Sievert Promoted to Lead Marketing and Communications

Sievert_Jan11-med-color-.jpgHOUSTON, March 23, 2012 — PULSE, one of the nation’s leading debit/ATM networks, today announced the retirement of Cindy Ballard, Executive Vice President of Communications and Marketing, after nearly 30 years of service and leadership.  One of PULSE’s first employees, Ballard’s retirement took effect March 2, 2012.

“PULSE is one of the nation’s largest PIN debit networks, thanks in large part to Cindy’s numerous contributions in marketing and communications, consumer education, human relations, and as Secretary to our Board of Directors for 19 years,” said Dave Schneider, PULSE President.  “Among Cindy’s most significant and lasting accomplishments was her success in educating consumers about the benefits of using debit at the point of sale, not just to get cash from an ATM.”

Ballard joined PULSE in 1982, and played an instrumental role in the organization’s emergence from a regional, shared ATM network into one of the largest and fastest-growing debit networks in the country. More recently, Ballard played a key role in the successful integration of PULSE into Discover Financial Services following its acquisition in 2005, and she helped the organization and its participants navigate important changes in payment regulations such as the Durbin Amendment.

PULSE also announced that Steve Sievert has been promoted to succeed Ballard.

“It is a tremendous honor to follow a true industry pioneer,” Sievert said.  “I look forward to building on Cindy’s many successes and to continuing to implement programs that support all of our network participants.”

Sievert joined PULSE as Senior Vice President, Communications and Marketing, in 2007 after more than 20 years in communications and marketing for companies such as Compaq, Texas Children’s Hospital, US Oncology and Baylor College of Medicine.  He began his career as a journalist after graduating from the University of South Carolina.

Editors: Download a high resolution photo of Steve Sievert at


PULSE, a Discover Financial Services (NYSE: DFS) company, is a leading debit/ATM network, serving more than 6,300 financial institutions across the United States. This includes 4,300 issuers with which PULSE has direct relationships and more than 2,000 additional issuers through agreements PULSE has with other debit networks. PULSE links cardholders with ATMs and POS terminals at retail locations nationwide. Through its global ATM network, PULSE provides worldwide cash access for Diners Club and Discover cardholders through more than 800,000 ATM locations. The company also is a source of electronic payments research and is committed to providing its participants with education on emerging products, services and trends in the payments industry. For more information, visit