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Fred Laing II, AAP, CCM, NCP To Retire From UMACHA

Angi Farren, AAP, APRP to be Named President and CEO

Brooklyn Park, MN, (May 30, 2019) -  UMACHA, Upper Midwest Automated Clearing House Association, announced today that Fred Laing, the payments association’s President and CEO will retire effective August 30, 2019. Angi Farren has been appointed and will serve as the association’s President and CEO upon Fred’s retirement.

Fred began his electronic payments career in 1980, becoming the ACH Product Manager for Norwest Bank.  He became the Executive Director at UMACHA in late 1984.  At that time UMACHA had only two employees and the ACH network, although just over 10 years old, had limited volume.  Fred was at the forefront of working to find ways to make the network more usable and customer friendly.  He was instrumental in the formation of a number of Nacha’s (National Automated Clearing House Association) Councils which is where most of the new ACH products were incubated on a national level.  He chaired the Nacha Internet Council and was a key player in the development of the WEB product.  Fred also participated in the development of the electronic check products: RCK, POP, ARC and BOC.

Under Fred’s leadership UMACHA built a strong relationship with the Minneapolis Federal Reserve Bank. In late 1985, UMACHA partnered with the Fed to hold its first payments conference, ACH: Product to Profit.  The conference, which was renamed Navigating Payments in 2004, is one of the longest running payments conferences in the country and one of the largest regional conferences.

Fred has always stressed the importance of extraordinary customer service, always working to ensure UMACHA’s members get the help they need when they need it.  In the early 90’s UMACHA was one of the first Payments Associations to roll out an 800 number to encourage members to call and speak to a UMACHA expert whenever they had a question or issue.

Payments-based education for financial industry professionals has always been a key mission of UMACHA.  From 1985 through the late 1990’s Fred developed and conducted the vast majority of the workshops UMACHA held.  When “telephone training” became more popular, Fred built a program around the new concept, and when Webinars became the most prevalent approach to training Fred ensured that UMACHA had strongly competitive live and on-demand programs.  As part of his focus on education, Fred spoke at many other venues including most of the last 30 Nacha Payments Conferences and many other payments association events.  He was also a regular professor for the Nacha Payments Institute and served as its Dean in 2008.

In 2004, Fred formed a Compliance Services Department to assist members with ACH rules compliance, adding on-site ACH Audits and Risk Assessment services. Today UMACHA completes over 225 audits and risk assessments for members and non-members each year. 

On a national level, Fred has been an integral part of the payments landscape. He completed four terms on the Nacha Board of Directors with his last term ending December 2017.  He is on the steering committee of the Risk, Regulation, and Security Group within the Nacha Payments Innovation Alliance, and has served two terms on the Risk Management Advisory Group at Nacha (RMAG) as well as just completed serving on Nacha’s Government Relations Group (GRAG).  He’s a member of the Editorial Board for the NCP (National Check Professional) Program through ECCHO and a member of the American Society of Association Executives. Fred is an Accredited ACH Professional (AAP) a Certified Cash Manager (CCM) and a National Check Professional (NCP).

Angi Farren, UMACHA’s current Executive Vice President and COO, will be named President and CEO effective June 1, 2019, after working with Mr. Laing to ensure a smooth leadership transition for members and staff.

“I am extremely excited for this opportunity to lead UMACHA into the future. My first step is to reach out to our members to ensure that UMACHA continues to meet our industry’s need for the high-quality electronic payments-related education, compliance and resources they rely on.” 

Farren is a seasoned Electronic Payments Professional who brings over 27 years in the payments industry: 10+ years working at UMACHA, a Regional Payments Association (RPA), and an additional 16+ years working in the banking industry.

About UMACHA Financial institutions and corporate members across the Midwest choose UMACHA as a key resource to enhance their understanding of electronic payments. We're known for our extensive knowledge base, our high-quality services, as well as our national presence in the payments industry. We serve over 740 member banks, credit unions, affiliates, and partner organizations located in Minnesota, Michigan, Montana, North Dakota, South Dakota, and Wisconsin.

UMACHA may be reached at (800) 348-3692 and followed on Twitter @UMACHA2,
Facebook: Umacha, LinkedIn: UMACHA

For Immediate Release
Media Contact: Rhonda Whittaker
Marketing Manager, UMACHA
For Immediate Release 




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