Payments Views

Carol Coye Benson

Celebrate and Congratulate Carol Benson

Carol Benson, one of my fellow founders of Glenbrook Partners, is retiring at the end of June, following our other founder, Scott Loftesness, who retired four years ago. It seems like only a few years ago (certainly less than 20) that the entire company fit in one car with room for my dog sharing the back seat.

Carol has been at the forefront of Glenbrook throughout our 20-year journey. The firm started because Carol, who was also a “lone wolf” consultant at the time, landed a project that was just too big for one person. She roped Scott and me in, and it just felt right. Soon after that we hung out the proverbial shingle. Carol volunteered to be Glenbrook’s first Managing Partner despite knowing full-well that being Managing Partner had nothing to do with managing the partners.

Carol was the one among us who stepped up to turn a few workshop slides into our Payments Boot Camp® program, which is now an integral part of Glenbrook and the whole payments industry, with some 23,000 professionals having attended one of our sessions.

As I sat down to write this post, I tried my best to collect my thoughts in a 2×2 matrix. In Carol’s mind, any problem that exists can be framed in a 2×2 for solving (as long as it isn’t in the default Calibri font rather than our trademark Avenir).

Particularly in the last 10 years of her wonderful career, Carol operated in the coveted upper-right quadrant of the strategy consulting matrix. Beyond teaching all of Glenbrook how to create frameworks, her greatest impact has been, and will continue to be for years to come, advancing financial inclusion, literally, all over the world. She has made dozens and dozens of trips all over Africa, the Middle East, Asia, and beyond, helping the world’s leading NGOs, central banks, regulators, and other constituencies develop and implement frameworks that are being built today. In the years to come, literally millions of people (who have no idea who she is) will benefit from her tireless work on their behalf.

As Carol rides off with pride into the Portland sunset, all of us at Glenbrook will miss her dearly. We’ll miss her frameworks, her independent thinking, heartfelt coaching, and her constant encouragement to pursue what is interesting to each of us. We will think of her on a daily basis whenever we invoke what has become a cherished inside joke at Glenbrook, the highest compliment that can be bestowed upon a colleague: “Good Dog!”

It’d be great if you could share your thoughts and congratulations in the Comments section below. Thank you!

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dan littman
dan littman
5 months ago

Congratulations Carol, you’ll be missed but I am sure you will enjoy your retirement. Since I retired 18 months ago, I have not regretted a minute of it. And, perhaps like me, you will find a way to spend a [much smaller] portion of your time on payments, just to keep your hand in.

Jane Hennessy
Jane Hennessy
5 months ago

How could Carol retire? She IS Glenbrook…even with a host of other talented people there. She will be missed by so many in the industry. She has added so much value and expertise over the years in addition to being a great, friendly, helpful person. Carol, hope you enjoy retirement but come back as a “guest”.

David Robertson
5 months ago

Hello Carol, I hope you enjoy every second of retirement.

Steve Klebe
Steve Klebe
5 months ago

What an extraordinary human being! Lucky to have known you! All the best!!!

Bryan Derman
5 months ago

Carol took Glenbrook to places the rest of us didn’t know it could go. She had a greater recognition than the rest of us about how complicated the payments business was and how much unmet demand there was to understand it. That led her to create our Education business, which continues to grow and diversify every year. When her work there was done, she turned her attention to financial inclusion, helping to establish the now-widely accepted principle that bringing people into the realm of electronic payments can help improve their own economic circumstances and also help start a flywheel of national economic development.

Glenbrook remains a very strong force in the payments space, but Carol’s departure means that we who remain will need to redouble our efforts to drive innovation and find new ways to make payments a force for good in the world.

Carol, we wish you peace and continued success in your next chapter. You will be missed.

Gene Neyer
Gene Neyer
5 months ago

My1st thought: Just wait till there is a new settlement model. Carol will jump back in😉.

2nd thought: Carol, May you find equally interesting, challenging and worthwhile projects in the new journey!

Arthur Cousins
Arthur Cousins
5 months ago

Hi Carol,
Here is a short congratulation for all you have done and achieved in the industry over many years. Your knowledge and experience is head and shoulders above many of your fellow compatriots in the industry. I wish you all the very best for the future but please keep in touch with us and hopefully be there to assist us from time-to-time.

Tony Kaus
Tony Kaus
5 months ago

I have enjoyed you work very much. Your name always piqued my interest in reading material. I wish you well in your retirement and thank you for your insightful and hard work in our industry.

Carolina Trivelli
Carolina Trivelli
5 months ago

We are all going to miss you -also at very long distance-. I hope we can keep in touch and you keep teaching me complicated things in simple manners! You are a star and am grateful for all your patience and support to me, to Bim, to L1P!
Enjoy the new times and keep smiling as always!

Stan Koppel
5 months ago

Carol, All the best as you ride off into the Portland sunset, as Allen says, although I don’t believe it. I think you are just re-populating the framework. Your position will remain in the upper right quadrant. I am intrigued about what your next chapter will be because “boring” is never part of it. Thanks endlessly for including me in your quest for for global financial inclusion. I used to scoff when Dee Hock talked about the social purposes of our credit cards, but you showed me how right he was. Keep safe, have fun and keep in touch!
Stan

Manfred Schuck
Manfred Schuck
5 months ago

Hi Carol, unbelievable that you will be no longer an integral part of GLENBROOK. It was a great pleasure for me to sometimes cooperate with you and I will definately miss you. I wish you all the best for your ‘After Work’-life!

Attaullah Baig
Attaullah Baig
5 months ago

Congratulations Carol. I have really enjoyed my interactions and learnt a lot from Carol. Enjoy your retirement!!.

Thomas Hobbs
Thomas Hobbs
5 months ago

Best of wishes to you, Carol!

Philip Yen
Philip Yen
5 months ago

Carol, this is your 2nd retirement, isn’t it? Will there be a 3rd one? I remember you jumping into really thorny subjects like ACH when most of us are thinking only about cards. Thanks for the great service to the industry.. I had benefited much from the consultancy services of Glenbrook so I guess it is appropriate to thank you for being its managing partner . Enjoy the journey forward.

Jacques Voogt
Jacques Voogt
5 months ago

All the best as you start a new chapter Carol. Awesome working with you and im certain you will continue to make an impact doesn’t matter what you doing.

Gordon Werkema
Gordon Werkema
5 months ago

Carol,
Thanks for your unique brand of leadership and smarts that is leading to safer and more accessible payments for all. Thanks for always asking the tough questions at the right time. And, most of all, thanks for your patience while the rest of us tried to grasp the genius of your vision. Don’t ever “retire” just move on to the next phase. I’ll stay in touch.
Gordon Werkema
Federal Reserve System former Payment Strategy Director

Elizabeth McQuerry
Elizabeth McQuerry
4 months ago

I am very thankful to have worked with Carol at Glenbrook. She helped me learn to be a consultant, always kept the bar very high, and expanded our horizons in every way. It’s been a great journey together! We will take forward all that you contributed to the firm, to us as people and we will miss you so very much.