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Monica O'Brien, Assistant Director of Technology and Payment Programs, NC State University

Featured Member for November 2019

Monica O’Brien, CPCP, is the assistant director of technology and payment programs at NC State University located in Raleigh, North Carolina. Her 22 years of experience in the procurement and business services division includes over seven years as P-Card program administrator and now she leads what continues to be the largest P-Card program within the State of NC System. Monica has been responsible for engineering the implementation of the Virtual Payables program and ERP automations such as P-Card electronic approvals and a card center for processing card requests. She is the strategy expert for utilizing Ghost Cards as the payment mechanism for eProcurement orders. Monica continues to support these initiatives while striving to leverage existing technologies to continue growing the P-Card program and enhance the user’s experience through intuitive designs.

What are you passionate about with your job?

I love being in a position where I provide payment tools that can be used across diverse areas. It allows me to hear about what others do and how the tools we provide bring efficiency and value to their life. I love the constant state of improvement that comes with being involved in both the technology and payment fields.  

What are you most proud of about your job?

Truthfully, I am most proud of my CPCP credential. As someone who did not graduate college and works in a higher education setting where the more decoration you have the better, I find it rewarding to be part of such an elite group of professionals who know the ins and outs of the card industry. It is always exciting, engaging and humbling to be around peers who understand and find value in what you do.

Monica's current challenge:

One of our current challenges is to implement a payment strategy. In higher education we tend to let the supplier dictate how they want to be paid. With new solutions on the market every day, it provides us with an opportunity to be strategic about how we can leverage these tools to mitigate risk, generate new revenue streams and streamline the payment process. We are working toward this one step at a time with the hope that one day in the future we can offer a card-first payment strategy.

What are you passionate about outside of work?

Being fit. I never thought I would be a gym rat, but I totally love it. The threat of diabetes, which runs heavily in my family, pushed me to the gym and I’m proud to say two years later, I am still going five days a weeksuccessfully keeping diabetes at bay. Outside of that, my three kids keep me on the go and I love showing them just how much of an adventure life can be.

Fun fact: 

I am fascinated with aviation. I am scared to fly, but force myself to do it. I will honestly pretend to be the pilot as I am driving my 10-year old Honda Pilot down the road. If you see if take off, be worried.   

If you could visit anywhere in the world you’ve never been, where would you go and why?

This one is easy for meParis. I studied French for several years and just fell in love with the language and the culture. I would love to brush up on my French and say au revoir for a few days so I can sail down the Seine, visit the Louvre and eat pastries at a small sidewalk café.

Program details: 

Our program here at NC State is very mature. We will be celebrating the 25th anniversary of our P-Card program in 2020 and have expanded it over the years to include Ghosted Credit Cards and Virtual Payables. We provide P-Cards to over a third of our campus employees and manage those 3,000 cards with three full-time employees. With over $100MM in annual spend across these automated payment solutions, NC State’s card program is the largest program in the State of North Carolina government and higher education arena, accounting for 20 percent of the spend.

Click here to learn more about past Featured Members.

2020 Peer-to-Peer Award Nomination
Each year at the annual conference, the NAPCP presents two prestigious awards to professionals in the industry: The Commercial Card Administrator/Manager of the Year and the Commercial Card Provider of the Year. Do you have a colleague who does their job with grace, consistency and a transformative edge? Nominate them today! The deadline is Feb. 14, 2020. Click here to meet previous recipients of these awards.


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