Blackhawk Network CEO and President Talbott Roche Featured in “San Francisco Business Times”

blog-post-060916

In late May, the San Francisco Business Times published an article titled, “Rewards in unlikely places: Blackhawk’s new CEO runs a global incentives company.” The article named Blackhawk Network “among the Bay Area’s most successful fintech companies” and profiled Talbott Roche as part of its Executive Profile series.

Talbott was asked to share her thoughts and insights about business strategy, her management philosophy, lessons learned, and a few fun facts. A sampling of the questions and answers featured in the piece includes:

  • “How’s business? I love that we’ve gone beyond gifting so that we’re now a large prepaid payments company focused on engagement with customers, employees and partners. We’re also global, operating in 23 countries. Sometimes I have to pinch myself. It’s very exciting to be operating the scale we are, with 700 content partners. We’re moving from a distribution company, where we distributed gift cards, to becoming a platform focusing increasingly on corporate incentives and rewards.”
  • “Best business decision? The move into digital six years ago, which opened up other doors for us, such as the incentives business. At the time, some feared it would hurt our physical gift card business, but it hasn’t. Shoppers aren’t ready to give an egift card for Valentine’s Day.”
  • “Hardest lesson learned? It’s OK to fail. Success is iterative. When we moved to digital, adoption was very small at first. It’s important to remember that your first pass isn’t your final pass. Now our journey in digital is a huge success, but it didn’t feel that way at first.”
  • “First job? Folding sweaters and dealing with customers at retailer Talbots.”

The article was published both online and in the San Francisco Business Times May 27, 2016 print publication. To read the full article (subscription required), click here.


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