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A Thing
Issue 03:04:02

Industry Update

Come Buy the Costly Side of Sears

Court Orders Visa, MasterCard to Refund Millions in Fees; Other Lawsuits Expected

FTC Orders Financial Institutions To Attack Hacking

California Considering Internet Sales Tax

Credit Payments for Online Betting Could Be Outlawed


A Primer on Card Acquiring
By Patti Murphy

Industry Leaders:
Lin Fellerman
He Has the Cure for What Ails Industry

Book Review
The Right Way to Play the Game

Meeting the Credit Card Acceptance Needs of Nonprofits
By Eli Kimels

Company Profiles

USA Card Services

New Products

RDM's Latest Product for Electronic Check Conversion
RDM's EC6000i

Little Light Helps Fight Fraud
US Paper Supply's Mini-UV Light


A Well-Crafted Press Release Grabs Attention



Resource Guide


Beating the Odds in Vegas

Odds are you wore out at least one pair of shoes at the ETA 2003 Annual Meeting. Just how far was it from the elevators to the Expo floor?

The meeting was a resounding success! With more than 2,300 attendees this was the biggest ETA meeting yet. The buzz on the Expo floor easily could be heard above the clanging of the slot machines. "Industry Update" on Page 6 of this issue includes many of the numerous announcements made at the show.

"Retro Night at the Oscars," the first annual President's Black Tie Dinner, was a glitzy start to a polished meeting. Mary Gerdts emceed a well-paced awards presentation, interspersed with dance numbers by the ETA Dancers. The ETA Star Awards, recognizing the outstanding accomplishments of the association's volunteers, were awarded to:

  • Vendor of the Year: U.S. Wireless Data
  • Committees of the Year: Technology and Program Planning
  • Committee Volunteer of the Year: Margaret Zurliene
  • Member of the Year: Mary Dees

The Expo opened with the traditional reception, which was very well attended. Chocolate poker-chips, light-up pens, folding Frisbees and squishy dice were some of this year's give-aways.

Carla Balakgie, ETA's new Executive Director, attended and admitted this was quite a change from her previous academic association experience. (Watch for an interview with Carla in a future issue of GS.)

The business meeting included the election of the 2003 Board of Directors. The following officers and directors were elected by the voting membership present:

  • President-Elect: Diane Vogt, First Data Merchant Services
  • Treasurer: Dan Neistadt, KeyBank USA
  • Secretary: Joe Kaplan, Innovative Merchant Solutions
  • Service Provider Director: Amy Baker, National Bankcard Systems
  • Service Provider Director: Marla Knutson, TransFirst
  • Service Provider Director: Dean Leavitt, U.S. Wireless Data, Inc.

Each general session included some uniquely Las Vegas entertainment, and the featured speakers were also a cut above. Les Brown exceeded his "high-energy" label with an uplifting, humorous and motivating presentation. Catherine Crier was dynamic and informative. Ben Stein taught us what it takes to succeed by elucidating the opposite. Overall, the general sessions were exemplary of the ETA's evolution as an association.

A number of issues are still unresolved regarding the ETA's mission and its relevance for the Merchant Level Salesperson (MLS). The newly organized education and certification program, combined with the move to direct employee leadership and relocation, will make the 2003-04 year an exciting and dynamic period for the association.

The newly forming National Association of Payment Professionals (NAPP) postponed the board of directors meeting previously scheduled to coincide with the ETA. The directors are diligently working to get NAPP established, and The Green Sheet continues to support their efforts.

It remains to be seen whether a bridge between the ETA and NAPP will be established. One of the challenges in the coming year will be to define how these two organizations may be able to work together to support the individual sales professional in our industry.

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