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Merchant Advisory Group Announces Leadership Changes

Mark Horwedel to step down; John Drechny and Troy Carrothers assume leadership roles 

MINNEAPOLIS - June 5, 2018 - Today the Merchant Advisory Group (MAG) announced a series of leadership changes.

After leading the MAG as chief executive officer for the past seven years, Mark Horwedel will step down at the end of 2018.  Under Horwedel’s leadership, the MAG has created a unified voice for merchants, successfully ensuring merchants’ debit routing rights were preserved during the transition to EMV, expanding merchants’ debit routing rights, leading the initiative to eliminate signatures and more. The MAG’s growing influence is clear, as under Horwedel membership has grown four-fold during his tenure.  Horwedel says he is looking forward to more time with family and friends and plans to stay involved in the payments industry and advocate for merchants.  

“Mark has been a great leader and has been instrumental in the MAG’s success. He has built a talented team and fostered a culture of growth and inclusiveness within the MAG that allows merchants of all sizes to talk about pain points and best practices. He draws on his industry experience to be the voice of the merchants and help educate the public,” said MAG board vice chair, Kathy Hanna, senior director, enterprise payments, store support, The Kroger Co.


John Drechny, currently senior director of payment services at Walmart, Inc. and MAG board chair, will join the MAG as President, effective July 30. Drechny will focus on strategic planning, working   closely with Horwedel in preparation for assuming the role of CEO on Jan. 1, 2019. For nearly 20 years, Drechny has served in various payments-related roles with Walmart, Inc. and is excited to bring his wealth of experience to the MAG. “I look forward to joining the team at the MAG and helping to strengthen the merchants’ voice. The MAG has been instrumental in bringing positive changes to payments since its inception 10 years ago, and the best is still ahead as merchants help shape the future of a more secure and efficient payment ecosystem,” Drechny said. 

MAG board member Gavin Waugh, vice president and treasurer, The Wendy’s Company, chaired the CEO Search Committee. “We are fortunate that we were well-positioned to conduct a thorough CEO search and to plan for a smooth transition.  In our search we looked for a leader who is a payments expert with a proven track record of innovation and strategic thinking and an ability to work with a diverse set of stakeholders,” Waugh said. “John has all these qualities to go along with his broad business experience and a deep commitment to developing strong teams. I am thrilled John has agreed to lead the MAG,” Waugh added.  


The MAG Board of Directors elected Troy Carrothers to fill the chair role upon Drechny’s resignation as chair of the MAG board on June 15. Carrothers, a senior vice president with Kohl’s Department Stores, Inc. has served on the MAG board for four years, with two of those years serving as Vice Chair, in addition to chairing the Education Committee for the past three years. “I look forward to continuing to work with the board on advancing our common objective of competitive, fair and intelligent payment solutions for the marketplace,” Carrothers said.


Contact:  Beth Provenzano, VP, Public Affairs I 952-928-4648