Black in Fintech – Juneteenth Highlight
Juneteenth 2021 is quickly approaching, and the government has decided to recognize the day as a national holiday. June 19th (Juneteenth) is a nationally recognized day that is remembered as the end of American slavery.
In 1863 Abraham Lincoln signed the Emancipation Proclomation which was supposed to mark the end of slavery, however in some states there was little enforcement of the executive order. On June 19th, 1865 Union General Gordon Granger arrived in Galveston, Texas with news that the war was officially over and slaves were officially free. Even though underlying racial issues are still prominent to date, Juneteenth marks an important moment in African American history. This day we are celebrating Juneteenth and as part of this, we are highlighting a number of leaders in Financial Tech companies, their leaders who are challenging the norms, taking innovation to the extreme, and fighting incredible social causes.
Located: Atlanta, Georgia | Founded: 2019
Ebanqo is a digital assistant, Self-serve solution and Live chat on the web and popular messaging app that customers already use.
Charles Ifedi studied computer science in undergrad and his first job was as a software developer. He also co-founded Interswitch where he helped build the business for over 15 years. At Interswitch, he led the business solutions team, the international expansion team, and the Consumer business. In parallel, he became the CEO of Verve, an offshoot of Interswitch, where he led the brand to carve a niche for itself; from its inception until early 2018. In 2018, he was ready for a new challenge. He returned to school for a Doctorate in Business Administration at Georgia State University – J. Mack Robinson College of Business. In 2019 he co-founded his current company, eBanqo Inc. At eBanqo, they use advancements in conversational AI to solve customer-facing problems in business. Starting eBanqo was a challenging but thrilling experience for Ifedi. Applying the wealth of experience gained from his years in business and learning new lessons along the way, as no two businesses are exactly alike.
CoFounder and CEO
“The person who knows how will always have a job, but the person who knows why will always be his boss.”
Bank of America
Located: Atlanta, Georgia | Started: 2017
Bank of America is one of the world’s largest financial institutions, serving individuals, small- and middle-market businesses and large corporations with a full range of banking, investing, asset management and other financial and risk management products and services.
Janelle Jackson is a Strategy & Operations Executive focusing primarily on Retail Banking & Payments. Her specialties are IT transformation, strategy, operational efficiency, and mergers & acquisitions. As a leader, she’s done everything from product development and platform build-outs, to bank credit card conversions and vendor risk management. She has done many things in the Financial Services space and looks forward to doing many more. She is also ideally suited to contribute to Financial Services consulting, strategic management, and operations management type roles. She’s been passionate about developing businesses since before she started her professional career.
VP Strategy – Enterprise Payments
“It has been and will always be my passion to shape the next generation of business leaders and entrepreneurs.”
MasterCard Data & Services
Located: Atlanta, Georgia | Started: 2020
Providing customers across industries with tailored portfolio solutions to address their business pain points.
Whether bringing a brand narrative to life to invoke creative vision or uncovering revenue streams to accelerate a startup, the diversity of Aaron Arter’s experiences across complex B2B and B2C channels has uniquely positioned him to bridge rapidly changing consumer demands with innovative solutions and iconic brands. His proven track record is in leading teams to build dynamic and holistic go-to market plans that yield revenue through digital transformation. Collectively, he thrives in brand building, portfolio management, strategic partner development and P&L oversight to unlock the potential of emerging businesses in matrix driven organizations. Bottomline impact and compounded revenue growth have delivered shareholder value across various Fortune 500 product lines including CPG, Consumer Electronics, Retail, FinTech, Manufacturing, and Broadband sectors. As such, his work passions encompass uncovering innovation, bringing to life the unimaginable and scaling it in a global economy. This continues to expand with organizational leadership, emotional intelligence and seizing a future filled with possibilities. Notably, raising the bar from high performing teams and inspiring others to stretch beyond the status quo. All as we evolve in a disruptive, digital world.
Aaron M. Arter
MBA Director of New Business Development
“Leadership is not about a title or a designation. It’s about impact, influence and inspiration. Impact involves getting results, influence is about spreading the passion you have for your work, and you have to inspire team-mates and customers.”
First Data Corporation
Located: Atlanta, Georgia | Started: 2019
First Data is now Fiserv (NASDAQ:FISV). We’ve united to create a global leader in payments and financial technology, serving thousands of financial institutions and millions of merchants and businesses in more than 100 countries.
Naomi Donaldson is an experienced Payments professional with demonstrated experience in the information technology and financial services industries. Skilled in payments processing, Peer-to-Peer payments, SaaS, Merchant on-boarding; Business Development; Project, Account and Client Relationship Management. Results-driven leader with experience overseeing cross-functional teams servicing global accounts and projects. She is an advocate for small and medium sized businesses.
Director of Product Management
Fun facts: Avid runner, Boston Marathoner, fitness enthusiast, self-care proponent.
Located: Atlanta, Georgia | Started: 2000
From payment processing to loyalty programs, fraud management to mobile innovations, security solutions to data-driven insights, together we can unlock a world of opportunities.
Shermain Morrison is a highly motivated professional with a successful record of accomplishment in the Point-of-Sale and e-commerce industry. Experienced individual contributor and leading teams in Product Management, Sales Support, Account Management and Equipment Leasing programs. Successfully delivered innovative and transformational solutions to market with a focus on strategic expansion. Authentic ability to establish and maintain strong business alliances. Skilled at prioritizing and overseeing multiple initiatives. Strong collaborative skills working with cross- functional stakeholders teams to achieve strategic goals and objectives.
Product Strategy Manager
Fun Fact: She has been with Elavon for 21 years!
Hue Design Summit, Collab Capital, Goodie Nation, Inflex Digital Studio
Located: Atlanta, Georgia | Started: 2013
Justin Dawkins is the CEO and Principal of Inflex Digital. Dawkins co-founded the Atlanta marketing consultancy agency Goodie Nation to fill the gaps between the marketing and technology teams. He is the managing partner for Collab Capital and a board member for Hue Design Summit. Dawkins is a marketer, and a coder. This unique hybrid-discipline, defined as marketing technologist, fills a void that exists in many organizations due to marketing moving to a more digital space.
Whether it is helping companies find new profit centers in the digital marketing landscape, immersing consumers with products via events and store fronts, or leveraging influencers to put a megaphone to your brand, Inflex Digital transforms businesses. Justin is a business pioneer and successful entrepreneur.
Recently, Atlanta Tribune ranked Inflex Digital Studio 3rd out of 25 Black businesses to watch in Atlanta.
Multiple Projects in Capital
“Always give honor to the Father you believe. Second, expect great things from each other at all times. Lastly, produce great things. Never stop innovating. Never stop iterating. Always work to go one step further than you did the day before,”
Closing the information gap is one of the first steps in bringing equity to the financial system. African American leaders are steadily rising in Atlanta, and that makes us Optimistic about the new level of change there is to come in America and the world.
Atlanta Fintech Landscape
It’s hard to ignore how fast the fintech scene has been growing in Atlanta so we’ve put together a landscape of the fintech industry in Atlanta. These companies employ more than 30,000 professionals in Georgia and process over 118 billion transactions per year.
For more information about the fintech scene in Atlanta, check out our Atlanta Fintech Landscape. Featuring fintech companies in a wide array of sectors, you’ll find all the long term players as well as the new up and comers!