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Member Perspective

Kelly Andrus has been a member of the MAG almost since 2008. She is a longtime veteran of payments and presently serves as the Manager of Card Services at Tesoro Refining and Marketing. Prior to joining Tesoro in 2004, Kelly spent over 10 years with a large acquirer.

My experience with the MAG started after I left ADS and joined Tesoro. As someone new to the merchant community, I immediately began to realize that many merchants had a superficial understanding of payments. For several years I attended conferences and events geared towards payments, but became frustrated with the lack of quality presentations and the proliferation of miss-information within the merchant community. The CEO of our acquirer, Bob Carr of Heartland Payment Systems recommended the MAG, and I attended my first event in New Orleans almost 5 years ago.

I was immediately struck by the level of knowledge of the attendees and the MAG CEO’s determination for the MAG to make a difference by organizing the merchants’ voice with the payments Brands. The MAG was committed to inclusion and collaboration instead of just complaining about the hot button topics. I was sold then and I’m still sold that the MAG provides me with the best opportunity to interact with merchant payment professionals from all types of merchants and remains the best channel of merchant communication and collaboration with the Brands.

The MAG has changed as it has matured. I think it remains important that we engage the Brands in discussions that improve the merchants’ payment experience, but I also believe they are becoming more interested in truly understanding our pain points and willing to engage in frank, but sometimes painful, dialogue. It’s the MAG’s advocacy of the merchant position that most keeps me involved. It’s not just a twice a year event. The MAG stays involved and engaged with its members throughout the year through webinars, committees and other means by which members can participate. I encourage all members to get involved so we can deliver ways to enable everyone to contribute.

Kelly Andrus, Manager of Card Services, Tesoro Refining and Marketing