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Meet Our Experts

Get fresh insights, relevant strategies and best practices from our Visa University instructors and industry experts. Their decades of practical experience and Visa expertise will help you elevate your payments knowledge and accelerate your career.


Chamseddine Bessaker
Dubai, UAE
Chamseddine Bessaker
Director, Risk, Visa
  • Years in the payments industry: 17

“I’m fully invested in creating an environment where you emerge from my course with not only an understanding of payments risk management and best practices, but also a newfound confidence in how you can apply what you’ve learned to grow in your role and your career.”

As Director of Risk for Visa in the Middle East and North Africa, I am responsible for managing payments system risk. I work with banks, merchants, governments, regulators, law enforcement agencies and other key stakeholders to ensure the payments ecosystem remains secure, and that cardholders, banks and merchants alike benefit from the advantages of digital payments.

My payments experience includes business development, risk management, dispute resolution and project management. Prior to joining Visa, I spent 10 years in Tunisia working for Banque Nationale Agricole, which included serving as a fraud and dispute manager. I have a degree in marketing and a Master of Business Administration in bank management, and am fluent in Arabic, French and English (and am working toward fluency in Spanish).
Anthony (Tony) Carter
Singapore
Anthony (Tony) Carter
Training Manager, Visa

“When I teach a class, my most important role is to facilitate conversations between you and your classmates so you can share real-life experiences and gain perspectives from different markets. My goal is that you not only learn something new and relevant to your role, but that you also take away ideas and inspiration to improve your performance — and the performance of your organization.”

As Training Manager at Visa, I deliver courses to our clients around the world. I’m also the instructor champion for a number of Visa University courses, where I review current global trends and Visa processes to ensure the content I teach remains relevant in our ever-changing industry.

I have practical experience in both the operational and business management aspects of banking and financial services, which includes 18 years in training, learning and development. I am an accredited career coach who enjoys travel, technology and music, and I’m currently learning how to play the guitar.
Rogerio Cazelato
Miami, USA
Rogerio Cazelato
Director, Market Learning, Visa

“While my courses provide technical knowledge, my most important job is to really listen to your questions and concerns so I can understand the underlying challenges you’re facing. I hope you leave my classroom knowing that the best solutions and processes come from critical thinking, diverse viewpoints and consumer-centered decisions.”

As Director of Market Learning for Visa, one of my main responsibilities is to deliver and facilitate training programs to our clients. I also develop new education programs for Visa’s internal teams, where I act as a consultant, content designer, coordinator and facilitator.

I joined Visa in 2013 and was responsible for the development of debit products in the Caribbean. In 2016, I became part of the Consumer Products team, expanding my responsibilities to the rest of Latin America. Most recently, in 2017 I led a regional initiative to introduce and expand contactless payments. I was born and raised in São Paulo, Brazil and speak Portuguese, English and Spanish fluently. When I’m not teaching, you can find me playing guitar or pursuing my passions of photography and reading.
James Cranfield
Madrid, Spain
James Cranfield
Founder, Insight Consultancy

“My goal is to foster a learning experience where you’ll genuinely enjoy learning about the different aspects of the payments business while engaging with me and your peers in a dynamic, open and interactive way.”

As Managing Director at Insight Consultancy, I lead consulting and training projects focused on the quantitative aspect of the business and build custom financial models and simulations for clients. I have a background in issuer and acquirer profitability and have helped hundreds of banks across the globe optimize their payments portfolios.

I bring a global perspective to my training, having lived in over a dozen countries and traveled the world extensively. I speak English and Spanish fluently and have conversational knowledge of French. I am also an avid collector of vintage credit and debit cards and a keen cards historian.
José Foltran
São Paulo, Brazil
José Foltran
Training Manager, Visa

“The best teacher is one who inspires. My hope is that you gain more than technical knowledge from my courses — I hope you gain an inspiration to work with love.”

As Training Manager at Visa, I am responsible for delivering Portuguese-language courses for our clients and partners. I have a broad range of experience in the payments industry including working directly with issuers, acquirers and processors, as well as leadership roles in information technology, marketing, project management, operations and sales.

I am a native Portuguese speaker and am also fluent in English. Outside of Visa University, I love to ride my motorcycle on long trips and enjoy biographical movies, books and wines.
Loren Franklin
Dubai, UAE
Loren Franklin
Training Director, Visa

"My goal is help Visa clients succeed by creating energizing, engaging learning experiences. Using real-world examples and challenges, I strive to give our clients the tools to creatively solve problems, maximize the value of working with Visa and deeply understand the evolving world of payments."

As a Training Director for Visa, I am responsible for the delivery of client training programs across Central Europe, the Middle East and Africa.

I began my career by developing a quality improvement curriculum for the National Health Service in Scotland. Since then, I have designed eLearning courses, built curriculums and rolled out training programs for organizations of all sizes. I discovered a passion for training delivery after launching the virtual training platform for Mastercard Academy and have been fortunate to continue that passion with Visa. Outside of work, I enjoy writing, reading and hiking. I learned Italian at school, but don’t ask me to speak it now!
Natalia Grant-Ross
London, UK
Natalia Grant-Ross
Training Manager, Visa

“When you attend one of my courses, you’ll gain a clearer awareness of Visa products, services and systems so you can help your business improve efficiency and reduce risk. I’ll help you grow your career by giving you a better understanding of the best way to work with Visa and how you can benefit from the evolving digital ecosystem.”

As Training Manager at Visa, I provide external training to Visa clients, including private training. I joined Visa as a business development manager before serving as Head of Central Europe and North Africa (CENA) Operations for Client Support Services in the Central Europe, Middle East and Africa (CEMEA) region.

Prior to joining Visa, I earned a Master of Science in Electrical Engineering and was a lecturer in physics, electronics and electrical engineering in universities and colleges in Russia and the United Kingdom. I am a native Russian speaker and am fluent in English. I enjoy theatre, music (especially classical), reading historical detective stories, word games and gardening.
Peter Hall
London, UK
Peter Hall
Managing Partner, Intuition International Limited

“My goal is to provide you with valuable, proven and usable insights so that when you leave my classroom, you’ve gained knowledge and understanding that is both relevant and has practical application.”

As Managing Partner at Intuition International Limited, I provide my clients with expertise that gives them a business advantage and enables growth. I use a combination of sound principles, best practices and firsthand experiences to create learning opportunities that meet the needs of today’s payments industry.

Throughout my payments career, I’ve built, managed and transformed issuing and acquiring businesses in a multitude of different environments, from creating programs in developing markets with limited infrastructure to revitalizing major programs in mature, competitive markets. I enjoy bringing a global perspective to my courses having traveled to more than 111 international markets (and counting) and enjoy the challenge of finding solutions that are a good fit both globally and locally.
Brian Hamilton
San Francisco, CA
Brian Hamilton
Dean, School of Digital Payments, Visa
  • Years in the payments industry: 39

"Payments is a dynamic and growing industry, and success is built on the basics. My introductory courses are designed to ensure you have a strong understanding of foundational basics that you can apply in your everyday work."

I am fortunate to have spent my entire career in the payments industry, including the past 24 years at Visa, where I have held leadership roles (both in North America and Asia Pacific) in risk products, global consumer products, US debit products and acceptance. I also led the implementations of Visa’s automated fuel dispenser (AFD) strategy and partial authorization service and the rewrite of Visa’s rules. Currently, I hold the position of Dean of the School of Digital Payments at Visa University, where I am responsible for the development and implementation of fraud and operations courses.

During my leisure time I enjoy combining my passion for history and travel and have visited over 40 countries to date.
Timothy Hopkins
St. Louis, USA
Timothy Hopkins
Training Manager, Visa

“My goal is to challenge people to take their dispute resolution skills to the next level. I empower them to apply the knowledge they gain from our courses to make positive changes in their role, their organization, and ultimately, their career.”

As Training Manager for Visa, I am responsible for delivering training to our North American clients. I specialize in disputes training and was proud to be the instructor for the first-ever course of the Visa Dispute Resolution Certification scholarship program.

Prior to joining Visa, I managed the dispute resolution management team at Mastercard for 24 years. I also worked at Chase Manhattan Bank for several years. Outside of work, I enjoy music and play several instruments including a hammered dulcimer.
Gemma King
London, UK
Gemma King
Training Manager, Visa
  • Years in the payments industry: 11

“I strive to create a classroom environment that leaves you feeling engaged and energized. My goal is to deliver training that is a valuable use of your time and provides knowledge that you can immediately apply to your role.”

As Training Manager at Visa, I am a point of contact for client support in Europe where I focus on managing client training requests. I also deliver training both externally to clients and internally across functions.

Prior to joining Visa University, I spent five years within Visa managing projects as part of the client implementation team. In that role, I gained technical skills as well as client support relationships and knowledge. I also had the opportunity to work on Visa’s 2012 UK and Ireland Olympics marketing campaign. Outside of work, I enjoy setting active challenges for myself, discovering new and old music, and dancing with a hairbrush when no one is looking (apart from my son, who joins in).
Mary Pat McMahon
San Francisco, USA
Mary Pat McMahon
Global Head of Debit, Visa

"When you attend my course, I would like you to gain a deeper understanding of debit, a payments product that continues to show significant success in competing for cash and check spend. After covering the basics – the market landscape, debit user characteristics and issuer business case, I will leave you with some best practice recommendations for accelerating growth in your own debit portfolios."

As Global Head of Debit at Visa, my team is responsible for driving the global growth and evolution of Visa’s debit product offerings, which generate over $3.5 trillion in annual payment volume globally. Prior to this role, I was responsible for managing the Visa Debit product for the U.S. and for driving growth in Visa’s U.S. debit issuer portfolios.

Before Visa, I spent time in senior roles at Bank of America (Interactive Banking Division) and at Cash Station (now Star), a regional ATM and Debit POS network that served the Chicago metropolitan area. My first role in payments was to take the Cash Station ATM network to the point of sale — the first implementation of debit for that market and a fantastic way to learn the “nuts and bolts” of the business. I received a Bachelor of Arts in American Studies from Georgetown University and a Masters of Management in marketing and finance from the J.L. Kellogg Graduate School of Management at Northwestern University. Residing in the Bay Area, I enjoy spending family time with my husband and three teenagers — playing sports, traveling to new and interesting countries, and discussing current events over the dinner table.
Elina Rodriguez
Atlanta, USA
Elina Rodriguez
Senior Consultant, Lending Science DM, Inc.

"I hope that you’ll walk away from the courses I teach with a better understanding of what goes into the construction of tools used for credit risk management, because they play such an important role for issuers. With this knowledge, you’ll be more likely to embrace and leverage the tools within your business, which should boost the profitability of your credit card portfolio."

As a Senior Consultant for Lending Science DM, Inc., I work closely with clients to design, develop and implement analytical solutions with a primary focus on credit risk management. I also conduct training and education programs geared toward risk management personnel, model users and model developers.

In 1993, I co-founded Scoring Solutions, Inc., a statistical modeling and consulting firm specializing in the financial services industry, which was acquired by Lending Science DM, Inc. in 2017. I have developed and implemented scorecards and segmentation systems for a variety of organizations throughout the world. I am fluent in English and Spanish and enjoy sailing, gardening and spending time with my two grandchildren.
Carolyn Sew
Singapore
Carolyn Sew
Training Manager, Visa

"As your trainer, my goals include giving you critical knowledge about Visa’s business, systems, rules and dispute resolution process, as well as helping you develop a skillset to apply what you’ve learned and achieve greater success in your role."

As Training Manager at Visa, I facilitate operations and disputes courses for clients around the globe and provide expert guidance as a subject matter specialist in course design and development. As a master disputes trainer, I also play a key role in Visa University’s train-the-trainer program.

I began my payments career with one of the largest banks in Malaysia working on merchant sales and marketing. I joined Visa in the early 1990s where I was responsible for setting up new clients, implementing card programs, training, and providing operations and technical support to clients in southeast Asia. Outside of Visa University I enjoy nature walks, scuba diving and exploring the use of essential oils. I am fluent in English, Bahasa Malaysia and conversational Mandarin.
Eddie Sheehan
San Francisco, USA
Eddie Sheehan
Senior Director, Dispute Resolution Management, Visa
  • Years in the payments industry: 28

“Our disputes program gives you a deeper understanding of the rules and policies relating to Visa’s dispute resolution process. With that knowledge, you’ll have the confidence you need to grow in your role and move the payments industry forward.”

As Senior Director of Dispute Resolution Management at Visa, I provide dispute resolution support and address ongoing questions and concerns for Visa clients in North America. I also oversee the Global Arbitration and Compliance team.

Prior to Visa, I worked for two different processors. I have experience in every aspect of the dispute resolution process, including issuing and acquiring. Outside of work, I enjoy hiking, mountain biking and anything related to the performing arts.
Manuel (Mannie) Da Silva
Miami, USA
Manuel (Mannie) Da Silva
Senior Director, Fraud Risk Management, Visa
  • Years in the payments industry: 4

“Detecting and preventing fraud threats is critical to your organization’s success. My goal is to provide you with a solid foundation in risk management principles and an understanding the importance of good risk governance in an open classroom environment where you can share best practices with peers from around the world. I hope you’ll apply your new knowledge and skills to make changes that will optimize your risk management strategy.”

As Senior Director of Fraud Risk Management, I oversee Visa’s risk engagements for national and super regional accounts in the U.S. In this role, I ensure that financial institutions follow risk best practices to detect and mitigate real-time authorization threats. I also lead risk consulting projects to leverage, promote and drive robust analysis, fraud deterrence methodologies and quarterly fraud reviews.

I have extensive risk management experience and have held strategy, product management and consulting positions at Visa, Mastercard, Fiserv, SAS and FICO. Throughout my career, my focus has been on leveraging issuer risk mitigation, authorization optimization and fraud strategy to drive actionable risk insights, innovative capabilities, automation and thought leadership.

I am bilingual in English and Portuguese. Outside of Visa, I enjoy mountain biking and coaching my sons’ soccer teams and am currently working on a U.S. soccer coaching license.
Jody Spencer
Ashburn, Virginia, USA
Jody Spencer
Senior Director, North America Risk, Visa
  • Years in the payments industry: 27

“When you take one of my courses, my hope is that you gain a better understanding of the anatomy of a fraud event and the best ways to proactively protect your organization before it suffers any losses.”

As Senior Director of North America Risk at Visa, I collaborate with clients on their risk and fraud strategies. I frequently partner with clients to conduct regular risk reviews and identify gaps that threat actors could exploit.

I started my career in payments at the STAR Network managing their bi-annual client forums. I joined Visa in 2000 and have held positions on the product, treasury and client readiness teams. I also worked in client services, where I consulted on opportunities to improve authorization while closely watching for fraud-related issues.

Outside of Visa, I enjoy camping with my family and golden retriever (Bentley) in our motorhome.
Mark Woelfer
Orange County, USA
Mark Woelfer
Senior Director, Product Management, Visa
  • Years in the payments industry: 21

“Visa has recently launched some exciting pre-dispute resolution products and I’m looking forward to sharing how they can help you optimize the dispute resolution and chargeback processes.”

As Senior Director of Product Management for the Dispute Product Office, I manage Visa’s pre-dispute resolution suite of products for issuers, which includes Order Insight, Order Insight Digital and Rapid Dispute Resolution (RDR).

I have extensive experience in consulting, credit card payments strategy and systems implementations, primarily in the payments industry. Prior to joining Visa, I was a management consultant at Deloitte, where I advised clients across the payments landscape, working with companies that included American Express, Visa, PayPal and Banamex. I also spent three years in product management at Experian. Outside of work, I enjoy traveling and cooking.