Robert O.  Carr

Robert O. Carr

As chairman and chief executive officer of Heartland Payment Systems, Robert (Bob) O. Carr is responsible for the strategic direction and growth of the company. Bob co-founded Heartland with Heartland Bank in 1997, quickly building the foundation for an end-to-end credit, debit and prepaid card processing engine. Under his guidance, Heartland has become a FORTUNE 1000 company; grown from 25 to more than 3,900 employees; from 2,500 to 300,000 business locations and from a portfolio of $0.4 billion in bankcard volume to more than $100 billion. Heartland ranks as the fifth largest payment processor in the U.S. and eighth globally, according to The Nilson Report.Over the years, Bob has written numerous articles educating associates on the inner workings of the payment processing industry and encouraging his peers to join him in adopting policies that treat merchants and fellow businesses equitably. He also spearheaded the Merchant Bill of Rights ? a revolutionary public advocacy initiative to promote fair card processing practices on behalf of all business owners. Bob has been at the helm of an industry collaboration movement to thwart cybercriminals ? and help protect business owners, consumers, payment processors and financial institutions. He was active in the formation of the Payments Processor Information Sharing Council (PPISC) and served as chair of its steering committee. Bob has also been a driving force in the development the Heartland E3� end-to-end encryption technology that is designed to protect cardholders� data throughout the lifecycle of card transactions.Bob started his career as an instructor at Parkland College in Champaign, Illinois. At the age of 22, he was elected president of the college faculty and named director of the college�s Computer Center. A year later, he was hired by the Bank of Illinois to establish a new profit center providing computer services to small businesses. In 1972, Bob started a software and consulting firm for small and mid-sized businesses, providing the first integrated accounting system offered on microcomputers.In 2003, Bob was awarded the bankcard industry�s first Lifetime Achievement Award. Ernst and Young named him Entrepreneur of the Year in 2004 and again in 2007. On Aug. 11, 2005, he rang the bell on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange to celebrate Heartland�s initial public offer (IPO), which was 21 times oversubscribed, breaking PayPal�s previous industry record of 12 times oversubscribed.In 2006, Bob earned the Walter Aikman Entrepreneur Award. In 2007, he received the �Best Executive� honor by American Business Awards and later was named the Technology CEO of the Year by the Eastern Technology Alliance. In 2008, 2009, 2010 and 2014 Heartland was named the �Best Service Company to Sell For� by Selling Power magazine. In 2009, Bob was awarded the Beta Gamma Sigma Medallion Award for Entrepreneurship and in 2013 was named Innovator of the Year by the Princeton Regional Chamber of Commerce.Bob received his Master of Science degree in computer science and Bachelor of Science degree in mathematics from the University of Illinois -Urbana-Champaign. He also received an honorary PhD from Lewis University where he currently serves on the Board of Trustees.He is the founder of the Give Something Back Foundation, which provides financial support to college students from poor and working-class backgrounds. He is also the co-author of �Through the Fires: An American Business Story of Turbulence, Triumph and Giving Back� (Amazon, 2014).