Connect with AFT Board Members
"How well do you know your industry? If you have an opportunity to meet the leaders of your industry over a couple-day period – not just meet them, but network with them, get to know them, and build relationships with them – would you do that?"
President, Bank Intelligence Solutions Division
Q: How long have you and your company been with AFT?
I’ve been a part of AFT since 2006, and FISERV has been a member since the inception of AFT.
Q: Who do think would benefit from AFT?
Any leader in the financial technology industry or related groups that serve financial institutions will benefit from being a member in AFT. To me, the size of the company doesn’t matter. If you are a leader in this industry, you should be a part of AFT.
Q: What makes AFT so special?
That’s a good question. I think it is three different things:
- Obviously the people – there’s no other forum out there where you can not only meet, but also get to know, the leaders in your industry. You can go to any other industry conference, but you're just not going to meet the leaders of the industry like you will at AFT.
- The structure – this is not a time-consuming endeavor. It’s a twice-a-year educational and networking opportunity. It’s very well organized; there’s a lot of structure. It’s not a huge time commitment outside your normal working day.
- Lastly,it’stheorganization.Any association that is built with a board of your peers –that you elect, –is a special way to do business. Then, consider the way it’s managed: constantly trying to improve; being focused on growing the membership; and striving to improve the quality of the events, knowing that we have limited time together. The focus is always on how we can improve the quality of that time to make it useful for the entire membership.
Q: You have a lot of resources within your organization that you can pull upon and different contacts you’ve made throughout the rest of your career. How would you rank AFT in terms of viable resources?
I just don’t think there is anything better than AFT for networking with other leaders. I just can’t
think of any other way I could get the quality of the people in the room that we do twice a year at AFT. There’s no other industry association like AFT. It’s not an industry association; so when you go to another event, you are probably out there with other financial institutions, your customers, and maybe other vendors. But you’re probably not going to get the leaders of other companies. But AFT is a collection of these leaders coming together, working together, and talking about how we can improve the industry - that is pretty unique. Once we leave AFT, we are supposedly all competitors with each other, yet we are building these personal relationships with each other at AFT. The “coopetition” part of AFT is really impressive. That was probably the part of my first experience at AFT that I’ll never forget. I was in an interactive discussion presentation and I just couldn’t believe the openness and sharing of ideas.
Q: When is a good time for a company to join AFT?
Anytime. I think it’s probably a little bit more beneficial for younger companies – I wouldn’t say large or small, I’d say younger – that really have a good product idea and are really trying to work their way into the industry. However, the larger companies like FISERV are leaders in the industry. We should be participating and showing our industry leadership through our membership in AFT.
Q: Why should another company that is working with financial institutions in the technical space join AFT? What would you tell the CEO of that company about why they should?
I would ask them, “How well do you know your industry?” If you have an opportunity to meet the leaders of your industry over a couple-day period – not just meet them, but network with them, get to know them, and build relationships with them – would you do that? There’s no other forum to do that. If you are committed to your industry, and to your company, I just think you have to be a part of AFT.