Karum Team

Management Team

César Zapata – General Manager of Operations, Karum Latin America

César is the General Manager of Operations for Karum Latin America, responsible for all credit center operations and commercial activities. César joined Karum in 2013 and has served in many leadership capacities including Director of Operations, Chairman of the Risk Committee, and Account Director. More >

Prior to joining Karum, César’s professional career included management positions in credit center operations with Arvator Services, Sierra Teleservices, GE Money, and Teleperformance.

César holds a B.S. in Electronic Engineering from Instituto Tecnologioco de Nuevo Leon. In addition, he has attended the Management Skills program at Instituto de Estudios Superiores de Monterrey.

Peter R. Johnson, Chairman and CEO

Peter has spent his career in retailing, financial services and technology. He began his career with IBM in Australia. He then joined The Myer Emporium Limited, a large retailer in Australia, as Corporate General Manager and CIO. In 1984, Peter moved to California and founded PRJ & Associates (PRJ&), an enterprise software company that specialized in merchandising and related financial systems for retailers. More >

IBM invested in the Company in 1988 and used it as their primary channel in the retail industry worldwide. These investments enabled PRJ& to establish (i) an international presence (ii) Credit Management Services, Inc. (CMS) expanded PRJ&’s software offerings to include private label credit and (iii) QuickResponse Services, Inc. (QRS), a leader in electronic commerce. Peter was PRJ’s Chairman and CEO from its inception through the time it was sold in May 1993. Peter was also QRS’ Chairman and CEO from its inception in 1988 through 1993 and Chairman through May 2002. QRS went public in 1993 and was acquired by a private equity firm in 2004.

In addition, from 1994 to the present, Peter has been an investor in and a consultant to a number of technology companies including (i) NSB Retail Systems PLC, a publicly held company in the United Kingdom, where he served as the Chairman from 1995 - 1999, (ii) TRM, Inc. a software company specializing in labor scheduling where he served as the Chairman from 1995 until it was sold to ADP in 1998, (iii) Tradeweave, Inc. where he was the founder and Chairman and (iv) BlueArc Corporation where he was a member of the Board and the Audit and Nomination Committees.

He is Chairman and CEO of PRJ Holdings, Inc. and Karum (formerly CMS). He is a member of the Board and the Audit and Compensation Committees of Dillard’s Inc. Peter is also a member of the Board of The Wine Group, the San Francisco Opera and a member of The World President’s Organization (WPO).

Russell Ouchida, CPA, CFA - Chief Financial Officer

Russell is the Chief Financial Officer for Karum Group LLC and its subsidiaries, responsible for Karum's financial strategies, planning and reporting, in addition to all financial operations.    More >

Prior to joining Karum, Russell was the Chief Financial and Chief Investment Officer for PRJ Holdings Inc. from 1999 – 2013. Before joining PRJ Holdings, Inc., Russell worked for Oto Bailey Fukumoto & Mishima, Inc. (a public accounting firm) from 1993 – 1999.

Russell is a certified public accountant (CPA) and also holds the Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA) designation.  Russell holds both a B.S. in Business Administration and an MBA from the University of California, Berkeley.

Dale Williams, Chief Technical Officer

Dale is the systems architect overseeing all technical strategy, development and implementation for Karum. Dale has been with Karum (formerly CMS) since 1988 and served in a variety of operations and technology roles including General Manager of CMS. Dale has served as Chief Technology Officer since 1998 and currently provides day-to-day information technology direction and execution. More >

Prior to joining CMS, Dale held retail credit and payments information technology positions with both Zale and CardSystems. His career achievements prior to Karum include direct oversight of a national credit card processing center. Dale holds a BS from Purdue University, Indianapolis in Engineering.

Advisory Board

Carmine Guerro

Carmine Guerro is a Director of PMI Group. He was also the Chairman of Grosvenor Americas Limited, a private property development and investment company. Prior thereto, he was a partner at PricewaterhouseCoopers for 26 years, holding a variety of positions including Vice Chairman of Client Service and Managing Partner of the Western Region. More >

He was also a member of the Executive Committee of the firm. Carmine’s past civic board affiliations include President of the International Diplomacy Council of the Bay Area, Chairman of the University of California at Berkeley Business School Professional Accounting Program and member of the Board of Directors for the Bay Area Council.

Steve Ruwe

Steve Ruwe is the Chief Risk Officer for PSCU Financial Services.  Prior to joining PSCU Financial Services, Steve was Visa USA’s Executive Vice President of Operations and Risk for 13 years. As a highly regarded risk management expert, he has testified before Congress numerous times on issues related to data security, Internet gaming, and Internet pharmacies. More >

Previously he has held senior management positions at Barclays Bank, Household Credit Services, and Gary-Wheaton Bank. He has served on the Board of the Economic Crime Institute and the Financial Services Sector Council for Critical Infrastructure Protection and Homeland Security. He is a past Board Member of the National White Collar Crime Center and has represented the payments industry by working with policymakers in Washington, D.C. He has also served as a spokesperson for Visa on data security.

Steve will oversee the implementation of an enterprise-wide risk management strategy for Karum with the initial focus on minimizing risk and controlling fraud in credit and debit card portfolios of Karum clients and ensuring the companies are PCI compliant.