After focusing exclusively on public relations, Ann-Marie Bartels, AAP, first joined the Mid-America Payment Exchange in Kansas City, Missouri, in 1987 as public relations director, serving in this position for one year before moving up the ranks to communications director from 1989 to 1995. From there, she continued to serve in various other roles such as vice president from 1995 to 1998, president from 1998 to 2000 and president/chief executive officer from 2000 to 2009. Currently, Ms. Bartels serves as the chief executive officer of EPCOR since 2009.
Ms. Bartels began her career as the public relations director of Showtime Inc. in St. Louis in 1976, remaining in this position for two years before becoming the public relations coordinator of the Ringling Brothers and Barnum & Bailey Circus in 1978. Moving up to the role of public relations director from 1979 to 1981, she then served as a public relations consultant in Belleville, Illinois, for one year before becoming the marketing manager of the American Federation of Information Processing Societies in Reston, Virginia, from 1982 to 1984. Ms. Bartels went on to serve as deputy of director conferences from 1984 to 1987 and owner of the Amber Group from 1987 to 1990.
In addition to this tenure, Ms. Bartels served on the American Payroll Association ACH committee from 1995 to 2001, on the board of directors of NACHA from 1998 to 2006 and Mid-America Payments Exchange for 1998 to 2009, and chair of the Banker’s Institute from 2000 to 2002. Also with NACHA, she served on the corporate payments council from 2004 to 2006 and as chair of the communications & marketing advisory group from 2010 to 2014. Ms. Bartels has also served on the Federal Reserve Faster Payment Task Force from 2015 to 2017, two-time chair of the Payments Executives Leadership Forum, and on the board of directors of EPCOR since 2009.
The highlight of Ms. Bartels’ career was working with EPCOR, which was the result of a merger between two companies, Mid-America Payment Exchange and Payment Central, that she considers high on her list of achievements. She totally fell in love with her role in association management. Prior to the start of her professional endeavors, Ms. Bartels pursued a formal education at Southern Illinois University in Carbondale, completing coursework between 1972 and 1976. Additionally, she is an Accredited ACH Professional (AAP).
Outside of her primary trade, Ms. Bartels has contributed numerous national and regional speaking engagements as well as articles to professional journals. To keep up with trends in her field, she has maintained involvement with a number of related organizations such as the American Society of Association Executives, the American Federation of Information Processing Societies, the Internet Council, the Electronic Check Council and the Council for Electronic Billing & Payments. She was also active with the Risk Management Advisory Group, Direct Deposit and Direct Payment Coalition, Automated Payments Advisory Group, ACH Quality Task Force and the Marketing Management Group.
A recipient of many honors and accolades throughout her career, Ms. Bartels received a Merit Certificate from the Graphic Arts/Printing Industries of America in 1982. The following year, she was honored with Excellence Certificates in convention promotion from Association TRENDS. Likewise, she received the Albert Nelson Marquis Lifetime Achievement Award and was listed in the first edition of Who’s Who of Emerging Leaders in America, the 29th edition of Who’s Who in the World and 66th edition of Who’s Who in America.
Allen Bloom, the vice president of marketing at Ringling Brothers, was an influential man in Ms. Bartels’ early career. Another influence was John Gilbert, the vice president at the American Federation of Information Processing Societies.