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BlackBerrys, iPods, iPhones Among Bank CIOs' Favorite Gadgets for Work, Play

BS&T's Elite 8 indicate that the BlackBerry is the boon -- and bane -- of every bank technologist's life.

Sara Pelaez
"I'm not as wired as other technology folks may be, but I need to have my BlackBerry. ... [Coworkers] joke about my technology officer and me if we're e-mailing each other at work at 10:30 or 11 at night. I can't live without my BlackBerry, but I do try to keep a balance."

James Yee
Yee doesn't believe that the "Crackberry" culture is a good thing. "People are missing out on so much in their lives and relationships," he says.

That said, Yee has a home theater system -- but don't expect to find him listening to an iPod. "I'm a musician. ... When I want to hear music, I either play it myself or [listen to it] on my stereo," he explains. Active in traditional Chinese opera, Yee also has home recording equipment.

Shane Loper
Loper can't decide what his favorite tech tool is, but his gadget time runs the gamut from a BlackBerry to social networking sites. "I just got a Facebook page," he says. "I want to get on there and understand what that's about -- who is using it and how. The next generation is using social networking sites for communication, and there's an opportunity for us as a banking entity to acquire new customers that way."

Loper is also a runner -- with his iPod at his side. However, when he really wants to unwind, he hops aboard his powerboat. "We have some barrier islands offshore, and I spend a lot of time there with my family, fishing."

Mary Campbell
As someone who has lived abroad for the past two and a half years, Campbell explains, "I rely heavily on my PDA, which allows me to stay in contact by phone or e-mail with my office -- as well as my family and friends."

Steven Kietz
"My favorite toy is my iPod, but I think my BlackBerry would be jealous to hear me say that!" Kietz says. "I have a 160GB iPod filled with about 140GB of stuff." That stuff includes digital content from the six computers in his home, various CDs and iTunes downloads -- including about 2,000 podcasts, he explains. Kietz notes that his iPod features an eclectic mix of artists, and the Grateful Dead top his most recently played list.

Brenda Rideout
"My favorite tool is the BlackBerry. It's not nearly as obtrusive as a cell phone -- you're interrupted and have to deal with [a cell phone] at that moment, whereas the BlackBerry really allows you to stay in touch and send out e-mails at a convenient time."

Wayne Mekjian
"I dislike technology, in a way," Mekjian reveals. "Now the devices go with you. ... You're never by yourself, except on an island without satellite."

However, he admits, "I love GPS [global positioning satellite] technology," adding that when GPS is embedded in tools such as cell phones, "having communication and navigation in one device is great. ... Then, if you tie in video, audio and data -- that's the future. So my toy right now is the iPhone."

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