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Kathy Burger
Kathy Burger
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Elite 8 2010: Renewal of Faith

The 2010 Elite 8 have been tested by the serious financial and economic challenges of the past few years, seen their own roles change dramatically and have had to make sense of astounding technology innovations.

Change is a constant in the business technology world, but one thing never changes -- the challenge of being a successful leader. Even as the economy stabilizes and signs of growth return to the business world, life remains uncertain and risky at the C level. Executive turnover continues to dominate the headlines -- sometimes because of changing market conditions or skills sets that haven't kept up with the demands of the business; other times it has to do with actions that are questionable or don't conform to company policy. Whatever the circumstance, in today's high-scrutiny/high-transparency, zero-tolerance business environment, there's no room for error.

But just when you're about to become completely cynical about the failures of leadership and all the drama that goes with them, along comes Bank Systems & Technology's 2010 Elite 8 honorees, a roster of some of the most effective and innovative senior technology executives in the banking industry, to renew your faith. This year's profiles provide insights into leaders who have been tested by the serious financial and economic challenges of the past few years, who have seen their own roles change dramatically and who have had to make sense of astounding technology innovations.

Rather than being intimidated, however, these executives are newly energized by the opportunities ahead for their organizations. Developments that might frustrate or discourage some executives -- including the new emphasis on personalized, interactive, real-time customer experience; the expansion of banking platforms and channels; new security threats; and more-complex regulation -- clearly are inspiring our Class of 2010. One of this year's honorees, Paul Johnson, EVP and CIO of BB&T, describes the demands on the top technology post succinctly: "This is not a spectator sport."

Whether they are engaged in testing new ways to support complex transactions, developing innovative yet reliable channels for driving growth or simply getting more out of IT budget dollars, this year's Elite 8 executives represent a positive and encouraging trend in banking IT management. Their focus and accomplishments are in keeping with the "New Beginnings" theme of BS&T's 5th Annual Executive Summit (Oct. 3-6, The Grand Del Mar, San Diego), where they will be recognized at our annual awards dinner. This year's Executive Summit will explore the ways innovative financial institutions are optimizing products, pricing and delivery to improve market share, retention and profitability -- mandates that the 2010 Elite 8 honorees understand very well. Leadership starts here:

George TumasBruce Livesay Anthony DiSantoJerry Hermes Colin EcclesJohn Itokazu Paul JohnsonJeff Dennes

Also from the Elite 8 Issue:

Customer Centricity Key as Banks Emerge from Crisis

Q&A: How Wayne Mekjian, IS Head at Wells Fargo, Finds Time to Innovate

Elite 8 2009: Where Are They Now?

Katherine Burger is Editorial Director of Bank Systems & Technology and Insurance & Technology, members of UBM TechWeb's InformationWeek Financial Services. She assumed leadership of Bank Systems & Technology in 2003 and of Insurance & Technology in 1991. In addition to ... View Full Bio

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