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Peggy Bekavac Olson - President & CEO
Peggy Bekavac Olson is an industry veteran with over 25 years experience in financial services and electronic payments marketing. She founded Strategic Marketing in 2009 to help companies develop strategies, build brand, enhance communication, promote products and services, and improve lead generation capabilities—all with the goal of growing revenue. Clients encompass the full spectrum of the payments chain, from start-up independent sales organizations and technology providers, to point-of-sale equipment manufacturers, value-added resellers, processors, gateways and major bank acquiring institutions and card brands.
Olson currently serves as a marketing advisor for Commerce.Innovated, the FinTech accelerator jointly run by Silicon Valley Bank and First Data. She is a sought-after speaker and is frequently quoted in payments publications. Olson is a frequent guest columnist for the popular electronic payments magazine The Green Sheet.
She currently serves on the sales and strategy committee and technology council for the Electronic Transactions Association (ETA), and has served on the organization's retail technology, communications and program planning committees.
Recently honored as an ATM Industry Champion by the ATM Industry Association (ATMIA), Olson is an ATMIA approved consultant. She serves on the International Marketing and Withdraw Cash Wednesday campaign committees, earning the Association's 2017's Exceptional Achievement Award.
As a past director on the board of Women's Network in Electronic Transactions (W.Net), Olson continues to guide women in payments through the organization's mentoring program.
Prior to founding Strategic Marketing, Olson served as vice president of marketing and communications for TSYS. During her tenure, Olson was responsible for directing brand, public relations, investor relations, communications, advertising, events, product marketing, market intelligence and creative activities for the merchant acquiring business unit, TSYS Acquiring Solutions with a multi-million dollar budget. She was instrumental in guiding her team in launching many new payment solutions, including gift card, petroleum, multi currency, dynamic currency conversion, virtual terminal, contactless, mobile, PC- and terminal-based based point-of-sale, shopping cart, data breach compliance and insurance programs as well as back-office support solutions. Olson developed innovative acquirer toolkits to jumpstart the merchant/retailer sales process, while effectively managing marketing and communications activities for more than 200 bank acquiring clients, 1,500 value added resellers and one million merchants/retailers. In addition, Olson spearheaded the company’s rebranding efforts from Vital Processing Services to TSYS Acquiring Solutions when joint venture ownership was dissolved as the result of Visa U.S.A. selling its 50 percent stake to TSYS.
Before joining TSYS, Olson operated a marketing consultancy serving clients in both the financial services and technology industries, including Aurum Technology (now FIS) and Vital Processing Services. Throughout her career, Olson has gained broad experience developing and executing marketing campaigns and programs for core, teller, ATM, item processing, remittance, lockbox and point-of-sale technologies as well as for credit, debit, check, ACH, gift, prepaid and alternative payment platforms. She has additionally held marketing, sales and product management positions with software providers developing transaction processing solutions for IBM, NCR, Unisys and BancTec hardware platforms.
Olson has significant philanthropic experience. As a founding board member of a private, not-for-profit independent school and as corporate United Way executive, Olson has led fundraising campaigns to record levels of giving, generating in excess of $10M in charitable contributions.
Olson holds a Bachelor of Science Degree in Business Administration from the Carlson School of Management at the University of Minnesota.