Professionals in the e-commerce fraud industry lost a passionate champion and joyful presence this week. Ryan Wilk and his wife Elsa were passengers aboard one of two sightseeing planes that collided near Ketchikan, Alaska on Monday. Ryan served many roles in the space—first as a fraud manager on the merchant side for Universal and StubHub, and later as an advocate for emerging fraud-fighting technology with NuData Security. Most recently, Ryan brought his expertise to Mastercard when NuData was acquired by the payment network in 2017.
At each stop, his ready smile and his complete dedication to the notion that sharing information freely and widely was the surest way to successfully fight fraud made an impression on his peers. That dedication was one of the reasons Card Not Present and CNP Expo have survived and thrived.
“At the 2013 CNP Expo,” recalls Steve Casco, founder of Card Not Present, “Jennifer and I shook hands with everyone as they were leaving. Ryan waited until the very end to come up to us, compliment us on what we had done, and encourage us to dream even bigger for the next year, while vowing to help us out in any way he could. Facing each moment with enthusiasm, integrity and openness will be how we remember him and should be an inspiration for anyone."
Ryan followed through on his promise, helping us to connect with fellow merchants, speaking at our event or lending his expertise commenting for news articles. He worked tirelessly with us and others to make sure education was a priority in the community. He was a pro, but not defined by his profession.
“Ryan’s impact extended far beyond the business,” his colleagues at Mastercard said in a statement. “He was well-known, liked and respected across the industry, and many of you knew him personally. He was passionate about doing the right thing, and was always ready to assist anyone in need. We extend our most heartfelt sympathies to Ryan’s family and friends, and our thoughts are with them at this difficult time. He is greatly missed by all of us.”