2018 Cards and Payments Speakers


Advisory Committee & Faculty

Jason Beard* - Professional Development Group II, Inc.
Karen Brookbanks* - University of Arizona
Brian Cook - Paymerang Business Development
Tracye Eades Mickle* - Florida International University
Karim R. Ellis - Empowered Education Unlimited
David Griffiths - FISCAL Technologies
Jennifer Hart Barb* - James Madison University
Eric Hayes - FISCAL Technologies
Florianne Irwin - Harvard University
Helen Kubiack* - Lone Star College
Leslie Lackore* - Iowa State University
Lynn Larson - REcharged Education
Marty Newman* - University of Maryland (Retired)
Gerardina Paduano* - Stoney Brook University
Edgars Patani* - Albany State University
Anthony Rotoli - ESM Solutions Corporation
Eileen Scanlan* - University of Albany
Mary Schaeffer - AP Now
Ashru Shah* - North Carolina State University
Jennifer Steier* - University of Louisville
Linda Wilson - Gonzaga University

* denotes advisory group

Karim Headshot.jpg

Keynote Speaker

Karim R. Ellis

Karim R. Ellis is a Dynamic Motivational Speaker with 10 years of experience in the field of speaking, training, and coaching. Karim takes pride in developing both leaders and champions. His sole desire is to create an atmosphere of greatness in the lives of the people he connects with on a daily basis. He is also an active member of both the National Speakers Association and Past President with Toastmasters International.

As a certified member of the John Maxwell Team, he has spoken and taught Leadership and Team Building principles to a multitude of companies and organizations like General Electric, Anthem, Kroger’s, The United States Postal Service, The Dept. of Defense DFAS, SHRM and many more.

All successful organizations understand that effective leadership is at the heart of every business and The John Maxwell Team prides itself on Leadership Creation and Development. As a Leadership trainer, Karim has several engaging group programs specifically designed to help take your Leaders to the Next Level.

When Karim delivers a message, he absolutely makes sure that the room “gets it”. If you are looking for a fun, engaging, entertaining, and inspiring motivational speaker that will leave your group amazed...Karim R. Ellis is definitely it!

Are You Making the Right Connections?
Karim R. Ellis speaks at the Project Management Instititute

Additional Speakers

Karen Brookbanks

Purchasing Card Programs Manager, University of Arizona

Karen Brookbanks is the Manager of the Purchasing Card Programs at the University of Arizona. She is a Certified Purchasing Manager (C.P.M.), a Certified Professional Public Buyer (CPPB), and a Certified Purchasing Card Professional (CPCP).  Her Primary responsibilities at the University of Arizona include but are not limited to; Purchasing Card Policy & Procedural Management, Training, Compliance and Oversight of the Procurement Card Program. Karen’s background includes over 20 years of experience in the procurement field in the private and public sectors. 


Brian Cook

Senior Vice President Higher Education, Paymerang

Brian Cook is currently the Senior Vice President of Higher Education with Paymerang. In addition to being a successful entrepreneur, Brian has over 20 years of executive general management experience in wireless, telecommunications, manufacturing and SaaS. During that time, he has been involved with the selection and implementation of several electronic supplier payment and P-Card programs. Brian’s various roles within Paymerang and the payments industry has allowed him to personally speak with thousands of finance professionals who have experienced varying levels of success implementing B2B ePayments for Accounts Payable and the pain points they continue to face.


Tracye Eades Mickle

Program Administrator and Senior ProCard Accountant, Florida International University

Tracye Eades Mickle is the Program Administrator and Senior ProCard Accountant at Florida International University in Miami Florida.  Her responsibilities include managing the University Card programs which consist of ProCard, Travel & Entertainment and Single Use Account eCard Programs.  Tracye is also responsible for reconciliation of ProCard Accrual and Cash Accounts. 

Annual card expenditures under Tracye’s management exceed 27 million.  Tracye has worked at FIU for 18 years, the last 10 of which have been directly with the university card programs in both accounting and administrative capacities.  During her tenure with the program, Tracye has assisted in two major card reissues, one which involved a new bank implementation for card services; as well as assisted with the implementation of PeopleSoft 8.4 and 9.0 Systems.


David Griffiths

Executive Vice President Client Development, FISCAL Technologies

David Griffiths, EVP of Client Development at FISCAL Technologies, has spent the last 15 years working with over 300 Accounts Payable teams, 50% of which have been within government-related organizations. He is the driving force behind FISCAL’s commitment to delivering solutions that provide customers with real value and a great ROI. David’s vision and leadership have been key in establishing FISCAL as a leading brand in Accounts Payable. Prior to FISCAL, David was Head of European Marketing for Bottomline Technologies, the world’s leading provider of payment solutions. David holds an MBA and Honors Degree in Business & Accounting.


Jennifer Hart Barb

Lead Small Purchase Charge Card Program Administrator, James Madison University

Jennifer Hart Barb is the Lead Program Administrator for the Small Purchase Charge Card Program at James Madison University in Harrisonburg, VA. She began her career at James Madison University as a Plant Fund Accountant in 2002. In 2003, Jennifer became the Program Administrator for the charge card programs, creating the program and policies from the ground up. In fiscal year 2004, her first year with the program, yearly spend was about 1.3 million and this past fiscal year, 2017, total spend on the purchasing card was over 29 million. Jennifer has had a feature article written about the charge card program at James Madison University in the VISA Exchange Magazine Higher Education Spring 2011 edition. She has presented on many different purchasing card and Accounts Payable topics at the state of Virginia Fiscal Officers of Colleges and Universities State Supported Conferences as well as the Virginia Bank of America User's Summit. Jennifer resides in the Shenandoah Valley of Virginia with her husband and two daughters. 


Eric Hayes

Vice President, FISCAL Technologies

Eric S. Hayes, a Vice President at FISCAL Technologies, has 19 years’ experience in financial and recovery audit services. He has personally managed the recovery audit initiatives of retail giants such as Walmart, Best Buy, Home Depot, The GAP, Nordstrom, Sears, SuperValu, H-E-B, and Food Lion. Eric has a passion for providing AP, P2P, and Internal Audit teams with overpayment and fraud prevention technologies, best practices and strategies, and has shared his subject matter expertise throughout North America. Eric, a father of four sons, is a proud native of Greensboro and a graduate of East Carolina University.


Florianne Irwin

Lead Administrator, Harvard University

Florianne Irwin joined Harvard University in May 2015 as Lead Administrator for their card programs. Prior to joining Harvard, she was Assistant Director of Procurement Services at the University of Vermont where she fully revamped all aspects of UVM’s card program from: RFP process, implementation, mandatory online training, data analytics for auditing and e-payables implementation.  

In addition to card program management, she has over 20-years of experience in various roles from supply chain management, accounting, finance, and ERP systems implementation. She currently serves on the Board of Directors for NAEP-New England as Executive Vice President.


Helen Kubiak

System Card Administrator, Lone Star College System

Helen Kubiak is the P-Card Program Coordinator for Lone Star College System, the largest institution of higher education in the Houston area and the fastest growing community college system in the nation.  Helen is responsible for the management and coordination of all activities of the p-card program including development of policy and procedure, implementation, training, card management, customer service, audit and spend analysis.

Since Helen implemented the LSCS program in 2007, it has grown from a one-card program of approximately fifty cards to a system-wide two-card program (ProCard and Travel & Expense Card) consisting of more than one thousand active cards with yearly spend in excess of $8.7 million.

Helen has 21 years’ experience in higher education.  She has been at LSCS for 15 years, serving as the P-Card Administrator since 2007.  Helen earned the CPCP certification in 2008 and has presented at the National Association of Purchasing Card Professionals conference as well as the National P-Cards on Campus conference.


Leslie Lackore

Program Coordinator, Iowa State University

Lesley Lackore is a program coordinator in the purchasing department at Iowa State University, with 16 years’ experience in purchasing card program administration. In addition to p-card responsibilities, she administers the university's e-procurement and web-based requisitioning systems. Lesley is a graduate of ISU, earning a BLS with emphasis in business and communication. In 2006, she earned the designation of Certified Purchasing Card Professional (CPCP) from the NAPCP. To take her mind off credit card fraud and cardholder misuse, Lesley directs a church choir, sings in a community concert choir, and caters to the needs of several spoiled house cats.


Marty Newman

Assistant Director Delegated Procurement, University of Maryland (Retired)

Marty Newman is retired Assistant Director - Delegated Procurement at the University of Maryland. Prior to retirement, her responsibilities included managing the purchasing card, small order, and master contract programs; reviewing University units that have delegated purchasing authority; and providing procurement training to campus. Annual expenditures under Marty's management exceeded $120 million. Marty taught the following courses to UM staff: Procurement 101, Procurement Using Sponsored Program Funds, and Purchasing Card.


Edgars Patani

Staff Auditor, Albany State University

Edgars Patani is a staff Auditor in the Department of Internal Audits and Compliance at Albany State University, located in Albany, Georgia. As an Internal Auditor, Edgars is tasked with assisting the University and Georgia Board of Regent in fulfilling its oversight responsibilities in mitigating material risks in major reporting areas by assessing the adequacy of control environments, risk management and control activities.Prior to his appointment as a staff Auditor, Edgars was the University Business Services Manager and P-Card Administrator for eight years. During this period his job responsibilities included developing policies, departmental strategic planning, negotiating and maintaining University Auxiliary Services contracts. These contracts comprises of dining, vending, and bookstore’s services. Edgars also oversaw the implementation of the University P-card system from a manual process to full automation. He holds the Georgia Certified Purchasing Card Administrator (GCPCA) and Certified Purchasing Card Professional (CPCP) certifications. Edgars also holds a doctorate degree in Business (DBA) with concentration in Accounting. Edgars is an adjunct faculty member at Albany State University College of Business where he teaches Introductory to Advanced Financial and Managerial Accounting courses.


Mary Schaeffer

Founder, AP Now

Mary S. Schaeffer is the founder of AP Now, a B2B organization focused on creating business intelligence around the accounts payable and payment functions. She has written 18 business books and is a frequent and popular speaker at both online and live events. Schaeffer has created a number of CPE self-study courses, customized training and online training events. She is the developer of the Accounts Payable Best Practice Certificate program. Previously she held positions as an Assistant Treasurer for the Equitable Life Assurance Society, a Financial Risk Manager for O&Y and a Corporate Cash Manager for Continental Grain. She has an MBA in Finance from NYU and a BS in Mathematics from York College (CUNY).


Jennifer Steier

Procurement Card Manager Business Services, University of Louisville

Jennifer Steier has worked in the Card Services department at the University of Louisville since 2012, first as a Procurement Card Compliance Analyst and now the Procurement Card Manager. Her responsibilities include management of the procurement card and fleet fuel card programs, transactional compliance, and training. The UofL ProCard Program has 1,200 cardholders and total FY 2016 spend.