Speakers

If you are interested in becoming a speaker, please contact Melissa Sefic at melissasefic@economist.com.

Or to view last year’s speakers, visit our website:

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  • Cindy O’Neill
    Cindy O’Neill Priority Holdings
    President, Commercial Payments Division

    As President of Priority Commercial Payments, Cindy O’Neill has oversight for the Commercial Payments Exchange (CPX) ® and ACH.com 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.

  • Dean Leavitt
    Dean Leavitt Boost Payment Solutions
    Chairman & CEO

    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.

  • Ehsaan Ahmed
    Ehsaan Ahmed Noor Bank
    SVP, Head of Global Transaction Services

    Ehsaan Ahmed is the Head of Global Transaction Services at Noor Bank. He joined Noor Bank in 2007 as part of the founding team member and has successfully established the transaction banking business in line with the new bank’s objectives of being a leading player in the Islamic financial services industry. In his current role he oversees all cash management, trade and working capital financing solutions for Corporate Banking Group. Since inception, several Noor Bank transaction banking solutions have received industry and client recognition for being innovative and best in class. Ehsaan also supports strategic franchise initiatives for Noor Bank. In addition to his GTS role, he is appointed as the CEO of Digital Financial Services – an innovative joint venture where for the first time a leading telecom operator (Etisalat) has partnered exclusively with a commercial bank (Noor Bank) to deliver a comprehensive digital payments solution in UAE. Earlier, Ehsaan has also served as interim General Manager of ‘Noor Awqaf’ – a public-private partnership between Noor Investment Group and Awqaf & Minor Affairs Foundation of Government of Dubai. He has earlier helped restructure the SME business proposition for growth also. Prior to Noor Bank, Ehsaan has worked with Citigroup and ICI and handled country and regional roles across Europe, Middle East & Africa covering business development, product and sales management, investment banking and quality implementation. Ehsaan completed his MBA in Finance from Imperial College London as a Britannia Scholar, and is a gold medallist in Mechanical Engineering from UET Lahore, Pakistan.

  • Gonca Latif-Schmitt
    Gonca Latif-Schmitt Citi
    MD, Global Commercial Card Business Head, Treasury & Trade Services

    Gonca Latif-Schmitt is a Managing Director within Citi’s Treasury and Trade Services at Citi based in New York. Gonca is on the Treasury and Trade Solutions Executive Committee as the Global Head of Commercial Cards. In this role Gonca provides leadership to a global and cross functional team of 1500+ professionals across Sales, Product Management, Client Delivery and Technology. As the Global Head of Commercial Cards, Gonca develops the strategic direction for the business as well as provides operational oversight for a global business spanning over 100 countries. Gonca has been with Citi for 23 years. Prior to her current appointment, she was the North America Business Head of Commercial Card responsible for Citi’s end to end NA card business as well as management of NA headquartered clients programs globally. Prior to her role in Commercial Cards, Gonca was responsible for Development Organizations and Embassy Banking segment within the North America Public Sector Group. Her team primarily focused on managing a global portfolio of solutions that leverage Citi’s 100+ country footprint. She worked closely to develop financial solutions to support these clients as they deliver humanitarian aid in development markets globally. In the early part of her career, her focus had been on managing client relationships across several verticals to include industrials, media, broker/dealer, mutual funds and public sector. Gonca holds a BA from New York University. She lives in Manhattan with her husband and two daughters.

  • Jodi Woods
    Jodi Woods Becton Dickinson
    Global Category Manager; Travel, Meeting and Card

    Jodi Woods is the Global Category Manager in Global Procurement for Travel, Meetings and Card at BD. Jodi is responsible for managing the global strategies and works closely with the Expense Management team on the day-to-day operations, inclusive of supporting mergers, acquisitions and divestitures to ensure smooth transitions for Travel and Card. She was recently the first recipient of the CPO (Chief Procurement Officer) award at BD for sustained performance on the Global Procurement team. Previous to BD, Jodi also held various Procurement roles with Cadbury Schweppes, Unilever and Novartis Pharmaceuticals. She graduated from Farleigh Dickinson University with a BS in Business Management and resides in NJ with her family.

  • Melissa Sefic
    Melissa Sefic The Economist Group
    SVP, Head of Commercial Payments International

    Melissa Sefic is SVP, Head of Commercial Payments International, an organization that produces educational networking events for professionals in the commercial card and payments industry. With over 15 years’ experience in the conference and events business, Melissa comes from American Banker where she oversaw sales and business development initiatives acting as a consultant to many organizations looking to expand their brand and thought leadership presence in the U.S. She is based in New York City.

  • Nicki Bisgaard
    Nicki Bisgaard PayTech Group
    Group Head

    Nicki has more than 25 years behind him in the commercial cards industry, working across a wide variety of disciplines and business areas from brand building and marketing through product management to processing across all segments and product categories in the commercial cards market. Focusing on strategy development, product development, business planning, technical and commercial feasibility studies, program implementation and staff support and training, Nicki has been engaged in numerous projects for card issuers and acquirers, payment schemes, oil companies etc. globally.