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WHY ASCENTThe Ascent Difference

Ascent holds itself to a higher standard. A standard that includes trust, transparency, and accessibility. At Ascent our clients and partners come first, and we always strive to provide the best customer service, support, and education. At Ascent we never let our clients become account numbers and we always look at them as people first. With extensive experience in not only payment processing, but also years of lodging management experience, our team provides you with the best possible solutions suited to your business model. Let us work with you and show you the Ascent difference.

Read our story
Meet our team

Our Story

For more than 20 years, Ascent Payment Solutions has been providing payment processing services to the vacation rental industry after identifying a lack of security and technology integrations, lofty credit card rates, and complicated reservation and reconciliation processes for merchants. The Ascent team analyzed the payment processing landscape and immediately set out to develop and provide a complete solution. 

We hit the ground running, integrating an Omni-solution payment platform into the top vacation rental reservation software. We lobbied with Visa and other credit card providers for lower pricing and enhanced chargeback regulations. We knew there was a way to develop a product much more deserving for the fast-growing vacation rental industry, and we were going to be the solution. 
 
Since starting in the short-term rental space, our vacation rental industry experience has expanded into traditional vacation rental businesses, apartment complexes, boutique hotels, bed and breakfasts, resorts, lodges, inns, corporate housing, on-site property management, and more. Our clients say we are trustworthy, ethical, and transparent, which we consider the highest compliments for the payment processing business. 
 
Located in Boulder, CO, Ascent is a registered Visa/MasterCard Member Service Provider for Elavon through US Bank, Card Connect through First Data, TSYS through Wells Fargo, and Check Commerce. Our secure banking relationships ensure that all merchant funds are fully FDIC insured. Financial information for banking institutions can be found at www.usbank.com, www.checkcommerce.com, www.tsys.com, and www.firstdata.com.

Meet the Team

Meet the Ascent team that is experienced and dedicated to providing you with the highest level of service, security, and savings.

Paul GuccioneCEO

Paul was first drawn to the intersection of payments and technology in 1999, when he joined a small payments company in Boulder in need of a tech-forward critical thinker to help with large scale M&A growth. He moved quickly into leadership roles where he utilized exceptional logic, communication, and technology skills to find creative ways to solve problems for both internal and external customers.

Paul’s leadership trajectory led him to the Bay Area of California, where he was instrumental in building systems and processes resulting in exponential growth for a young payments startup. Through senior leadership roles in both Operations and Sales, he built systems and teams across the country responsible for the company’s double-digit annual growth. He led both internal and external technology teams and helped to craft and drive the company’s overall strategy, leading to its successful acquisition by Global Payments in 2014.

Paul joined the Ascent team in 2019 and quickly began leveraging Ascent’s unique position as the most-trusted vacation rental online payment processor to integrate innovative partner programs and groundbreaking short-term and long-term rental payment solutions. Ascent appreciates Paul’s consultative approach to overcoming obstacles, his proven ability to help his partners and clients successfully grow their business, his extraordinary vision, and his leadership.
Paul now lives in North Carolina with his family and two dogs. He enjoys spending time with friends, attending live music, fishing, horses, traveling and cooking, and continues to find that helping people and businesses succeed is one of his favorite ways to spend time.

“If you tell the truth, you don’t have to remember anything.” Mark Twain

Paul GuccioneCEO

Julia PaigeVP of Operations

Julia was born in Steamboat Springs, CO, making her one of the rare people you meet in Colorado that was actually born here. She was bitten by the travel bug early in life and continues to enjoy seeing new places and learning new languages. She still lives in Colorado and enjoys riding horses and hiking with her dog, Olive. She has grown with Ascent since 2010 and loves working with such a great group of people, partners, and clients.

“Do the best you can until you know better. Then when you know better, do better.” Maya Angelou

Julia PaigeVP of Operations

Christine MalteseController/HR Director

Christine joined the Ascent family in 2016 after spending 20 years working for a top Vacation Rental Manager. She loves helping people solve problems, making them smile, and she has been able to bring that unique perspective to her role as Controller and Director of Human Resources.

Having grown-up in southeast Florida where riding your bike to the beach was the norm and vacationing meant visiting family up north or going to Disney World, Christine was awe-struck the first time she visited the mountains and discovered a love of hiking which ultimately led to her moving full time to the mountains.

When Christine isn’t working, she still enjoys hiking and spending time outdoors but also loves reading and watching Sci-Fi movies with her teenage boys.

“I’ve learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.” Maya Angelou

Christine MalteseController/HR Director

Robert GrayBusiness Development Manager

Robert grew up in New York City and Northern New Jersey before moving to South Carolina in 1985 to attend Clemson University. After graduation, Robert basically never left the Carolinas and lives just south of Myrtle Beach, S.C.

In the early 1990s, Robert became the Owner Relations Manager for a small resort in South Carolina with just over 100 properties and he has stayed in the hospitality/property management industry. For 12 years, he held several leadership roles for hospitality providers in Operations, IT, and Accounting, culminating in a General Manager position with a vacation rental manager representing more than 1,000 properties.

Robert then switched to the other side of the industry aisle and for the last 14 years, he has been a representative of several prominent suppliers to the Vacation Rental community, including Instant Software and Visual Data Systems. In these positions, he worked and consulted with managers, large and small, across the United States to provide them the knowledge and tools they needed to not only succeed, but to thrive in an ever-changing industry. Robert has given numerous presentations and workshops over the years and enjoys meeting clients and partners at industry events.

Robert joined ASCENT in 2020 and lives in the south end of Myrtle Beach where he continues to stay in touch with the day-to-day needs of vacation rental managers while enjoying the beach when it isn’t too hot out!

“Live now; make now always the most precious time. Now will never come again.” J.L. Picard

Robert GrayBusiness Development Manager

Jonathan ChingAccount Executive

Jonathan is a native Californian, born and raised in the Bay Area, where he currently resides with his wife, 2 daughters and 4-legged (dog) son. From an early age, he was intrigued by different cultures (especially their food!) and was fortunate to grow up in a family that loved to travel. This love of travel, food and culture is what attracted Jonathan to the VR space.

When not working, he can typically be found driving his daughters to dance/gymnastics practice and competitions, and his “son” to the occasional dog show. Disneyland, Lake Tahoe, and Hawaii have been his go-to-family-friendly vacation destinations. Being a die-hard sports fan, Jonathan has a deep-rooted love for his local sports teams, and can always be found cheering for the Giants, Warriors, Sharks and Niners.

Before joining the Ascent team, Jonathan spent the last 13+ years in the payment processing world. He is excited to be joining such a great team to utilize his expertise in payment processing to help Vacation Rental/Lodging merchants streamline their programs and drive more direct revenue.

 

“There is no love sincerer than the love of food.” George Bernard Shaw

Jonathan ChingAccount Executive

Missy ZakMarketing & Account Management

Missy is a proud native of the Gulf Coast, passionate about her family, the beach, and traveling for live music. She lived in 13 states before returning to her parent’s hometown of Mobile, Alabama to finish high school and graduate from the University of South Alabama with a major in Communications/Public Relations. Living along the Gulf of Mexico, Missy fell in love with the beautiful natural habitat and abundant resources. She even volunteered at the Dauphin Island Estuarium to share her knowledge of marine life, estuaries, rivers, the Delta and what we need to do to respect and protect them. Missy also loves to cook so she could show you how to prepare the seafood you caught that day!

Missy worked for an advertising agency that allowed her to work with clients that focused on travel, and that eventually led her to 10 rewarding years with Meyer Vacation Rentals in Gulf Shores, Alabama. She loved convincing people to reconnect with their family and friends. Missy also takes her own advice, and she and her daughter Jameson love traveling to see concerts and festivals, and have even taken music cruises to Jamaica and Mexico.

The most exciting part of Missy’s job at Ascent Processing is that she is able to help Vacation Rental Managers and Lodging Partners save time and resources – no matter the size of their company. Ascent ensures each company’s needs are met with a customized solution for vacation rental online payment processing. This allows Ascent to focus on providing the highest level of service, security and savings for our merchants, while they focus on running their business and creating memories for their guests to last a lifetime.

“Music has this way of reaching across cultural lines, national lines, the lines of religion or language…it can reach into people’s hearts and create awakening. Everyone deserves music, sweet music.” Michael Franti

Missy ZakMarketing & Account Management

Julie LaReauOperations

Julie is a wife, and mother of two boys with a passion for the game of lacrosse. Texas is currently where her family calls home after moving from Colorado, Illinois, and Virginia. Her house is divided with Bear fans and one Bronco fan. The Bronco fan is allowed to stay, since he is also a Cubs and Blackhawks fan.

When Julie isn’t working she enjoys watching sports, traveling, and seeing live music. Her favorite places to travel are anywhere with a beach or near the mountains. There are only two states she hasn’t been to which is a goal she intends to reach. Julie graduated from Northern Illinois University and began working at the local hospital as an exercise physiologist for 5 years. She moved to Golden, CO with her husband which is where she crossed paths with Ascent. She has been with Ascent Processing, Inc. since 2008 and is so grateful to be able to work with such unique and special people.

“In this world where you can be anything, be kind.” Anonymous

Julie LaReauOperations

Lauren UrlichOperations

Lauren joined Ascent Processing in 2018 with 11 years of experience in Merchant Services, including Customer Service, Compliance, Training & Development and Operations Management.

Originally from Chicago, she relocated with her husband to Arizona in 2009, and has been enjoying the scenic desert life ever since. When she isn’t working she can be found cooking and spending time with family, which also includes a dog and a chinchilla.

“You cannot swim for new horizons until you have courage to lose sight of the shore.” William Faulkner

Lauren UrlichOperations

Dawn TookesNew Account Coordinator

Dawn joined Ascent Processing in 2019 with 13 years of experience in the payments industry. She is excited to be part of such an amazing group of people who all have a passion for providing the best service possible!

Dawn was born in California, grew up in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan, and moved back to California as a young adult. This is where she met her husband and started her family. About 4 years ago they relocated to Utah.

When she isn’t working, she is spending time with her husband and 4 kids. When not jumping around from one activity to the next, they love to go back to the Bay Area to see extended family and visit the beach or go to Southern California and go to Disneyland.

“Here’s to strong women. May we know them. May we be them. May we raise them.” Anonymous

Dawn TookesNew Account Coordinator

Tim EvansOperations

Tim has been with ASCENT Processing since June 2020. He has more than 10 years experience in card processing, merchant support, and product training. Tim is dedicated to assisting each client with unparalleled support – ensuring success for all of our merchants.

He is an avid foodie and in his spare time enjoys cooking and trying new restaurants. As a child, Tim realized from vacationing and traveling that the cold winters of the Midwest were not for him. He now lives in the middle of the Mojave Desert in Las Vegas where there is no shortage of heat or sunshine.

“One cannot think well, love well, sleep well, if one has not dined well.” Virginia Wolfe

Tim EvansOperations

Emily VandallOperations

Emily joins the Ascent team with 12 years of experience in the Vacation Rental industry. She was the Operations Director Vacation Rental Manager on Kiawah Island and then the GM for Vacasa, piloting the company’s Luxury Program on Kiawah. Emily is an active member of the Vacation Rental Management Association where she has volunteered on the Education Committee for seven years. She is passionate about our industry.
 
She lives in Charleston, SC where she began her career as an Arms Dealer after attending law school at the University of Alabama. She received accolades from both the Association of the US Army and from the Italian Ministry of Defense. 
 
Working in the travel industry gave Emily an appreciation for local cuisine. She is a foodie who enjoys living and eating like a local wherever she finds herself.  She also has an almost-troubling stationery addiction and an uncontrollable need to color-code everything, including her two children, Gray and Khaki.

“The older you get, the better you get - unless you are a banana.” some 9 year old

Emily VandallOperations

Jackie McCulley Operations

Jackie joined Ascent in 2021 with 7 years of experience in the payment industry. She is excited to join a team where we are all open to helping customers be as successful as possible. 

Jackie was born and raised in the Bay Area, and now lives in the central valley of California. When she is not working, she loves to try new food and spend time with her 2 dogs and her family. 
 

“Dream as you will live forever, live as you will die tomorrow.” James Dean

Jackie McCulley Operations

Tom RobeskyOperations

Tom was raised in Iowa and attended the University of Iowa majoring in Computer Sciences. Tom spent more than a decade working for large global credit card processors as a product manager, specializing in payment gateways, private label card processing, and dynamic currency conversion.

“Whether you think you can, or you think you can’t, you’re right.” Henry Ford

Tom RobeskyOperations

Regina EbertFounder

Being raised in a family that emigrated from the Czech Republic taught Regina to be grateful for all the opportunities and gifts that her life has been blessed with.

After working in the Payment Processing Industry for a small company in Boulder, CO, Regina fortunately realized at a young age, that focusing on the Vacation Rental and Lodging space was her true passion. Meeting kindred spirits that successfully added value to their companies and communities, while enjoying the vacation destinations they called home, gave her the inspiration to start Ascent. The challenges of payment acceptance for our industry 25 years ago, as well as today, continues to drive us to offer the strongest program to our clients and partners.

The opportunity to enjoy a life that combines a fulfilling and valuable career, travel (which she’s often called “work”), the outdoors, and most importantly all the friendships created along the way, makes Regina excited and thankful for tomorrow.

“Love What You Do and Do What You Love.” Ray Bradburry

Regina EbertFounder

DeAnna ConstantCOO and CFO

DeAnna entered the payment processing field 29 years ago and joined Ascent processing in 2004. A trailblazer in the space, she has helped propel the vacation rental business forward by providing higher standards of support and collaborating directly with Visa and other technology partners to shape new programs that have ultimately allowed clients to better grow and sustain their businesses.

Currently, DeAnna provides development and legal support as well as financial oversight to the Ascent team.  She enjoys assisting with creative solutions, goal setting, and business guidance when needed.

A true Colorado native, DeAnna spends her days peacefully residing 7800 feet above sea level in the Boulder mountains, often hiking with her two rescue pups. DeAnna’s purposeful and authentic lifestyle is part of what inspired her to blend both her passion and appreciation for travel with the vacation rental community to provide top tier service to those within the industry. She is continually grateful for the opportunity to help clients through the complexities of payment processing so they can be free to enjoy their own travelling adventures. 

DeAnna ConstantCOO and CFO

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