PaymentsFirst Announces Changes for 2020

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Donna Ashworth promoted to President of PaymentsFirst effective January 1, 2020. Chad Frank promoted to Executive Vice President, Risk & Compliance of PaymentsFirst effective January 1, 2020. Peggy Gachesa, CEO PaymentsFirst announces planned retirement effective December 31, 2020.

The PaymentsFirst Board of Directors is pleased to announce the appointment of Donna Ashworth as the new President of PaymentsFirst effective January 1, 2020. This strategic transition plan, puts the wheels in motion for a very successful year with Peggy and Donna leading and working closely together throughout 2020 for the benefit of PaymentsFirst membership.

Donna is an accomplished leader as 2020 marks 30 years of payments and financial experience, including: President and CEO of the Tennessee Automated Clearing House Association (TACHA) for 25 years. Most recently, Donna served PaymentsFirst as the Executive Vice President of Risk and Compliance. In this role, she managed a team of experts in the performance of over 400 payment audits and risk assessments per year. As a well-known and respected payments industry expert, she has served on numerous Nacha committees and workgroups including: Nacha’s Conference Planning Committee, the AAP Blue Ribbon Panel, the Board of Regents, the Faculty for The Payments Institute, the APRP Payments Risk Accreditation Oversight Panel and was selected to serve on Nacha’s RMAG in 2020. Donna has led and participated in many other industry groups including roles in Center for Payments (formerly Regional Payments Associations Forum), the Federal Reserve Faster & Secure Payments Workgroups and the Faster Payments Council. Her contributions to the Payment Industry and our membership is far-reaching.    

“We are excited to welcome Donna as President,” said Peggy Gachesa, Chief Executive Officer. “Donna is a proven leader with strong strategic objectives, payments expertise and strong core values. With her leadership and guidance, PaymentsFirst will continue to provide high quality services and relevant member benefits. As the payments industry continues to evolve and member needs continue to change, Donna’s expertise, pro-active attitude and vision for the future will be a valuable asset.

PaymentsFirst also announced that Chad Frank, previously Senior Vice President, Risk and Compliance, will assume a new role as Executive Vice President, Risk and Compliance effective January 1, 2020. Chad has 16 years of financial and payments experience. Since joining PaymentsFirst in 2017, Chad has spearheaded major strategies and shifts with our risk and compliance products and services. Prior to PaymentsFirst, Chad worked for 13 years with SmartBank, actively working positions such as ACH Manager, Internal Audit Manager where he developed an Enterprise Risk Management foundation for the bank’s risk platform, he also served as the Director of Deposit Operations. Chad is actively involved in industry workgroups and committees and currently serves on the Center for Payments Staff Development Group.

“Chad is clearly the best person to lead our Risk and Compliance team, he has the unanimous support from our Executive Management team and our Board,” Peggy Gachesa said. “Our management team and Board took a thoughtful approach with consideration of our members, partners and employees .”

The PaymentsFirst Team looks forward to an exciting year beginning with the announced changes and sharp focus on our member services, resources and events. For more information, go to

About PaymentsFirst: PaymentsFirst is a non-profit Payments Association for Georgia, Tennessee, Alabama and South Carolina. PaymentsFirst originated with a merger in 2015 with the Tennessee Automated Clearing House Association (TACHA), Georgia Automated Clearing House Association (GACHA), Alabama Automated Clearing House Association (ALACHA) and South Carolina Clearing House Association (SOCACHA). PaymentsFirst provides support, education and risk and compliance services to the financial and payments industry.

Contact info:
Name: Jennifer Stadler, CPP, Vice President Marketing, Strategy and Communications
Organization: PaymentsFirst
Company URL:
Mailing Address: 2 Riverchase Office Plaza, Suite 111 Birmingham, Alabama 35244
Phone: 866-993-3753

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