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NAOPP Board Addresses Rumors and 2005 Agenda

By NAOPP Board of Directors

As with any new organization, challenges exist and rumors abound. As the National Association of Payment Professionals' (NAOPP) Board of Directors, we want to set the record straight by addressing some specific rumors about NAOPP that have recently surfaced. We also want to outline our goals for the year and the progress to date in meeting those goals.

Founded in 2003 by a group of industry professionals, NAOPP works to bridge the gap between the merchant level salesperson (MLS) and other segments of the payment processing industry. With members across the United States and Canada, NAOPP provides education, benefits, networking and resources vital to the success of the MLS.

The founding members, nearly all MLSs, had their work cut out for them in starting an association of this magnitude from scratch. Their accomplishments include forming the association legally, electing an interim Board of Directors, creating a Web site, recruiting new members, signing sponsors, and developing an attractive member benefits package.

The founding members spent countless hours away from their businesses and families and often used money from their own pockets to help grow the association. Their hard work resulted in a solid foundation. By December 2004, the interim NAOPP Board determined that the organization had grown to the point necessary to move it to the next level; in response, the Board hired Vicki M. Daughdrill of Small Business Resources LLC in January 2005 to serve as Executive Director.

Daughdrill will implement and execute Board decisions including facilitating communications between NAOPP's Board and members, coordinating Board-approved activities, maintaining the membership database, updating the Web site, developing marketing materials, and coordinating all routine association administrative tasks.

Elected in February 2005, NAOPP's new Board of Directors includes a President, Vice President, Treasurer, Secretary, MLS Director, MLS Organization (MLSO) Director and Vendor Director. In addition, the immediate Past President, President-Elect, and Director at Large also now serve on the Board.

Following the elections, the new Board convened in late February to participate in training and to develop a plan for the coming year. Our initial goals were to ensure the stability and security of NAOPP's foundation and to meet the association mission. We determined that the association is legally formed and in good standing with the Secretary of State of Delaware. In addition, NAOPP's financial status is undergoing review and assessment; an audit of all records is underway. A professional parliamentarian reviewed the original bylaws and made recommendations for revision; new bylaws are now in place.

Focusing on the mission to provide education, benefits and certification, committees developed action plans and outlined activities for the year. NAOPP now provides educational training at the regional acquirers' meetings. The first training took place on June 7, preceding the Northeast Acquirers' Association meeting in Wilmington, Del. We continue to evaluate the existing member benefits, and are actively seeking new ones to offer. A committee is also considering a certification plan to further improve the professionalism of members.

Our second goal this year is to provide regular communication with members. Over the next few months, the NAOPP Web site will undergo major improvements. We also have a newsletter in production, and we hired a company to implement an e-mail blast system. Our third major goal is to increase the membership to 1,000 individuals. Membership has grown 20% since February, and we anticipate the new products and services offered will attract even more people.

An outstanding career opportunity outside the payment processing industry arose for NAOPP's President, Matthew Swinnerton. In order to maintain the integrity of the Board, Swinnerton chose to resign. Kathy Harper, former NAOPP Vice President, will now serve as President.

Finally, NAOPP wishes to set the record straight by addressing the following issues that have come to our attention:

  1. NAOPP is alive and well and is not folding or going away.
  2. NAOPP is not starting an ISO. NAOPP's purpose is to serve the needs of the MLS, and the focus will remain on the MLS.
  3. NAOPP is not being acquired by or merging withthe Electronic Transactions Association or any other organization.

As officers of NAOPP's Board, we are always happy to speak with members or answer questions. Let us hear from you.

Contact Kathy Harper, President, at, Ken Hancock, President-Elect, at, or Vicki M. Daughdrill, Executive Director, at . To become a member of NAOPP, visit .

Notice to readers: These are archived articles. Contact names or information may be out of date. We regret any inconvenience.
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