OPERATIONS

Wendy’s adds former Microsoft marketing head to board

BY Dan Berthiaume

Dublin, Ohio – The Wendy's Co. has increased the size of its board of directors from 10 to 11 members and elected Michelle "Mich" Mathews-Spradlin to serve as a director of the company, effective immediately.

Prior to her retirement in 2011, Mathews-Spradlin worked at Microsoft Corp. for 18 years, where she served, among other roles, as chief marketing officer and senior VP. In this position, she oversaw the company's global marketing function.

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American Express launches program to help smaller merchants combat fraud

BY Marianne Wilson

New York — American Express has officially launched its Small Merchant EMV Assistance Program, which was announced last October by President Obama. The nationwide campaign was created to help U.S. small merchants fight fraud through a $10 million reimbursement program designed to accelerate adoption of EMV payment terminals. It will also arm small merchants with knowledge about EMV’s security benefits.

As part of American Express’ program, eligible merchants that have upgraded to an EMV terminal can request a one-time $100 reimbursement from American Express. The company will deliver educational resources about EMV to small merchants across the U.S. through email, a telephone hotline, and a website. A team of ambassadors – the American Express Fraud Squad – will also visit New York City, Atlanta, Miami and Houston, meeting face-to-face with small merchants to spread the word about EMV and its benefits.

“Fraud is a growing problem and the move to EMV is an important step towards stemming payment card fraud in the U.S.,” said Anré Williams, president, Global Merchant Services, American Express. “Unfortunately, many small merchants do not know about EMV or what they need to do to take advantage of it. We created the Small Merchant EMV Assistance Program to help them. By providing financial and educational assistance, we hope small merchants more quickly adopt EMV so they can ensure their customers feel safe when shopping at their stores.”

Payment card fraud is a top concern among small merchants. According to the American Express EMV Preparedness Survey, conducted in October 2014, more than two-thirds (67%) of small merchants surveyed indicated that protection against and prevention of payment-card fraud was very important to running their businesses.

Furthermore, 52% reported that they feel they are at higher risk for payment card fraud than larger businesses, with nearly half of those small merchants citing a lack of money to invest in fraud prevention or a lack of access to experts who can assist them as the biggest reasons why.

EMV technology helps reduce the risk of fraud stemming from counterfeit and stolen payment cards by storing information on a chip embedded in the cards. Payment terminals must be equipped with the necessary technology to be able to read the chips in order for the technology to work. Beginning this October, U.S. merchants that do not have EMV-enabled payment terminals and experience certain point-of-sale fraud may be held liable for the costs stemming from such incidents.

To qualify for a reimbursement, provided in the form of a $100 American Express Gift Card, a U.S. small merchant must have less than $3 million in annual American Express charge volume and submit a request for a reimbursement between February 1, 2015 and April 30, 2015. Other terms and conditions apply. Visit www.americanexpress.com/fightfraud for details.

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American Apparel names digital, marketing execs

BY Dan Berthiaume

Los Angeles – American Apparel Inc. has named Thoryn Stephens as chief digital officer, a newly created position, and Cynthia Erland as senior VP of marketing. Both Stephens and Erland will assume their roles on March 9 and will report to CEO Paula Schneider.

In his newly created position as chief digital officer, Stephens will be responsible for optimizing the company's digital marketing, data analytics, and e-commerce strategies. Prior to joining the company, Stephens was VP of data science at Tillster, a provider of customer engagement programs for the restaurant industry. He has also built products and platforms including the first optimization program for the Fox Network Group (Fox Broadcasting/Fox Sports/FX) and Beachbody (P90X). Stephens was previously a molecular biologist in the biotech industry.

Erland will oversee the company's marketing and communications programs. She has more than 20 years of fashion and entertainment branding experience. Most recently a senior marketing executive at Perry Ellis International, Erland has also held executive roles at C&C California, Universal Studios and E Networks.

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