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Friday, October 6, 2023

PTW soars to new heights in 2023

The 2023 PayTech Women Leadership Summit, held Oct. 3 and 4, 2023 at the Grand Hyatt Atlanta in Buckhead, Georgia, attracted over 600 payments, fintech and financial services professionals. Themed "amplify your voice" and sponsored by FIS, the sold-out event began waitlisting attendees months ahead of opening day, according to PayTech Women representatives. The 501(c) (3) organization was founded in 2005 as a networking organization dedicated to advancing women in the electronic payments industry. It rebranded from the moniker Wnet in 2022 after tripling in size to over 6,400 members worldwide, and expanding its mission to create a world where a woman’s potential is as unlimited as her ambition.

Wendy Holliday, CEO of PayTech Women, praised organizers and volunteers for their time, dedication and support. "These women put their minds and reputations on the line for the next generation of leaders," she said. "This summit's success is due to their enthusiasm and energy."

Holliday encouraged enterprises to embrace gender equity, not only because it's the right thing to do, but because of its proven benefits. Half of the applicants for your next job opening may be highly qualified women, she added, whose contributions can strengthen your organization.

PTW Board President Kelly Beatty, chief performance officer, FIS, agreed, stating FIS is a proud PTW sponsor. "We align with an organization leading the way in fostering diversity and inclusivity and helping our employees flourish while strengthening the payments and fintech network at large."

Rise, thrive, connect

PTW Board President-elect Polly Van Duser, SPHR and vice president of talent acquisition at One Inc., said she was pleased to return to Atlanta, the nation's payments hub, for the second consecutive year. As co-chair of Thrive Priority and Summit Leadership planning committees, she noted the two-day event provided numerous opportunities to "rise, thrive and connect," in a nod to three PTW committees focused on cultivating leaders, recruiting and creating content, and engaging members, respectively.

The agenda, for example, included educational programs eligible for ETA CPP credits, lunches, receptions, general and breakout sessions, rapid-fire mini-sessions, concurrent morning workshops and male advocate gathering. Van Duser noted the curated activities were designed to help attendees network with industry peers and gain insights from global thought leaders.

Nikki Evans, CEO of Ridgeline Coaching, stated that she was impressed by the caliber of women she met throughout the conference and their depth of caring for their careers and each other.

"I was also thrilled to see such thought leadership on various topics in the payment industry and in leadership in general," she said. "I was surprised by some of the statistics shared about trust in leaders, women leaving the workforce, the aging of the workforce and challenges we may face based on demographics changes over the coming years."

Authentic voices

A breakout session, "Holding Space for Self," jointly presented by Genevieve Dozier, director, business development for Finova Capital and Catherine Gacad, director, bank partnerships at Airbase, focused on self-care and work-life balance.

Dozier said that in preparing for the session, she recognized that everyone has a unique story and we do better together when we learn from each other.

"Self-care isn't selfish," she said. "It is a necessary action for your mind, body and soul to be at peace. Catherine and I will be share our truth as payment executives, about personal and professional trauma. In our daily jobs we focus on industry learnings but not many people communicate about the feelings that come with working in this industry."

Dozier went on to say that she has attended every PTW summit since 2016, which she described as life-changing. After meeting a female president of a payments company and attending a panel of 5 female executive leaders who spoke about balancing career and motherhood, she has been paying it forward to help others, she said, as I have been helped.

Additional details about educational sessions and agenda are available at www.paytechwomen.org/mpage/PayTechWomen_2023_Summit_Agenda

2023 awards

An award ceremony luncheon on opening day celebrated the following PTW leaders:

  • Male Advocate: John Skinner, JPMorgan Chase

  • Emerging Trendsetter: Amanda Beam, Maverick Payments

  • Game-changer: Hope Page, FIS

  • Lean In To Lead: Leslie Williams, FIS; Geeta Wold, Elavon

  • Individual Diversity Champion: Shelonda Darling, Global Payments Inc.

  • Justice, Equity, Diversity, Inclusion (JEDI): Shelonda Darling, Global Payments Inc.; Kaitlyn Payne, Discover

  • Rising Chapter of the Year: Houston

  • Chapter Linkup: New York

  • President's Award: Polly Van Duser, One Inc.; Laura Gibson-Lamothe, Georgia Fintech Academy

  • Special Recognition: Mary Uslander, Fiserv

  • Founders Award: Theresa Gongora, Global Payments Inc.

  • Corporate Champion Awards (Startup, Midsize, Enterprise): Datacap; Payroc; Discover

  • Corporate Diversity Award (Startup, Midsize, Enterprise): Maverick Payments; Ingenico; Global Payments

Agenda highlights

Summit attendees were treated to book signings with keynote speakers Lisa X. Walden, who co-authored The Future of Work is Human: Transforming Company Culture for a Post-Pandemic World, with Hannah L. Ubl, and Jenna Banks, author of I Love Me More: How to Find Happiness & Success Through Self-Love.

Sebastian Builes, co-founder and CEO of Arcum, said he was pleased to see other men in attendance but suggested it's just a start. "I want to see more men at next year's summit," he said, pausing to fist-bump Fadi Cheikha, CEO, U.S. Alliance Group Inc., as he walked by.

Austin Mac Nab, founder and CEO at VizyPay, agreed, stating he is proud to support PayTech Women. "This organization reflects our core values and focus at VizyPay," he said, noting his company has been actively involved in the organization for years.

Throughout the conference, participants posed for professional headshots and took breaks in designated recharging zones. A giant mural of attendee photos, unveiled at a rooftop "Wine Down" reception sponsored by Maverick Payments, will be displayed at next year's event. end of article

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