Romy Parzick, an accomplished financial services executive, is now Virtual Incentives’ first Senior Vice President of Implementation & Client Experience. Congratulations, Romy, and welcome aboard!
We sat down with Romy to discuss her background and how her passion for delivering products that drive positive outcomes for clients and consumers will guide her work at Virtual Incentives.
Tell us about your professional background.
I’ll begin with the decision to pursue my MBA at Duke University because the Fuqua School of Business has a teamwork-first philosophy and I was excited to dive into the classes and activities focused on social entrepreneurship – the idea of doing well by doing good. As such, my first job after earning my MBA was with Self Help Credit Union, one of the country’s largest and most influential community development financial institutions (CDFIs). CDFIs are mission-driven financial institutions that take a market-based approach to supporting economically disadvantaged communities. I discovered my passion for financial services, specifically for creating and delivering products and services that drive positive outcomes for clients and consumers. Aligning a company’s success with the success of its customers is a core tenet of how I work.
After nearly five years at Self-Help, I joined the Financial Health Network, an organization that unites business leaders, policy makers, and innovators to design and implement solutions that improve financial health for all people. I authored the Compass Principles, guidelines for the U.S. financial services industry that affirm standards of excellence in the design and delivery of basic tools that people use to manage their daily financial lives. This framework was built during a time when the prepaid card industry was still nascent, and regulators were rightfully asking questions about how they should be structured, what features they should have, and how companies should disclose fees. One of my proudest accomplishments is convening and leading the coalition strategy for an 18-organization interdisciplinary council including industry professionals, startup leaders, regulators, nonprofits, and advocates – culminating in a prepaid card guide based on the Compass Principles that was publicly supported by the council members.
NetSpend, a fintech company based in Austin, TX, was one of the companies that participated in that roundtable project, and in 2013 they recruited me. The company was growing quickly, and I grew with it – moving from a Senior Product Manager to be Head of Customer Impact Initiatives, and finally to be Senior Director of Implementation and Client experience for the Commercial Prepaid Channel. I oversaw the operations, solutioning, and new client onboarding groups that supported 460,000 clients and 7,000 partners. My teams identified and addressed gaps and opportunities in products, technology, processes, and policies to enhance business performance.
In 2018, I decided to join the startup world and I became Chief Operating Officer at Vault.co, a fintech startup focused on helping companies hire and retain top talent through financial wellness and student loan benefit offerings. Only a year in, I became CEO, raised our Series A, and led the organization through the turbulence of the pandemic. After four fast-paced and intense years at Vault.co, I handed over the reins and took a six-month sabbatical to rest, reflect, and prepare for the next phase of my professional and personal life.
How was your sabbatical and what did you do?
It was fabulous! I reconnected with friends and family and traveled extensively. I took my daughter to New York City for her 16th birthday and traveled to Peru, my birthplace, with just my parents. Peru is such an amazing country, and this last visit I was able to see Huacachina, a unique desert oasis located just a few hours south of Lima near the city of Ica. During Thanksgiving, I visited Madrid for my son’s Real Madrid soccer camp. I took a solo trip to Puerto Rico to explore San Juan, El Yunque, practice my Spanish, and relax on the beach.
What did you find appealing about the opportunity to join the Virtual Incentives senior executive team?
The company’s success is built on a culture that values long-term relationships, collaboration, and excellence. I am truly in awe of the caliber and dedication of our team members. Add to that formula the fact that our leadership team is dedicated to continuous innovation, and you’ll see why Virtual Incentives is succeeding in its mission to build high-quality rewards and incentives programs that drive engagement, loyalty, and sales. I am excited to join Virtual Incentives in its commitment to providing cutting-edge solutions and exceptional client service.
How will you apply your passion for helping low to moderate income people?
Certainly my expertise in ensuring interactions with our company drive positive outcomes for our clients and end-users applies regardless of income level. But there are some very direct ways in which I can apply my experience and passion for serving low-income communities. One of my favorite examples is Virtual Incentives’ collaboration with NORC at the University of Chicago for the Farm and Food Workers Relief Initiative. Over the course of this collaboration, we will help to distribute more than 88,000 COVID relief payments to farmworkers affected by the pandemic.
What is your top priority?
I’m hyper-focused on the client experience – evaluating all the touchpoints and interactions our clients and end-users have with Virtual Incentives at any level, and ensuring that experience is positive across the entire lifecycle. Ultimately, I want to ensure that everyone who interacts with Virtual Incentives becomes a net promoter