Melissa Townsley, Co-Founder & CEO
Melissa serves as Chief Executive Officer and sets the strategic direction for GIACT with a focus on operational excellence, integrity, and innovation. Driven by her client-first approach and straight-forward communication style, Melissa has overseen the company’s rapid growth to over 1 billion transactions now secured and verified while earning the trust of both large and small enterprises. Prior to introducing GIACT’s payment risk solutions, Melissa gained extensive hands-on experience in payment processing, risk mitigation, and compliance, which ultimately enabled her to identify the market need for better information in accepting electronic payments.
Merlin Bise, Co-Founder & CTO
Merlin serves as Chief Technology Officer and maintains GIACT’s expansive, real-time, and proprietary data while setting the vision for new product development. Widely respected as a thought leader in the payment risk industry, Merlin applies his thorough understanding of the entire payments ecosystem to gather and deliver actionable intelligence to customers wanting to accept electronic payments in confidence. Prior to launching GIACT’s payment risk solutions, Merlin obtained significant technical and infrastructure expertise in a variety of industries, all requiring stringent performance credentials for network reliability and data security that has served as the foundation for GIACT’s trusted performance and painless integration.
Dave Foster, CFO
Dave serves as Chief Financial Officer and provides senior leadership to GIACT’s accounting and financial operations. He has significant experience in financial and technology services, and retail and donation organizations. Dave’s proven history in driving revenue growth and effectively managing cost structures will allow him to increase bottom line performance at GIACT. His ability to develop and lead dynamic teams in disciplines that include finance and accounting, IT, strategic planning, operations, and business and organizational development will assist in scaling the organization to support GIACT’s rapid growth. Prior to joining GIACT, Dave held senior leadership positions at US Bank, Northern Trust, Wells Fargo, Siemens, Fiserv, and most recently with Goodwill of Central Texas.
Benjamin Guion, Controller
Benjamin serves as Controller and assists the CFO in providing leadership to GIACT’s accounting and financial operations. With a tenured career as a senior financial professional in the banking and payments industry, Benjamin not only ensures accurate and compliant-driven back-office operations, but also adds significant knowledge and insights into the money and banking network. Prior to joining GIACT, Benjamin served as COO and CFO of New Dominion Bank and CAO and CFO of a predecessor bank of SouthTrust. He started his career at Peat Marwick & Mitchell (now KPMG) as a Senior Auditor in the financial services practice.
Robert McAlear, Executive Vice President, Operations
Robert serves as Executive Vice President of Operations with a concentrated focus on our customers and the GIACT team. Delivering world class service that meets the expectations and needs of our customers is always a priority. With over 20 years of experience in global payments and fraud prevention, Robert provides strong leadership in operations, marketing, and messaging, which allows him to collaborate with C-Suite, business units, and internal product teams to ensure successful growth of the company. Prior to joining GIACT, Robert held senior management positions at Chase Paymentech, Vantiv, Accertify, and TeleCheck.
Jeff Givens, Executive Vice President, Sales
Jeff serves as Executive Vice President of Sales and leads the sales organization along with strategic partnerships and channels sales. With over 25 years experience in financial services and risk mitigation, Jeff provides strong strategy and leadership experience in technology sales that allows him to clearly evaluate customer needs with a skill set that consistently drives results. Prior to joining GIACT, Jeff held senior management positions at Fiserv and EDS.
Geoff Gray, Vice President, Operations and Underwriting
Geoff serves as Vice President of Operations and Underwriting, and he has been a leader in the payments industry for over a decade and a half. His specialty is operational risk management, and he is known for the early detection and education of recruit fraud, a fraud trend that still occurs today. In addition to his duties with GIACT, he serves as an adviser to the board of directors for Merchant Acquirers’ Committee (MAC). He is also an active member of the North Texas Chapter of the International Association of Financial Crimes Investigators (IAFCI). Prior to joining GIACT, Geoff was an investigator in the bank card industry and also held key management positions for several processors and ISOs.
Holly Merrill, AAP, Chief Compliance Officer
Holly serves as Chief Compliance Officer and is responsible for developing, implementing, and administrating GIACT’s compliance program. As an Accredited ACH Professional (AAP) and former Director on the national boards and executive committees of both NACHA and NOCH, Holly is uniquely qualified to share strategic guidance on the best practices for implementing and monitoring compliance-oriented controls and risk management procedures. Prior to joining GIACT, Holly held senior leadership positions at BillingTree and at a Regional Payments Association with responsibility over the Check Clearing House and a private sector ACH Operator where she provided audit, educational programs, processing, and rules/regulatory support.
David Barnhardt, Executive Vice President, Product Strategy
David serves as Executive Vice President of Product Strategy where he pushes constant product and solution evolution. With over 13 years of banking and payment fraud expertise, David brings a strong problem solving approach to our products and the way we serve our customers. Prior to joining GIACT, David was a Risk Executive at Bank of America, and most recently the Payments Product Line Leader at Early Warning Services.