Laura serves as the SVP, Operations of the Merchant Advisory Group (MAG). In this role, she is responsible for delivering on operational optimization strategies on behalf of MAG’s merchant members through collaboration with industry stakeholders which is an integral part of MAG’s overall strategic plan. Laura is as an independent consultant to the Merchant Advisory Group and the broader retail community with focus on strategic planning, operational optimization strategies, and cost control tactics specific to consumer payments, emerging payment technologies and trends, and corporate cash management. Previously, Townsend led corporate cash, consumer payment, and global digital product management initiatives including emerging innovative consumer experience opportunities at McDonald’s Corporation most recently as the Senior Director, Global Cashless & Digital Products. In addition, Laura has held various leadership roles on external industry boards and special interest groups with the objective to drive positive change in payments through multi-stakeholder collaboration and education. Laura has an undergraduate degree from Northern Illinois University and is a native of Illinois.