Heartland Payment Systems announced two promotions and a new high-level hire on June 18.

Robert H.B. Baldwin has been promoted to vice chairman. Baldwin was previously the Princeton, N.J., company's president. Michael A. Lawler has been promoted to president of the strategic markets group. He was previously Heartland's chief of corporate development.

David Gilbert, the chief operating officer for the National Restaurant Association, is joining Heartland as the president of its hospitality group.

"These executives will play extremely important roles in the company's future success," said Robert O. Carr, Heartland's chairman and CEO, in a press release. "Each one brings a breadth of skills and vast experience that will help lead Heartland through the next stage of its development as one of the country's leading payments processors."

Baldwin became Heartland's president in 2007, filling a position that had been vacant since before the company's public offering in 2005. He was previously Heartland's chief financial officer, and retained that title until last year, when the company hired a new CFO.

Baldwin was also one of the company's most prominent voices as it communicated its intentions following a major data breach in 2008. In the aftermath of the breach, Baldwin and other Heartland execs pushed for the use of end-to-end encryption to better protect card data.

Since the company already planned an encryption product at the time it discovered the breach, "the incident has accelerated our resolve to move forward on this," Baldwin said in a January 2009 interview.  Heartland launched the E3 encryption system in mid-2010 (see story).

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