Blackhawk Network Appoints Senior Vice President

Seasoned Veteran Brings Over 30 Years of Experience in Financial Services Roles

PLEASANTON, Calif.--( Network, a market leader in card-based financial solutions and the largest provider of third-party gift cards in the United States and Canada, announced today the appointment of Mari Ellis as senior vice president. Ms. Ellis joins Blackhawk Network to support its continual growth in markets and product offerings.

"Mari brings in-depth knowledge and understanding of the financial services industry, which makes her distinctively qualified to serve in this new role," said Don Kingsborough, chief executive officer of Blackhawk Network. "She will play a critical role in the development and implementation of new products that will serve consumers within our more than 60,000 retail network locations."

Ms. Ellis joins Blackhawk Network with over thirty years of experience leading financial services companies. Most recently, Ms. Ellis served as chief operations officer for the prepaid services group at First Data Corporation, a leading provider of electronic commerce and payment solutions for businesses worldwide. And, prior to joining First Data, Ms. Ellis was a pioneer of stored value products and technology with American Express, a leading global payments, network and travel company. Her past experiences in technology leadership, new business development, acquisition integration and operational management made her the ideal candidate for Blackhawk Network.

About Blackhawk Network

Blackhawk Network, a subsidiary of Safeway Inc., is a prepaid and payments network, a market leader in card-based financial solutions and the largest provider of third-party prepaid cards. Blackhawk Network develops unique products in easy-to-use formats and delivers them to consumers through an exclusive retail network of leading grocery, mass, convenience, drug and specialty retailers. The network includes more than 60,000 store fronts and reaches more than 135 million consumers each week. Headquartered in Pleasanton, California, Blackhawk Network has offices in the United States, Canada and the United Kingdom.

Safeway, Inc.
Brian Dowling, 925-467-3787
Blackhawk Network
Teri Llach, 925-226-9028
MWW Group
Meghan Fintland, 415-395-5906