Executive Team

Henry Helgeson

CEO

Henry HelgesonHenry Helgeson is the CEO of Merchant Warehouse. He is responsible for driving the future vision of the company and leading day-to-day operational activity. 

After attending Marist College, Henry worked as an independent contractor for United Processing Corporation selling terminals and printers door-to-door to merchants. Intrigued by the industry and interested in finding a lower cost solution for merchants, Henry co-founded Merchant Warehouse. In 1998, Merchant Warehouse launched as the industry’s first website offering low-cost merchant credit card processing equipment and software. 

Since launching Merchant Warehouse, Henry has remained at the forefront of innovation in the payment solutions industry. Today, the company processes over $8 billion a year in sales and more than 12 million transactions a month. A visionary, Henry has been the driving force behind the company’s recently launched, Genius™ Customer Engagement Platform™. Genius is the first payments industry solution in the marketplace to have the capability of aggregating and integrating every conceivable transaction technology, payment type and customer program – both present and future - in a single platform. 

Henry is actively involved in numerous industry associations. He currently serves as chair of the ISO Practices committee for the Electronic Transactions Association (ETA) and a member of their Mobile Payments Committee. He is also a board member of the Northeast Aquirers Association (NEAA). In 2012, he received the ETA Member of the Year Award, recognizing his contributions to the future success of the industry and the ETA organization and he has been named to the Boston Business Journal’s (BBJ’s) “40 under 40” list.

 

Ammar Afif, CA

CFO

Ammar AfifAs Merchant Warehouse’s Chief Financial Officer (CFO) Ammar Afif is responsible for executive management and oversight of the financial, administrative and human capital areas of the company.

Ammar has more than 20 years of experience in leading finance and strategy for key technology and service organizations. Prior to joining Merchant Warehouse, Ammar served as CFO and COO for NaviNet, America’s largest real-time healthcare communications network. Prior to NaviNet, he served as CFO for Kantar Media (US) Pronto Networks, Inc. and worked at PriceWaterhouseCoopers, where he began his career. 

Ammar holds a Chartered Accounting designation from Canada and graduated from McGill University with a Graduate Degree in Accounting and a Bachelor of Commerce with honors in Economics and Accounting.

 

Greg Cohen

Chief Revenue & Strategy Officer

Greg CohenAs Chief Revenue & Strategy Officer, Greg is responsible for setting the company’s strategic direction to support continued growth, scalability and incremental opportunity through new partnerships and channel expansion. He brings more than 19 years of payments and leadership experience to the organization.

Prior to joining Merchant Warehouse, Greg served as Senior Vice President and General Manager for VeriFone, leading the company’s Commerce Solutions group overseeing emerging mobile and payments-as-a-service businesses. Before VeriFone, he served as President for the U.S. Group and Emerging Solutions at Moneris Solutions where he lead the development and execution of the company's strategic initiatives and operations in the United States and business solutions group globally. Previously, he held senior positions with Global Payments, Vital (now TSYS) Processing Services and BankServ Check Services. Early in his career, Greg founded and developed techTouch Cash, a national independent sales organization.

Greg serves on the Executive Committee of the Board of Directors of the Electronic Transaction Association and is also the Chairman of the Industry Relations Committee. He has been a speaker, writer and contributor for numerous financial investment community, payment industry and business organizations. He is a current member of Discover’s Acquirer’s Council and a former member of MasterCard Acquirer Council, NACHA’s Electronic Check Council and Young Presidents’ Organization.

He earned a Masters of Business Administration in Strategic Marketing from The George Washington University and a Bachelor of Arts in Math and Economics from Emory University.

 

Paul Vienneau

CTO

Paul VienneauAs Merchant Warehouse’s Chief Technology Officer (CTO) Paul Vienneau is responsible for building the company’s overall technology strategy and driving execution for both the organization and its growing family of product innovations.

Paul brings more than 20 years of leadership to his role. As a self-described ‘technologist’, he most recently served as CTO/Senior Vice President, Engineering for NaviNet, America’s largest real-time healthcare communications network. During his tenure with NaviNet, Paul was responsible for numerous milestone achievements including the establishment and management of a research and development office in Belfast, Northern Ireland and the institutionalization of the product management function.

Paul earned his Master of Science in Computer Information Systems from Bentley University and holds a Bachelor of Science in Electronics Management from Southern Illinois University. He also served as a Weapons Control Systems Technician as a member of the U.S. Air Force during the Gulf War.

 

David McSweeney

Executive Vice President, Operations

David McSweeneyAs the Executive Vice President, Operations, David McSweeney is responsible for delivering a world-class service experience to Merchant Warehouse customers. Leading both the customer service and technical support teams, he is focused on soliciting customer concerns and feedback and driving continuous improvement to ensure an unparalleled experience. 

David has a proven history of building solid teams, implementing scalable processes, and measuring performance. Prior to joining Merchant Warehouse, David led the overall customer service strategy for Cross Country Automotive where he served as Director of Customer Satisfaction where he led a team of Six Sigma professionals, implemented numerous operational process improvements, and improved overall customer satisfaction. His payment industry experience includes 16 years of leadership with RBS Lynk, First Data, Fleet, and BankBoston. During this time David managed large, multi-site call centers and relationship management, operations and process improvement teams.  

David is a graduate of Merrimack College, where he earned a B.S. in Business Management with a specialization in Accounting. He is also a Certified Six Sigma Black Belt and holds his Series 6 and Series 63 licenses. 

 

Damien Dougan

Damien Dougan

Senior Vice President Engineering, Europe

As Senior Vice President of Engineering, Europe, Damien is responsible for executing state-of-the-art engineering practices and principles that support Merchant Warehouse's growing suite of innovative products including the Genius™ Customer Engagement Platform™ and several mobile applications. 

Damien has 18 years of experience in large systems development, including three years on the largest non-military system in Europe, handling $10 billion revenue annually and managing all aspects of operations and service relating to some 26 million customers. He also served as Billing Design Authority on a number of next generation Datawave platforms for BT. Damien has six years of experience within the mobile telecoms industry, delivering products and professional services to mobile operators and content providers across Europe and Asia. As Director of Technology for Exchange Solutions at NYSE Euronext, he led the team that upgraded the Market Data Systems at the NYSE following a $200 million acquisition of a Belfast software and technology center. Most recently he served as site lead and Senior Director of Engineering at NaviNet's Belfast-based research and development center, building and managing a world-class team.  

Damien is a graduate of Queen's University Belfast and holds a Bachelor of Science 1st class honors in Computer Science.

 

 

Michael Gavin

Senior Vice President, Sales

Michael GavinAs Senior Vice President, Sales Michael Gavin is responsible for day-to-day management of the company’s direct sales efforts including organizational structure, sales forecasts and overall strategies. And, he also overseas all sales activities within the company’s agent channel, a growing network of more than 400 independent representatives across the U.S.

Michael has served as a key leader within the organization since joining the company in late 2000. An individual who has made numerous key contributions, Michael was the architect behind the design and development of the agent channel.

Michael is a graduate of Merrimack College where he earned his Bachelor of Arts degree in Political Science.

 

Russell Harty

Senior Vice President, Key Accounts and Partner Channels

Russell HartyAs Senior Vice President, Key Accounts and Partner Channels, Russell is responsible for strategic and day-to-day leadership of all activities and initiatives in each respective channel. He brings more than 20 years of sales leadership and demonstrated success in both direct and indirect sales, as well as vast experience within the payments industry, to this role.

Prior to joining the Merchant Warehouse team, Russell served as Head of U.S. Sales Operations, Payments for Hibu, a leading provider of digital services connecting local consumers and merchants. Russell has also held senior level sales positions at Ingenico, Inc., where he served as Senior Vice President, Retail and Retail Banking Solutions, VeriFone, and Triton Systems.

Russell earned his Bachelor of Arts Degree in Communications from Lynchburg College.

 

Chris Wuhrer

SVP, Strategic Initiatives and Product Marketing

As Senior Vice President, Strategic Initiatives and Product Marketing, Chris is responsible for driving product vision, direction and go-to market strategies for the company’s portfolio of product and service offerings. Key to these activities are the continued expansion of the Genius Customer Engagement Platform as well as strategic digital and emerging growth activities.

Chris brings more than 18 years of experience in payments, ecommerce and mobile technology to this role, having most recently served as SVP of Product Strategy, Mobile and Emerging technologies at Bank of America Merchant Services (A First Data/Bank of America JV). His vast background also includes leading First Data’s mobile commerce and innovations practice, co-founding and serving as CEO of SwipePay and co-founding and serving as CMO for the U.S. arm of Kabel New Media AG, Europe's largest publicly traded wireless technology and interactive marketing agency.

Chris holds a BSBA in Marketing Management and an MBA from East Carolina University School of Business where he also taught international business.