Thursday, September 7
The Fintech Economy
@ 5:30 pm -7:30 pm

You're invited to join UNLV's Center for Business and Economic Research (CBER) for our next Brews and Economic Views event on the Financial Services and Technology economy, "Fintech." We are putting together an incredible panel that will help us better understand this growing industry and what it means for consumers, visitors, businesses, and even government.

Thank you to Las Vegas Global Economic Alliance for their generous support of this event.

Brews and Economic Views brings together academia, government, business owners, and community organizations to discuss emerging technologies and trends in Nevada's twelve economic sectors in an informal setting that fosters discussion, emceed by CBER's Director, Andrew Woods.

The Financial Services and Technology "fintech" Economy
Zelle®, Venmo, Apple Cash, Stripe, Square, pay as you go, buy now pay later, blockchain, artificial intelligence, etc... What do all these financial and technology products have in common? They promise to reduce the friction in financial transactions between consumers, businesses, and even the government.

Just in the first half of 2021, nearly $98 billion dollars was invested in fintech technologies and companies, with nearly half being invested in the United States alone according to the accounting firm KPMG. In the first half of 2023, there was $23 billion globally in new investment for startup fintech companies.

What do all of these financial innovations mean for consumers, businesses, and even our government? Will these innovations help consumers, the public, and businesses or are we reinventing the wheel? Will they make transactions more secure and efficient or are we further exposing our digital lives to the outside world? Can governments, local, state, and federal, learn from these innovations and use them to improve their own operations and delivery of services? Can fintech help expand access to banking and credit for underserved populations without exploiting vulnerable populations? What about our 42 million visitors a year to Las Vegas, do they stand to gain from these opportunities? What about our local businesses? All of this and more we will tackle at our next Brews and Economic Views.

Fintech in the News
Thank you to our sponsors:
Christopher Justice
Chief Executive Officer, Pavilion Payments

Christopher Justice is a dynamic executive leader focused on modernizing commerce and the customer experience in the Gaming Entertainment industry. His 28-year career spans executive leadership roles with global and FORTUNE 500 companies designing and implementing secure omnichannel commerce solutions.

Christopher is an expert in the digital convergence of brick-
and-mortar and e-commerce to deliver seamless omnichannel
consumer experiences. He joined Global Payments in 2017 to
lead the company’s gaming division. During this time, Christopher has accelerated the organization’s mobile cashless funding, self-service, iGaming, security, and risk initiatives in order to help Gaming operators modernize their cash access infrastructure, improve their guest experience across the resort, and capture new business opportunities. In April 2023, he led the acquisition of the business to form Pavilion Payments.

He is a member of the Board of Directors for the American Gaming Association. Additionally, Christopher is a member of the FinTech Atlanta Executive Committee and sits on the board of several FinTech businesses. He is a graduate of the University of Tennessee and lives in Las Vegas with his wife Sharon. His children live in Orlando, Florida, San Diego, California, and Prague, Czech Republic.
Justin Marlowe
Research Professor at the University of Chicago Harris School of Public Policy

Justin Marlowe is a Research Professor at the University of Chicago Harris School of Public Policy. His research and teaching are focused on public finance, with an emphasis on public capital markets, infrastructure finance, state and local budgeting, and financial disclosure. He currently serves as Editor-in-Chief of Public Budgeting & Finance.

Dr. Marlowe has authored or edited four books – including the first open-access textbook on public financial management – and more than 50 academic articles and book chapters. He is also an admitted expert witness in federal and state courts and has served on technical advisory bodies for the Governmental Accounting Standards Board, the Government Finance Officers Association, the National Academies of Science, the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, several state and local governments, and many other public, private, and non-profit organizations.

Dr. Marlowe received a Ph.D. in political science from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee and is a Certified Government Financial Manager. In 2018 he was elected to the National Academy of Public Administration. He also serves as a Senior Fellow at the Center for Digital Government. Prior to joining Harris, he was on the faculty at the University of Washington and the University of Kansas.

Hua Wang
Executive Director, Global Innovation Forum

Hua C. Wang is Executive Director for Global Innovation Forum (GIF) at the National Foreign Trade Council Foundation. NFTC Foundation’s mission is to inspire, promote, encourage and facilitate international trade and investment in order to enhance economic growth and job creation throughout the world.

As GIF’s Executive Director, Hua engages an international network of small, minority and women-led businesses, nonprofit leaders, and government officials to improve the trade and digital policy landscapes. She oversees the development and execution of GIF’s strategy to facilitate more inclusive access to the global marketplace. She amplifies the voice of innovators and entrepreneurs in public policy discussions domestically and with international organizations including the World Trade Organization and the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation Forum.

Hua previously led a top technology accelerator in Alabama with the 15 startups collectively raising $20 million in funding and generating $11 million in revenue. She also founded SmartBridge Health, a cancer telemedicine startup, during which time she served an entrepreneur in residence at Start-Up Chile, the Malaysian Global Innovation & Creativity Centre and the Washington, DC-based Halcyon Incubator.

Prior to entrepreneurship, Hua worked as a private equity attorney at Proskauer and K&L Gates, in-house counsel at Cisco Systems and a global scholar at the Kauffman Foundation. After graduating from Duke University, Hua worked as an investment banking analyst at Lehman Brothers and a healthcare strategy consultant at Accenture. She is also a graduate of Northwestern University’s Pritzker School of Law.
Ryan Sullivan
President/Chief Executive Officer of GBank Financial Holdings Inc. (GBFH) and GBank.

Under his direction, GBank has been recognized by S&P Capital IQ in its Top 100 Best-Performing Community Banks every year for each of the past 6 years. In March 2022, S&P Capital IQ ranked GBank #6 best-performing U.S. community bank with assets under $3 billion based on financial strength, growth, and credit quality criteria for 2021.

In January 2023, OTCQX ranked GBFH #18 in its 2023 OTCQX Best 50 based on 2022 total return and average dollar volume growth, a list that spans over 600 companies of all sizes, industries, and geographic regions, from well-capitalized US community banks to large cap global brands. Mr. Sullivan has 24 years of commercial banking experience. He was the Bank’s original Chief Financial Officer and served in that capacity from inception in September 2007 through July 2013, when he was named President/Chief Executive Officer. He has served as a Bank Director since January 2011 and currently chairs the Bank’s Community Reinvestment Act Committee and serves as a member of the Gaming FinTech Committee. Mr. Sullivan has provided organizational oversight for the Risk Management, Sales Production Management, Accounting/Finance, Credit and Lending Administration, Deposit Operations, Information Technology/Cybersecurity, and Investment functions.

Previously, Mr. Sullivan served as the Chief Financial Officer of Alliance Bank of Arizona, a $650 million statewide commercial bank at the time of departure, where he had responsibilities including active balance sheet portfolio management, serving as Chairman of the Asset/Liability Committee, and managing Audit and Risk Management functions of the bank while coordinating organizational compliance with Sarbanes-Oxley requirements. Additionally, he provided management and oversight for Deposit Operations, Information Technology, and Human Resources/Payroll functions. Mr. Sullivan joined Alliance Bank at its inception in 2003 as its original Chief Financial Officer after working with Bank of Nevada (formerly BankWest of Nevada) in numerous lending, accounting/finance, and operational capacities.
Daniel Chi
Professor and Chair, Department of Finance

Dr. Daniel Chi is Chair of the Department of Finance in the Lee Business School at UNLV. He served as the inaugural Director of UNLV’s Master of Science in Quantitative Finance (MSQF) program between 2019 and 2022. He has broad research interests, including corporate finance, product-market competition, financial markets, and behavioral finance. He has taught a wide range of finance classes at the undergraduate and graduate level, including corporate finance, investments, financial modeling, and financial markets and institutions. His research has appeared in respected finance journals, such as the Journal of Financial and Quantitative Analysis, Journal of Corporate Finance, Journal of Banking and Finance, and Financial Management. He regularly presents his research at international conferences and seminars.

Dr. Chi has been a recipient of UNLV Department of Finance’s Research Award and Teaching Award. He has been a reviewer for numerous reputable finance journals. He is a former Associate Editor for Emerging Markets Finance and Trade and a former Associate Editor for Decision Sciences. He is active in community engagement and currently serves as the CFO and Vice President for Nevada Center on Foreign Relations. Before joining UNLV in 2011, he was a tenure-track finance professor at Arizona State University and North Dakota State University. He received his Ph.D. in Finance from Texas A&M University. Before joining academia, Dr. Chi had professional experience in international business, marketing, business analysis, and operations management.
Established in 1975, CBER conducts applied research vital to business and government. CBER cooperates with partners to extend the benefits of the UNLV's research community throughout the state of Nevada and the country.