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2017 Women in payments®
team award recipient
SVP, Head of International Payments and CAO, FIS Global Retail Payments
An award-winning executive with more than two decades of experience in the financial industry, Serena serves as Head of International Payments and Chief Administrative Officer for Global Retail Payments, the largest division within FIS. She is responsible for overseeing all aspects of the international payments business, as well as risk mitigation, business performance, procurement and vendor management, B2C marketing integration, strategy and execution for the $2.6 billion division.

Serena joined FIS in 2003 with the Image Solutions Division and has continued to excel and establish herself as a leader in the company. Notably, she has managed the debit business in Norcross, Georgia and served as Chief Client Officer for North American Retail Payments.

Along with her professional excellence, Serena founded Team FIS (2012) for the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society’s flagship fundraising program, Team in Training, raising more than $1.6 million. Serena is a stage 4 blood cancer survivor who has personally raised more than $100,000 for the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society through sharing her story.

• 2017 Payments Source’s 25 Most Influential Women in Payments
• 2016, 2015, 2014 Stevie Award for Female Executive of the Year
• 2016 Four Stevie Awards for customer service and back office operations
• 2016 Guide to Gwinnett, Feature in the “People to Know” Section
• 2016 Women in Payments Award Judge
• 2015 Women in Payments Inspiration Award
• 2015 featured in Pay Magazine as one of the “Women Driving Payments Change”
• 2015 featured in Independent Banker
• 2015 and 2013 Customer Service Institute of America’s Chief Customer Officer of the Year
• 2015, 2014, 2013 Customer Service Institute’s International Service Excellence Award recipient


The Chief Administration Office Team at FIS is a multi-disciplinary team of 21 (15 of which are women). Operating as centralized support, they are an eclectic and talented group of professionals, comprising teams in risk mitigation, procurement, payments engagement, business performance management and international payments. They are a high performing group of specialists who have proven their ability to work together to support the global retail payments business. Together this team have built repeatable processes and communication strategies to ensure thousands of employees can effectively engage and interact with their organization. The team is managed and led by three women Serena Smith “Chief Administration Officer”, Cindy Knowles “VP Payments Engagement”, and “Leah Middlebrook “VP Market Development.”

These three leaders provide the structure, process and creativity to lead a new model for international payments. Providing mentorship and open communication to the rest of their team has been key to the team’s success and the group has built a reputation for being an incubator for talent.

Demonstrating the importance of collaboration, diversity of thought and business agility, the FIS Chief Administration Team are our 2017 Team Award winners.

Other 2017 Award Winners
award recipient
Talbott Roche
CEO and President
Blackhawk Network
distinguished payments professional
award recipient
Donna Embry
Chief Payments Advisor
Payment Alliance International
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
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