USA Symposium
Our Other Symposiums »
2017 Women in payments®
distinguished payments professional award recipient
Chief Payments Advisor, Payment Alliance International
Donna Embry has 50+ years of experience in the payments industry and serves as Chief Payments Advisor for Payment Alliance International (PAI). Her prior executive positions include EVP, Product & Marketing for Vital Processing (TSYS Acquiring); SVP, Electronic Banking for PNC Bank; and COO 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. The Green Sheet profiled her as the industry leader in October, 2005 and in July 2009 she received the MWAA "Lifetime Achievement Award" for Payment Industry Professionals. In both 2013 & 2014, she was recognized as “One of the 20 Most Influential Women in Payments” by SourceMedia, and in 2016 received the “Distinguished Payments Professional” award from the Electronic Transactions Association. Embry has a BA in foreign languages from the University of Louisville.


Donna Embry has enjoyed a long and illustrious career in the payments field having devoted 50 years of her professional career to the payments industry. Her nominators spoke emphatically about her dedication and love for this industry, and as one of her nominators noted… she is by no means finished yet.

Throughout her career, Donna has been at the forefront of multiple payment developments including the expansion of credit cards, formation of debit networks, the creation of smart card standards, the rise of internet commerce and mobile payments.

Prior executive positions have included EVP Product and Marketing for Vital Processing and SVP Electronic Banking for PNC Bank. She has chaired and participated on numerous industry boards, committees and counsels and initiated innovation programs and competitions. Her professional integrity, high ethical standards and professionalism have been acknowledged and she is continually asked to participate on new committees which is indicative of how she has managed to keep herself current.

Despite Donna’s busy days she continues to find time for others, mentoring, coaching and sharing her wisdom with people of all ages, nationalities and backgrounds. The recipient of multiple awards and accolades she won the MWAA "Lifetime Achievement Award" for Payment Industry Professionals, was voted “One of the 20 Most Influential Women in Payments” for two consecutive years by SourceMedia, and was awarded the “Distinguished Payments Professional” award from the Electronic Transactions Association in 2016.

Women in Payments® is proud to recognize Donna Embry as our Distinguished Payments Professional for 2017.

Other 2017 Award Winners
award recipient
Talbott Roche
CEO and President
Blackhawk Network
award recipient
Elizabeth Thiessen
Managing Director, Treasury Sales Executive
Bank of America Merrill Lynch
rising star
award recipient
Eileen Holcomb
Lead for Strategic Capabilities & Investments
Bank of America Merrill Lynch
award recipient
Cynthia Knowles
VP Payments Engagement
FIS Global Retail Payments
award recipient
Leah Middlebrook
VP Market Development, International Markets
FIS Global Retail Payments
award recipient
Sarah Billings
Head of Global Payment and Deposit Platforms for Global Transaction Services
Bank of America Merrill Lynch
award recipient
Serena Smith
SVP, Head of International Payments and CAO
FIS Global Retail Payments
Our sponsors
Keep Me updated!
Please keep me updated and send occasional emails about Women in Payments® events.
*First Name
*Last Name
*Job Title
Sign me up for the following lists: