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Dee Hock, Credit Card Visionary, Is Dead at 93

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Dee Hock, a banker with a junior college degree who shaped the Visa credit card into a global financial behemoth, died on July 16 at his home in Olympia, Wash. He was 93.

His son David confirmed the death.

The credit card business was in an early, rocky stage of development in 1966 when Mr. Hock was named to run the credit card department of National Bank of Commerce in Seattle, which was licensed by Bank of America to issue its BankAmericard.

At the time, the business was beset by bad debts and fraud, and the cards themselves were primitive: They lacked the magnetic stripes that would later encode customer information; transactions that required bank authorizations took a long time; and the embossed information on them — customer name, card number, expiration date — was awkwardly copied onto receipts with a heavy imprinter.

“By 1968, I was extremely concerned that the industry may go under and our bank’s investment with it,” Mr. Hock told Plazm, an arts and politics magazine based in Portland, Ore., in 2013. “I was attending a meeting of all of the licensees of BofA, which soon became a shambles of argument and accusations.”

He became the leader of a committee of bankers whose institutions licensed the BankAmericard, which was first issued in 1958. The panel’s mission: to determine the card’s future. (The American Express card made its debut that same year; eight years earlier, Diners Club had issued what is widely consider the first credit card.)

The committee’s solution was to create a new company, National BankAmericard, to be separate from Bank of America and to be controlled by the banks that issued the card. Mr. Hock was named president and chief executive. In 1976, after an in-house contest, the company was renamed Visa.

As chief executive, he oversaw the development of the first electronic authorization system and the first interbank electronic clearing and settlement system. Banks would issue the cards, not Visa, and they were mandated to add the magnetic stripe to their cards.

“Dee Hock realized something in the late 1960s that few others really understood: Computers and telecommunications would soon make it possible to build a global ‘electronic value exchange’ system that would soon enable customers to pay for goods and services ‘anywhere you want to be,’” David Stearns, the author of “Electronic Value Exchange: Origins of the VISA Electronic Payment System” (2011), wrote in an email. (The company renders its name in all capital letters.)

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In a tribute, Alfred Kelly Jr., the chief executive of Visa, wrote that Mr. Hock had had a vision of “a world of frictionless commerce where anyone, anywhere could exchange value 24 hours a day, seven days a week, with absolute reliability.”

That vision, long since realized, has made Visa the world’s leading credit card network, with 3.9 billion cards issued and a total purchase volume of $13 trillion.

“What he did was undeniable: He made credit cards work,” Joe Nocera, a former New York Times columnist who wrote about Mr. Hock in his book “A Piece of the Action: How the Middle Class Joined the Money Class” (1994), said in a phone interview. “He took a system on the brink of collapse and said, ‘Follow me, I’ll take you to the promised land.’”

Dee Ward Hock ws born on March 21, 1929, in North Ogden, Utah. His father, Alma, was a utility lineman. His mother, Cecil (Dawson) Hock, was a homemaker.

As a boy, Dee became enamored of the biology and ecology around him in rural Utah, but he followed a banker’s career track after graduating in 1949 from the two-year Weber State College (now University) in Ogden.

Over the next 17 years, Mr. Hock was the manager of two branches of the bank Pacific Finance; an assistant manager of public relations and advertising for Pacific; general manager of the Columbia Investment Company; and a supervisor at CIT Financial (now Group). He was hired by National Bank of Commerce in 1966. But before joining it, he had “essentially retired on the job,” his son said in an interview.

“When people left him alone, he was usually the most successful part of the organization,” David Hock added. “But when they wanted to fix it, they usually messed it up.”

Energized by his work at Visa, Mr. Hock moved the company into offering fdebit cards, which gave cardholders access to checking accounts, as well as a premium card and a money-market fund.

“Mr. Hock is a magnificent strategist, maybe even brilliant,” Helene Duffy, a consultant in the field of electronic funds transfer, told The Times in 1981. “He has always been determined to have Visa be the premier payment system, and has not deviated from that basic goal.”

In addition to his son David, Mr. Hock is survived by a daughter, Lynette Elze; seven grandchildren; and seven great-grandchildren. His wife, Ferol (Cragun) Hock, died in 2018. Another son, Steven, died in 2012.

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At Visa, Mr. Hock encouraged innovation and experimentation — among its employees and among the banks that licensed the credit card. Rather than running the company under a traditional hierarchical management system, he sought input from the bottom up.

It was an apt way of managing a business whose member banks compete against one another for customers but at the same time must cooperate to make Visa work effectively. But, he conceded to Fast Company magazine in 1996, Visa implemented only about 25 percent of what he called his “chaordic” concept of management — a balance of chaos and order.

That concept, as he explained it, applies to organizations and businesses where power is widely distributed. He wrote two books about it, “Birth of the Chaordic Age” (1999) and “One From Many: VISA and the Rise of Chaordic Organization” (1999).

Mr. Hock resigned from Visa in 1984 to become a rancher, but eight years later he began consulting organizations about his chaordic ideas.

In “One From Many,” he recalled speaking to groups and asking them what they thought was the most important responsibility of a manager.

All the answers, he wrote, were “downward looking — having to do with exercise of authority, with selecting employees, motivating them, training them, appraising them, organizing them, directing them and controlling them.”

He added: “That perception is completely mistaken. In chaordic organizations, it must be stood on its head, as it should in all organizations.”

Read the full article here

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A journalist since 1994, he also founded DMGlobal Marketing & Public Relations. Glover has an extensive list of clients including corporations, non-profits, government agencies, politics, business owners, PR firms, and attorneys.

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The Benefits of an Online Education – For Working Professionals

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(MONTGOMERY VILLAGE, MARYLAND – November 18, 2022) – Are you a working professional looking for the convenience and flexibility of an online education? An online education can be a great way to further your knowledge, increase job opportunities and even earn you additional credentials without sacrificing your current commitments. In this article, we will explore various benefits of an online education for working professionals.

FURTHERING YOUR KNOWLEDGE

With the flexibility that comes with an online education, you are able to fit study into your existing schedule and take classes at times that are convenient for you. You also have access to many resources that might not be available in traditional classrooms such as webinars, lectures, and tutorials.

In addition to the convenience of studying from home, developing a fundamental understanding of concepts is often easier since online courses provide an interactive learning environment. You can easily connect with peers and professors to ask questions or get help when needed. Additionally, online courses allow you to practice digital literacy skills such as research, problem-solving, online communication, and critical thinking which are important for success in today’s digital world.

INCREASE JOB OPPORTUNITIES

An online education can open up a variety of job opportunities that may not have been available otherwise. Employers are looking for individuals who possess digital literacy skills and may prefer someone with additional credentials earned through online courses. This is especially true in the tech industry where employers often look for candidates who possess specific skills that can be acquired through practicing in an online program. Furthermore, many employers offer incentives such as tuition reimbursement to employees seeking to further their education or gain additional qualifications.

Additionally, an online education allows you to easily access resources from around the world, increasing your chances of finding a job in a different country or region. With ever-evolving technology and globalization, it’s becoming increasingly important for professionals to be able stay ahead of the curve and online education can help you do just that.

CURRENT COMMITMENTS

An online education is a great way to earn additional credentials without sacrificing your current commitments. With its flexibility and convenience, you are able to fit study into your existing schedule and take classes at times that are convenient for you. Furthermore, there is no need to worry about commuting or finding parking as you would with a regular class. So, if you’re looking for a flexible way to pursue higher education and gain additional credentials without sacrificing your current commitments, then an online education could be the perfect option for you! With ever-evolving technology and globalization, it’s becoming increasingly important for professionals to stay ahead of the curve and an online education can help you do just that.

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In conclusion, an online education can be a great way to further your knowledge and increase job opportunities. With its flexibility and convenience, you are able to fit study into your existing schedule and take classes at times that are convenient for you. Additionally, you have access to many resources from around the world which may not be available in traditional classrooms. Furthermore, employers often offer incentives such as tuition reimbursement to those pursuing higher education or gaining additional qualifications. So if you’re looking for a flexible way to pursue higher education or gain new skills without sacrificing your current commitments, then an online education could be the perfect option for you! Take advantage of this opportunity today and begin learning something new! Good luck!

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Harvard University Affordable Housing Seminar

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Mr. Suleiman Alli

CAMBRIDGE, MASS. –

Harvard University is hosting an Affordable Housing seminar titled, ‘Affordable Housing:  Principles for Changing Domestic and Global Markets’. The two-day seminar takes place at the Graduate School of Design. Individuals in the fields of development, lending, investment and policymaking, will learn the skills to navigate the affordable housing industry.

One of the attendees will be Mr. Suleiman Alli. Sule, as close associates call him, works in conjunction with a design and construction company, FABHAUS USA INC. Sule’s role is in the Marketing, Sales and Business Development department, for the African market.

The course is led by instructors in the Affordable Housing industry: David Smith, Davina Wood and Sanjana Sidhra. Sule, a Nigerian, with American permanent residency, believes that the information and collaborations obtained via this course will assist him in supporting FABHAUS. FABHAUS’ mission is to design and construct pre-fabricated homes, globally.

For nearly a decade, Sule has been investing time and money into journeying throughout Nigeria in attempts to persuade decision makers, in the African nation, to utilize natural resources to build homes for the growing population. His association with a Nigerian organization, FEDUP, led him to find that much of the problem surrounding housing affordability in the country, was political.

Sule’s vision aligns with the mission of the Harvard University course, in that the course is built for entrepreneurs. Affordable Housing is not only a Warri problem, a Lagos problem or a third world problem; Affordable Housing is a global problem and if it were a disease, it could possibly be likened to a pandemic.

Affordable Housing is a burgeoning industry that will continue to grow. This industry is interdisciplinary, encompassing political science, sociology, economics, government, architecture, engineering, etc.

BlackUSA.News will follow up on this seminar and its’ benefits, upon its completion.

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Business

OAKLAND, CA: Black Women Rock, Sept. 30, 3320 Grand Avenue

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This is a don’t miss event!

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