Starting in 2010 with retired Synovus Financial Corporation Chairman and CEO Jimmy Blanchard, the Technology Association of Georgia’s Fintech Society has honored industry leaders who paved the way for Atlanta to be the global fintech hub it is today. Each year’s honoree becomes a new inductee into the Georgia Fintech Hall of Fame. This is one of highest honors in Georgia’s thriving financial technology community and we are proud to continue this tradition at Fintech South.
During Jeff’s ten-year tenure as Global Payments’ CEO, annual revenue for the Atlanta-based, multinational payments technology and services leader grew from roughly $2 billion in 2013 to nearly $9 billion in 2022. The firm was named to the Fortune 500 list of the largest US corporations in 2021.
In 2021 Global Payments completed its merger with TSYS, another cornerstone of Georgia’s financial technology community, adding further scale to a volume-driven business in which Georgia companies process roughly 70 percent of US card-based transactions. Through this combination Global Payments now maintains an important presence in Atlanta as well as Columbus, GA. The Atlanta Business Chronicle has recognized Global Payments as the state’s largest fintech employer.
Additional acquisitions over the last three years of EVO Payments and MineralTree fortified Global Payments’ capabilities in the fast-growing and strategically critical business-to-business payments arena. Jeff continues to serve as a board member of FLEETCOR, yet another central player in Georgia’s fintech ecosystem.
Prior to joining Global Payments, Jeff was a partner at Goldman Sachs in New York for 11 years as the global lead of the Financial Technology Group. He holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Finance from the Wharton School and a Doctorate of Law from New York University School of Law.
Jeff and his wife, Vicky have three children and reside here in Atlanta.
In 2008, Rob Frohwein recognized that companies like eBay offered automated access to small business transaction data via APIs. Rob realized small businesses can simply share this data to allow underwriters to make better, faster credit decisions and provide a great user experience. He co-founded Kabbage in Atlanta, Georgia to leverage this power of real-time data automation through technology and has since expanded the business to serve all small businesses throughout the U.S. through a suite of cash flow solution products. Rob has since also founded Drum Technologies, also based in Atlanta, an automated sales and referral solution for businesses.
Rob holds a law degree from Villanova University, where he graduated Magna Cum Laude. He is the listed inventor on ten United States Patents, a co-author of three books on intellectual property and has been recognized four times as one of the top 300 intellectual property strategists globally by Intellectual Asset Magazine.
Kathryn Petralia is the President and Co-Founder of Kabbage, a leading global financial services, cash-flow technology and data platform for small businesses. Before co-founding Kabbage, Kathryn spent nearly 15 years with fintech and ecommerce startups.
After graduating from Furman University with an English degree, Kathryn pursued her interest in technology to launch a number of successful startups. She also served as Vice President of Strategy for Revolution Money, which was acquired by American Express, and was the director of corporate development for CompuCredit. In 2017, she was named to Forbes’ 2017 list of the World’s Most Powerful Women. Kathryn recently co-founded Drum, a platform reinventing sales infrastructure by connecting businesses to their ideal customers through an infinitely scalable sales force.
Kathryn serves on the boards of CARE USA, Fannie Mae Advisory Board, The Woodruff Arts Center, Padsplit, Rented.com, and the Atlanta Chamber Music Festival.
Scott Grimes is an experienced entrepreneur and strategist. Prior to founding Cardlytics, Scott was a senior vice president and general manager at Capital One where his team developed ground-breaking payments products. Scott has worked on both sides of the emerging technology world – as a principal at Canaan Partners and as an executive at the leading e-Sourcing company, FreeMarkets. He led key strategy and M & A initiatives for technology companies during his eight years as a principal at McKinsey & Company. Scott began his career with a 10 year stint at Schlumberger as an electrical engineer. Scott holds a BSEE from Union College and an MBA from Stanford’s Graduate School of Business.
Lynne Laube is the chief operating officer and co-founder of Cardlytics (NASDAQ:CDLX), a business recognized as one of the country’s fastest growing technology companies by Deloitte Fast 500 and Inc. 5000.
Founded in 2008, Cardlytics helps marketers understand how and where consumers spend money by partnering with the top financial institutions around the world. Cardlytics unlocks the value inherent in consumer transaction data in a way that protects both the bank and its customers. Cardlytics helps companies better target their marketing, and importantly measure the impact of their marketing using actual customer purchases. Cardlytics was recently named the 5th Best Entrepreneurial Company by Entrepreneur Magazine.
In February 2018, Lynne took Cardlytics public on the Nasdaq, making Cardlytics the first tech IPO of the year. From 2008 through 2017, Lynne secured more than $200 million in capital from leading investors and scaled the company to become the dominant global leader in purchase history-based analytics. In 2016, Lynne was named one of the top 10 venture-backed female founders by Inc. Magazine and Entrepreneur 360. In 2012 and 2013 Lynne was a finalist for E&Y Entrepreneur of the Year Award.
Lynne has tremendous passion around helping women excel in the workplace and has led a number of development and mentoring initiatives. At Cardlytics, she launched Women of Cardlytics, a program that provides education and mentorship to help women grow their careers. This program is one of the reasons Cardlytics has won top places to work in Atlanta for several years.
Before founding Cardlytics, Lynne held multiple executive positions with Capital One from 1994 until 2008. Lynne began her career at Bank One. She holds a Bachelor of Science degree in finance and marketing from the University of Cincinnati’s College of Business and is a graduate of Darden’s Executive Leadership program from the University of Virginia. Lynne is the mother of two teenage children and enjoys working out and cooking in her limited spare time.
Troy Woods, who became Chairman of Global Payments upon the merger with TSYS in September 2019, is being recognized for his successes over a 33 year career building TSYS into one of the true pillars of Georgia’s fintech ecosystem. Woods joined TSYS in 1987 and became the Columbus based firm’s CEO in 2014. Throughout his tenure, he guided the company’s diversification strategy into fast- growing areas of payments, directed TSYS’ international expansion and championed its “People-Centered Payments” model, centered on the belief that payments should revolve around people, rather than the other way around.
Under Woods’ leadership TSYS added innovative players like Netspend and Cayan to its portfolio. In 2019, Woods helped to engineer the merger of equals between TSYS and Global Payments, one of three payments mega-deals within a six-month period that redefined Atlanta’s fintech landscape and ushered in an era of global scale with Georgia as its fulcrum.
James S. (Chip) Mahan II is the Founder, CEO and Chairman of the board of directors of the Live Oak Banking Company. Chip is a founding member of nCino and serves on nCino’s board of directors. Prior to Live Oak Bank, he was the Chief Executive Officer and Chairman of the Board for S1 Corporation and founder of Security First Network Bank, the world’s first Internet bank. Under his leadership, S1 Corporation grew to become a $234 million software and services provider in only six years, averaging more than 200 percent growth year over year. At its peak, S1 had a market capitalization of $7.8 billion. During his term as CEO, Chip was ranked as one of the 10 Most Influential Personalities in Financial Services by FutureBanker magazine.
Prior to founding Security First Network Bank and S1 Corporation, he launched Cardinal Bancshares, where he served as Chairman and Chief Executive Officer. Chip built Cardinal into an institution with $800 million in total assets and took the company public in 1992. Before launching Cardinal, Chip spent several years with Citizens Union National Bank & Trust Co., serving as President, Chief Operating Officer and Vice Chairman and becoming Chairman and Chief Executive Officer in 1984. In 1986, he formed an investment group that purchased Citizens Union and subsequently sold it to BankOne Corp. of Columbus, Ohio.
Chip began his career in 1973 at Wachovia Bank & Trust Co. in Winston-Salem, NC, after graduating with a Bachelor’s degree in Economics from Washington & Lee University in Lexington, VA.
Accomplished and distinguished entrepreneur, Tripp Rackley, will receive the FinTech Lifetime Achievement Award during FinTech South, the Southeast’s largest event dedicated to financial innovation. Nominated by previous recipients of this distinction, Rackley was selected for his impressive career building and growing successful businesses.
During his more than 25-year career, Rackley founded multiple companies, driving leadership, strategy, vision and direction. Beginning in 1995, he launched his first company, nFront, Inc., the pioneer of internet banking, taking it public four years later. In 2005, Rackley again pushed the boundaries of financial services, technology and innovation by founding Firethorn, the first mobile payments company. Establishing partnerships with the two largest carriers, AT&T and Verizon Wireless, to deliver mobile payments to the consumer market, Firethorn was acquired by Qualcomm in 2007.
T. Stephen Johnson
Steve has been one of the leaders in changing the landscape of the financial services industry in the U.S. for over three decades. In 1987, he founded T. Stephen Johnson & Associates, a bank consulting firm specializing in mergers & acquisitions, regulatory consulting, strategic consulting, services for the underbanked, bank formations, and capital raising. This company is the predecessor to his current business, Brightlane Partners.
Mr. Johnson’s other credits include the incubation of the first debit card with Directo, Inc., the first internet-only bank with NetBank, Inc., and the first remote deposit capture product with The UPS Store. Steve also created and managed the $100M asset Southeast Bank Fund in the late ‘90’s, the $25M asset Morgan Keegan Select Fund in the early 2000’s, and the $38M asset North American Bank Fund in 2006.
Mr. Johnson has been a member of the Board of Trustees of the Georgia Tech Scheller College of Business and the school’s athletic board. He served on the Carter Center Board, the State Board of Human Resources, and the Stone Mountain Park Board (20 years). He was Mayor of Decatur, Georgia at age 27. He served as a Director of Proficio Bank, Netbank Inc (NTBK)., Florida Bank, N.A, (FLBK), Avenue Bank, Bank of Atlanta and 7 other FDIC insured financial institutions. He recently served on the Board of Directors of DLH (DLHC) until he resigned in January 2016 due to health reasons. Mr. Johnson earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Industrial Management from the Scheller College of Business at the Georgia Institute of Technology and a Master of Business Administration degree from the Robinson College of Business at Georgia State University.
During his 24 years in the prepaid industry, InComm CEO Brooks Smith has spearheaded the development of the prepaid industry as well as innovative point-of-sale technology to help connect the industry’s leading product providers with many of the world’s largest retailers.
While working as a sales and marketing executive early on his career, Brooks developed a keen interest in technology. He played an integral role in the creation of one of the first telephone debit platforms utilizing a central database in the US. It was this project that led him to realize the potential in creating viable retail and technology solutions for prepaid products.
From that insight, he founded InComm in 1992, which in its earliest days focused on supporting the development of prepaid programs and point of sale solutions. Soon after its launch, Brooks led InComm toward the creation and perfection of Point of Sale Activation (POSA) technologies that have provided the foundation that the entire prepaid industry is built on today. That includes being the first company to launch Host to Host POSA prepaid cards in 1995 (Fastcard), and the first to launch POSA wireless top-up cards for prepaid mobile in 1999.
In addition to those amazing accomplishments, Brooks led InComm as it launched the market’s first POSA Network branded gift cards with American Express followed a year later by the first POSA Visa gift card, branded Vanilla Visa, and in 2004 the first POSA Apple iTunes cards offered to consumers . He has been awarded 210 global patents related to the prepaid industry.
Named Georgia’s Ernst and Young Entrepreneur of the Year in 2007, Brooks is a respected thought leader who has created valuable relationships with the country’s top retail giants, including Walmart, Target, CVS, Walgreens, 7-Eleven and many more, as well as numerous national leading product brands including Apple, Microsoft, American Express and Visa.
He is an industry pioneer because of his innovative work in the growth, shaping and direction of the prepaid product industry. From launching POSA prepaid and gift cards to making them available digitally online as well as advancing POS payments technology and creating InComm’s own line of prepaid branded Vanilla products, he has been the trailblazer within the industry. He is currently pioneering new uses for his technology in bill payment, health care and transportation. He has created a vast payments network specializing in complex and non traditional transactions.
InComm constantly remains at the forefront of the prepaid industry , driving growth of diverse global products from top retailers and providers in North and South America, Europe and the Asia-Pacific region.
Phil Tomlinson, chairman of the board of TSYS, has been the driving champion for excellence in client service for the company’s entire history. As CEO, Tomlinson directed the company’s strategy of technological growth and advancement. But among clients, colleagues and team members, he is better known for his tireless efforts to exceed client expectations every day.
Tomlinson joined Columbus Bank and Trust (CB&T) in 1974, after a successful management career with General Electric Corporation. Since TSYS was established as a spin-off in 1983, Tomlinson has played a key role in almost every major decision and relationship that has shaped the company’s development. Tomlinson is a graduate of Louisiana State University’s School of Banking of the South, and recently was awarded an Honorary Doctorate from Columbus State University. Mr. Tomlinson was a 2008 recipient of the prestigious Turknett Leadership Character Award, presented by the Turknett Leadership Group and Kennesaw State University, and received the Ernst and Young Lifetime Achievement Award at their 25th Entrepreneur of the Year Program.
In addition to his role as Chairman of the Board for TSYS, Tomlinson also serves on the Board’s Executive Committee. He is also a member of the Board of Directors for Synovus Financial Corp., and serves on the Risk Committee. Tomlinson also serves on the Georgia Economic Development Board and has served in various capacities in the community, including the Georgia Tech Advisory Board, the Board of the American Cancer Society, the United Way Board, the Muscogee Educational Excellence Foundation, the Board of the Boys and Girls Club and the executive committee of the Greater Columbus Chamber of Commerce, of which he served as chairman in 2006. He is currently very involved with Columbus State University and serves on their Foundation Board, having served as chairman in 2011, the University Leadership Advisory Board, and the Turner College of Business Advisory Board.
Pamela A. Joseph is vice chairman of U.S. Bancorp Payment Services and chairman of Atlanta-based Elavon, Inc., a wholly-owned subsidiary of U.S. Bancorp. As a member of the 14-member managing committee at U.S. Bancorp, she is responsible for U.S. Bank Retail Payment Solutions, Corporate Payment Systems, Elavon Global Acquiring Solutions, and Elavon Financial Services, U.S. Bancorp’s chartered European financial institution.
Joseph is a 25-year veteran of the financial services industry. Before joining Elavon in 1994, she served with Visa International as director over new market development. Prior to her tenure with VISA, Joseph served for more than eight years in the banking industry with Wells Fargo Bank.
In addition to her position at U.S. Bancorp, Joseph is a member of the board of directors of Paychex, Inc. a provider of payroll, human resource and benefits outsourcing solutions. She is a member of the board of directors for Centene Corporation, a multi-line health services enterprise that administers state Medicaid programs, and is also chairman of Women Leaders in Action, a non-profit organization that funds the health, well-being and education of children in Africa.
U.S. Bancorp (NYSE: USB), with $264 billion in assets, is the parent company of U.S. Bank, the 6th largest commercial bank in the United States. The company operates over 3,000 banking offices and 5,183 ATMs in 24 states and provides a comprehensive line of banking, brokerage, insurance, investment, mortgage, trust and payment services to consumers, businesses and institutions. Visit U.S. Bancorp on the web at www.usbank.com.
Paul R. Garcia is Chairman of the Board and CEO of Global Payments Inc. (NYSE:GPN), one of the world’s leading payment processing companies. He is a pioneer and leader in the financial and payments services industry, having served in management and executive management roles for thirty years. Garcia originally became Chief Executive Officer of NDC’s Atlanta-based eCommerce line of business in June 1999. NDC eCommerce began operating as Global Payments Inc. on December 11, 2000, and the new company spun off from National Data on February 1, 2001.
Mr. Garcia has served on a number of Boards of Directors, including the Global, U.S. and Latin American Boards of MasterCard International and the Electronic Transactions Association. Currently, Mr. Garcia is on the Boards of the Dun & Bradstreet Corporation (D&B), the Metro Atlanta Chamber of Commerce and the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra. He is a Life Trustee and former Chairman of Pace Academy in Atlanta, Georgia. Mr. Garcia was honored as 2004 Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year® in Financial Services for Georgia, Alabama, and Tennessee, and named “one of the best CEOs in America” five times by Institutional Investor.
Mr. Garcia was also recognized by the Electronic Transactions Association as the recipient of the 2008-2009 Distinguished Payments Professional Award.
Mr. Garcia resides in Atlanta with his wife Carol, and they have six children.
Kight founded CheckFree in 1981 in his grandmother’s basement, with a vision of providing electronic funds transfer services to businesses and consumers. Over the following 27 years, CheckFree expanded its scope beyond online bill payments to online and mobile banking, digital payments and processing infrastructures, business intelligence analytics, electronic billing, digital reconciliation, and operational risk management systems – through both internal development and acquisitions. CheckFree, with revenues of $1.1 Billion, was sold to Fiserv, Inc in December of 2007 for $4.4 Billion.
Kight is a member of the Board of Directors at Huntington Bancshares Incorporated.
December 2014 – Present: Charleston, South Carolina Area
Huntington Bancshares Incorporated
June 2012 – Present: Columbus, Ohio Area
2013 – April 2015
2010 – 2013: West Palm Beach, Florida Area
Comvest Partners is a private investment firm providing equity and debt capital to middle-market companies across the U.S. Comvest includes seasoned, senior level operating executives who partner with management and entrepreneurs to grow businesses and create long-term value.
Board of Directors
2010 – 2012
2007 – 2010
Fiserv, Inc. (NASDAQ: FISV) is a leading global provider of information management and electronic commerce systems for the financial services industry, providing integrated technology and services that create value and results for our clients. Fiserv drives innovations that transform experiences for more than 16,000 clients worldwide, including banks, credit unions and thrifts, billers, mortgage lenders and leasing companies, brokerage and investment firms and other business clients.
Board of Directors
2004 – 2012: Cambridge, MA
Board of Directors
2007 – 2011: Greater Atlanta Area
Founder, Chairman, and CEO
1981 – 2007
Founded in 1981, CheckFree Corporation (Nasdaq: CKFR) provides financial electronic commerce services and products to organizations around the world. CheckFree Electronic Commerce solutions enable thousands of financial services providers and billers to offer their customers the convenience of receiving and paying their household bills online or in person through retail outlets. CheckFree Investment Services provides a broad range of investment management solutions and outsourced services to thousands of financial services organizations, which manage more than $1 trillion in assets. CheckFree Software develops, markets and supports software applications that are used by financial institutions to process more than two-thirds of the 10 billion Automated Clearing House transactions in the United States. The division also provides global trade processing, reconciliation, financial messaging, compliance and electronic billing and statement software to hundreds of organizations across the globe.
Blanchard began his service with Synovus Financial Corp. in June 1970 and served as CEO of Synovus from 1971 until being named Chairman of the Board in July 2005. Blanchard retired from Synovus in October 2006. In 2011, he partnered with the Jordan Company, a Columbus-based real estate and investment firm, to create Jordan-Blanchard Capital.
B.B.A., The University of Georgia, 1963
LL.B., The University of Georgia, 1965
- Chairman and CEO, Retired, Synovus Financial Corp.
- Lead Director, Total System Services, Inc.
- Emeritus Director, Columbus Bank and Trust Company
- Retired Lead Director, AT&T Corporation
- Director, W.C. Bradley Co.
- Director, Chick-fil-A, Inc.
- Chairman, Global Teen Challenge Advisory Board
- Chairman, Florida/Georgia Teen Challenge Board of Directors
- Director, World Leader’s Group
- Director, EQUIP
- Member Emeritus, Terry Dean’s Advisory Council, University of Georgia
- Member, Building Terry Campaign Cabinet, University of Georgia
- Member, Lead Like Jesus National Advisory Board
- Member, Georgia Historical Society Board of Curators
- Trustee, Columbus State University Foundation
- Past Trustee and Past Chairman, Georgia Research Alliance
- Past Director and Past Chairman, Financial Services Roundtable
- Past Director and Past Chairman, BITS (formerly Bankers Information Technology Secretariat)
- Past Director, American Bankers Association
- Alumni Merit Award for distinguished and loyal service, The University of Georgia, 2015
- Impact Award for “Building Better Lives,” New Horizons Community Services Board, 2014
- The Sue Marie and Bill Turner Servant Leadership Award, The Pastoral Institute, 2013
- Divine Servant Leadership Award, Lead Like Jesus, 2012
- 2010 FinTech Lifetime Achievement Award, Technology Association of Georgia
- 2008-2009 Honorary Chairman, Financial Services Roundtable Scholarship Foundation
- Designated First Presidential Fellow, Columbus State University, 2009
- Charter Recipient, Georgia Ethics in Business Award, 2009. The award is now known as the Blanchard Award in Business Ethics
- Southeastern University Doctorate of Humane Letters, 2009
- The Eddie Sams Award, University of Georgia Golf Team, 2008
- Rozier Dedwylder Leadership Award, Uptown Columbus Inc., 2008
- Lifetime Achievement Award, Technology Association of Georgia, 2007
- Woodruff Award, Columbus Chamber of Commerce, 2007
- VanLandingham Award, Georgia Council on Economic Education, 2006
- Martin Luther King, Jr. Unity Award, Delta Lambda Chapter of Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity Inc. Educational Foundation, 2006
- “Most Influential Georgians Hall of Fame,” Georgia Trend magazine, 2006
- “25 Most Influential People in Financial Services,” US Banker magazine, 2005
- Beta Gamma Sigma International Honoree Award, 2005
- “Georgian of the Year,” Georgia Trend magazine, 2003
- “Most Respected CEO” in the state, Georgia Trend magazine, 1997
Jim served as Chairman and CEO of Synovus, a multi-billion dollar financial services company, based in Columbus, Georgia. Synovus bank divisions provide commercial and retail banking, investment and mortgage services to customers in Georgia, Alabama, South Carolina, Florida and Tennessee.
In 2006, he formed a partnership with Columbus State University’s Cunningham Center for Leadership Development to create the Jim Blanchard Leadership Forum. The mission of the forum is to provide Columbus, and the region, the opportunity to interact with some of the most influential political, military and business leaders in the world to create a synergy that raises both the local and national standard for leadership development. Previous speakers at the forum include President George W. Bush, former First Lady Laura Bush, former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, former Secretary of Defense Robert Gates, former U.S. Senators Sam Nunn and Zell Miller, former Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich, author Ken Blanchard, author John Maxwell, former Secretary of State Colin Powell, General David Petraeus and former U.S. Attorney General Griffin Bell. “One of the greatest gifts I can offer to our country is an investment in Leadership. We want to provide a forum where leaders can be exposed to the best and brightest minds in the world today,” said Blanchard
Blanchard currently serves as Chairman, Board of Advisors, Jordan-Blanchard Capital, LLC, a firm that focuses on investing in small businesses in the manufacturing, distribution and business services sectors.