For those of you who read John’s recent MAG Insights column, you are aware that I recently made the decision to leave my long-time career at a major retailer behind. Once I had delivered the [arguably shocking] news to my boss, the first call I made was to John to get his thoughts on me staying on as part of the board of the MAG. The reasons for my desire to remain involved are many. I can debate whether they are selfish or altruistic; but either way, I am sticking around. I have been part of the MAG since before it was its own standalone organization. Getting the MAG off the ground and watching its growth over the years has been one of the highlights of my career. The MAG holds so many key purposes and opportunities for our members: education, advocacy, networking, collaboration, and the list goes on. All of these are important to ensure the merchant community understands the issues facing us in the industry as well as the implications behind industry changes that can otherwise seem benign.
When the MAG began over a decade ago, the merchant voice was an industry afterthought at best. Through the work of the MAG staff, Board, and its members, merchants participate in regular conversations and roadmap development with many industry stakeholders, possibly none more important than the networks. There is still a lot of work to be done, but the progress has been amazing, collaborative and full of robust conversations!
The MAG is a merchant organization created by merchants for merchants, and there are so many ways for each of you to be involved. I encourage all of you to explore the Communities of Practice, complete Merchant Payments 101, attend the myriad of webinar opportunities, and, of course, join us at the conferences to network with your industry peers. There is so much to learn from our sponsors as well as from each other. The growth over the years is astounding, but there is always room for more of our friends. If there are other merchants that you know that aren’t part of the MAG, please encourage them to join. We are stronger together.