Discover, ATPC’s newest Board of Directors member, hosted the Q2 meeting at their offices in downtown Chicago on June 7th. This meeting was especially timely as it followed an ATPC staff Illinois state legislative fly-in to Springfield the month before. The ATPC expanded government relations activities in Illinois as part of a concerted state engagement strategy, and this board meeting highlighted those efforts.

In addition to the regular updates from staff and consultants, the ATPC hosted a unique panel during the board meeting. Three rising stars from the Illinois General Assembly joined the ATPC board to discuss the issues they are seeing in the state and their legislative priorities. Representative Edgar Gonzalez Jr. (D-Chicago) discussed his role as Vice Chair of the Cybersecurity, Data Analytics, & IT Committee and the importance of receiving inputs from the industry as legislators consider cyber and privacy regulation. Representative Margaret Croke (D-Chicago) was a champion for crypto regulation last legislative session. Rep. Croke highlighted the need for smart regulation on crypto that differs from how other states have been considering this issue. Representative Dagmara “Dee” Avelar (D-Aurora) explained her history working on financial inclusion issues and the importance of industry efforts to promote inclusion and diversity within their companies and communities. These legislators are young, rising stars in the state who will go on to become leaders within the General Assembly or even on Capitol Hill. The ATPC’s state government relations efforts are key to building relationships with these leaders now and educating them on the payments processing industry.

The board meeting featured two additional guest speakers. Matt Johanson, SVP Social Impact & Chief ESG Officer at Discover, reported on the evolution of Discover’s ESG programs and tracking/reporting efforts. Gabe Benincasa, Partner at Holland & Knight, followed up on the Q1 Board meeting crypto discussion to review how regulators are looking at this technology. This conversation was particularly timely as a major Congressional crypto bill was announced the day prior. Gabe reviewed the contents of that bill and how it might impact our members.

The day concluded with a reception at the Smith & Wollensky that evening.