If 2020 was not the year of the COVID-19 pandemic, we would be reminiscing about performances from the 2020 Summer Olympics in Tokyo. One of the Olympic traditions is the Olympic torch relay that carries the Olympic flame from Greece to the host city as it is passed from one person to another symbolizing the transition from the past to the present.
With that image in mind, it is time for me to pass my own torch of leadership of the Secure Technology Alliance and U.S. Payments Forum to someone new, who can carry it into the future. I am announcing that after eighteen years, I will be retiring as Executive Director at the end of this year, around December 2020.
Although the challenges resulting from the coronavirus have been stressful, this is not the reason for this announcement. I made my decision that this was going to be my last year as Executive Director when everything was still “normal,” long before the first hints of the pending serious nature of the virus were evident. Coming off of the highly successful 2020 Payments Summit and Forum Member meeting in Salt Lake City, March seemed the perfect time to inform my staff, our governing boards, and make it public to our members. COVID-19 disrupted everyone’s world so quickly and without warning that I delayed my announcement, to allow more time to consult with our leadership on ways we could make the necessary adjustments to our conference and in-person meeting plans and manage the financial shock to both organizations without adding additional uncertainty that comes with a leadership change.
My eighteen years as Executive Director of the Secure Technology Alliance (and Smart Card Alliance) and eight years as Director of the U.S. Payments Forum (and EMV Migration Forum) have been the most personally satisfying and professionally stimulating years of my life. At 62 years old and with a desire for spending less time at airports and meeting hotels and more time at my second home that people from New Jersey call the “Jersey Shore,” I determined it was the right time for me to begin to transition away from the full-time demands running two vibrant, member-driven organizations. I have been blessed with good health, a loving and supportive wife of 36 years, three married children, and a growing number of grandchildren. I look forward to spending more time with them, and I’m confident my successor will have the passion to lead the Alliance and the Forum into the future.
I want to thank everyone who contributed to my success and the success of these organizations over the years, especially Cathy Medich, who has been at my side throughout my long tenure. I see a strong and long future ahead for the Alliance and Forum organizations because they are built on a strong foundation and have a great support team and dedicated members who represent the best of all the industries and technologies we serve. The search for my replacement is in the hands of a diverse and capable board committee representing both organizations. To facilitate that search, we have posted the job description and the application process here on the Alliance website. I will remain active and committed to helping them during this transition period until the final handoff of the torch is completed. (Virtual hugs and handshakes only please!)
Click here to learn more about the Executive Director role and the search for new leadership.
Executive Director, Secure Technology Alliance
Director, U.S. Payments Forum