Paragon Application Systems Announces Executive Management Change

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HOLLY SPRINGS, N.C., Sept. 26, 2013 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Paragon Application Systems, Inc., the global leader in ePayments testing, announced today that Gary Kirk, co-founder and President of the company since its inception in 1994, is retiring at the end of September. Jim Perry, currently Paragon's Vice President of Sales and Marketing, will serve as the company's new CEO. Mr. Kirk will continue to serve in an advisory role until the end of the year to ensure a smooth and orderly transition.

Kirk has spent more than 25 years in the software industry. In 1985 he joined the systems integration department at SDM International (now part of ACI Worldwide) where he participated in all aspects of the customization and installation of ATM/EFT products worldwide, including project management, software development, on-site installation, customer training and post-installation support.

Kirk co-founded Paragon Application Systems in 1994 with Bob Collins, Mark Medlin and Peter Sturgess. Their experiences installing financial systems around the globe made them realize the need for testing solutions to simplify and accelerate what was a repetitive, manual process. Today, Collins is the Vice President of Technology and Services at Paragon while Medlin serves as Vice President of Product Development. Sturgess retired from Paragon in 2007.

"We have grown our business in this community and the community has rewarded us with excellent employees and a great place to raise our families," says Kirk. "At this point in my life and career, I would like to spend the majority of my time giving back to that community in a volunteer capacity. Now is the time for that – both for me personally and the company as a whole. The momentum in our business has sustained itself for several years – even through a period of great economic upheaval. The future is bright for us. I'm fortunate both to have been a part of positioning the company for success, and to be able to move to my new role in the community confident that the company will continue to be successful under its new leadership."

Jim Perry has extensive global experience in the electronic payments industry. Jim was the Vice President and General Manager of SDM International for ten years, working there until ACI Worldwide acquired the company in 1999. He then spent seven years with ACI Worldwide as Vice President of Product Marketing and Global Alliances before joining Paragon Application Systems. As the Vice President of Sales and Marketing at Paragon, he has led the organization through six consecutive years of growth.

"Jim is a natural fit for our business and our future," said Kirk. "In his current role, he has worked daily with the entire management team to ensure that we achieve the sales goals required to sustain our continuing growth. Jim's personal traits fit with our company culture, which focuses on doing whatever is required to deliver solutions that meet the needs of our customers while maintaining a positive work environment for our staff. I am confident that Paragon will continue to realize its fullest potential with Jim in his new role."

"I am honored to be given the opportunity to serve our company in this new role," Perry said. "Gary has provided exceptional leadership for all of us. Bob and Mark continue to play a central role in helping us keep pace with the needs of our customers. This organization maintains a level of excellence second to none in my experience. I am very fortunate to be part of this great team and look forward to working with our customers and partners to continue delivering industry leading solutions."

The company announced Kirk's retirement plans to its employees last week from the Paragon headquarters in Holly Springs, North Carolina. Customers and prospects will be contacted to ensure they are informed of the management change and to answer any questions they may have.

"The beauty of working at a company the size of ours is that we all know each other very well," says Collins. "And we treat our customers as if they were part of our organization. We want to assure them that this will not change and encourage any who have questions to contact the management team."

"We have a lot more to give to our customers and the marketplace in general," Medlin said. "We will continue to invest in building innovative products that will offer users a new way to envision and manage their testing practices. Gary provided an environment for creating these types of products and Jim has played a central role in defining those products in his work with our customers."

About Paragon Application Systems

Paragon Application Systems is the leading, independent, global provider of ePayment simulation, configuration and testing software solutions to the financial industry. More than 590 financial institutions in over 85 countries use Paragon tools to improve quality and reduce time-to-market. Paragon's broad customer base includes major interchanges, processors, leading software providers, banks and credit unions. Visit Paragon Application Systems at www.paragonedge.com, follow our blog at www.emv411.com or email info@paragonedge.com.

CONTACT: Martha Engeman Marketing Manager mengeman@paragonedge.com +1-919-567-9890

Source: Paragon Application Systems