Since 2008, the CPI Advisory Board has played a key role in setting the direction and agenda for CPI’s activities. Industry thought leaders from leading commercial cards and payments organizations meet several times a year to provide input and discuss key issues facing the industry. The CPI Advisory Board has been instrumental in setting the direction of the organization and providing guidance to the industry. Members include thought leaders from all parts of the commercial payments value chain.

Steve Abrams
The Abrams Group Ltd

Steve L. Abrams was most recently group executive, Global Commercial Products, at Mastercard Worldwide. In this position, he was responsible for leading the development, management, and growth of the global business-to-business (B2B) programs, marketed through financial institutions to small, mid-size, and large corporations as well as public sector entities for MasterCard Worldwide from 1994 – 2010. Mr. Abrams joined Mastercard in 1990 as vice president, Member Relations, for the Eastern Region, and is an over 36-year veteran of the retail and commercial banking industry, with experience in credit card marketing, sales, product development, and portfolio management. Mr. Abrams has managed the merchant business, ATM networks, an AI based personal financial planning system, home banking, and consumer credit businesses; developed new retail bank channels of distribution; and created innovative consumer credit and personal financial management products. Prior to joining Mastercard, he served in various vice presidential capacities at Chase Manhattan, N.A. (1982 - 1990) and Chemical Bank (1974 – 1982). He is a member of the Association of Financial Professionals, Chairperson of the Commercial Payments International Advisory Board, a member of the Advisory Boards of Miri Systems and Armor Payments and CEO of The Abrams Group Ltd. Mr. Abrams holds a Master’s degree in business administration in marketing and a Bachelor of Science degree in economics and marketing from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute. He also pursued a Doctor of Philosophy degree at Rensselaer.

Gint Balodis
VP, Global B2B & International Product Management, Global Commercial Payments
American Express

Gint balodis is vice president, global b2b & international product management, global commercial payments, a position he assumed in july 2016. His organization is responsible for managing our suite of b2b and international payment products to support buyer and supplier client needs globally. Prior to his current role, gint led the global business consulting organization at american express, which provides our customers with data driven insights, best practices, and expert resources in procurement, b2b payments, and travel & expense management to advance our clients’ strategic corporate objectives. Before joining global commercial payments, gint was vp us marketing & insights as part of the american express global merchant services business. He was responsible for designing needs based consulting solutions with leading brands, and developing marketing partnerships and platforms with top us cities and destination marketing organizations. Additionally, he was responsible for launching digital information products for small & medium sized merchants in the us. Gint began his career with american express in 1998 and has held various positions in client management, marketing, and strategic planning. Gint holds an mba from columbia university and a bs in marketing from the university of maryland. Originally from philadelphia, gint now lives in brooklyn, ny with his wife andrea and their 10 year-old twins, alexa and benjamin.

John Casanova
Sidley Austin LLP

John Casanova is a partner and resident in the firm’s Singapore office. Prior to that, he practiced in the firm’s London office from 1999 to 2012 and in the firm’s Washington D.C. office from 1996 to 1999. He is head of the firm’s EU Financial Services Regulatory Group. He advises clients on a wide variety of U.S., English and EU financial services regulatory and transactional matters. He also advises on data protection and privacy matters. John works regularly with banks, investment managers, broker/dealers, payment service providers, payment systems and other financial intermediaries in Asia, the UK, Europe and the U.S. He has assisted clients with setting up and operating regulated businesses and financial services joint ventures in Asia, the UK and the EU. He also works with clients in responding to regulatory investigations and examinations. He has handled commercial transactions for regulated entities and acquisitions and disposals of regulated businesses and asset portfolios. He is an editor of E-Finance and Payments Law and Policy. He has been a contributor to the Review of Banking and Financial Services and the Journal of International Banking Law. He is a contributing editor to Butterworths Financial Regulation Service for Payment Systems and Electronic Money. John is a member of the District of Columbia and Maryland bars and an English-qualified solicitor.

Patrick W. Diemer
Managing Director & Chairman
AirPlus International

Patrick W. Diemer serves as Managing Director and Chairman of AirPlus International, one of the leading global corporate card issuers. AirPlus is a highly specialized business travel payment company with 1.200 employees. It provides services to over 40.000 corporations in more than 60 countries. Patrick has lead AirPlus for more than 10 years now. He oversees all commercial aspects of the business. Previously, Patrick was General Manager of Visa International, where he directed the company’s operations in Germany. Prior to this he worked at Commerzbank as Head of Retail Marketing for private and retail banking customers, eventually becoming Senior Vice President. As a Non-Executive Director he serves on the Board of Directors of UATP. Patrick holds a Master of Economics degree from the University of Hamburg.

David Disque
Managing Director
globalVCard paysystems

As Managing Director of CSI paysystems, David Disque leads the teams responsible for end-to-end delivery of CSI’s corporate payment solutions. For over 15 years, David has worked with financial executives from world leading brands to modernize their corporate payment systems and automate payables. His expertise lies in the complete payables ecosystem including virtual credit cards, ACH, checks, network, and FX. David is a sought after speaker in the payments industry, frequently sharing best practices for optimizing corporate payment solutions. David earned a Master’s Degree in Educational Leadership from N.O.V.A. University, a bachelor’s degree in Business Administration from the University of South Florida, and a bachelor’s degree in Education from The State University of Buffalo.

Kyle Ferguson

Kyle is CEO of Fraedom and an Executive Board member of Hogg Robinson Group. Kyle has many years of experience in the world of commercial payments and prior to joining Fraedom, held several senior roles at American Express. Kyle has a hand in all aspects of the Fraedom business – predominantly focused on strategic business planning and growth. He is a big believer in the evolution of the “Touchless Transaction”, and it’s his mission to make this a reality.

Chris Holmes
Senior Vice President
KAE Consulting

Chris is a Senior Vice President at KAE, the strategic marketing consultancy. Chris joined KAE in 2007 and during this time, he has managed multiple high profile global projects across the payments space (focusing on various issuing and acquiring topics across both the commercial and consumer payments sectors), banking, FinTech, AltFi and telco industries. His specialist skills are geared to NPD, market sizing and opportunity assessments, benchmarking, and best practice identification. He also heads KAE's FinTech practice as well as KAE’s wider marketing and business development activity. Chris holds a BSc (Hons) Business Studies degree from the Cass Business School and is also a qualified professional marketer (DipM) and a member of the Chartered Institute of Marketing (CIM). Prior to joining KAE, Chris provided market research and consultancy support on Responsible Business Practice and international development opportunities for the UK Food and Drink industry.

Ralph A. Kaiser
President, CEO & Chairman of the Board

Ralph Kaiser is President, CEO & Chairman of UATP. Appointed in 2003, he has launched and led several important growth initiatives resulting in a doubling of network charge volume to US$ 14 billion. Among these achievements is UATP’s new DataStream suite of products which has lowered the barrier to entry for UATP’s Issuers and provided state-of-the-art data management tools to UATP corporate customers. UATP also launched an innovative Alternative Forms of Payment gateway for global airlines under Kaiser’s leadership. Previous to his appointment as CEO, Kaiser was UATP General Counsel. Before joining UATP, Kaiser worked at the Overseas Private Investment Corporation (OPIC) and the Export-Import Bank of the U.S. (Ex-Im Bank) as an advisor to the senior management and the Board of Directors for both organizations. He holds an MBA from the Carey School of Business at Johns Hopkins University and a law degree (JD) from the Emory University School of Law.

Dean Leavitt
Chairman & CEO
Boost Payment Solutions

Dean Leavitt is the founder and CEO of Boost Payment Solutions, the only acquirer in the United States focused exclusively on the business-to-business electronic payments. Dean is a well-respected veteran of the electronic payments industry with nearly 25 years of experience in various leadership roles at both public and private companies. Dean has received numerous awards from his industry peers and is often asked to speak at industry events. Dean currently serves on the advisory board of Commercial Payments International, having previously served two terms on the board of directors of the Electronic Transaction Association. Dean holds a B.A. with high honors from Emory University, where he served on the college’s Alumni Board of Trustees from 2002-2008.

Frank Martien
Partner & Head of Commercial Payments Practice
First Annapolis Consulting

Frank Martien joined First Annapolis in 1996 and leads the firm’s commercial payments practice area where he focuses on corporate cards, purchasing cards (including virtual card solutions), one cards, small business cards, private label commercial accounts and fleet cards. His engagement experience includes a wide spectrum of strategy, primary and secondary market research, financial analysis, RFP/vendor selection and M&A-related client assignments. Frank’s clients include banks, payment networks, retailers and multinational “end-user” organizations. Through client assignments, speeches at major industry events and client conferences, articles and quotes in payments-related publications, and as an advisory board member of Commercial Payments International, Frank is a recognized industry expert. Frank’s financial services work experience includes positions at 5Star Bank, Capital One, Citibank and Alex. Brown & Sons incorporated. Through these positions, Frank gained company experience in card payments and the equity capital markets. Frank received his MBA from the Darden School at the University of Virginia. He received his undergraduate degree from Washington & Lee University.

Sachin Mehra
Group Executive, Global Commercial Products

Sachin Mehra is group executive, Global Commercial Products at Mastercard. In this role, he leads the global development and commercialization of Mastercard commercial products and solutions that serve small business, mid- and large market organizations and public sector institutions. Mr. Mehra joined Mastercard in June 2010 as group executive and corporate treasurer, with responsibility for treasury strategy and operations, global settlement, customer credit risk management and enterprise risk management. Most recently, Mr. Mehra served as group executive and business financial officer, North America. In that role, he had responsibility for all aspects of financial management, including financial planning and analysis, business and strategic planning, internal accounting and reporting, customer deals and business administration functions. Prior to joining Mastercard, Mr. Mehra was vice president and treasurer of Hess Corporation, a global integrated energy company. Before joining Hess, he worked for General Motors Corporation and GMAC between November 1996 and March 2007 in treasury/finance positions of increasing responsibility in New York, Singapore, Belgium and Shanghai. Mr. Mehra has a Master of Business Administration from the Darden Business School (University of Virginia), and received his undergraduate degree in commerce from Sydenham College (University of Bombay, India).

Cindy O'Neill
President, Commercial Payments Division
Priority Holdings

As President of Priority Commercial Payments, Cindy O’Neill has oversight for the Commercial Payments Exchange (CPX) ® and Divisions. She is responsible for the development and growth of Priority’s commercial solutions suite, supporting both traditional and transitional payments, in addition to a full suite of targeted supplier acceptance solutions. Prior to joining Priority, Ms. O’Neill spent 17 years in treasury management banking, holding leadership positions at Wells Fargo and Bank of America. Capitalizing on her deep understanding of the challenges large financial intuitions struggled with serving their global treasury clients, VISA appointed her as its Head of Global Product Management and Region Head of U.S. Commercial business. After 5 years at VISA, Ms. O’Neill transitioned to become EVP and General Manager at Electronic Funds Source leading the growth of its Commercial Payments business through its 2016 sale to Wright Express. Ms. O’Neill has a Bachelors of Science degree from the University of Southern California and an Executive Certification from the Columbia Business School..

Nicole Tackett
SVP, Head of Emerging Markets & Strategy
US Bank Corporate Payment Systems

As the Head of Emerging Markets and Strategy, Nicole conducts the strategic assessment of markets, products, and initiatives through acquisitions, partnerships, and existing assets in order to meet the business’ profit and growth goals. In addition, Nicole leads the Virtual Pay business unit as well as leads a team focused on Customer Advocacy. Prior to joining U.S. Bank, Nicole managed Global Product and Marketing at WEX Inc. leading the globalization of its commercial card product, building international brand awareness, creating lead generation strategies to sustain growth, and developing retention strategies for existing customers. Nicole also worked at First Annapolis Consulting assisting with the management of client engagements which include strategy development for major card associations, merchant services providers, and banks; support on payments-oriented M&A transactions; and analysis on payments trends for industry-leading companies in Europe, India, Mexico, Canada, and the U.S. Nicole earned a BBA from the University of Georgia, magna cum laude, and a MBA from the University of Maryland.

Tim Ural
Vice President, Head of US Product, Global Business Solutions

Tim Ural leads the US Commercial Product team and is responsible for the product strategy that helps to support the foundations for US commercial market growth. Tim focuses on the ability to both create and deliver unique commercial products and services for the middle market, large corporate, and multinational segments that span B2B solutions to emerging Virtual Payment products in a variety of verticals. Tim joined Visa in 2004, serving as a program manager for the small and mid-market market segment across information management products and services. In 2006, he moved into the Visa Commercial Products team, and over the past nine years, has worked in a product development, program management and sales/consulting capacity. Prior to joining Visa, Tim held positions in product and program management, launching business ventures in the e-commerce and supply chain management space for Morgan Stanley, Oracle, IBM, and Tim holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Mathematics and Computer Science from Eckerd College and has completed graduate studies at University of Florida and University of California.


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