ETA Announces Winners of the 2016 ETA Star Awards

ETA announced today the winners of the prestigious annual Star Awards. The ETA Star Awards recognize individuals and companies to the payments industry, whether through innovation, business practices, or contributions to the association. The winners were announced during the President’s Dinner at TRANSACT 16, April 19-21, in Las Vegas.

2016 ETA Star Awards Winners

Business Partner of the Year: Intel

Intel has been an invaluable supporter of ETA in 2015. Intel played a huge role at TRANSACT – occupying both the largest booth in ETA history and the keynote stage. Intel employees are active participates on several committees and councils. Intel plays a pivotal role in the industry, bridging payments and technology in innovative ways.

Committee Volunteer of the Year: Georgia Stavrakis, Heartland

Georgia Stavrakis is an active member of the ETA Risk, Fraud, and Security Council.   Georgia was an active participant in the development of the ETA Merchant Guidelines and contributed greatly to the recently revised document.  Georgia’s deep knowledge of the risk and security area, as well as her insight into the vital role that risk assessment and mitigation plays in driving expansion and growth of a robustly secure payments ecosystem, makes her a valuable and trusted committee volunteer.

ISO of the Year: NXGEN

With over 13,000 merchants, NXGEN is one of the largest Merchant Service Providers globally, doing business in 20 countries today and expanding beyond that in the near future.  NXGEN has had double digit growth year over year since opening their doors in 2002, and in 2015 alone, they grew over 20% to be the largest Elavon MSP/ISO in processing volume.  Because of their global experience, NXGEN was one of the first US based organizations to offer EMV-capable equipment to its merchant base and customers.

Pay it Forward Award: Linda Rossetti

Linda Rossetti has always had a passion for helping women. Motivated to support and mentor women in their careers and encourage personal enrichment, Linda developed the LINC program – Local Interest Network Circle  – within the W.NET to foster networking and promote mentoring to help women achieve greater personal success, influence, and professional parity.  Starting with two women in one city, the LINC program has grown to 1000 women in 10 cities.  Linda also pays it forward with her support of breast cancer research. Her mother’s breast cancer inspired Linda to personally donate to the cause, and bring the pay-it-forward mindset into the corporate setting.  Linda developed the Pink Payments Program to provide merchant services and electronic payment solutions for businesses of all sizes. There is no cost to participate, and for each participating merchant in the Pink Payments program, Linda’s company, Bluestone Payments, makes a donation to The Breast Cancer Research Foundation.

The 2016 Distinguished Payments Professional: Donna Embry

Donna Embry exemplifies the consummate Distinguished Payments Professional.  As of 2016, this is Donna’s 50th year in the payments industry, and she is most-deserving of this award – not based on the number of years she’s been in the business, but because of her contributions and dedication to the industry during her phenomenal career.  Donna has been at the forefront of every payments development throughout the last fifty years, including, but not limited to:  the expansion of credit cards from BankAmericard to Visa, the formation of regional debit networks, signature debit cards, the standards for smart cards, migrating to electronic POS, mail-order standards, internet commerce development, mobile commerce expansion, and she hasn’t even finished yet!  It’s not just a job or a career path for Donna; she truly loves the payments industry and everything that it stands for.  She has constantly helped redefine what payments look like, how they work, and the standards surrounding them.  Her thought leadership, forward thinking, and dedication are bar none.

TRANSACT 16 is the single biggest event tailored to the evolving needs of the payments ecosystem. This is where seasoned industry titans come together with the newest innovators to close deals and open doors. TRANSACT 16 is where business gets done, payments titans meet current and future business partners, venture capital invests in what’s next, growing companies build influence, and companies of all sizes launch new products.

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