EVP, Payment Services, Discover Financial Services

Networks are a big deal for Diane Offereins in more ways than one. When she's not busy running a worldwide card payments network, Offereins is often advocating for women's networking.

At Discover, she started and served as executive sponsor for an employee resource group called Professional Women Impacting Results. She's also part of other women's organizations, such as The Committee of 200, Womenetics and The Chicago Network.

"It's important for women to help other women," Offereins said. "It is as easy as walking down the hall and introducing yourself or asking to meet over lunch or coffee to pick someone's brain. No matter where you are in your career, someone has been at a company or within an industry longer than you."

Her volunteer activities include serving on the board of Children's Home and Aid, which helps families overcome issues such as poverty, abuse and neglect. Her son is on the organization's junior board, an experience that she said has instilled in him a commitment to helping others.

Commitment is a key characteristic for Offereins herself. She has been in her job for more than a decade, is a member of the company's executive committee, and leads one of its two businesses that report results publicly. Last year she expanded card acceptance to 37 million merchant locations (a 20% increase) and to 1.9 million ATM locations (a 19% increase), and Discover processed $312 billion of volume on its networks, including $118 billion of Discover Card sales.

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