NEAA delivers again in Boston
This story originally appeared in The Green Sheet Issue 160201 on February 8, 2016.
The Renaissance Boston Waterfront Hotel set the scene for the Northeast Acquirers Association's annual gathering from Jan.13 to 15, 2016. And Boston's Seaport district was a fitting backdrop for payments' longest-running regional show. Approximately 90 exhibitors and 575 attendees used the NEAA's mobile app and Twitter hashtag #NEAA16 throughout the event. In its 31st annual conference, the organization furthered its mission to educate and empower merchant acquiring professionals. Established in 1985, the nonprofit, non-membership regional association continues to offer vibrant, relevant programs that provide both educational fare and networking opportunities. This year, association leaders hosted an appreciation dinner for new and long-standing sponsors on Tues., Jan. 12. A professional photographer treated exhibitors and attendees to free LinkedIn headshots. A few diminutive snowflakes added sparkle to the evenings without causing inconvenience.
Following is a sampling of the breakout sessions held Wed., Jan. 13:
The NEAA's general session offered an array of viewpoints and presentations from industry leaders, including the following:
- Compliance, regulation and Capitol Hill: Deana Rich, Principal at Rich Consulting, moderated a legislative panel with Joan Herbig, Chief Executive Officer at ControlScan Inc.; Scott Talbott, Senior Vice President of Government Affairs at the ETA; and Holli Targan, Partner at Jaffe, Raitt, Heuer & Weiss PC.
- Alternative lending, not so alternative: Kevin Woodward, Senior Editor at Digital Transactions, moderated a panel discussion with several leading executives from the alternative lending space: Mark Cerminaro, Chief Revenue Officer at RapidAdvance; Jason Rockman, Vice President Brand Marketing at CAN Capital Inc.; and John D'Amico, Managing Director at GRP Funding LLC, shared insights on how a variety of finance solutions can add value to merchant services.
- Realities and misconceptions about high-risk processing: Alexis King, Director of Partner Relations at National Merchants Association, moderated a panel discussion on high-risk processing with Heather Petersen, CEO, National Merchants Association; Nichole Pierce, President, CardMax Payments LLC; and Christopher Dryden, Partner, Global Legal Resources LLP.
- Mobile market and payments industry evolution: Individual presenters explored the evolution of the mobile and payments industries. Will Graylin, Global Co-General Manager at Samsung Pay, shared Samsung Pay's innovation road map. Greg Cohen, President of iPayment Inc. and ETA President, addressed how to adapt to change and capitalize on the future of payments. Cohen encouraged attendees to think of themselves as part of the retail value chain.
- How ISOs and acquirers can utilize big data: A panel discussion moderated by Brooke Ybarra, Manager, First Annapolis Consulting and featuring Charles Hogan, President and CEO at Tranzlogic LLC; Dave Hoffman, Vice President Business Development at Swipely Inc.; and Barry Davis, Vice President Business Development at Womply Inc., explored use cases and best practices related to the use of data analytics.
- In memoriam: NEAA participants and friends shared reminiscences of two influential payment professionals who recently passed away: Michael Grossman, Executive Vice President of Dejavoo Systems, and David Hurley, a long-time NEAA member and President at National Electronic Access.