7 Questions With...

Jason Sweitzer, President, Tempus Technologies / Founder, Sweitzer Family Foundation
Apr 3, 2023
Jeffrey Crane
7 Questions With...

Jason Sweitzer has many titles. He’s the President of Tempus Technologies, which was acquired by PNC in 2021, where he serves as the Executive Vice President of Payment Strategy. He’s the founder of the Sweitzer Family Foundation, which supports the work of Fortify LEADS and Fortify Life in Auburn, Indiana. He’s also dad, husband and an avid traveler. We caught up with Jason and learned a bit about his background and work in the technology industry, his eagerness to help build leaders and reduce poverty through the foundation, and a bit about his family vacations too.

/ Q1: How did you become involved in the technology industry?
Tell us a bit about your career path and how you landed where you are today. I knew from a very early age that I was interested in technology. I got my first PC when I was in 7th grade. It had dual 5.25” floppy disk drives and had 512k of ram. A modern iPhone is thousands of times faster than that machine could ever hope to be. I was always interested in developing software and taught myself through reading, books, and trial and error. This was before Google and YouTube were around — before you could use those platforms to teach yourself anything. I chose to go to Purdue University and studied in the computer science program, and I started at Tempus full-time after I graduated. I worked through almost every position in the company until I became president. The company continued to grow and was eventually acquired by PNC. Since the acquisition, Tempus has grown and employs around 200, and another acquisition has added another 100+ employees that also report to me. On the PNC side of my job, my title is executive vice president of payments. 

/ Q2: Tempus Technologies created a secure payment processing system. In layman’s terms, what is PaymentMate®?
PaymentMate® is the brand of our technology platform. Think of our platform as a payment orchestration layer for enterprise companies. Most large organizations take multiple payment types (credit, debit, ACH, check, RTP, Paypal, Zelle, etc.) across multiple channels (online, in-store, mail-in and mobile). We have solutions for most of these payment types across multiple channels. The orchestration layer creates a one-stop-shop where companies can take many forms of payments across many different divisions of their companies in a standardized way, which allows for a lot of efficiencies of compliance, reconciliation and audit.

/ Q3: What drove you to start the Sweitzer Family Foundation?
What is the mission of the foundation and tell us about its work through Fortify LEADS and Fortify Life. When I was a kid, my family wasn’t well off. We certainly weren’t destitute, but we didn’t have spare cash for a lot of extras. I remember it being a financially big investment when I had to rent a trumpet for music lessons at $15/month. My parents worked hard and were resourceful, which are both traits that I’ve picked up as a result of that experience. Because of my upbringing, I knew that if I was ever in a position to do so, it was incredibly important to give back to the community and to care for those less fortunate. Once I sold Tempus, the time seemed right to make that investment back in the community.   

One of the ideas that I wanted to incorporate is what I call ‘catalytic philanthropy’. In a chemical reaction, a catalyst is something that either reduces the input costs of a reaction or makes a larger outcome. Our approach is to make platform investments in both infrastructure and people to enable a much larger outcome in our community. If we are able to spend $1 in payroll for a foundation employee and they organized 10 volunteers, the outcome is much greater than just spending $1 on a foundation employee performing the same task. It also brings the community into our mission and builds engagement.   

In the beginning, we spent several years in research mode with the foundation trying to understand root causes of poverty in our community. When we started to attempt to help people, we learned repeatedly that housing was in such acutely limited supply that working out of poverty was almost impossible in the absence of stable housing. We started Fortify Home, and bought and transformed a hotel as an infrastructure investment to provide homeless families in our communities a safe place to recover from scarcity in a way that is supported by resource services and case management.  

If you think of Fortify Life as one end of our community’s spectrum, Fortify LEADS is the other.   The concept of Fortify LEADS is to build the skills of leaders in our community. So many times, young leaders are pushed into leadership positions with little training. Our goal is to help them become more effective in their management and leadership skills, but also to understand and prepare them to be agents of change that care about the people in their communities. The overall hope is that if we can support both ends of our community from the least privileged to the most influential leaders, we’ll have a community that is led by people who care about the least fortunate.

/ Q4: Were you born and raised in Auburn, Indiana? What has kept you in this area?
I’m a native of Pennsylvania that came to Purdue in West Lafayette, Indiana and stayed. I love the small-town community that we have here in Auburn. It feels like it’s primed for greatness. As Fort Wayne grows north, it feels like with some investment it has the potential to become an even better place to live.

/ Q5: What do you do in your free time?
Between work, the foundation and home, free time is in pretty short supply; however, I do love to travel with my family. We enjoy exploring national parks and took our first international trip as a family this year. We will likely keep expanding those horizons as my kids are old enough to travel longer distances. 

/ Q6: What is most rewarding about the work you do through the Sweitzer Family Foundation?
I love hearing success stories that come out of the investments that we’ve made in the community. We routinely see people involved in Fortify Life make big improvements in their lives. Being able to be part of that journey with them is a privilege. We also routinely get feedback from LEADS cohort members who have told us how they are better leaders for having been through the program.  

/ Q7: What is one personal goal you have for yourself and how do you plan to achieve it?
We’ve made a really good start on both Fortify Life and Fortify LEADS, however, I really want to get them both to the point where they can scale and be replicated successfully. We’ve already seen interest in both programs from other communities trying to duplicate the work that we’ve done. Getting these programs to the point where they can become a much larger template for success across many communities would be an impact I would value far beyond any professional successes I’ve had. 

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