areas of capital markets – front office & proprietary trading, clearing, brokerage, risk management. He’s experienced in the full trade lifecycle across many asset classes – equities, options, futures, swaps, crypto. Over the course of his career, Nick has held leadership roles across highly successful firms, both public and private, such as Intercontinental Exchange Group and PEAK6 Investments.
Recognized at 2023 Game Changer from Scarlett Abott, Marva Bailer is an innovator, a storyteller, a connector, and a fearless female tech leader who is never afraid to disrupt the status quo. At Globality, recognized as the top AI company in Autonomous Sourcing she is a Generative AI Advisor to Procurement/Sourcing, Finance and Technology Executives. Building on 20+year history thriving in a fast paced and growth-oriented functions. Lead sales, strategic partnerships, marketing, customer success enterprise and public sector- domestically and globally. High growth, data driven organizations with incredible cultures and people to delight and create enduring customer relationships. Technology Association of GA, Society, Large Enterprise Leader of the Year, WIT Woman of the Year Honoree, TIE Corporate Intrapreneur Award. She is a media guest for topics on AI, Technology, and Future of Work. Featured NBC Bay Area, KLTV Texas, NewsNation. Award Winning Book Author, Be Unexpected- The Future of Work. Speaker WonderWomen Tech, Take the Lead Women, and other global conferences and Podcasts.
Co-Founder, President, Chief Growth Officer
Amy Barbieri is a founder and the President & Chief Growth Officer of Vital4. She brings a wealth of expertise in international background screening, global compliance, fraud, and risk mitigation as well as over 25 years’ experience in sales and marketing for SaaS, technology, data, and compliance. Amy currently sits on the Board of Managers at Vital4 and the Board of Directors at Fintech Atlanta.
Technology Association of Georgia (TAG) Board Chair, VP & CIO
Clark Atlanta University
Brian Benn recently became VP & CIO of Clark Atlanta University.
Brian Benn was previously Chief Information Officer and Senior Vice President of the Atlanta Housing Authority. Brian is responsible for the development and implementation of technology strategies that are aligned with and anchored by the overarching strategy of the agency. Consequently, he ensures the progression and timely completion of all technical projects as well as the agency’s security program and is ultimately responsible for the function and successful execution of the following departments:
- Business Solutions
- Governance, Risk, and Compliance
- Records and Information Management
- Technical Operations
Brian studied Computer Science and Mathematics at the University of Alabama in Huntsville and has a Master of Business Administration degree from Belhaven University. Brian volunteers as an Executive Ambassador for TechBridge, Incorporated, serves on the Executive Advisory Board for Atlanta Technology Professionals, the Advisory Board for the Government Technology Special Districts Program, the Greater Atlanta CIO Governing Body for Evanta and serves as Board Chair for the Technology Association of Georgia’s Southeastern Software Association. Brian is a technology evangelist and has a passion for bridging the digital divide.
Director, US Institutional Defined Contribution
Taylor Benson, Director, is a member of the U.S. and Canada Defined Contribution Institutional Team. She is responsible for new business development and relationship management for Corporate, Public and Taft-Hartley plan sponsors with assets greater than $1bn. Ms. Benson works directly with plan sponsors to implement investment solutions that accomplish the retirement goals and objectives for their participants. Additionally, she is member of the Atlanta iHub Leadership Team and co-leads the Atlanta Client EcoSystem. Prior to joining BlackRock, Ms. Benson was a Senior Principal at Galliard Capital Management, a $91bn fixed income and stable value asset management firm, leading new business development and consultant relations. Prior to Galliard, Ms. Benson was an Investment Consultant working with Institutional Corporate, Public and Taft-Hartley Plan Sponsors in an advisory capacity on asset allocation, plan design and investment manager selection. Ms. Benson began her career as an Investment Analyst at Hewitt Associates. Ms. Benson attended Providence College where she received a BS degree in Finance with a minor in Mathematics. Ms. Benson currently serves on the Providence College School of Business Advisory Council.
Founder & CEO
EVP & Chief Product Officer
TSYS, a Global Payments company
Partner, Kilpatrick Townsend & Stockton; General Counsel
Kilpatrick Townsend & Stockton
Co-Founder and CEO
Sebastian Builes is the co-founder and CEO of Arcum, the leading merchant retention platform for the payments industry. By leveraging AI, Arcum is able to identify with over 90% accuracy what merchants are at risk of churning and why so proactive retention strategies can be developed. Prior to founding Arcum, Sebastian was part of the finance team at EVO Payments where he oversaw portfolio analytics for over 500k merchants worldwide. Before EVO, Sebastian worked with some of the largest publications in the country, to help them reduce subscriber churn. Sebastian holds a bachelor’s degree in political science and economics and a master’s degree in applied economics from Florida State University.
Director, Financial Services
Mark Burnside is a Director at FORVIS, LLP. and has more than 30 years of experience in the financial services industry with a focus on regulatory compliance. He has spent over 20 years as a consultant and educator, encompassing most aspects of regulatory compliance, including Bank Secrecy Act/Anti-Money Laundering, Fair Lending, Lending and Deposit requirements as well as Third-Party risk management with a primary focus on Fintech relationships within the financial industry.
Mr. Burnside has worked on projects for both community and national institutions as well as facilitating training and oversight processes from risk assessments to compliance management systems.
Mr. Burnside is a graduate of Indiana University with a Bachelor’s degree in Economics as well as a Certified Regulatory Compliance Manager (CRCM).
Demi Knight Clark
Head, Strategy & Biz Dev
Self-professed “spark plug” of energy & movement, Demi Knight Clark was the youngest of seven top women leaders in the largest homebuilder in the world. Ironman finisher, 12x marathoner & Six Star Finisher (World Major Marathons – London, Boston, Chicago, New York,Berlin, Tokyo).Guinness Book of World Records Holder. Founder of She Built This City, empowering women+ & girls in trades. Accomplished mountain climber with Kilimanjaro, W Trek, Iceland & Salkantay.
Now, she joins second-time founder (& minority female CEO) Diane Yu in one of only 2% in the female funded founder world – blazing a trail for mortgage efficiency & a new AI-powered lending journey at TidalWave. Her passion is “solving big” & moving the needle of equity – proving that we can all harness the power of AI & machine learning to make home ownership more achievable. As a former consultant & TedX Speaker (What Would Happen if We Gave More Girls Blowtorches?), Demi throws sparks for audiences around the world.
Director of Operations
Southern Proper Hospitality Group
Jay Clarke is a seasoned restaurant veteran, with a long history working for some of America’s favorite brands. His journey began at Houston’s Restaurants after graduation from Michigan State University. Here he began to sharpen his skills in managing and orchestrating the seamless operation of high-end dining. This experience was foundational for Clarke and established his desire to achieve service excellence. He continued his journey in Toulouse, working at the young Atlanta Bar and Grill. Here, in the heart of France, he discovered his passion for the tradition of service that still inspires him today. He returned home to join the esteemed chef Wolfgang Puck in Seattle and experienced working for a true entrepreneur and iconic chef. In the years to follow he has been a part of the concept development team at Seasons 52, led cutting edge hospitality at bartaco, and finally has joined Southern Proper Hospitality as the director of operations for Tin Lizzys. Clarke is excited to be a part of Atlanta based SPH and revels in being a part of the ’home team.’
Head of Open Finance
Open Finance Specialist at Sensedia, helping business in the journey through Open Finance.
Natalia is responsible for guiding companies in the steps to be compliant with Open Banking and Open Finance standards.
With vast experience in project management, Natalia leads high-performance teams on the implementation of highly scalable and reliable solutions.
TAG Fintech Innovation Challenge Co-Chair; Fintech Catalyst
Advanced Technology Development Center (ATDC)
Robert E. Daniel (RED); FinTech Catalyst at ATDC
In this role, Robert manages the ATDC FinTech program, providing acceleration opportunities to portfolio companies, fostering their development and growth. He also manages ATDC relationships with investors, prospective business partners, CEOs, and community technology leaders to promote market outreach and business development in the FinTech ecosystem.
Robert is an accomplished executive in financial services, management consulting, hedge funds, payment operations, wealth management, and FinTech. Before joining ATDC, he facilitated peer-to-peer sessions with leading companies in the banking, payments, and FinTech space to uncover best practices in their operations, compliance, risk, and fraud units.
Robert received his Bachelor of Science in Management at the Georgia Institute of Technology and his MBA from Georgia Tech’s Scheller College of Business.
Dr. Loretta Daniels
Director, Bridge Builders
Technology Association of Georgia
Dr. Loretta Daniels is an expert in organizational leadership, DEI, conflict management, communication, and leadership coaching. In addition, she specializes in organizational leadership and cultural competency. As an executive leader in the corporate arena, Dr. Daniels has served in executive leadership roles such as Chief Operations Officer, Vice President of Sales and Marketing, Executive Director of Sales Operations, and General Manager. In addition, she has written corporate training manuals Leading by Example and Fast Track to Excellence. As the former Executive Director of Corporate Relations of Kennesaw State University (KSU), she worked with medium and large organizations to define and deliver leadership growth certificate programs designed to align with the company’s vision and objectives.
Dr. Daniels partnered with C-level Leadership and HR to determine leadership development goals, identify training gaps, enable cultural workplace initiatives, and implement gender pay equality and equitable hiring practices. Additionally, she served as the University Office of Diversity and Inclusion Co-Chair, and Presidential Commission on Gender & Work-Life Issues. She advised executive teams, including the President and Chief Diversity Officer, and consulted as a subject matter expert on DEI challenges and solutions and supported DEI’s continuous improvement efforts.
As an adjunct instructor of Leadership at KSU since 2002, Dr. Daniels delivered in-class and online lectures encouraging students to think strategically by applying fundamentals to real-world problems. Courses taught included Corporate Communication and Conflict Resolution, Human Communications, Public Speaking, Writing for Public Communication, and Foundations of Leadership. Additionally, she has designed a Coursera Specialty Certificate program, Leadership Out the Box, which will be offered in Fall 2022.
Dr. Daniels received a Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.) in Organizational Leadership from Johnson University, a Master of Science (MS) in Conflict Management, a Bachelor of Arts (BA) in Communication from Bradley University, and a Bachelor of Science (BS) in Mass Communication/Media Studies from KSU. She is a Certified Diversity Professional and the author of two books, For Women Only, Women Mean Business (J & W Publishers, 1992), and Unlock Your Success, a Comprehensive Guide for Starting a Successful Business (J & W Publishers, 2006). Dr. Daniels’ upcoming book, Leadership and Diversity – A Practice-Based Systemic Approach to Cultural Competency, published by SAGE Publications, will be available in January 2024. This textbook will offer a new and comprehensive approach to organizational leadership to address the paradigm shift in our global business community.
Co-Founder & Chief Technology Officer
Atlanta native who’s been involved in the startup scene for over a decade, since I was at Georgia Tech. Most recently, Co-Founder and CTO of PrizePicks, having spent 6+ years in the fantasy, gaming space. Previously, I operated start-ups in the consumer finance space, most notably Capp.io, which ended in an exit.
SVP & CISO
Dave is Featurespace’s Founder, responsible for driving Featurespace’s innovation strategy, and working with our global client base to provide the industry with the very best machine learning technology. After studying at the Australian National University and the University of Cambridge, Featurespace began as a concept and has become the leading enterprise financial crime platform for financial institutions and technology providers. Dave is also a Board member of The Knoble, bringing together networks of financial crime specialists to prevent criminals from using the world’s financial systems to profit from the suffering of others.
Faster Payments Industry Relations
Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago
SVP, Government Relations
Kimberly (Kim) Ford is Senior Vice President, Government Relations, at Fiserv. She is responsible for development and implementation of the company’s global policy strategy and overall political advocacy engagement and represents Fiserv’s political interests as the company’s registered lobbyist in Washington, D.C. and Brussels.
Kim joined Fiserv from the U.S. Faster Payments Council, where she was the first Executive Director of the organization. Prior to her FPC work, she spent 15 years at First Data, starting her career there as Manager of Public Policy and rising to become Senior Vice President, Head of Global Government Affairs. During her tenure at First Data, she authored several policy measures that were enacted into law, she oversaw the creation of the federal political action committee, and she worked to cultivate a greater awareness about the critical role that payment technology providers play in global commerce.
She was Regional Director for U.S. Senator Bill Nelson of Florida prior to First Data, and she worked in lobbying and communications roles for several Florida-based business trade associations before that.
Kim frequently covers payments issues as a featured speaker at industry and client conferences, and she has twice served as a subject matter expert witness to testify in front of the U.S. Congress.
Kim currently serves on the board of directors for the Innovative Payments Association, sits on the strategic advisory board for the FinTech startup Identifee, chairs the Policy Committee for the American Transaction Processors Coalition, and she was the founder of and is board chair for a payments processor-focused advocacy organization called the Payments Coalition.
She is based in Washington, DC.
Managing Director, ThinkTECH Accelerator
Stephanie Foster helps plan and execute the daily operations for ICBA’s ThinkTECH Accelerator programs, which advance community bank-fintech partnerships through the development of targeted solutions for community banks.
Foster brings more than two decades of proven performance, managing over a dozen strategic partnerships and omni-channel products in peer-to-peer, business to business, and business-to-consumer platforms. She most recently served as chief administrative officer for XY Planning Network, an advisory service for Gen Y and Gen Z clients. Foster has also held management roles at Finastra, Fiserv and Western Union and was a founding board member for Women Driving Innovation at the Atlanta Innovation Forum.
Foster is a previous ETA “40 Under 40” recipient and was selected from a list of 500 international nominees to participate in Money 20/20’s inaugural Rise Up program, an exclusive cohort of 35 women leaders in the financial services ecosystem.
VP of Strategic Partnerships
SVP Financial Technology & Services
Maria Gagic is the Senior Vice President for Fintech and Financial Services at Enterprise Ireland, the VC arm of the Irish Government. She advises a portfolio of Irish fintech companies spanning insurtech, regtech, payments, lending, funds, and trading. Her expertise lies in understanding how fintech companies can partner with legacy banking and credit union systems to provide digital transformation solutions and increase their product offerings. Prior to her current role Maria worked in Dublin, Ireland for the country’s Foreign Direct Investment Agency, supporting some of the largest Investment Management firms across the US and Europe scale in Ireland.
Founder, ZAG Communications; SVP Communications
Swirlds Labs, growing the Hedera ecosystem
Zenobia has over 20 years of experience in high tech PR , helping companies create and dominate new categories. She is the Senior Vice President of Corporate Communications for Swirlds Labs, driving awareness of the Hedera ecosystem, and the founder of ZAG Communications, a multi-million dollar technology PR firm. Previously, she was a sell-side analyst with investment bank Morgan Keegan, where she was part of The Wall Street Journal’s #1 Ranked Software Analyst team. Prior to this, she served as the head of communications for Opsware Inc (NASDAQ: OPSW), founded by Marc Andreessen and Ben Horowitz, which was acquired by HP for $1.6B. Zenobia graduated from Stanford University with a BA in Economics and Psychology, minor in Industrial Engineering.
Host "The Disruptor Studio" podcast; Chief Innovation Officer
Metro Atlanta Chamber
Founder, Chairman & CEO
Will Graylin is currently Founder and CEO of OV Loop, Inc., a Universal Wallet and Commerce Messaging platform for frictionless commerce experiences everywhere. He is also CEO of Indigo Technologies, an Electric Mobility company with breakthrough affordable EVs for fleets & drivers. Prior to OV Loop, Will was the Global Co-GM of Samsung Pay, and Founder of LoopPay (acquired by Samsung), ROAM Data (acquired by Ingenico), WAY Systems (acquired by Verifone), and EntitleNet (acquired by BEA Systems/later Oracle). Will holds two Masters from MIT and serves on the Board of Directors for Global Unites (a non-profit organization to help youths around the world become local leaders through conflict transformation) and previously, Synchrony Financials (the largest private label credit card issuer in the world) for seven years.
Robin Gregg is the CEO of RoadSync, a digital financial platform that powers business transactions in the logistics industry.
Robin combines her strong leadership skills with a keen understanding of scaling startups. She has over 15 years of experience building and launching financial solutions to consumers and businesses. Prior to RoadSync, Robin held leadership roles at FleetCor, alternative payment provider Revolution Money (sold to Amex in 2010), and Capital One.
Active in numerous professional organizations, Robin currently serves as a mentor for the ATDC, Georgia Tech’s technology incubator and has held numerous leadership roles, including Co-President, of the Harvard Business School Club of Atlanta. She is also an active member of the Entrepreneurs’ Organization.
Robin holds a BA from Washington and Lee and received her MBA from Harvard Business School. After growing up in West Virginia, 20 minutes from the midpoint of the Appalachian Trail, she now calls Atlanta home.
2021 Georgia Fintech Hall of Fame Inductee; Retired Executive Chairman & Co-Founder
Lizzie is a Partner at TTV Capital focused on early stage investments.
Prior to joining TTV, Lizzie was a Senior Vice President at Citi Ventures, the corporate strategic investment arm of Citibank. At Citi Ventures, Lizzie helped launch and lead the development of the digital asset strategy resulting in a new investment category. In addition, Lizzie helped lead investments in fintech including and support portfolio companies through a strategic partnership with Citi. Her professional experience also includes time in financial services across the Utilities and Infrastructure sectors.
Lizzie is passionate about working with entrepreneurs who use new
technology to transform fintech across categories. Lizzie is particularly
interested in helping companies navigate the financial services landscape
to identify and develop meaningful partnerships to expand their reach.
She earned her B.A. in Environmental Studies and Economics from
Chief Product Officer
Audrey Hall, Brightwell’s Chief Product Officer, leads an integrated product, marketing and engineering team to deliver innovative cross-border payment solutions designed for scalable growth. Under her leadership, Brightwell is delivering on the vision of making simple, secure payments broadly accessible.
Prior to joining Brightwell, Audrey served as VP of Client Strategy at 532, an innovation and growth agency. In previous roles Audrey gained experience across multiple industries at organizations including Carnival Cruise Line, Def Jam Recordings, NBC, AT&T, Raymond James, Cummins Engines, Disney, and the US Air Force.
Audrey was recognized as a Top Software Product Executives of 2022 by The Software Report. She graduated from University of Denver with a degree in marketing and international business, and also studied at Miami Ad School.
Meena Hall is Head of HR and Legal Technology at Truist. Since joining the bank in 2013, Meena has led teams in Consumer Banking, Commercial Banking and Corporate FuncHons providing award winning digital experiences to clients. In her current capacity, she leads teams dedicated to delivering improved Truist Teammate experiences through technology on behalf of Truist HR, Legal and Public Affairs.
During her twenty-six-year career in technology, Meena has held several leadership posiHons within Telecom and Financial Services industries. She has led mulH-year programs, served as Chief of Staff to Technology CIO and CTOs. She earned her Bachelor of Science in Electrical Engineering from Auburn University and holds cerHficaHons in a variety of disciplines. Meena has recently served as a mentor to the Atlanta Women in Technology (WIT) Single Mothers Program and currently co-leads the Truist WIT Professional Development team. As a naHve of Georgia, Meena enjoys spending personal Hme with her family and serving the community.
Global Head of Marketing and EVP of Financial Services & Payments
Scott Harkey is the Global Head of Marketing and EVP of Financial Services & Payments at Endava. In this dual role, Scott guides the Endava’s Financial Services & Payments global go-to-market in addition to leading a global marketing team that brings the Endava value proposition to clients across 15 countries and 12 different industry verticals. Scott joined Endava through the acquisition of Levvel where he served as one of the early leaders and Chief Strategy Officer prior to its acquisition by Endava in 2021.Prior to joining Levvel, Scott was a Technology Executive at Bank of America managing the bank’s Digital Wallet technology. In this role, he was responsible for accelerating the bank’s progress to becoming a leader in digital payments through the launch of multiple strategic payment products. This experience, combined with an additional 10 years of technology merger integration and IT operations outsourcing at Wells Fargo, gives Scott a true insider’s point of view. It also demonstrates a proven track record of delivering to banks, technology providers, and merchants operating in the digital payments space. Scott holds a number of payment-related patents, was voted one of the top “40 Under 40” by both the ETA and the Charlotte Business Journal, is a frequent speaker on digital banking and payments, and plays an active role in fostering a Fintech culture in the Charlotte community. He holds an MIS degree from UNC Charlotte and an MBA from NC State University and lives in Charlotte, NC with his wife, daughter, and twin boys.
President & GM of AP Automation
Corpay, a FLEETCOR company
JoAnn Holmes, Esq. (“Jo”) is an IP & Digital Assets Attorney, Web3 Advisor and Founder of Holmes@Law. She practices at the intersection of Law x Business x Blockchain. Jo provides strategy to design and launch engaging Web3 offers, consultations to navigate evolving legal and regulatory risks, and recurring advisory services for revenue generating organizations.
With expansive experience as Outside General Counsel to multinational brands and tech companies, Jo has managed intangible assets generating more than $2 billion in annual revenue. Over her 20+ year career, she has overseen IP in more than 150 countries. And, Jo is committed to creating IP based wealth for clients, with a steadfast focus on highlighting profitable opportunities and closing lucrative deals.
Jo is featured among the global Top 100 Women of the Future™, and serves on the inaugural Blockchain Law for Social Good Center board. She is a recurring advisor for elite startup accelerators like Dapper Labs’ Flow incubator, multiple Techstars’ cohorts, and the Atlanta Blockchain Center and DAO. Jo has spoken extensively in the US and abroad, delivering pragmatic insights on blockchain law and regulation, IP monetization and Web3 revenue strategies.
www.holmesatlaw.com | Advising Innovators™
GM Strategic Partnerships
Brandon Horne is General Manager of Strategic Partnerships at Greenlight, where he oversees B2B and distribution partnerships. Prior to joining Greenlight, he was a part of the SunTrust Accelerator Studio where he focused on product transformation strategy and prior to that, he oversaw product strategy and channel marketing for bank relationships at Cardlytics. Before entering the corporate world, Brandon served in the US Army as an Engineer Officer and held various responsibilities ranging from the head of future plans for an infantry battalion to the Task Force Engineer for multiple Afghan Provinces. He is an Army Airborne Ranger, received his BS in Biochemistry and Molecular Biology from the University of Miami (FL), and an MBA in Technology Management from Georgia Institute of Technology.
Senior Innovation Manager
Eleni Delimpaltadaki Janis
Managing Partner & Chief Investment Officer
Eleni is an entrepreneur and investment manager who has dedicated her career to building businesses and developing people. Particularly businesses that deliver a meaningful social impact while also generating attractive commercial returns. She brings to any situation resilience and persistence, which has defined her own life as an immigrant to the U.S. and innovator in business.
When Eleni co-founded Equivico at the National Community Reinvestment Coalition, she sought to build a company that, like her career, is situated at the nexus of smart, scalable investments and social justice. As an investment professional, she draws on her experience in government, economic development and market research, to invest profitably in businesses, assets and projects that benefit households, societies and investors alike.
Prior to Equivico, Eleni served as vice president at the New York City Economic Development Corporation (NYCEDC). During her tenure, she established the first ESG investing team, administered a portfolio of 18 tech startup incubators, and advised on investment strategies targeting minority- and woman-owned businesses, life sciences and small businesses. Eleni also co-founded New York City’s corporate attraction team, which coordinated the City’s, initially winning, bid for Amazon’s second headquarters. The project was expected to be the largest economic development project in the U.S. in several decades.
Prior to NYCEDC, Eleni built The Opportunity Agenda’s market research practice where she serviced major social justice organizations and philanthropic institutions nationally. She published extensively on economic, immigration and human rights issues. Previously, she co-founded the Business and Labor Coalition of New York, an advocacy group of over 60 labor unions and large enterprises designing and advancing shared economic policy objectives.
Eleni serves on the Board of Advisors of iQ4, a technology-based cybersecurity skills transfer platform, and the Board of Directors of the Hellenic American Leadership Council. She previously served on the Boards of the American Association of Public Opinion Research, New York University Alumni Association Board of Directors, and the Business and Labor Coalition of New York. She holds a Master’s degree in Political Science from New York University and a Bachelor’s in Media Studies and Communications from the National University of Athens, in her native Greece. She studied Executive Management and Finance at the Wharton Business School and is an American Express Leadership Fellow.
SVP, Chief Technology and Digital Officer
Yogaraj (Yogs) Jayaprakasam joined Deluxe Corporation in May 2022 as Chief Technology and Digital Officer and a member of the Executive Leadership team.
Yogs has an extensive, distinguished background in financial services and payments, leading large-scale technology organizations for American Express, Cognizant Technology Solutions and a Start-up for more than 20 years. His expertise spans Multi-Cloud Payment Platforms, MarTech, Open Banking APIs, Client & Partner integrations, Data & Analytics Platforms, and other key areas. Most recently at American Express, Yogs led the technology teams supporting the company’s B2B Digital Channels, Corporate Cards, Virtual Payments, B2B payments and API Platforms, Commercial Data platforms and other key areas. He holds several patents, and also co-led various innovation efforts including a recent innovation partnership with one of the largest cloud and CRM technology providers.
Yogs received his bachelor’s degree in Physics from University of Madras, India, and a master’s degree in Computer Applications from Bharathidasan University, India. He also has a Chief Technology Officer Certification from University of California, Berkeley.
Overseas Technology Consulting Corp
John is a FinTech / IT executive with over 32 years of experience leading innovation and technology transformation. A hands-on IT executive specializing in financial services and FinTech solutions. Outstanding ability to effectively develop and implement enterprise IT solutions facilitating rapid growth in highly competitive service sectors. A results-orientated executive with experience utilizing his background in multiple organizations, roles, and international markets to implement corporate strategy and priorities. Proven ability to lead enterprise-wide initiatives that streamline operations, capture savings, increase capability, minimize risk, ensure compliance, and deliver growth.
John has held several IT executive roles with HSBC, MUFG / Union Bank, Wells Fargo, and Western Alliance Bank. John has led IT functions ranging from Software Development to IT Operations / Infrastructure, specializing in DevOps, Cloud, IT Security, and Blockchain.
In April 0f 2023, John started his own consulting firm, Overseas Technology Consulting Corp (OTECHCOM). OTECHCOM’s goal is to help financial institutions advance their technology through innovation and adoption of emerging technologies.
Over his career, John has lived in various locations around the US and over seven years in Latin America as an International IT Executive Expat. John has a Master of Science in Information Technology and holds several industry technology professional certifications. John currently resides in Phoenix, AZ, with his wife and daughter.
VP, MidAtlantic and Southeast
Matt has over 20 years of experience providing data center, hybrid IT and network infrastructure solutions to enterprises and government entities throughout the MidAtlantic and Southeast regions. He is responsible for the growth and development of the region, leading a team of experienced professionals supporting customers across 10 CoreSite data centers in his region and 28 data centers across CoreSite’s nationwide portfolio.
Director of BFS DLT Solutions
Sandeep is a persuasive entrepreneur with over 15 years of experience in Information Technology, with a specialization in blockchain and cryptocurrencies. She is the Director of BFS DLT Solutions at Innova Solutions. She founded Miss Bitcoin in 2014 to educate women about crypto assets and led business strategies, product development, and operations for three blockchain startups in the payments, Regtech, and Investment Banking sectors. Sandeep has also worked in decentralized finance, Circle USDC and as a consultant at various digital assets startups, including Investment Banking: Emergents@Weild&Co. Sandeep holds an MBA in IT and is certified by MIT in Fintech Future E-commerce.
CEO & Co-Founder
Barclay Keith is the CEO and co-founder of Momnt, an embedded financial services platform for digital, point-of-need lending and payments. Barclay Keith is a self-taught coder who spent six years serving in the U.S. Army with a stint in Afghanistan, prior to beginning his career in finance. Before Momnt, Keith was a Director at consumer lending fintech GreenSky Credit where he was responsible for long-term forecasting, data analytics, and credit strategies research. He has spent most of his career in finance and data modeling, including working in securities analytics for Bloomberg and as Director at asset management firm Heard Capital.
SVP, Product & Marketing
Jessica Kemp has over 20 years of experience building and scaling payments products and solutions around the world. In her current role, she guides the direction of a new, innovative payment network and its proprietary new payment method, Pay by Paycheck. A proven leader in payments, fintech and SaaS, Jessica has been recognized as a “40 Under 40” award recipient by the Electronic Transaction Association, and currently serves as an advisor to Equali, a fintech platform streamlining merchant reconciliation globally.
Jessica’s extensive knowledge comes from her previous roles as Chief Product Officer (CPO) at London-based open banking and payment company Banked, and as founder and CPO of her own company, KyckGlobal, Inc., a payout distribution platform. Jessica has served in many executive product roles at payments and merchant acquiring companies, including at Checkout.com, MerchantE (a Cielo company) and Heartland Payment Systems. Her career spans leading product and development initiatives from payment acceptance and processing solutions to alternative payment methods and payment-linked reward and loyalty solutions.
Co-Founder & CEO
Founder and CEO
Sabrina Lamb is the Founder and CEO of Wekeza, a U.S. based fintech, whose mission is to provide families from the African diaspora residing in the United States with financial education and investing services. Wekeza, meaning ‘save’ and ‘invest’ in Swahili, reflects her vision. Wekeza won the Silicon Harlem C-Better Pitch Competition Grand Prize.
Sabrina also leads the WorldofMoney non-profit, the leading provider of immersive youth financial education with 120 in-person and online hours, impacting over 7,000 youths globally. Her six best-selling books, include the NAACP Image Awards-nominated “Do I Look Like An ATM?”. WorldofMoney received Motley Fool’s award for the “Best Overall Financial Literacy” app, with users in the United States and globally.
Sabrina received esteemed awards from Rep. Gregory Meeks, Westchester Board of Legislators, National Council of 100 Black Women, NBC News/The Grio 100, State Farm’s National Dream Achiever Award, Essence Magazine’s “Shining Moments: 50 Women Who Made Us Proud” and Rainbow Push/Wall Street Project Honors.
Georgia Fintech Academy
Laura Gibson-Lamothe is an accomplished technology and operations executive with over 18 years of experience in the banking, finance, and financial technology industries. She is the Executive Director of the Georgia Fintech Academy, a talent development collaboration between the University System of Georgia (USG), Georgia State University’s J. Mack Robinson College of Business, and all USG institutions.
As the Executive Director of the Georgia Fintech Academy, Laura oversees a comprehensive talent development initiative. The academy, based at Georgia State University’s Robinson College of Business, offers core curriculum offerings accessible to students at 26 USG colleges and universities. It encompasses academic talent development, experiential learning through student projects, job placement assistance, professional development opportunities, and innovation-driven research.
The Georgia Fintech Academy has made significant strides in educating and preparing students for careers in the financial services industry. More than 5,500 students from USG institutions have benefited from the academy’s programs, and over 1,800 students have been placed in financial services jobs.
Before joining the Georgia Fintech Academy, Laura worked at Protiviti, a global consulting firm specializing in the finance industry. As a leader in the firm’s payments consulting practice, she demonstrated her expertise in driving technology initiatives for financial institutions. Before that, Laura led U.S. Operations for Featurespace, an award-winning fraud and risk management platform headquartered in the UK. Her responsibilities encompassed strategic growth and business operations across North and Latin America.
Laura has shown a passion for technology-driven solutions and innovation throughout her career. She has successfully implemented complex, multi-channel technology solutions focusing on profitability, growth, and customer satisfaction. Her notable achievements include supporting high-profile mergers at Bank of America, contributing to the enterprise transition during the legacy Wachovia-Wells Fargo acquisition, and pivotal in launching a co-branded credit card product at Ally Bank, a renowned digital bank.
Laura’s expertise extends beyond her domain knowledge in banking and financial technology. She has a strong background in promoting diversity, equity, and inclusion initiatives. Currently serving on the board of directors of PayTech Women (formerly Wnet), she actively contributes to fostering an inclusive environment within the fintech industry. She is also a board member of LaAmistad, a non-profit preparing Latino students and families for success through academic and life enrichment programs. In 2021, she was selected as a member of Money 20/20’s RiseUp program, which focuses on empowering inclusivity in leadership.
Laura Gibson-Lamothe’s extensive experience, passion for technology-driven innovation, commitment to diversity and inclusion, and dedication to talent development make her a remarkable leader in the fintech industry. Her contributions to her professional field and the community continue to shape the future of finance and empower individuals to achieve their fullest potential.
VP, Market Intelligence
Allyson Laurance leads Market Intelligence on the Global Technology Strategic Initiatives team, focused on driving business and emerging technology partnerships or investment opportunities to further Prudential’s growth portfolio
Allyson has an experienced background in business development across the consulting, consumer retail and financial services industries. Prior to Prudential, Allyson led the global strategic partnerships and innovation team for Citi’s Institutional Clients Group. She was responsible for leading transformation engagements and strategic investment opportunities on a global scale, curating a strong network with venture capital teams in the industry.
She began her career at Willis Towers Watson, eventually leading their North America stop loss unit. She then went on to run procurement functions at several global and national retail chains, where she was responsible for directing supply chain transformation and go-to-market projects.
Allyson holds an MBA from Groupe Sup de Co in France, and a Bachelors in Economics from the University of Notre Dame
Principal, FS Lead
Michael Lewandowski leads the Financial Service Practice at Method; a digital strategy, experience design and engineering consultancy. For over 15 years, Michael has been helping the largest financial institutions, fintech start-ups and non-profits evolve or create new digital products and experiences that drive value for their customers and their bottom line.
Chief Product Officer
Yuelin Li is Chief Product Officer at Onfido, where she focuses on leveraging AI and machine learning for identity verification and authentication. Over the last five years, she has been instrumental in driving Onfido’s growth and development—helping scale Onfido from a 100-person company into a global organization with more than 680 employees and over $100m in revenue. Prior to joining Onfido, Yuelin was a Commercial Principal at faculty.ai and part of the European Industrials Credit Research team at JPMorgan. In 2021, she was presented with the Rising Star Award at the Digital Masters Awards.
Jethro Lloyd, as CEO and President of iLAB, has spent two decades elevating the global standard for software quality assurance. Under his guidance, iLAB has grown from a team of 15 quality assurance professionals into a thriving organization of over 800 quality leaders.
Jethro’s approach centers on understanding clients’ diverse industries and anticipating their future needs. As a native South African, Jethro draws inspiration from a profound meeting with Nelson Mandela in his formative years. This encounter fuels his determination to see opportunities in challenges, a mindset that resonates throughout iLAB’s operations. His commitment to prioritizing the human element above dollars and cents empowers iLAB to foster healthy long-term relationships with his clients and staff. Lloyd believes it is his mutual respect and care for one another that ultimately allows us to protect our clients’ reputations and ensure they develop and deploy quality software.
End User Computing Specialist, Enterprise Southeast
Amazon Web Services
Board Member, Digital Business Network Alliance; Founder & CEO
Miller & Martin
Mike Marshall concentrates his practice on business law with a focus on mergers and acquisitions, securities, corporate governance and general commercial transactions. He represents companies across a wide range of industries, including manufacturing, technology and hospitality. Mike has a particularly active practice in the financial institutions area, including commercial banks and their holding companies. His banking practice focuses on securities law issues, mergers and acquisitions and a wide range of regulatory compliance issues. Since 2013, Mike has been recognized among The Best Lawyers in America© in the area of Banking and Finance Law. He is the managing member of the Atlanta office, a member of the firm’s Policy Committee and Vice-Chair of the Corporate Department.
Mike holds a law degree from the University of Georgia School of Law and an undergraduate degree in accounting from the University of Virginia.
Lane is a Principal (Partner) within PwC’s Banking Transformation Consulting Solutions Practice. Having joined PwC in January 2023 with over 18 years of professional experience within consulting and industry contexts, Lane serves as the leader of the Payments business in the U.S.Lane brings robust knowledge on core banking modernization, omnichannel development, digital and direct bank builds and payment system transformation. Lane’s adept at crafting c-level and executive level strategies then implementing accordingly. Moreover, Lane’s passionate about creating the internal culture which delivers deep expertise, high performance and significant value for clients. Prior to joining PwC, Lane served as a Partner and U.S. Head of Banking and Payments at Capco. Before then, he worked at MasterCard Worldwide as a Director on the product development team. Lane began his career in managerial consulting at BearingPoint, where he was part of the Financial Services practice, with concentration on Banking and Payments.
Elizabeth McQuerry is a Partner in Glenbrook and leads the firm’s Global Payments Practice helping clients develop and scale new real time and cross-border payment systems. She brings a broad vantage point garnered from over two decades in financial services working with financial institutions on behalf of Federal Reserve Financial Services and supporting varied ecosystem stakeholders (business, government, financial institution, non-profit, payment network) in realizing their payment needs and policy goals.
She is frequently called upon to provide expertise in account-to-account payments with focus areas including collections and disbursements, cross-border payments, digital wallets as well as regulatory aspects.
For the past five years Elizabeth has coordinated the Faster Payments Barometer which tracks industry satisfaction and concerns for the U.S. Faster Payments Council.
ADVANCE Awards Co-Chair; President
William Mills Agency
Scott Mills is President of William Mills Agency. He is responsible for guiding the account teams, monitoring tactical activities as they relate to the strategic plan, day-to-day management of the agency and customer service. Since joining the agency in 1989, he has worked in both creative services and client relations.
Scott is also the editor of Bankers As Buyers, an annual guide to technologies and spending trends in the financial services industry.
Prior to joining the agency, Scott worked in the entertainment industry for WEKS-FM, WEA (record distribution) and WKLS-FM. He earned a Bachelor of Science degree from Georgia State University. Currently, Scott is on the board of directors of Association for Financial Technology (AFT) and TAG Fintech. Scott is accredited in Public Relations through the Public Relations Society of America.
Mike Morris assists financial institutions and fintech companies with regulatory compliance, risk management, strategy, and general audit and consulting services. Mike oversees projects including System and Organization Controls (SOC) reports, cyber resilience, and IT general control reviews. He is a member of the Information Systems Audit and Control Association (ISACA) and is an active member of the Technology Association of Georgia (TAG), serving on the steering committee of the FinTech Society. Mike is actively involved with leading a variety of seminars and webinars as well as served on panels relating to internal fraud, regulatory compliance, vendor management and risk management.
CEO & Co-Founder
Dr. Mark Moyou
Senior Data Scientist
Dr. Mark Moyou is a Senior Data Scientist at NVIDIA, developing scalable machine learning solutions for top North American retailers. With previous roles at Lucidworks and Alstom Transportation, he brings a wealth of experience in machine learning applications. Dr. Moyou, who holds advanced degrees in Systems Engineering, also actively contributes to the tech community as the host of the Caribbean Tech Pioneers Podcast and the Southern Data Science Conference in Atlanta.
Sudhir Nair is a Technology & Digital Operations Leader and a distinguished speaker with more than 25 years in various C-suite technology & operations leadership roles. Sudhir served as C level executive, CDO, CIO, CTO, COO for fortune 100 in Banking & Financial Services, Supply Chain, Retail (FMCG & CPG), Higher Education, Online/eCommerce, and Technology.
Sudhir is a C-suite executive & leader on the board of 2 leading AI based technology companies as well as Advisory board members for several others including Harvard Business Review. He currently spends time on leading several strategic initiatives in adoption of Generative AI & Machine learning in industries including highly regulated financial services and healthcare.
Sudhir was previously C-suite EVP Leading technology & digital operations at various Banking & financial services including Bank of America, Chase, Mr. Cooper, LoanDepot, etc.
He was instrumental in transforming LoanDepot into a Fintech leveraging Data, Machine Learning and AI & transforming them into cloud onto SaaS, PaaS, and IaaS. Mr. Nair was previously Executive Vice President & CIO of Mr. Cooper/Xome. Sudhir was instrumental in launching first real estate marketplace “Homesearch.com / Xome.com” and also implemented the company’s technology stack entirely on Cloud, Mobile and data analytics, first of its kind in the banking and financial services industry.
Mr. Nair also spend a decade as Technology Executive, at Bank of America where he had several leadership roles in Consumer Banking & Consumer Lending. At Bank of America Sudhir was instrumental in transformation of consumer banking & deposit platform, launching a new loan origination system, led the largest merger integration and conversion of mortgage servicing technology in the industry managing a global team supporting servicing of 16.3 million mortgages, the largest mortgage servicing portfolio in the United States.
Sudhir’s experience spans working around the globe in Asia, Europe, Middle East & Africa, and the United States in various industries including Banking & Financial Services, High Tech industry, Oil & Gas, Supply Chain & Retail, and Higher education.
Sudhir started his career with Hewlett Packard in their software R&D Labs as an operating system design engineer.
Sudhir has a Bachelors in Computer Science Engineering from University of Madras. India and a Masters in Systems & Information from Birla Institute of Tech & Science, Pilani-India. Sudhir graduated in Executive management program from Harvard University.
Mike Neumeier, APR, is CEO and co-founder of Arketi Group, an integrated digital marketing and public relations firm that helps B2B technology organizations engage audiences, fill the funnel, and convert prospects to customers.
For nearly three decades, Mike has spearheaded PR and marketing programs that generate results and add value to the bottom line. He has earned the distinction of Accredited in Public Relations and more than 100 industry awards. He was inducted into the Order of the Phoenix in 2019, which is PRSA Georgia’s highest honor; named the Public Relations Society of America 2013 Technology PR Professional of the Year; and in 2010 was inducted into the National PRSSA Hall of Fame.
Mike is a board and executive committee member of the Technology Association of Georgia (TAG), Technology Executives Roundtable (TER), HealthMPowers, and FinTech Atlanta. He earned a Bachelor of Science degree from the University of Florida in Public Relations, where he also did post-graduate work.
Managing Director, North America
Edmund (Ed) has extensive sales and management experience at a variety of high growth companies that span the technology and professional services sectors. His experiences includes significant leadership roles at IBM, PriceWaterhouseCoopers, Amdocs, Grant Thornton and Radius/Vistra. Ed’s recently joined Acclime as their Managing Director for North America.
Ed most enjoys supporting emerging companies in North America fulfill their growth strategies as they expand their presence and their business models internationally. Since 2017 Ed has built and led teams that have offered these companies a successful path to global growth. As more and more companies are investing in their Asian based growth strategies, Ed is anxious to leverage the Acclime Asian corporate services platform for his clients.
Ed lives in the Washington, DC metro area with his wife Sheila. They have 3 adult children who also live in the DC area. He holds a bachelor’s in finance from the University of Maryland and a master’s degree in business administration from George Mason University.
JP Morgan Payments
Julie Offen leads the Global Business to Consumer Payments organization for J.P. Morgan where she manages the development, financials, and operational quality of the emerging / alternative payments suite of products for the firm. Julie’s team is focused on developing and commercializing innovative B2C solutions for the corporate, insurance and public sector industries.
Julie has been with J.P. Morgan since 2007 when she joined as a Relationship Manager for a large Federal Government client portfolio. She has since served in various roles across the firm including Lockbox Operations Management, Operational Controls Management, and working with hundreds of clients to design technical and payables product solutions to meet specific B2C use case needs. Julie has led the B2C Product team since 2022.
Prior to joining J.P. Morgan, Julie ran a successful artist management and marketing company, responsible for launching, developing, and sustaining the careers of multiple musical acts.
Eduardo Goni de Oliveira
Chief Revenue Officer
Gregg is a business leader with a notable career span of 25 years in Loyalty Marketing Services and Financial Services, now spearheading a novel vertical in Purpose Tech. The core aim is to forge a unique nexus between brands, consumers, and nonprofits, instigating a fresh marketing paradigm where customers dictate corporate donations in areas such as Social Justice, Environment, Youth Services, Health Equity, and more. Gregg’s unique journey began with industry giants such as Maritz, Points International and AmpliFI Loyalty Solutions where he nurtured his skills in creating and implementing compelling loyalty programs. His tenure at Epsilon further enhanced his expertise in this area, giving him the opportunity to craft personalized, data-driven experiences that foster customer loyalty.
Gregg has worked with well-known clients like AT&T, Citi, Visa, FIS, PayPal, Marriott, United Airlines, Southwest, and Target. His career has been marked by the successful development and implementation of novel marketing initiatives, leading to substantial increases in traffic, revenue, and customer acquisition. Gregg’s wide-ranging experience has seen him perform in key leadership roles across executive management, sales and business development, marketing, client services, project management, and implementations, primarily within the loyalty, marketing, and payment card sectors. His excellence in outside sales is underscored by his proven track record of securing multi-year contracts and significant revenue.
Gregg’s 3/12 year tenure at in/PACT has seen significant growth in the company’s successes adding new clients like Walgreens, Starbucks among others. With a keen focus on the crossroads of philanthropy and loyalty marketing, Gregg continuously strives to redefine the consumer’s day-to-day interactions with their favorite brands. His areas of specialization span across CSR, ESG giving strategies, loyalty marketing, payment solutions, rewards, and consumer and brand engagement strategies. He also possesses a strong footing in sales and business development, business operations support, financial services, hospitality and travel, retail, and technology.
In summary, Gregg’s blend of deep industry knowledge, strategic leadership, and passion for creating purposeful brand connections position him as a distinct figure in the contemporary business landscape. His drive to revolutionize customer-brand relationships through purposeful giving continues to pave new ways for innovation and growth.
Founder & CEO
Founder & CEO
Maria Luisa Pineda
ADVANCE Awards Co-Chair; Founder & CEO
Maria completed her studies in International Business and Management of Information Systems at the University of South Florida and at Ecole de Management de Normadie in France. After graduating from both universities, in 2011, she went to Colombia to Co-found with her father EA Strategy, a technology company that focuses on Enterprise Architecture solutions. She still leads the international business development organization of the company. In 2015, Maria moved to Atlanta and worked with Miracle Software, where she became a top performer as Business Development Manager. Then, in 2019, she created her own company MPS Group and operated through software services companies, she was the Director of Business Development in the US for Maestral Solutions and then for PersonalSoft.
In 2023, she was ready to operate under her own company full time. MPS Group is a one stop shop for Enterprise Software Services and solutions, MPS clients include Fortune 100 companies. She has also been active in the Georgia Community. Maria has volunteered with Women in Technology, Atlanta Community Food bank and other non-profit organizations, she is currently a board member of the TAG Fintech Society and this is her 3rd year as Co-Chair for TAG Fintech Advance Awards.
TAG Fintech Innovation Challenge Co-Chair
With over 15 years of experience as an attorney and business executive, Reese Porter has been instrumental in guiding financial institutions, fintech, and healthcare IT companies through regulatory and strategic challenges. He has worked with startups and established companies alike, serving as a corporate and securities attorney for seven years at two prominent Atlanta law firms, as well as holding the position of EVP and General Counsel for two leading payments companies. In his more recent role as an advisor to fintech startups, Reese has continued to build strong connections within Atlanta’s fintech community. He is a longstanding board member of the TAG FinTech Society, a past Co-Chair of TAG Fintech South and Co-Chair of the 2023 TAG Fintech Innovation Challenge.
Head of Payments Improvement, Federal Reserve Financial Services
Federal Reserve Bank
As head of Payments Improvement, Kassandra (Kassi) Quimby is responsible for advancing desired outcomes that support the overall integrity, efficiency, and accessibility of the U.S. payment system. Specifically, efforts to support speed, security, efficiency, and international payment advancements are conducted in collaboration with the U.S. payments industry.
Prior to her current role, Kassi was vice president of Industry Engagement and Programs in the Customer Relations and Support Office (CRSO), where she managed several programs to support industry readiness for the FedNow Service and co-led the Strategies for Improving the U.S. Payment System Program’s Business to Business Payment Efficiency work.
In addition, Kassi has served in various leadership roles for the Federal Reserve System and the Federal Reserve Board of Governors. She joined the Federal Reserve System in 2002 as an analyst. Kassi earned a bachelor’s degree in finance and business management from the University of Miami and an MBA from George Washington University’s School of Business.
Co-Founder and COO
FP Omni Technologies
Joe Radest started his career in card payments over 25 years ago, working for the industry giant First Data. Since FDC, Joe has worked with other notable processors – TSYS, Global Payments and Chase Paymentech.
Over 13 years ago, Joe branched out on his own, by launching 1 Step Technologies. Since that initial FinTech launch, Joe co-founded, equity investment in two other FinTech firms – Payix Holdings and FP Omni Technologies. Payix went through a successful M&A to Repay Holdings in 2021. In addition, he is the managing partner in Radest Ventures, a private equity/venture capital firm focused on investment in new FinTech firms. He serves on FinTech Atlanta’s Board as an Executive Member, as well as two other Fintech related boards. He resides in Atlanta with his family.
Co-Founder & CTO
Seth Radman is an Atlanta-based tech entrepreneur and a 4x startup founder. He is currently the cofounder of Infinite Giving, a fintech platform that automates investing and asset gifting for nonprofits. The startup provides an all-in-one product to receive stock donations, crypto donations and endowments. It also provides nonprofits with curated investment portfolios and personal advisors to help with cash management. Infinite Giving operates in 18 states and has raised $1.6 million from Atlanta Ventures and local angel investors. Radman previously founded Crescendo, an AI music training app used by over 1 million musicians, which was acquired by Ultimate Guitar in 2019. Radman also founded Upbeat, a virtual music platform that helped 5,000 schools keep music programs alive during Covid. Upbeat was acquired by MakeMusic in 2022.
Finance Product Manager
Alexandra Raymond is a dynamic Finance Product Manager and FinTech Speaker who champions the power of inclusive product design. With a focus on diversity and inclusion, Alexandra helps FinTech product leaders tap into underserved markets, driving revenue growth and innovation.
In her signature talk, “Inclusion as an Innovation Strategy: How to Boost Profitability Through Inclusive Product Design,” Alexandra reveals the transformative power of embracing diversity in product development. With her captivating speaking style and deep industry knowledge, she inspires audiences to challenge the status quo.
Alexandra’s expertise and unwavering belief that inclusion drives innovation make her an invaluable resource. Attendees will learn best practices for inclusive product design, uncovering untapped markets and revenue streams. Alexandra’s presentations are informative, inspiring, and leave audiences motivated to create products that resonate with diverse user segments.
Join Alexandra Raymond on a transformative journey as she guides you toward unlocking new horizons through inclusive product design.
Senior Vice President, Division President Payments
Michael Reed joined Deluxe Corporation in November 2019 as Senior Vice President, Division President Payments and a member of the Executive Leadership team.
With more than 20 years of global experience leading customer-centric and scaled payments solutions, Michael comes to Deluxe from Barclays in London, where he served as managing director, global payment acceptance & product. While there, he managed payment acceptance and led digital transformation and international expansion initiatives designed to transform the customer experience and expand capabilities into new markets. Prior to joining Barclays, Michael spent eight years at Bank of America Merchant Services, most recently as managing director of its European division, where he was responsible for establishing cross-border solutions for clients.
VP, Client Success
Steven Q. Riddick (Steve) is a results-oriented, seasoned Executive specializing in Payments, Product, Strategy and Operations. His 20-year career has epitomized three themes:
• HUNGRY for new challenges with the proven leadership to succeed.
• HUMBLE enough to listen, learn and empower his team for success.
• Consistent HUSTLE with his reputation for getting things done and his track record for exceeding expectations while doing so.
Steve is the VP of Client Services at Visa, globally responsible for supporting multinational & emerging Enablers & FinTechs. He built the Payment Processors practice of Visa Consulting & Analytics, delivering over $11M in its first year and selling the largest project in VCA’s then history. Prior to Visa, Steve spent his career in Finance & Financial Technologies. He served as Head of Product at Fiserv & Global Payments, managing 150 employees and
$125M P&Ls, annually driving double digit Revenue and product-adoption growth. He has also had responsibilities in banking, lending, credit analysis, mergers and acquisitions, and other financial disciplines that have given him depth and breadth of financial and payments expertise.
Founder, Technical Ink, LLC; Senior Consultant
Christina Bechhold Russ
Head of Strategic Investment Initiatives, Truist Ventures
Christina Bechhold Russ is Head of Strategic Investment Initiatives at Truist Ventures, the venture capital arm of Truist Financial. She is also cofounder and Founding Partner of Empire Angels, a New York-based fund and angel network of young professionals investing in early-stage startups, with a focus on supporting millennial entrepreneurs. Christina was previously Director of European investments for Samsung NEXT, an early-stage venture capital fund investing in software and services across mobile, consumer electronics and display, and started her career in capital markets at Citigroup in New York.
She is a regular contributor on startups and leadership for the Wall Street Journal and sits on venture fund advisory boards in both the US and South America. Christina is also a TEDx speaker and was recognized by the New York Business Journal as a Woman of Influence, by Business Insider as a Woman to Watch in Venture Capital in and by Management Today & The Daily Telegraph as one of Britain’s 35 Women Under 35.
Co-Founder & CEO
Mitch is a Co-Founder and CEO of Vertice AI. He has been in the software technology space for more than 25 years and in the advanced analytics and AI sector for more than 13 years. Prior to starting Vertice AI, Mitch spent 12 years with SAS Institute as a leader in their go-to-market accounts organization working in the U.S. and the United Kingdom. His career has been focused on providing analytic solutions that deliver outcomes for clients in several industries, including financial services, retail, CPG, and others. Mitch lives in Georgia with his wife Suzanne, son Luke, and golden retriever, Bailey. He is a graduate of Georgia Tech with a Bachelor’s degree in chemical engineering. Beyond Vertice AI, Mitch and his family love to travel, having been to more than 50 countries and counting.
Founder & CEO
Kareem Saleh is the founder and CEO of FairPlay AI, the world’s first fairness-as-a-service company. Financial institutions use FairPlay’s AI-powered tools to assess their automated decisioning models in minutes to increase both fairness and profits. Kareem founded FairPlay in 2020 after spending his career improving consumer lending to historically disadvantaged groups. As the son of Egyptian immigrants, he saw firsthand how his parents’ denial of a small business loan made it harder to achieve the American dream for his family.
Previously Kareem held leadership roles with Zest and SoftCard. He also served in the Obama administration. Kareem is a Forbes contributor and a frequent speaker on AI, fair lending and algorithmic bias. Prior speaking events include Money 20/20, the Fintech Nexus Conference, and Fintech Meetup. He has testified before Congress about AI and the adverse impacts of algorithmic bias.
Atlanta Business Chronicle
SVP, Head of Sales and Marketing, Buy Now Pay Later | POS Lending
Melissa is responsible for business development and lead generation for a new Buy Now Pay Later/POS Lending business line at U.S. Bank. Creating a unique value proposition that helps our customers grow their business, hassle-free and empowers consumers with a new choice on how to pay, so they can own the purchase and the process. Through education and engagement with customers and partners on the benefits of POS lending, Melissa aims to position U.S. Bank and Elavon as a disrupter in this space.
Before taking on the role, Melissa was responsible for the successful commercialization efforts of Elavon’s core SMB point of sale software resulting in >500% growth Year over Year. Previous roles at Elavon include Head of Financial Institutions (FI) Acquisitions for Elavon, N.A. where she led the team acquiring new bank partners in the US, she served as the European FI Channel lead from 2004-2008, where she managed relationships with key bank partners across Europe for Elavon.
Melissa joined Elavon in 1997 and holds a bachelor’s degree from Florida State University. She also serves as a mentor to several professionals in the payments industry and is a proud member of the Women in Payments organization. She currently lives in Dunwoody, Georgia along with her husband and three children.
Nandan Sheth, CEO of Splitit since March 2022, brings domain expertise from his work in large payments companies, fintech platforms, Fortune 100 firms, and disruptive startups across North America and Europe. His record of entrepreneurial success includes scaling and exiting multiple fintech companies like Harbor Payments and Acculynk. His executive experience spans strategy, scaling products, corporate development, product management, technology, and operations. Prior to Splitit, he served as Fiserv’s Head of Global Digital Commerce and led the Carat business for multinational merchants. As CEO, he transformed Splitit into a premium white label installment platform, securing partnerships with Visa, Google, Checkout, Ingenico, and AliPay.
Chief Operating Officer
Kattia has a proven record of translating strategy into actionable goals that improve performance and drive growth.
In her current role as Maast’s Chief Operating Officer, she leads the execution of Maast’s prioritized strategies and works to identify the appropriate operational structure to deliver exceptional service and value to Maast’s partners.
During her time at Synovus she managed the Bank’s Consumer and Small Business credit card program and lead key initiatives for the bank’s Strategy Office.
Before joining Synovus, Kattia was part of Deloitte’s Financial Services practice. She also worked at Citi’s Operations and Technology team.
She is a graduate of ABA Stonier School of Banking, Wharton’s Leadership Program and Georgia State University’s Robinson School of Business.
Kattia is also an active member in her community as a board member of Caminar Latino.
Founder & CEO
Joshua Silver is founder and CEO of Rainforest, a Payments-as-a-service company that helps software platforms monetize payments and create robust financial experiences without onerous risk and compliance burdens.
Silver is a payments veteran and expert on credit card processing, ACH origination, remittance handling, alternative payments, payment facilitation, startup growth, and product development.
Prior, Silver founded LaunchPath Group, which advised software companies on payments strategies. Frustrated with the lack of providers that offered software platforms excellent service, reasonable pricing and fair contract terms, he launched Rainforest.
Earlier on, Silver co-founded VC-backed Patientco, which built a robust patient payments platform for health systems. It served 30 million+ patients and processed billions of dollars annually before a successful exit.
Silver is a graduate of the Georgia Institute of Technology with a BS in Computer Science and lives in Atlanta.
President & CEO
Innovative Payments Association
Head of Acquiring, BD and Strategy
Aleksandra is an experienced revenue growth executive and subject matter expert in embedded finance, fintech and payments. Her 18 years tenure in Payments stems across revenue, strategy, and product commercialization. As Head of BD & Strategy, US Acquiring, Aleksandra is responsible for leading the expansion for the US Acquiring and Card Rails practice at Cross River Bank, an API- first fintech infrastructure provider. In this role, she leads Cross River’s Aquiring practice which leverages Cross River’s real time payments technology and API-based connectivity. Prior to Cross River, Aleksandra lead key third party acquiring partnerships at American Express.
Aleks is a committee member of the American Banking Association Payment Systems Administration, an organization dedicated to digital transformation of banking landscape. Additionally, she enjoys speaking at industry events such as ETA, Tech United and Payments Forum. Aleksandra was recognized by American Banker’s Most Influential Women in Payments in 2022 and Forty under 40 Award by ETA Transact in 2020.
In her free time, Aleksandra enjoys mentoring rising payments professionals, consulting startups on navigating the evolving payments landscape and spending time with her family. She resides in New York City.
SVP & Global Head of Data
Brandon Tepper is Senior Vice President and Global Head of Data for Nasdaq’s Investment Intelligence unit. In his role, Brandon is responsible for driving the strategic vision for the business while collaborating with clients, partners, and internal stakeholders and leading a team focused on creating innovative real-time and historical data products that provide market transparency to investors.
Brandon joined Nasdaq in 2001, bringing over 20 years of fintech industry experience. During his tenure, he has helped lead the transformation of the Data business into a client-first, API-centric content provider by developing deep relationships with innovative global Fintech firms and data distributors.
Brandon holds a bachelor’s degree from the University of Maryland.
3x Olympian; Innovation & Global Digital Partnerships
Mikel Thomas, is a 3x Olympian and a charismatic team player with an impressive track record of driving innovation and execution within large global organizations. His leadership skills have consistently enhanced the performance of the teams he’s worked with. Currently, Mikel is involved in Global & North American Fintech Partnerships, as well as Inclusive Client Partnerships. He plays a crucial role in supporting the growth and development of fintech wealth management platforms. Mikel has successfully built and managed an innovative ecosystem of external VC’s, accelerators, community alliance partners, startups, founders and leaders, which supports a robust pipeline of inclusive North American founders. Mikel excels in collaborating with internal Digital Partnerships, Visa Venture and Visa Foundation teams to develop early stage and inclusive venture firm and fintech startup investment frameworks. He has positioned his team as thought leaders, developing and managing events, sponsorships, and metrics that amplify their commitment to inclusive business. In his previous roles, Mikel demonstrated versatility and adaptability. As part of Mobile Enablement, he assisted with Go to Market planning and execution for the Visa In-App Provisioning SDK. During his tenure with VBS SMB Outreach and Advocacy, he supported the creation and implementation of SMB purpose-driven programs and initiatives. Mikel’s unique blend of experience, from the competitive world of sports to the dynamic landscape of fintech.
Head of US Solutions Architect
Co-founder and SVP of Corporate Development
Javier Valverde is Co-founder and Senior Vice President of Corporate Development at Mbanq, a world-leading Banking-as-a-Service (BaaS) provider.
With a strong background in fintech and banking, Javier has played a pivotal role in shaping Mbanq’s strategic vision and growth trajectory to transform the company into a corporation that builds and operates banks, neobanks, credit unions and embedded finance for brands, globally.
Today, Mbanq comes complete with front-to-back office functionality, white-label mobile apps and open banking APIs, as well as a comprehensive ‘as-a-service’ portfolio to deliver a modern digital banking experience on behalf of client platforms. Together with its clients, Mbanq defines how consumers engage with digital finance.
Over his career, Javier has demonstrated exceptional leadership and expertise in various aspects of corporate development. Some key highlights include:
In-depth analysis of the banking and credit union industries, including assessing Total Addressable Markets (TAMs), competitive landscapes, customer overlaps, business case modeling and valuations. This data-driven approach has been instrumental in Mbanq’’s strategic decision-making.
M&A expertise to coordinate mergers and acquisitions (M&A) within the company.
Strategic planning to align the company’s long-term goals and objectives.
Managing and developing relationships within the credit union and banking sectors to foster strong partnerships that enhance Mbanq’s position in the industry.
Javier is also an experienced industry speaker and commentator on the topics of fintech and banking.
Global Head - BFSI
Pradeep comes with nearly three decades of international experience in
BFSI with experience serving a wide array of Financial Services institutions
globally. During his career, he has performed several roles covering
operations, delivery, pre-sales, practice management, sales, and strategy.
He has led several large, complex, and multi-year digital transformation
programs for BFSI institutions, contributed to product engineering in niche
areas such as Fund Accounting, and led the establishment of practice and
capabilities for leading IT service organizations.
Pradeep holds a bachelor’s degree in commerce from the University of
Madras, a certified Cost Accountant from The Institute of Cost Accountants
of India, and a master’s degree from London Business School.
During his free time, he enjoys biking long-distance and playing
Bill VanCuren is a global business executive and board member who leads transformations for growth through a balance of technology and business solutions, from private to publicly traded, from mid-size to multibillion-dollar corporations. Bill is an insightful business leader with 35+ years of diverse experience across high tech, field services, manufacturing, supply chain, and software/SaaS business models. He leads teams through uncertain times and is always at the confluence of both human and technological change.
Bill served as Advisory Board Chair for the two largest Atlanta technology associations, Technology Association of Georgia, and Georgia CIO Leadership Association. He also sits on the MIS advisory board at University of Georgia and has provided past advisory board service for the Georgia Tech College of Engineering, and Scheller College of Business. Bill was the commencement speaker for Robinson school of business at the Georgia State masters in MIS program. Retired: EVP & CIO at NCR, Bill helped the company transform from a traditional hardware provider to one of services and software. Bill is taking this learning as a board and company advisor.
Founder & CEO
US Sales Manager
Head of Global & North America Fintech Partnerships
Chief Executive Officer
York Public Relations
Mary York is the founder and CEO of York Public Relations and a recognized fintech expert. With 20 years of experience, she has led the strategic direction for numerous fintechs to increase brand awareness. As a result of her work, Mary has supported several companies through successful acquisitions, totaling over $1 billion. She also supports fintechs and financial services firms increase profitability, taking one company from $1 million to $15 million in equity in just five years. Her current firm represents fintech across the globe, totaling over $350 million in funding and representing over 7,500 banks, credit unions, mortgage lenders and servicers.
VP Multi-Asset Strategies & Solutions
Rachel Zou, CFA, Vice President, is an investment strategist on the Retirement Solutions team within BlackRock’s Multi-Asset Strategies & Solutions group. Rachel is responsible for the development and commercialization of BlackRock’s lifecycle and decumulation investment strategies and representing the global target date fund franchise to institutional investors, consultants, and financial professionals.
Prior to joining Blackrock, Rachel was a Director at SSA and Company, a Management Consulting firm, where she helped financial services clients develop operational and commercial strategies. Before SSA, Rachel worked at Synpulse Management Consulting where she led digital transformation projects for financial services companies. Rachel started her career in Investor Relations in Canada where she helped clients raise capital and increase their investor presence.
Rachel received her Bachelor of Commerce with a major in Finance from the University of British Columbia in Canada. She also has an MBA degree from the McDonough School of Business, Georgetown University.
She is a CFA Charter holder and member of the CFA Institute of Atlanta. She is also on the board of ASFIP Foundation and the Junior Board of Savvy Ladies.