Webinar: Advocating Operations Best Practices – MAG’s Momentum

Wednesday, April 26, 2017
12 p.m. - 1 p.m. CT

View presentation slides and download the recording on the MAG's Member Resources page.

Merchants all have pain points with payment operations.  Some pain points may be shared across merchant verticals while others are unique.  What is MAG doing to advocate for change within the industry on these operational challenges that can impact resources, costs, and even the customer experience?  Join this webinar where Kristy Cook, MAG Board Member from Target and Laura Townsend, SVP MAG Operations share an update on advocacy efforts including priorities, key wins, and strategies to further gain momentum.

Presenter: Kristy Cook (Director, Payment Acceptance Technology, Target Stores)

Kristy Cook headshotKristy Cook is the Director of Payment Acceptance Technology at Target.  Her responsibilities include managing the acceptance of third party and REDcard products, including acceptance strategy and processing for all Target locations and channels.  She participates in the industry on behalf of Target in various forums including the Merchant Advisory Group Board, the EMV Migration Forum Steering Committee, the EMVCo Board of Advisors and the Food Marketing Institute Electronic Payment Committee.  

Kristy has worked for the past 17 years in the retail industry, with 10 years in bankcard acceptance.  Prior to her roles in bankcard acceptance at Target, she worked in various finance and accounting positions at both Target and Supervalu.  Before that, she spent several years in public accounting with PricewaterhouseCoopers and Eide Helmeke PLLP.  Kristy holds a Bachelor of Accountancy from University of North Dakota, and an MBA from University of Minnesota Carlson School of Management.


Presenter: Laura Townsend (SVP, Operations, Merchant Advisory Group)

Laura TownsendLaura serves as the SVP, Operations of the Merchant Advisory Group (MAG).  In this newly created MAG role, she is responsible for delivering on operational optimization strategies on behalf of MAG’s merchant members through collaboration with industry stakeholders which is an integral part of MAG’s overall strategic plan.  Laura is as an independent consultant to the Merchant Advisory Group and the broader retail community with focus on strategic planning, operational optimization strategies, and cost control tactics specific to consumer payments, emerging payment technologies and trends, and corporate cash management.  Previously, Townsend led corporate cash, consumer payment, and global digital product management initiatives including emerging innovative consumer experience opportunities at McDonald’s Corporation most recently as the Senior Director, Global Cashless & Digital Products. In addition, Laura has held various leadership roles on external industry boards and special interest groups with the objective to drive positive change in payments through multi-stakeholder collaboration and education.  Laura has an undergraduate degree from Northern Illinois University and is a native of Illinois.