Richard Hickman

Founder, Board Member

Rich has more than thirty two years of entrepreneurial experience, and is the key visionary and driving force behind the company’s continued success and growth. He has an innate talent to engage, creating an environment that promotes collaboration, partnership and relationship between team members, business partners and their merchant customers alike.

Rich brings ingenuity and strong leadership to every facet of the business to ensure company goals are met. He is focused on strategic partnerships, mergers and acquisitions. Through his leadership, APPS continually elevates industry best practices.

Prior to APPS, Rich created, developed and sold a private auditing firm in the hospitality industry. During his tenure, he identified the need for a simplified system for clients accepting credit card payments, resulting in the ground-up development of a scalable payments CRM system with multiple applications. Since founding APPS, Rich strives to continually provide the most effective and cost-efficient electronic payment solutions available today.

With a passion for philanthropy, Rich extends his leadership to both global and local communities. He is a founders circle member of Convoy of Hope, a worldwide disaster relief charitable organization. He is also an open supporter and advocate for Teen Challenge, an organization providing youths, adults and families with an effective and comprehensive Christian faith-based solution to life-controlling problems like drug and alcohol addiction.

Abraham Maghaguian

President & Chief Executive Officer

Abe has more than twenty years of experience as a senior executive in the financial and payment processing industries. As president and chief executive officer, Abe instills a think-forward, client-first mentality. Known for his relentless energy and tireless work ethic, Abe has successfully transitioned the company to become an full-service merchant acquirer, independent sales organization and merchant services provider.

His strong background in finance, business development and technology, coupled with pivotal leadership capabilities has created a culture focused on development and delivery of strategic initiatives to drive profitability and bottom-line results.Known for implementing change via innovative and creative business practices, Abe champions advanced business processes resulting in unprecedented organic growth strategies.

The company has continuously flourished under his direction by identifying high-growth market segments and then developing and implementing new products and services to serve those segments.
Abe earned his MBA degree from Concordia University in Irvine, California. He currently serves on the Dean’s Advisory Board for the school

Abe shares Rich’s passion for charitable endeavors, and is actively involved with Teen Challenge and Convoy of Hope.

Lee Morgan

Chief Financial Officer

Lee has more than thirty years’ experience in various industries, including, finance, high-tech, manufacturing, distribution, healthcare and real estate. A results driven leader with broad experience in all aspects of accounting, finance, auditing and reporting, Lee has an extensive background in risk management, corporate restructuring, improving operational efficiencies and increasing profitability. As chief financial officer, he is responsible for financial leadership of the organization, financial reporting and transparency, and management of APPS’ finance group.

Prior to joining the company, Lee worked at Ernst & Young and KPMG. He has held numerous chief financial officer and senior vice president of finance positions.

Lee holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Business Administration and is a licensed California certified public accountant (CPA).

He is actively involved with the Red Cross, and numerous community and charitable organizations.

Brent Gephart

Chief Information Officer

Brent has spent his career specializing in payment integrations into Accounting, ERP and CRM platforms.  Designing, building and deploying integrated and embedded payment systems to allow for any form of payment acceptance.   Among these integrations are all versions of QuickBooks, Sage, Great Plains / Dynamics, NetSuite, SAP, and others.   These programs resulted in over 100,000 merchant accounts being created, and more then $100 billion in payments processed.  Brent has also designed and deployed several gateways, enabling Keyed, Card Present and EMV platforms that support the major terminals manufacturers devices, with direct certifications to most of the major processing platforms including TSYS, FDMS, Global Payments, Worldpay, Prosa, VisaNet, Moneris and others.

Additionally, he has also created a Cloud Based EMV platform for taking POS Software out of PCI scope, by driving the POS terminals from the Cloud.  The solution also allows for real-time dynamic content delivery, marketing, customer interaction, response collection and customer data collection for big data consumer analytics.

Brent worked for Chase Merchant Services, First Data, Moneris and held executive roles at each of these companies. He was also the COO of a gateway company, and the head of payments for a cyber security threat intelligence firm.   Since 2011 he has founded several other payment companies that he has since sold.

Brent is a graduate of Visa Bankcard Management School and has a B.A. and M.A. from the University of Michigan in Economics and Economic Development.

Leo Daboub

Senior Vice President of Sales

Leo Daboub has over thirty years of experience in the finance industry and as a successful entrepreneur and twenty years of experience in the merchant processing industry. Before joining Atlantic-Pacific Processing Systems (APPS), Leo started at Payment Resources International (PRI) as a sales representative earning the title Salesman of the Year within his first year for his success in signing some of the company’s highest volume and marquee level accounts. Leo was soon promoted to VP of Business Development at PRI, managing the companies Major Accounts, VAR’s and Bank relationships.

In 2005 Leo created from the ground up the Government Services Division (GSD) at TransFirst Merchant Services after signing its first 12 Gov/Municipalities, with an additional 80+ under his leadership. Soon after Leo was promoted to SVP of Business Development at TransFirst, where he also successfully managed its internal sales for the company.

In 2012 Leo joined Atlantic-Pacific Processing Systems (APPS) as VP of Business Development managing its Internal sales, VAR’s, Financial Institutions and Government/Municipality relationships. In 2014 Leo was promoted to SVP of Business Development where he has also successfully managed APPS’s ISO/MSP’s, ISA’s, VAR’s and strategic partnerships.

A proven coach and mentor, Leo positively influences both APPS colleagues and direct reports alike. His trusted input influences positive change to expand the company’s growth and reach. His greatest strength is in developing key partnerships and relationships.

Leo is actively involved in multiple municipal organizations, including the California Municipal Treasurers Association (CMTA), California Society of Municipal Finance Officers (CSMFO) and Government Finance Officers Association (GFOA).

Dante Croupe

Senior Vice President of Operations

Dante has more than twenty years of experience in payment processing, specifically in the field of operations, compliance and risk management.  As vice president of operations, his primary focus is working with executive management on overall portfolio performance, risk mitigation, developmental training and the growth and evolution of the organization.

In 1997, Dante started his bankcard processing career with Electronic Card Systems (ECS).  Dante oversaw the high-risk portfolio and gained valuable insight with regard to underwriting, loss mitigation and portfolio analysis.   ECS eventually transitioned through purchases to iPayment.  Dante spent over 16 years of his career developing and enhancing all operational areas of risk management.  During this time Dante also developed and implemented ground-up policies and procedures utilized by all staffing levels throughout multiple departments. 

In 2015 Dante transitioned to Nashville based i3 Verticals.  Dante was the Vice President of Risk Management and was given the responsibility of managing the operational risk for i3 Verticals and all its acquired entities.  Working closely with the Associations and multiple acquiring banks a solid framework was developed for future portfolio acquisition and growth.

Dante is a graduate of California State University, Los Angeles, and received a Bachelor of Science degree in Business Administration and Management.
Dante is actively involved with Teen Challenge and is also a strong advocate of pet adoption and supports the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA).

Paul Silva

Vice President of Product Development

Paul has more than twenty years of experience in the financial and payment processing industry. He joined APPS as an operations supervisor, overseeing client services and deployment operations and was quickly promoted to vice president of operations, managing risk, underwriting, relationship management, deployment and client services.

In 2017, Paul took charge of Product Development, overseeing the needs of internal and external customers with the delivery products and services to enhance customer experience.

Paul started his career with Card Service Laguna / E-Commerce Exchange which was acquired by iPayment, now Paysafe. Well-respected within the payment processing industry for his pioneering efforts in systems troubleshooting and streamlining programming, He was later recruited to manage operations at a wholesale ISO where he helped build and maintain two processor implementations, plus helped to develop and enhance a proprietary payment gateway while becoming a specialist in partner integrations.

Paul brings a broad base of industry knowledge on payment processing platforms, operations and management to the company. He is known for his attention to detail, problem solving skills and dedication to operational excellence.

Nathan Cedor

Vice President of Account Management

Nathan has over 20 years experience in payments, with broad accountabilities across operations, business development and client relations. He has demonstrated success with team member growth and retention, and creating and managing successful strategies to create an exceptional client experience.

Most recently at TSYS, Nathan had accountability for the entire client experience, leading Implementations, Relationship Management and Business Development for a portfolio of hundreds of merchant acquirers. He lead a team that increased client satisfaction in each of his last 7 years at the company, and in addition to managing a large team across multiple sites and functions, he was a recipient of the President’s Circle, TSYS’ highest honor, as well as serving as Site Leader for the facility in Tempe, AZ. Prior to that, Nathan managed a team of Account Managers at BA Merchant Services responsible for National Accounts in the Travel & Entertainment industry. Nathan started his career at TSYS in Operations, learning the business in detail before moving into Account Management and Business Development roles.

Nathan joined APPS in September 2019 to lead efforts to provide an unparalleled client experience. Outside of the office, Nathan is an avid trail runner.

Rick Davis

VP of Business Developing and Payment Facilitator Program

Richard Davis (Rick) is a skilled veteran in payments and Fintech with more than 20 years of experience in leading both high performing sales organizations and client management, at the senior management level.

He is one of the global pioneers of the integrated payments model with a deep experience in building payments and technology distribution model businesses focused on high growth sectors. Over the last 5 years he has built and scaled organizations to serve new payment models – Payment Facilitators helping hundreds of SaaS companies grow significant revenue streams and opened new global market opportunities with Integrated Payments. He has built, redesigned, and reengineered numerous direct and indirect sales organizations, both domestically and abroad, each time exceeding goals and expectations.

Prior to joining Atlantic-Pacific Processing Systems (APPS) Rick spent 20+ years with First Data Corporation, Worldpay, ZooZ, and other industry leaders. During his tenures he held several sales leadership roles including, Chief Revenue Officer, EVP of Sales Operations, Business Development, Vice President of Sales Training, and Vice President of ISO/MSP, SVP of Payment Platforms, and Payment Aggregation, and Regional Sales Manager.

When not working Rick enjoys his time with his wife Mia, children Zachary and Kylee, and faithful labs, Cheyanne and Leo.

Clay Hosterman

VP of Business Development, ISO Channel

Clay has served for more than 15 years in the payment industry.  With an Operations and Management background and expertise with Bank Acquirer’s, has created an establishing and developing Strategic Relationships in the Fintech Industry. He created Partnership’s for Fiserv/Card Connect/First Data’s ISV teams as well as Clover, B2B, Banking, Accounting and Reseller Partnerships. Clay was the top performing sales professional with entrepreneurial vision and leadership skills to drive market expansion, analyze and execute strategies that drove profitability for the payment industry.

His has track record for designing, staffing, managing, motivating sales teams, building ISO, Agent Bank, ISV and VAR channel partners.

Under Clay’s guidance teams routinely exceed goals through strategic business planning & innovative sales initiatives. Accomplished Prospector Effective Negotiator Contract Closer C Suite Relationship Manager. Clay’s helping with the future now acceptance and resides in integrated SaaS, cloud & micro ERP solutions for SMBs.

Clay is a graduate of South Western Graduate School of Banking (Cox SMU) with graduate Level Bank Operations/Management and from Trinity University with BA Economics, Army ROTC, Military and Operations.

Paul Oswald

VP of Business Development of Third Party Solutions & Banking

Paul Oswald has twenty-six plus years’ experience in the industry. He began his career with American Express. Paul was part of the management team that created Unified Merchant Services, a Joint Venture of NationsBank and First Data. Building out the Inbound Sales Facility in the Atlanta office. Serving six years with First Data as Vice President and Regional Manager. He moved to Nova Information Systems /US Bank (Now Elavon Global Payment Solutions) as Vice President and General Manager. Worked on the acquisition of PMT & 13 subsidiaries into NOVA’s core business. Managed 6 Regional Vice Presidents and 32 sales support staff overseeing 120 MSP’s generating 3,000+ new signings monthly and a portfolio of 40,000 merchants processing over $2.6 billion in credit card volume. Paul later took a position at Transfirst as Vice President of Business Development. Recruiting and managing both ISAs and ISOs and managing the Community Bank referral program acquired from Fifth Third Bank. Paul worked at Cynergy Data which was acquired by Priority Payment Systems. As Senior Vice President he took over the B2B division with full P&L responsibility and managed the department overseeing the relationship with MasterCard and 14 Financial Institutional Partners.

Paul completed his Bachelor of Science Degree in Business Communications from the University of Kansas while on football scholarship. He was a three-year starter, team captain and drafted by the Pittsburgh Steelers.

Shawn Douglas

VP of Business Development Acquiring Solutions

Shawn Douglas has been in the industry twenty plus years and began his career with NaBanco in Sales.  His first management responsibility was to create and build the Inbound/Outbound Sales Facility for First Data in the Atlanta office.  Shawn eventually became EVP of Business Development for Unified Merchant Services and SVP of First Data Corp (NaBanco became part of First Data through acquisition).  He served as the VP of Sales for Moneris where he managed the Direct Sales Force, relationship with Harris Bank, as well as National Merchant Relationships.  He was a Sr. Territory Manager for Chase Paymentech where he was responsible for the Mid-Market Sales Force in New York, New England, and Pennsylvania.  Shawn later took a position with TSYS Acquiring where he managed their contracts/relationships with other large merchant Processors including First Data, Chase Paymentech, NOVA (now Elavon), and FIS.  In addition, Shawn took on a role managing all of the ISV/VAR relationships related to TSYS Acquiring.  Shawn also was a founding partner of Omnitec. At Omnitec one of the main focuses was EMV payments for Legacy Restaurant and Retail Systems as well as taking card data out of scope for all types of merchants in every vertical market.

Shawn attended The United States Military Academy at West Point and Boston College for Undergraduate Work.

Sal Romero


Sal has more than 30 years of finance experience in various industries including, banking and financial services, retail, high tech, manufacturing, real estate and distribution. He has held financial management positions at several publicly traded companies. Additionally, Sal has extensive experience in cash management and settlement, SOC compliance, budgeting, initial public offerings and SEC filings.
As the company’s controller, Sal is responsible for the financial reporting and transparency, financial audits and the management of the accounting department.

Sal is a graduate of Loyola Marymount University in Los Angeles where he earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Accounting.

Sal is also active in his local church community and charitable organizations, including the American Red Cross.

Jeff Duncombe

Assistant VP of Acquiring Solutions

Jeff has been in the high-tech industry for more than 30 years, bringing extensive experience in technology development and management to APPS. He is responsible for overseeing the company’s technology development and implementation efforts, as well as executing technical projects and creating workable solutions that optimize human and technical assets.

Prior to joining APPS, Jeff was the founder of several technology startups. He has served numerous stints at companies in chief technology officer capacities, drawing on wide-ranging experience across many industries to build and manage IT departments.

Jeff has deep consulting experience working with Fortune 500 customers like Nordstrom and Experian, as well as small mom-and-pop retail shops. Additionally, Jeff is the author of four content management and distribution patents.

Jeff is actively involved in the TIMEOC meetup group he founded, which aids entrepreneurs in following the lean startup methodology. With 1,500 plus members, TIMEOC helps these businesses achieve sustainable growth in today’s business world.

Barry Kress

Assistant VP of Transaction Processing Services

Barry has more than twenty years of entrepreneurial and senior technical leadership experience in various industries with an emphasis on building enterprise payment gateways.  As an innovator and early adopter of emerging technologies, he created one of the first touchscreen medical prescription writing platforms with an industry first ability to auto transmit the prescription information to pharmacies in 1998.  He followed up that effort with co-authoring a general aviation management platform that was later acquired by a Fortune 50 company.

Barry’s payment processing experience started with connecting his general aviation platform direct to the major oil company authorization systems as well as the US Government fuel card to building out the latest generation of an ACH and Gift Card processing platform.   He continued his ventures in payment processing by building out a proprietary tokenization engine and credit card payment gateway.

Barry received his Bachelors of Science Degree in Chemical Engineering from the University of Florida.  He is active in Boy Scouts of America with his son and is an avid tennis player.