Leading the Charge
Learn more about the UATP Executives who are leading the airline-owned payment network.
Ralph A. Kaiser
President, CEO and Chairman of the Board
Chief Technology Officer
Chief Financial Officer
Chief Legal Officer
Wendy L. Ward
Chief Marketing Officer
Senior Vice President, Commercial
Vice President, Operations and Services
Vice President, Business Development
Ralph A. Kaiser
Ralph Kaiser is president, CEO & chairman of UATP. Appointed in 2003, he has launched and led several important growth initiatives that has more than doubled network charge volume to over US$ 18 billion. Among these achievements is UATP’s DataStream® suite of products which has lowered the barrier to entry for UATP’s Issuers and provided state-of-the-art data management tools to UATP corporate customers. UATP also launched an innovative Alternative Form of Payment gateway for global airlines under Kaiser’s leadership.
Previous to his appointment as CEO, Kaiser was UATP’s general counsel. Before joining UATP, Kaiser worked at the Overseas Private Investment Corporation (OPIC) and the Export-Import Bank of the U.S. (Ex-Im Bank) as an advisor to the senior management and the board of directors for both organizations. He holds an MBA from the Carey School of Business at Johns Hopkins University and a law degree (JD) from the Emory University School of Law.
Philip Ziegler joined UATP in July 2006 and currently serves as chief technology officer where he is responsible for all aspects of UATP’s technology platform and the development of software products. Ziegler oversees software development of core applications such as DataStream®, DataMine® and Ceptor®, as well as UATP’s transaction processing network, ATCAN®. As CTO, Ziegler works to ensure outstanding global operational support of Issuers, Merchants, and other partners and administers UATP’s Data Security Policy. Ziegler holds a B.A. degree in Interdisciplinary Studies from the University of Maryland Baltimore County and an M.B.A. from the College of William and Mary.
As chief financial officer of UATP, Michael Marrone is responsible for all accounting, finance and treasury functions of the organization. Before joining UATP, Marrone was a treasury manager for Discovery Communications where his responsibility was focused on financial risk management and global cash forecasting. Prior to Discovery, he spent several years at Fannie Mae where he led a team in the execution of cash movements in excess of $6 trillion annually in support of the United States housing market. Marrone started his career as an accountant at US Airways and then moved to the company’s Treasury Department where he helped guide the airline through two bankruptcies as the company’s cash manager. Marrone has an MBA from the George Washington University in Washington, D.C. and is a CPA. He earned his Bachelor of Business Administration with a concentration in Accounting from Loyola University in Maryland.
Dave Goldwin joined UATP in January 2019 and currently serves as chief legal officer representing the company on commercial and legal affairs, international issues, and corporate governance matters relating to the organization’s board and Shareholders. Before joining UATP, Goldwin held several counsel positions at TSYS Acquiring Solutions, LLC, most recently serving as vice president of legal. Prior to that, he held both legal and operational positions with Global Collect, First Data, and MedE America. Goldwin earned his Bachelor of Science in Business Administration from Syracuse University, his Juris Doctor from IIT Chicago-Kent College of Law, and is licensed to practice law in Illinois and New York.
Wendy L. Ward
As chief marketing officer at UATP, Wendy L. Ward is responsible for developing and implementing all marketing, communications, brand and promotional activities. The marketing department supports efforts by UATP to increase product awareness, grow membership, develop strategic business operations and position the UATP brand as the unifying ingredient for its Issuers and airline, travel agency and rail Merchants worldwide
Ward also heads the insurance division charged with growing membership base and product development. Ward brings more than 25 years of global experience in marketing and communications experience to UATP. She holds an MBA in International Business & Finance & Accounting, and a BA in International Affairs.
Zach Ornelas joined UATP in January of 2019 and currently serves as senior vice president, commercial. Ornelas leads the global network sales team in the promotion and expansion of its charge card network. He and his team are responsible for all existing and new Shareholder and Merchant relationships.
Prior to this position, Ornelas was director of global sales at MSTS, a third-party partner to UATP. Ornelas and his team at MSTS developed and sold closed-loop payment networks across industries and the globe. Ornelas led the MSTS team to acquire the IATA EasyPay agreement supporting pre-paid payments in over 27 countries. Before joining MSTS, Ornelas spent the previous decade working at American Express, supporting their Global Corporate Payments division in technology consulting and sales roles across the United States.
Ornelas holds a Bachelor of Arts in Business Communication from Rockhurst University. He and his four children reside in the Kansas City metro and all support the Chiefs… even when times are bad.
Gary Zannotti joined UATP in 2000 and currently serves as vice president, operations and services. In this position, Zannotti is responsible for UATP’s Issuer Service Center and managing the DataStream platform. Zannotti began his career in the airline industry in 1997 as the senior financial analyst for American Airlines (AA), and later was promoted to marketing development manager. Zannotti obtained his MBA and undergraduate degree in Business Administration at Oklahoma State University.
As vice president, business development, Charisse Chisolm is responsible for identifying and evaluating new solutions and strategic partnerships that enhance UATP’s core business of processing payments for the travel sector and drive incremental growth for the UATP Network.
Prior to joining UATP, Chisolm spent several years as vice president, partner management, at Elavon where she was responsible for vetting and executing mutually viable growth opportunities in collaboration with traditional and non-traditional payment partners such as Visa, MasterCard, American Express, Discover, China Union Pay, and PayPal. Chisolm brings more than 20 years of leadership expertise in strategic business development having worked in roles of increasing responsibility in the telecommunications, data services, wholesale automotive and financial services industries.
Chisolm earned her Bachelor of Science in Business Administration from the University of California at Berkeley and her Master of Science in Management from Georgia Institute of Technology.