Payment Alliance International
Our Innovative Leaders
John J. Leehy III - President and Chief Executive Officer
Greg Sahrmann - Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer
David Kozal - Senior Vice President and Chief Financial Officer
Donna Embry - Chief Payments Officer
Dale Herb - Senior Vice President, Chief Talent Officer
E. John Macht - Senior Vice President of Operations
Scott McFarland - Senior Vice President, Merchant Alliance
Krista Lowery - Senior Vice President, Insurance Services
Michael W. Hammer - Vice President, Technology Services
Dale A. Jones - Vice President of Software Development
John J. Leehy, III
President and Chief Executive Officer
Leehy has been a leader in the field of payment processing for over three decades. Prior to co-founding Payment Alliance International (PAI) in 2005, Leehy served as CEO of Confluent Technologies. He was also a founder and Managing Director of Resource Alliance Partners (RAP), an early-stage venture firm focused on building shareholder value for e-commerce and high-growth technology companies.
Leehy served as Chairman and CEO of Financial Alliance Processing Services, one of the nation's fastest growing transaction processing companies. From its inception in late 1991, he guided Financial Alliance through its sale in 1995 to Deluxe Corporation, a Fortune 200 company. Two years later, Leehy and his management team repurchased the company in a leveraged buyout, which ultimately resulted in a successful sale in 1998 to National Processing Company (NPC), a publicly traded (NYSE) payment processing company. Following the sale, Leehy served as EVP and head of all transaction processing business and head of NPC's combined transaction processing group.
Prior to Financial Alliance, Leehy directed the formation of First Data Resources'(FDC) Merchant Services Group and led that unit, as well as FDC's Security Services Company, throughout the late 1980s. Recognized for his exceptional leadership and visionary abilities, Leehy holds positions on the two premier Board of Directors in the ATM industry, serving as President for the Automated Teller Machine Industry Association (ATMIA), as well as Vice Chairman of the Electronic Funds Transfer Association (EFTA). He also serves on the Board of Directors for Green Technologies Environmental Coatings.
In 2018, Leehy was named EY Entrepreneur of the Year® East Central Region (KY, OH, PA, WV), and in 2017 received the ATM Industry Champion Award from the ATMIA. He has a Bachelor of Science degree from the University of Nebraska at Kearney.
Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer
From 2005 to 2008, Sahrmann served jointly as both COO and Chief Financial Officer of Payment Alliance International (PAI). Prior to co-founding PAI in 2005, Sahrmann served as COO/CFO of Confluent Technologies. He was also a founder and Partner of Resource Alliance Partners (RAP), a venture capital firm providing both capital and management expertise to early stage e-commerce and high-growth technology companies.
In 1991, Sahrmann co-founded and served as the COO of Financial Alliance Processing Services, one of the nation's fastest growing transaction processing companies in the 1990s. After a sale of the company in 1995 to Deluxe Corporation, he helped lead a management buyback of the company and a successful sale to National Processing Company (NPC), a publicly traded (NYSE) payment processing company, in 1998. Sahrmann then served as EVP and Managing Officer of the Payments Processing Group, where he effectively integrated the operations of both companies and cultures, and forged a continuing growth strategy.
Prior to Financial Alliance, Sahrmann was SVP/Managing Officer of the Payment Services group for Norwest Bank (now Wells Fargo), consisting of the credit card processing, ATM services and bank data processing businesses. In this capacity, he directed five years of record growth and profitability.
Sahrmann has a Master in Business Administration degree and a Bachelor of Science in Civil Engineering degree from the University of Missouri.
Senior Vice President and Chief Financial Officer
Kozal has over 25 year's financial experience in the Payment Processing Business. Prior to joining PAI, Kozal spent 20 years at First Data Corporation. Starting as a manager of Financial Reporting within the Finance Organization and eventually becoming the Chief Financial Officer of First Data Resource's Card Issuing business. Kozal was a member of the Merger and Acquisition team and the senior financial member of the First Data Client Renewal and New Business team. Kozal also worked at First National Bank of Omaha as a bankcard Financial Credit Card Analyst.
Kozal holds a Bachelor of Science from the University of Nebraska. Kozal currently serves on the Habitat for Humanity Metro Louisville Board of Directors. In 2012, Kozal was awarded "CFO of the Year" in the Very Large Private Company category by Business First.
Chief Payments Officer
As of 2018, Donna Embry has 51 plus years of experience in the payments industry and currently serves as Chief Payments Officer for Payment Alliance International (PAI). Her prior executive positions include Executive Vice President, Product and Marketing for Vital Processing (TSYS Acquiring) and Senior Vice President, Electronic Banking for PNC Bank, as well as Chief Operations Officer for PNC's former division, CFC Financial Services..
Embry authored the first ETA publication, The Encyclopedia of Terminology for the Acquiring Industry, and developed/taught the inaugural introduction series of classes for ETA University. She is currently co-chair for the ATMIA US Regional Board, chair of the ETA Professional Development Committee, a member of the Federal Reserve's Faster Payments Task Force, NAMA education committee, the ATMIA Next Gen ATM Council and Withdraw Cash Wednesday committee, the ETA Mobile Payments Council, and Board Member of the NEAA.
In addition, she was a founding member and served on the Board of Directors as Chairman for the former Kentucky-based Quest ATM network. Embry served as the President of the Midwest Acquirers Association (MWAA) in 2013-2014 and served on their Board of Directors from 2008-2012. She currently serves on the Advisory Board for ISO & Agent and is a Regional Board Member for the Make-A-Wish Foundation (Kentucky/Indiana/Ohio).
In October, 2005, she was selected as The Green Sheet's profiled industry leader and in July 2009 she was awarded the MWAA "Lifetime Achievement Award" for Payment Industry Professionals. In both 2013 and 2014, she was recognized as "One of the 20 Most Influential Women in Payments" by SourceMedia, and in 2016 received the industry's prestigious "Distinguished Payments Professional" award from the Electronic Transactions Association as well as the ATM Industry Champion Award from the ATM Industry Association (ATMIA). In 2017 Embry was recognized as "Distinguished Payments Professional" from the Women in Payments global payments ecosystem network, and was also recognized by the ATMIA with an "Outstanding Service" award in 2017 for her many contributions to the industry. In 2018 Embry received the international PayTech Leadership Award from FinTech Futures. Embry has a BA in foreign languages from the University of Louisville.
Senior Vice President, Chief Talent Officer
Prior to joining Payment Alliance International, Dale Herb spent more than thirty-years in the restaurant business with global brands KFC/YUM! Brands and Papa John’s. He has extensive experience in all aspects of Human Resources, Leadership Development, Field Finance, Project Management and Operations. His background includes leading organizational/culture change management initiatives, coaching and developing business leaders, as well as developing and implementing the necessary talent management strategies to turnaround underperforming teams. Throughout his career, Herb has successfully led numerous national cross-functional/cross-branded project teams where he planned and managed multi-million dollar budgets.
During his three-year tenure with Papa John’s, Herb led a variety of noteworthy Leadership Development initiatives. Notable accomplishments include the implementation of a new global learning management system that impacted more than 80,000 users, conversion of 45 eLearning courses from FLASH to HTML5, facilitation of converting all store-level eLearning content into 13 languages, formalization of operations employees’ career paths, and implementation of an entire suite of HR Compliance modules. Herb also developed, piloted and sold-in the Founder’s Go-Left Leadership Development program across both company and franchise operations.
Herb has a Bachelor of Science degree in Business from Bellarmine University.
E. John Macht
Senior Vice President of Operations
Macht came to PAI with over 25 years experience in the merchant processing business. Prior to arriving at PAI in late 2009, Macht worked on several small business ventures for many years. He was also with NOVA Information Systems (now Elavon) for eight years as Senior Vice President and General Manager of Operations. From 1990 to 1993, he managed the operations for Norwest Card Services. Macht began his career at Fifth Third Bank in 1978.
Macht obtained his Bachelor's Degree in Administrative Management from the University of Cincinnati.
Senior Vice President, Sales
Prior to joining Payment Alliance International, McFarland was Executive Vice President for Event Marketing International (EMI), overseeing both domestic and global business-to-business sales. McFarland began his career in electronic processing over 15 years ago while managing a program for Cardservice International and later First Horizon Merchant Services. Under Scott's tenure the business produced more than 20,000 new merchant accounts annually through door-to-door sales. Working in the consumer credit issuing arena, McFarland managed sales organizations responsible for acquiring more than 12 million consumer applications annually around the globe.
McFarland served eight years in the U.S. Air Force, which culminated in his assignment to the Thunderbirds Air Demonstration Team.
Senior Vice President, Insurance Services
As Senior Vice President of Insurance Services at Payment Alliance International (PAI), Krista Lowery leads a team of business consultants trained to help specialty retailers utilize new payment technology to increase profitability, retain more customers, and increase average ticket size. Having owned and operated a specialty retail store for 17 years, Krista experienced first-hand the impact the introduction of the internet and other technology had on independent retailers, and thus has committed the balance of her career to help similar retailers understand and embrace technology to build business.
As an avid sports and shooting enthusiast, Krista is an active member and serves as Payment Alliance's liaison to the National Shooting Sports Foundation, The National Rifle Association Business Alliance, National Association of Sporting Good Wholesalers, National Sporting Goods Association, North American Retail Hardware Association, and the Tennis Industry Association.
Prior to joining PAI, Lowery served as National Sales Director for Renaissance Interactive Media, Marketing Communications Director at nVIEW Corporation, and specialty retail store owner/operator. Lowery has a Bachelor of Science degree in Communication Arts with a Minor in German from Georgia Southern University. She also has a Masters degree in Education from Grand Canyon University.
Michael W. Hammer
Vice President, Technology Services
Hammer has experience in all facets of Information Technology. Having started his career as a developer, he has served in roles ranging from system architect to help desk support engineer. He served as Director of Software Development for Financial Alliance Processing Services of Louisville, KY, a leading provider of processing services to the credit and debit card industries, which was later acquired by National Processing Corporation (NPC).
Hammer has directed e-commerce projects that employ multi-merchant shopping carts, highly specialized web development, site personalization via Microsoft's LDAP implementation of the ISO x.500 directory standard, and secure variable transaction flow to fulfillment partners. He has a unique business analysis background, having worked in such diverse environments as small, privately held firms, Fortune 500 companies, government agencies, and Internet start-ups. He has experience in a myriad of industries including legal, financial, technology, e-commerce and construction/development. Hammer has also served as a Database Administrator (DBA) for Microsoft SQL Server on several occasions, and marries this database expertise with his development experience and varied business background to architect complete customer solutions.
Dale A. Jones
Vice President of Software Development
Jones is a 17 year technology professional with expertise in telecommunications, data center management and software development. As Director of Software Development for Payment Alliance International, Jones's directs all software application development initiatives of the enterprise and strives to provide a professional user friendly experience at all touch points for customer facing software applications and web portals. Jones served as Director of Information Technology for ATM Express, which was purchased by Payment Alliance International in 2008. During his 7 year tenure with ATM Express Jones also served as co-founder and President of the industry-recognized ATM management web portal, PAIReports.com (formerly ATMReports.com).