At the Fed, Being an AAP Means Recognition as an Expert

nell campbell-drake

At the Fed, Being an AAP Means Recognition as an Expert

Nell Campbell-Drake, AAP
Vice President
Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta

While attending her first Nacha Payments conference, Nell Campbell-Drake’s colleagues left her behind one evening.

“They said, ‘We have an invitation to the AAP reception and only AAP attendees can come.’ Everybody in the group—except me—was an AAP,” said Campbell-Drake, vice president at the Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta. “So I said, ‘That won’t happen again.’”

And it didn’t.

In 2004, Campbell-Drake became an AAP. She jokes about the reception, but is serious about how receiving her AAP credential has helped her career.

“It allows you to be recognized as an expert. It causes you to be invited to the table from a thought leadership perspective,” said Campbell-Drake. “It opens the doors where you are expanding relationships, you are expanding your knowledge base.”

For the Fed, the ACH credential has “helped us internally with some of the things we were trying to do as an ACH Network operator, to make sure we had efficiencies, to continue to build partnerships with the rulemaking entities and the stakeholders,” said Campbell-Drake.

“It’s also allowed me to bring awareness to other divisions within the Federal Reserve System. We have individuals now who are working to pursue their accreditation that work in areas such as supervision, regulation and credit, and our risk group, because payments is much broader now. It’s not just singular to a particular rail.”

The Atlanta Fed not only leverages preparatory classes from PaymentsFirst, its local Payments Association, but because the Fed has a number of AAPs, a select group also conducts classes for colleagues.

“The Fed is very committed to making sure that we use all of the vessels necessary, internally, to help those who are looking to take the test hopefully succeed,” said Campbell-Drake. “That’s important, of course, because we’re one of two ACH operators in the U.S., so having that credibility is critical.”

And while the AAP reception is fun, Campbell-Drake said attending Nacha’s Payments conference is important whether you’re working to become an AAP or maintaining the credential.

“It will help you to enhance your knowledge as you prepare or consider taking the AAP,” she said. “And once you have achieved that it also allows you the opportunity to earn your credits and to continue to build your network and knowledge base.”

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