Data Security Champion Dies

Chevron’s Seki led PCATS push for greater data security efforts

Published in CSP Daily News

By  Angel Abcede, Senior Editor/Content Development Coordinator

SAN RAMON, Calif. -- Soft spoken personally, but tenacious in her commitment to data security within the retail petroleum and convenience channel, Ann Seki played an active part in educating and encouraging the industry to adopt greater data-security measures.

Seki, 56, the PCI program manager for San Ramon, Calif.-based Chevron Corp., passed away unexpectedly in her home last month. Chevron did not respond to requests for further information by press time.

Industry colleagues describe her as a “dedicated champion” of data security. At her passing she chaired the data security committee for NACS’ Petroleum Convenience Association for Technology Standards (PCATS), Alexandria, Va.

“She was a tireless advocate for retailers,” said Gray Taylor, executive director for PCATS. “Her leadership had great impact on our industry’s ability to mitigate data-breach risk, and her work is being used as a template across retail segments as a best practice.”

He added that without her leadership, the industry would be much less prepared to take on the challenges of protecting card data.
Ann was a “quiet advocate” for a number of causes, Taylor recalled. She once grew her hair so she could donate it to women undergoing chemotherapy.

She was also a motivational resource for PCATS, Taylor said. As an avid golfer and member of the Chevron Golf Team, Ann founded the annual tradition of a round of golf at PCATS’ yearly conference. “With Ann’s passing, I suspect this year’s event will have a decidedly different tone,” he said, asking that PCATS members and the industry overall to “take a moment to reflect on Ann and celebrate her contributions to life and our industry.”

Industry colleague, Shekar Swamy of Omega ATC, Ellisville, Mo., expressed sorrow over Seki’s passing. “She was a dedicated individual and spurred us all into action in her own way,” he said. “I worked with her closely in the data security committee with late night and early morning discussions about the meetings and the agenda. The three-hour time difference was inconsequential to her. She was committed to PCATS and ensuring that the meetings were productive. Indeed, she was low key and friendly. Surely, I will miss her and her presence at PCATS. Her contribution to PCATS and all of us is remarkable.”

A resident of Castro Valley, Calif., Seki passed away on Jan. 9, 2014, according to the website, RememberingCa.us. Seki was born on May 11, 1957 in Hawaii, the only daughter of Yoneichi and Yoshiko Seki. A large part of her career was a systems engineer for Chevron Corp. She also enjoyed traveling, spending time with loved ones and supporting various charities.

She is survived by her mother and brothers, Carey and Mark Seki, all from Hawaii, where she was laid to rest. CSP sends its condolences to friends and family.

By Angel Abcede, Senior Editor/Content Development Coordinator
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