Larry Hipp is Brightwell’s Chief Executive Officer and a member of Brightwell’s board of directors.
Steering the company at the highest level, Larry brings nearly 20 years of experience in finance, software engineering, and product development to his position as CEO. He has been with Brightwell since 2016, when he started as Chief Technology Officer. He then held the role of Chief Operating Officer for four years before taking on his current title.
John McEwan is Brightwell’s Chief Financial Officer.
John focuses on future investment into the company, building and managing all things financial. This can include raising money, securing loans, creating the company’s financial strategy, treasury and money movement, supervising deals and contracts, evaluating returns, or anything else that concerns Brightwell’s financial standing and future. He also works closely with the company’s board, keeping them apprised of Brightwell’s current standing.
John Markendorf is the Chief Operations Officer at Brightwell.
In his role, John helps deliver and execute on strategies for all products, and is primarily responsible for new business, sales, and projects. He touches everything from customer satisfaction to uptime to compliance, working directly with clients and banks to help manage partnerships.
Audrey Hall is the Chief Product Officer at Brightwell. As CPO, Audrey leads integrated product, engineering, and marketing departments to deliver innovative payment solutions that generate revenue. In her role, she identifies new market opportunities and builds thoughtful customer experiences focused on scalable growth. On a day to day basis, she’s committed to developing a strong brand, consistent messaging, and value-driven products that gives the business a leading voice in the industry.
Looking to solve real-world problems, she develops and executes strategies that push Brightwell closer to achieving the vision of simple, secure, and accessible payments for everyone with a customer-centric approach for design, delivery, and team structure.
As Brightwell’s Chief Innovation Officer, Robert brings over 20 years of experience in business strategy, marketing, product development, user experience and corporate innovation to our team. In his role, Robert’s priorities include uncovering new market and customer opportunities while building paths for transformational business growth and value creation.
Here, his team leans on proven frameworks, methodologies and processes that help companies sustain their competitive advantage through human-centered innovation.
We started in 2009 as Prepaid Solutions USA, a division of the aptly named West Suburban Bank, located in the west suburbs of Chicago. Back then, we were an international payments company offering comprehensive prepaid solutions for both businesses and consumers.
In 2011, we moved our headquarters to Atlanta and changed our name to Brightwell Payments to better reflect the diversity of our business. In early customer discovery conversations, it became clear that the cruise industry was an untapped market with ample potential for disruption.
Paying globally dispersed employees was a mounting challenge for cruise companies. Seizing on this opportunity, Brightwell built Navigator to securely pay a global workforce, empower them to easily manage their finances, and send money to nearly anywhere in the world via cross-border remittances. Over time, we grew our presence, becoming the leading payroll product in the industry, serving over 60% of the market.
Under new leadership, the company’s culture shifted from that of a bank to a modern fintech organization with an agile product mindset. Brightwell changed its mission, focusing on the end user and providing exceptional payment products and thought leadership to enrich their lives and the lives of their families back home.
Our story isn’t just one of abundance and growth, though — the coronavirus pandemic had a sudden, enormous impact on our business. We entered a period of research and development, and in 2022, we launched two new products into the payments market. ReadyRemit® enables businesses and program managers (FIs) to increase revenue by easily integrating remittances into their platform via APIs or SDKs. Arden® is an AI-powered financial fraud prevention platform that provides custom workflow automation and real-time data analysis.
Navigator, ReadyRemit, and Arden are now core to our identity, with all three products working towards our mission to help people and businesses send money securely across the globe. This mission is one that inspires the work of every Brightwell employee, ensuring that our culture and values center around the people we serve.
Over our history, Brightwell has grown from just a handful of employees to over 150, from one line of business to a diverse payments company. We are never done innovating and we will continue to develop products that put our customers first and push the payments industry forward.