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Wednesday, July 20, 2011

MWAA readies for convention

It'll be a swinging time in Chicagoland when the Midwest Acquirers Association holds its annual meeting. Organizers have a full agenda of golf, exhibitors, speakers, awards and prizes scheduled for ISOs, merchant level salespeople and other payment professionals attending the event at the Oak Brook Marriott Resort Hotel in Oak Brook, Ill., July 26 to 28, 2011.

"This is going to be a really exciting show," Mark Dunn, President of Field Guide Enterprises LLC and MWAA Treasurer, said. "We're doing a lot of fun things this year."


Business will begin Tuesday with a golf outing sponsored by the MWAA and SecurityMetrics Inc., a Chicago company providing security solutions for online merchants. Participants will be able to tee off right outside their hotel rooms at the Marriott.

Field Guide seminar

The convention will shift to high gear Wednesday when Dunn's company, Field Guide, a merchant bankcard consulting business, hosts an all day seminar. Topics include how to sell online merchants, connecting with your international acquirer, the new ISO model versus the old ISO model, how to meet the challenges of becoming an ISO, building a great company and finding your niche market.

Continuing education

Slated for Thursday morning's session is the continuing education piece of the convention, the Certified Payments Professional Program, led by Rori Ferensic, Director of Education and Professional Development for the Electronic Transactions Association.

Afternoon panel topics planned for Thursday include mobile payments – reinventing the industry; bankcard goes to Washington – rethinking regulatory impact; and swimming with the sharks. Panel members include Will Graylin, Chief Executive Officer of Roam Data Inc.; Tony Abruzzio a business development executive at Isis; PayPal Inc.'s Melissa Foreman; First Data Corp.'s Preston W. Thornton III; the ETA's Mary Weaver Bennett; Kevin Kidd, a member of the ETA's Government Affairs Committee; and Stephen D. Kane of Sterling Payment Technologies.

Exhibitors and prizes

Ninety-one exhibitors signed up for displays in the 14,000 square-foot ballroom. Dunn said a highlight of the show will be the Shark Tank Panel consisting of "shark tank" judges who will look for and award prizes to the most innovative and exciting new products at the show.

For the second year running, the MWAA will hold a Great Passport Giveaway through which conventioneers compete for prizes by verifying they have visited every exhibitor's booth and then turning in their validated "passports" – stamped proof that they visited all the exhibitors – for a drawing to win grand prize tickets to see Paul McCartney in concert at Chicago's Wrigley Field July 31.

Dunn said the grand prize offers a pair of seats 50 feet from the stage and includes three nights' extra stay at the hotel to accommodate those going to the show. Other prizes include iPads, a Bose music system, a $1,500 Discover gift card, Kindles and a plasma TV.

Lifetime achievement

Dan Neistadt, CEO and President of Electronic Merchant Systems in Ohio, will be given a lifetime achievement award at the convention. "Dan Neistadt has worked tirelessly to provide stability, value and service to both his banking and merchant clients," Dunn said. "Dan embodies the solid Midwestern values of hard work, insight and integrity that we all expect from our business leaders." end of article

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