Electronic Clearing House names Karl Asplund SVP, sales

Source: Electronic Clearing House

Electronic Clearing House, Inc. (NASDAQ:ECHO), a leading provider of electronic payment and transaction processing services, announced today that Karl Asplund has joined the Company in the newly established position of Senior Vice President of Sales.

Mr. Asplund's background includes nearly 18 years of administrative, organizational and technical experience in the banking, electronic funds transfer and data processing industries. Before joining ECHO, Mr. Asplund was the Senior Vice President of Genpass Technologies in Irving, Texas. Prior to that, he served as Group Manager of Business Development for First USA/Paymentech in Dallas, Texas, and was the Founder and President of Merchant Card Management Systems in Newport Beach, California. Mr. Asplund's formal educational background includes a BS degree in biology/chemistry from Brigham Young University in Utah.

Commenting on the appointment of Karl Asplund, Chuck Harris, President and COO of Electronic Clearing House, said, "We are delighted that we were able to attract a highly experienced industry veteran to fill this very important position. In his new role, Karl will direct our sales development activity on a company-wide basis. Our position as one of the only processors offering a fully integrated credit and check solution to both the online and card-present markets represents a clear competitive advantage. Under Karl's leadership, a key imperative of our sales team will be to educate the marketplace about our ability to deliver this type of comprehensive payment processing solution."

As an inducement to Mr. Asplund's decision to enter into employment with ECHO, the Company agreed to enter into a restricted stock grant agreement whereby Mr. Asplund will be issued 10,000 shares of restricted stock. The shares will vest over a period of five years, with 2,000 shares vesting on the first anniversary of the effective date of the restricted stock grant agreement, and the remainder vesting annually over a period of four years. The vesting provisions will accelerate to the extent ECHO is acquired, merges with another company, sells all or substantially all of its assets, or otherwise enters into another similar transaction, in each case as set forth in the restricted stock grant agreement. Mr. Asplund will forfeit any portion of the shares not vested at the time that he ceases providing services to ECHO. The grant of shares was approved by the Compensation Committee of ECHO's Board of Directors.

Additionally, on March 13, 2006, Ryan Granard joined the Company as Vice President of Datacenter Operations. Ryan's professional career includes over 15 years of technology leadership with significant experience building and managing secure, high-availability, high transaction volume operations. As an inducement to Mr. Granard's decision to enter into employment with ECHO, the Company agreed to enter into a restricted stock grant agreement whereby Mr. Granard will be issued 5,000 shares of restricted stock. The shares will vest over a period of five years, with 1,000 shares vesting on the first anniversary of the effective date of the restricted stock grant agreement, and the remainder vesting annually over a period of four years. The vesting provisions will accelerate to the extent ECHO is acquired, merges with another company, sells all or substantially all of its assets, or otherwise enters into another similar transaction, in each case as set forth in the restricted stock grant agreement. Mr. Granard will forfeit any portion of the shares not vested at the time that he ceases providing services to ECHO. The grant of shares was approved by the Compensation Committee of ECHO's Board of Directors.

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