FIS - Woman of the Year
Company: FIS, St. Petersburg, FL
Company Description: FIS is the world's largest global provider dedicated to financial technology solutions. Empowering more than 20,000 clients in over 130 countries, our technology powers billions of transactions annually that move over $9 trillion around the globe. FIS’ more than 55,000 worldwide employees are passionate about moving our clients’ business forward.
Nomination Category: Management Categories
Nomination Sub Category: Woman of the Year - Business Services Industries
Nomination Title: Serena Smith
Tell the story about what this nominated woman has achieved since January 1, 2016 (up to 650 words). Describe the impact she has had on your organization and/or industry. Focus on specific accomplishments, and relate these accomplishments to past performance or industry norms. TEXT REDACTED FOR PUBLICATION
FIS Payments division’s Chief Administrative Officer (CAO) and Head of International Payments Serena Smith has two decades of industry service, 14 of which have been with FIS. Serena tackles the evolution of the payments industry head on through leadership of the team she has built. In this position, Serena faces multiple challenges including navigating her team through new waters as her responsibility expands its footprint from a U.S. payments division into a global payments division. The practices Serena implements are vital to the unit’s ability to effectively and efficiently serve more than 14,000 financial institutions and 100,000 retail clients worldwide. Serena’s contributions have led her recognition both domestically and internationally for her award-winning work and leadership.
After a successfully fulfilling the Chief Client Officer role, Serena was tapped for the dual role of CAO and the first Head of International Payments when FIS North American Retail Payments merged with our international payments teams at the end of 2015. She is a skilled relationship builder, from communicating with her team to connecting our internationally diverse operations. Collaborating with internal global partners and country managers as well as developing relationships with third parties, Serena drives FIS initiatives around the globe. It is crucial that Serena’s team maximizes customer acquisition, retention and profitability for the Payments division, the largest within FIS.
In order to better understand the global market she’s charged with, Serena has wasted no time in gaining knowledge about the division she serves. She traveled over 60,000 miles in 2016 to Brazil, Rome, India, Brussels, London and Colombia, to name a few, in her quest to better comprehend the global payments environment. Collaboration and operations knowledge are important to understand payments systems, cultures and best practices across the globe. For instance, Serena drives a truly collaborative international project team that is raising awareness and enabling opportunities with FIS assets across the global localities.
Traveling has not only increased Serena’s expertise, but also resulted in opportunities for Serena to share her expertise across many previously unrelated teams. Serena recently spoke at the FIS Annual Global Conference and is a frequent presenter at meetings hosted by The Association for Work Process Improvement (TAWPI). She is sought after as a thought-leader in the industry.
Serena’s passionate leadership skills create an impact in many different verticals, and not just inside the office! Participation in the Walt Disney World Marathon benefiting the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society (LLS) has become a tradition at FIS since Serena, herself a cancer survivor, first spearheaded the event for the company four years ago. Throughout the years, the FIS team has had more than 280 runners participate, and has raised more than $1.6 million for LLS. Serena’s leadership as team captain and ability to rally team members shines through at this event.
Throughout her career, Serena’s abilities and dedication to her work have been apparent. She has received several awards, including the 2015 Inspiration Award from WIP (Women in Payments) and the 2015 Customer Service Institutes of America’s Chief Customer Officer of the year award and the PaymentsSource Most Influential Women in Payments 2017 award.
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 the FIS Payments division, the largest 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.
In bullet-list form, briefly summarize up to ten (10) of the chief accomplishments of this nominated woman since the beginning of 2016.
• Formed Team FIS for Leukemia and Lymphoma Society’s flagship fundraising program, raising more than $1.6 million
• 2016 Stevie Award for Female Executive of the Year
• 2016 Four Stevie Awards for customer service and back office operations
• 2016 Women in Payments Award Judge
• PaymentsSource Most Influential Women in Payments, 2017
Serena’s team highlights:
• Met or exceeded 97% of all risk and security categories for the Executive Business Risk Report for Retail Payments.
• Achieved $14M in projected vendor savings for 2016
• Increased executive leadership book information by over 250 percent
• Global expansion to India, Brazil, the UK, Germany and the Middle East
• Global Retail Payments Blog won a Bronze Stevie in the International Business Award competition