Midmarket IT Leadership Award Winners: 25 Champion CIOs

Our 2007 Midmarket IT Leadership Award honorees are competing in a high-risk, fast-growth world -- and winning. Meet the 25 recipients of our second annual leadership awards.

These 25 leaders are shaping business strategy at their companies with smart technology decisions. Meet our 2007 Midmarket IT award winners.

At midmarket companies, outstanding IT leadership gets noticed. It creates noise, stirs things up, gets people talking. It's the commotion of change -- the energy that surrounds innovative IT leaders taking charge at growing companies.

"When you're at a midmarket company like mine -- at a time when it's ready to make a change and really move toward technology -- you can feel that change under your feet," says CIO Maria Anzilotti of Houston's Camden Property Trust, a $635-million real estate firm. "You can feel every movement. That's very rewarding."

Before arriving at Camden, Anzilotti spent a good chunk of her IT career at Houston's $2-billion Dynegy Inc. "In large companies, it takes a long time before you feel you make a difference," she explains. Anzilotti recently tackled a prevalent problem for midmarket CIOs: rising utility costs. The Camden IT group designed and implemented a Web-based, centralized utility billing system for about $130,000, resulting in ROI within four months. This year, that in-house billing system will save Camden about $1.2 million. "In a midsized company, the challenge is making sure that when we reach a point of spending money on a project, we take it to completion."

Our 25 CIO Decisions Midmarket IT Leadership Award winners all use technology to deliver tangible, bottom-line benefits. Despite the reality of limited resources, these CIOs are creating the workforces and implementing the technologies necessary to compete in a global marketplace against larger, more powerful competitors. They were hired to re-engineer legacy systems or rescue key projects; to build new bridges between IT and the business; and, ultimately, to manage the sort of wild growth that happens only in the midmarket these days.

As a group, our 2007 award winners embody the vast diversity of midsized companies. They work in vertical industries ranging from health care, financial services and manufacturing to higher education and even a midsized division of the U.S. Army, where deputy CIO and Lt. Col. Zelma Anderson is rolling out the Web-based Advanced Collaborative Environment (ACE) for the Army's Future Combat Systems project. "Think of ACE as AOL on steroids," says Anderson -- extremely secure steroids, which are boosting this Army unit's ability to store and view documents and email.

Geographically, this year's winners are spread out across the U.S. and Canada, stretching from the North Shore Credit Union in Vancouver, British Columbia, to Multiquip Inc., a construction equipment company in Carson, Calif., and then to Lewiston, Maine, where V.I.P. Inc. Vice President of Information Systems Dan Grosz is in the midst of an enterprise-wide re-engineering project. He's leading the charge to enable New England's largest privately held auto parts company to grow beyond its 53 retail outlets.

"This is a company that's small enough to get things done quickly but big enough to roll out heavy-duty stuff, like a best-of-breed [supply chain] replenishment system from JDA Software, a SOA [service-oriented architecture] project and a new financial system," says Grosz. "This is an interesting place to be if you like corporate restructuring."

Like Anzilotti and several other winners, Grosz has career roots in a much larger company. Again and again, these CIOs say they were drawn to midmarket companies where they could make a difference. "Smaller companies are more agile, and they need to be more responsive to changes in the marketplace. Is that exciting for me? Sure," says Grosz, borrowing a well-worn phrase: "What doesn't kill you makes you stronger."

Winning Growth Strategies

Indeed, winning midmarket CIOs do some heavy lifting -- overhauling systems with small IT staffs and little money for training -- and they also perform some tricky balancing acts in managing rapid growth within tight budget constraints.

In Woodbury, N.Y., Veeco Instruments Inc. is aiming for that glorious $1-billion revenue goal to which so many midmarket companies aspire. Now a $450-million manufacturer of high-precision tools and high-tech components, Veeco has grown at 5% to 8% annually and expects this expansion to continue.

The growing life sciences market is accelerating demand for Veeco's precision tools, which are used in the manufacture and testing of microelectronic products. "Our tools are pretty amazing," says IT Director of Infrastructure Linda Chan. (One such tool -- Veeco's BioScope atomic force microscope -- was featured on a recent episode of CSI: Miami.)

In recent years, the company made 12 acquisitions that resulted in disparate legacy systems around the globe. That sort of growth meant that Chan's 15-member IT staff had a big job on its hands: a unified ERP system to manage the expansion. Chan oversaw the successful implementation of phase one of a global SAP project last year. "One of our greatest success stories is the implementation of the software on our own," she explains. "[SAP partner] itelligence helped us with the blueprinting phase and with getting our second site up and running. We were able to transfer knowledge to our own internal team and implement SAP in the Veeco facilities." The SAP Enterprise project is ongoing at Veeco's eight manufacturing sites and 12 international sales and distribution offices.

Like most midmarket CIOs, Fred Cook is managing growth at his company in the face of increasingly fierce competition. For him, it's all about grabbing market share and new customers for the $77-million North Shore Credit Union.

"In Vancouver, financial services are not for the faint of heart," says Cook, who joined the credit union in 2003, when assets totaled $600 million. Today, assets are approaching $2 billion, although the number of customers has grown by only 4%. Cook says this asset growth stems from a combination of better treasury management practices and improved customer retention using a "member intimacy" program that relies on several technologies, including a customer relationship management system from Pivotal Software, an enterprise content management system from FileNet/IBM and a Microsoft SQL server-based business intelligence system. While the industry-standard retention rate for customers is about 75%, North Shore is in the 90th percentile.

"We're all going after the same pockets. If you don't know where your value proposition lies, you'll get your lunch eaten," Cook says. Customers who walk into one of North Shore's branches get a personalized banking experience, complete with cappuccino service in the lobby and friendly tellers who greet customers by name (and match them with the photos that pop up alongside customer account information). "We've created more of a retail feel and flow," Cook says.

Without an experienced CIO at the helm, some growth spurts in the midmarket could overwhelm a small business. Take 40-year-old, family-owned Telecare Corp. In recent years, this $160-million provider of psychiatric care facilities based in Alameda, Calif., has grown to become one of the largest providers of adult mental health services in the country and now has 50 offices in five states.

With that growth, however, came an increasing sense of separation between remote offices and the home base. "People out in the field felt disconnected from the corporate office and from IT," says CIO Philip Chuang, who joined Telecare in early 2006. "We weren't even doing a great job of answering the phones." So Chuang created two "relationship manager" positions, recruiting people from business operations into IT to advise new facility staff. He halted the use of IT contractors at field offices and set up consistent IT processes across the company. He now sends some of his 22 home-office staffers out to the facilities as needed.

The CIO also revamped the field office "startup" procedure by designing a mobile training lab called Big Boy: a shipping crate filled with laptops, networking gear, peripherals and training materials. Every time a new field office gets ready to open (which happens about eight times each year), the Big Boy crate arrives with everything a training manager needs to get staffers ready (including bags of welcome chocolates).

When he mapped out the before-and-after metrics of opening a new office, Chuang could show his business colleagues that in 2005 only 37% of Telecare's new facilities were fully functional on opening day, compared with 100% in 2006. "IT really must integrate seamlessly with the business," he says. "Today we've got stronger, more personal relationships with facility staff in the field."

In Rescue Mode

Some of our winning executives were hired as turnaround experts who had to make tough decisions to align IT and business operations.

When Dan Grosz arrived at V.I.P. Inc., the six-person IT staff was essentially an unhappy help desk that had an "adversarial relationship" with the rest of the retail auto parts business. It was his job as VP of IS to re-fashion the technology staff into one with a customer service attitude.

Some staff could be retrained; some had to be replaced. A self-described "overcommunicator," Grosz set up an IT steering committee and invited managers from all of V.I.P.'s departments -- warehouse, store operations, finance and so on -- to join the discussion about the company's new IT roadmap.

"Now we have this amazing enterprise re-engineering effort under way," Grosz says. Over the past year, the company has launched several initiatives, including a wireless network in V.I.P.'s warehouse, a warehouse management system (running on Microsoft SQL Server 2005) and a new IT purchasing process that reduced average unit costs by 50%.

These days, Grosz and the IT department enjoy the support of many of V.I.P.'s business sponsors. "If you communicate with people clearly and consistently and make good arguments, they'll be on your side every time," Grosz says.

Not every failing project can be turned around, however, as CIO Erin Griffin of Loyola Marymount University (LMU) in Los Angeles discovered. Griffin joined the $240-million educational institution in late 2004, several months before the long-planned rollout of Maingate, a university-wide portal, to 9,400 users. From the beginning, the portal's lack of open or standard application programming interfaces made it difficult to integrate with other software, particularly the popular Blackboard Academic Suite, a Web-based course management system. "Every upgrade in either the portal or the programs integrated with it causes the integration to fail and requires re-programming," the CIO says.

Two LMU business professors actually use the Maingate project in their class as an example of "a terrible technology implementation," Griffin says with a sigh. "It's one of the risks in higher education: You are an incubator." But the decision to kill a project is a tough one, she says. "It's a very dollars-and-cents decision. You have to be willing to say, '(a) We've make a mistake, and (b) fixing it is going to cost us money.'" LMU will replace the portal with an Oracle product in a pilot project later this summer.

But Griffin doesn't just focus on what's broken. She secured $1 million in technology grants for LMU, and last year she launched a project portfolio management process that married so well with university budgeting practices that other departments are lining up to adopt it. She also partnered with the CIO at Bowdoin College in Maine to set up a creative bi-coastal disaster recovery solution.

"Emergency communication was the key business tool we wanted to have available in phase one of this project," says Griffin (who was interviewed for this story several weeks before the Virginia Tech campus shootings drew attention to the shortcomings of campus communication networks). "Now we've got the emergency Web sites and email/voice communications -- the ability to mass-dial parents and students alike -- set up so you could drop off from one [university] site to the other."

Next up on her agenda is taking a closer look at energy consumption in LMU's data centers. "Here in Southern California, that's a critical issue for us," she notes. "We're moving to blades and virtual servers versus the more traditional environment, which can create a huge energy savings: around 40% in relative costs."

Vendor Relationships That Matter

The crucible for great leadership is people skills: the ability to create strong relationships with IT staffers, business executives and vendors. In particular, as more industry players accelerate their efforts to sell IT products and services to midsized enterprises, vendor management has emerged as a prominent area of expertise.

"I tell my vendors, 'Hey, I understand margins, cost structures and business models,'" says Nick Christiano, CIO of $520-million Health Quest, a three-hospital health care system in New York's Hudson Valley area. "I also understand when I'm being lied to and not."

Having worked "both sides of the road" as a consultant and CIO, Christiano says it's important to have frank conversations about expectations for both sides of the relationship. "I lay out what we expect, and I promise I won't jerk them around," he says. "I will stay in scope and manage my side of the street, and they need to do the same."

Christiano demands a personal guarantee as well as a contractual one. "By the time my deal is done, I have all the CEO's numbers: home, cell and office. If there's a problem, I call my primary rep first, but then my next call is to his CEO," he says. "It's not a threat; it's a commitment. If something escalates to me and I have to get involved, the rep knows his president is going to be involved too."

At Toronto's $500-million Tridel Corp., CIO Ted Maulucci says he spends a "tremendous" amount of time crafting his supplier agreements. "I've got a checklist for the tightest agreement possible," he says. "You want to avoid fights and keep the relationship as pleasurable as possible."

Maulucci also takes time to socialize with his vendors and stays high on their radar screen. This relationship tending paid off recently when a core Cisco switch failed. "Within 15 minutes, I had someone at the doorstep," he recalls. "The entire company [was] down, and I knew this switch was old and going to die. My Cisco guy not only found this ancient part for me within an hour, but drove it here."

Joe Dempich knows how that kind of vendor attention pays off as well. The IT director for $95-million Parts Now LLC, a computer parts distributor in Middleton, Wis., enjoys similar responsiveness from Microsoft. He continues to nurture a connection with the software giant that stretches back more than 10 years, to when he was a prominent Great Plains customer (before the company was acquired by Microsoft).

"If you want to be a reputable IT operation, you get your ducks in a row and do your homework," Dempich says. "When I call Microsoft, they know not to run through every little thing with us, that Parts Now has done its homework. That's where the relationship starts."

All of our midmarket leaders take pride in their relationships with their own IT staffers and particularly in their ability to minimize employee turnover. Cognizant of the skills shortage, they take opportunities to develop talent to prevent strong staff from being stolen away. And they are determined to build communication bridges between the business and the technical side.

At North Shore, Cook has held numerous one-on-one, sessions with his 14-member IT staff, complete with a homework assignment for discussion. "I ask them to read an article in a tech magazine and come to talk to me about why it's relevant to our industry or to North Shore. We also talk about marriage, careers, training -- whatever's on their minds," Cook says. "I want to get them involved with their company, to see how they contribute to our success."

Maryfran Johnson, is the founding editor in chief of CIO Decisions. To comment on this story, email editor@ciodecisions.com.

The 25 Winners

Zelma A. Anderson Jr.
TITLE: Lt. Col. and Deputy CIO
COMPANY: U.S. Army
LOCATION: Newington, Va.
INDUSTRY: Army systems acquisition and development
REVENUE: N/A
EMPLOYEES: 2,000
IT STAFF: 200
2006 HIGHLIGHT: Launched Future Combat Systems Advanced Collaborative Environment
2007 CHALLENGE: Migrating commercial contractor information systems to a government facility
LEADERSHIP PHILOSOPHY: "I believe in management by wandering. I get out of my office to interact with the team as much as possible."
Maria E. Anzilotti
TITLE: VP of IT and CIO
COMPANY: Camden Property Trust
LOCATION: Houston
INDUSTRY: Construction and real estate
REVENUE: $635 million
EMPLOYEES: 1,866
IT STAFF: 32
2006 HIGHLIGHT: Completed a new data center with power and cooling redundancy
2007 CHALLENGE: Instituting new project management discipline
LEADERSHIP PHILOSOPHY: "One of the biggest rewards as a leader is to witness your staff mature in their careers. I am a big proponent of mentoring and training."
Gabriel Vincent Arcoleo
TITLE: Director of IT
COMPANY: Tanimura & Antle Inc.
LOCATION: Salinas, Calif.
INDUSTRY: Agriculture
REVENUE: $640 million
EMPLOYEES: 1,200
IT STAFF: 21
2006 HIGHLIGHT: Transferred all forklift PCs to a Linux kernel
2007 CHALLENGE: Launching a radio frequency identification (RFID) initiative
LEADERSHIP PHILOSOPHY: "My mentor taught me how to empower employees and allow growth by not micromanaging projects."
Linda Chan
TITLE: IT Director, Network Infrastructure
COMPANY: Veeco Instruments Inc.
LOCATION: Woodbury, N.Y.
INDUSTRY: Discrete manufacturing
REVENUE: $450 million
EMPLOYEES: 1,200
IT STAFF: 25
2006 HIGHLIGHT: Deployed an SAP enterprise resource planning (ERP) project
2007 CHALLENGE: Instituting all-new processes defined with best practices
LEADERSHIP PHILOSOPHY: "I demand and foster a quality team."
Nicholas Christiano Jr.
TITLE: VP and CIO
COMPANY: Health Quest
LOCATION: Poughkeepsie, N.Y.
INDUSTRY: Health care
REVENUE: $520 million
EMPLOYEES: 4,500
IT STAFF: 64
2006 HIGHLIGHT: Implemented wireless telephony and RFID tracking
2007 CHALLENGE: Integrating a cultural change model
LEADERSHIP PHILOSOPHY: "I'm an influence peddler combined with a consensus builder."
Philip Chuang
TITLE: CIO
COMPANY: Telecare Corp.
LOCATION: Alameda, Calif.
INDUSTRY: Health care
REVENUE: $160 million
EMPLOYEES: 2,300
IT STAFF: 22
2006 HIGHLIGHT: Created the Big Boy mobile training lab
2007 CHALLENGE: Addressing staffing
LEADERSHIP PHILOSOPHY: "I emphasize flexible schedules, and I'm sensitive to allocating fairly among the IT team."
Fred Cook
TITLE: CIO
COMPANY: North Shore Credit Union
LOCATION: Vancouver, British Columbia
INDUSTRY: Financial services
REVENUE: $77 million
EMPLOYEES: 316
IT STAFF: 14
2006 HIGHLIGHT: Deployed a customer relationship management (CRM) system
2007 CHALLENGE: Expanding an enterprise content management strategy
LEADERSHIP PHILOSOPHY: "I strive for a collaborative team setting that could be described as a loose ship with tight standards."
Joe J. Dempich
TITLE: IT Director
COMPANY: Parts Now LLC
LOCATION: Middleton, Wis.
INDUSTRY: Computer parts supply
REVENUE: $95 million
EMPLOYEES: 300
IT STAFF: 6
2006 HIGHLIGHT: Rolled out new facility operations
2007 CHALLENGE: Implementing a Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) project
LEADERSHIP PHILOSOPHY: "I believe good leadership is about clarity, and that requires face-to-face communication."
Erin A. Griffin
TITLE: VP of IT
COMPANY: Loyola Marymount University
LOCATION: Los Angeles
INDUSTRY: Higher education
REVENUE: $240 million
EMPLOYEES: 1,900 faculty and staff; 7,500 student users
IT STAFF: 65
2006 HIGHLIGHT: Developed a disaster recovery co-location project
2007 CHALLENGE: Managing power from a cost and environmental perspective
LEADERSHIP PHILOSOPHY: "I tend to be a very democratic leader. We foster creative and grass-roots contributions."
Dan Grosz
TITLE: VP of IS
COMPANY: V.I.P. Inc.
LOCATION: Lewiston, Maine
INDUSTRY: Retail automotive parts
REVENUE: $112 million
EMPLOYEES: 1,000
IT STAFF: 6
2006 HIGHLIGHT: Rolled out a wide area network and a Web-based ordering system
2007 CHALLENGE: Consolidating three systems into one point-of-sale system
LEADERSHIP PHILOSOPHY: "I don't view decisions as final and always re-examine fundamental assumptions."
Spencer W. Hamons
TITLE: Director and CIO
COMPANY: San Luis Valley Regional Medical Center
LOCATION: Alamosa, Colo.
INDUSTRY: Health care
REVENUE: $90 million
EMPLOYEES: 546
IT STAFF: 9
2006 HIGHLIGHT: Designed and constructed a 30,000-square-foot clinic addition
2007 CHALLENGE: Addressing staffing
LEADERSHIP PHILOSOPHY: "You cannot delegate responsibility. The responsibility is mine. Instead I delegate authority."
Michael P. Hanken
TITLE: General Manager of IT
COMPANY: Multiquip Inc.
LOCATION: Carson, Calif.
INDUSTRY: Construction equipment supply
REVENUE: $380 million
EMPLOYEES: 630
IT STAFF: 10
2006 HIGHLIGHT: Created a joint venture with UPS to re-design warehouse processes
2007 CHALLENGE: Upgrading an SAP ERP system
LEADERSHIP PHILOSOPHY: "We are a no-bureaucracy organization. Respect is earned through performance, and leadership is executed by setting the right example."
William C. Johnson
TITLE: VP, Global IT
COMPANY: Intergraph Corp.
LOCATION: Huntsville, Ala.
INDUSTRY: Software
REVENUE: More than $600 million
EMPLOYEES: 3,500
IT STAFF: 105
2006 HIGHLIGHT: Created a program management office
2007 CHALLENGE: Preparing the company for inorganic growth
LEADERSHIP PHILOSOPHY: "I listen, I surround myself with people smarter than I am, and I solicit their advice."
Mike Kelly
TITLE: CIO
COMPANY: Oncology Therapeutics Network
LOCATION: San Francisco
INDUSTRY: Pharmaceutical services
REVENUE: $3.5 billion
EMPLOYEES: 300
IT STAFF: 70
2006 HIGHLIGHT: Launched Lynx mobile, a Software as a Service project
2007 CHALLENGE: Deploying an SAP ERP system
LEADERSHIP PHILOSOPHY: "Lead by example, constantly engage with business peers, and encourage the IT team to as well."
Charles M. Livingston
TITLE: SVP of Technology
COMPANY: Exclusive Resorts LLC
LOCATION: Denver
INDUSTRY: Travel and hospitality
REVENUE: Less than $1 billion
EMPLOYEES: 260
IT STAFF: 23
2006 HIGHLIGHT: Integrated data for a 360-degree customer view
2007 CHALLENGE: Developing cradle-to-grave business intelligence
LEADERSHIP PHILOSOPHY: "My style, formally, would be 'participatory democratic.' I openly solicit feedback."
Shawn Mahoney
TITLE: VP and CIO
COMPANY: GID Investment Advisers LLC
LOCATION: Boston
INDUSTRY: Real estate investment and management
REVENUE: $200 million
EMPLOYEES: 400
IT STAFF: 11
2006 HIGHLIGHT: Deployed Web-based products for CRM enhancements
2007 CHALLENGE: Re-branding the company's Web site
LEADERSHIP PHILOSOPHY: "I operate under a no-surprises philosophy. I expect to be informed, and I keep IT staffers informed."
Ted Maulucci
TITLE: CIO
COMPANY: Tridel Corp.
LOCATION: Toronto
INDUSTRY: Real estate
REVENUE: $500 million
EMPLOYEES: 500
IT STAFF: 20
2006 HIGHLIGHT: Developed a custom application for a zero-invoice initiative to reduce the number of invoices and improve accuracy and efficiency
2007 CHALLENGE: Addressing staffing and resource management
LEADERSHIP PHILOSOPHY: "I spend a lot of time trying to learn people's strengths and to align their work roles to match what they do best."
Joseph B. McHugh
TITLE: Executive Deputy Director of Operations, Judicial IS
COMPANY: Maryland Administrative Office of the Courts
LOCATION: Annapolis, Md.
INDUSTRY: Government
REVENUE: $350 million
EMPLOYEES: 5,000
IT STAFF: 138
2006 HIGHLIGHT: Created a business continuity management system
2007 CHALLENGE: Deploying mobile technology
LEADERSHIP PHILOSOPHY: "Avoid autopilot, and encourage the ex-pression of ideas without fear of ridicule, criticism or punishment."
Michael O'Dell
TITLE: CIO
COMPANY: Pacific Coast Companies Inc.
LOCATION: Cordova, Calif.
INDUSTRY: Manufacturing building materials
REVENUE: More than $1 billion
EMPLOYEES: 4,000
IT STAFF: 49
2006 HIGHLIGHT: Deployed a VoIP and SharePoint project
2007 CHALLENGE: Instituting new project methodologies
LEADERSHIP PHILOSOPHY: "I tend to push people to achieve great things in a collaborative way."
Paul D. Roche Jr.
TITLE: CIO
COMPANY: Network Services Co.
LOCATION: Mt. Prospect, Ill.
INDUSTRY: Food service and packaging supplies distribution
REVENUE: $700 million
EMPLOYEES: 137
IT STAFF: 12
2006 HIGHLIGHT: Expanded data warehouse to identify key performance indicators
2007 CHALLENGE: Expanding infrastructure to accommodate growth
LEADERSHIP PHILOSOPHY: "I put a strong emphasis on coaching and developing my people. They know I understand their day-to-day roles."
Jeff Roggensack
TITLE: VP of IT
COMPANY: Alere Medical Inc.
LOCATION: Reno, Nev.
INDUSTRY: Health care
REVENUE: $61 million
EMPLOYEES: 250
IT STAFF: 30
2006 HIGHLIGHT: Replaced legacy systems to support a new product line
2007 CHALLENGE: Addressing data center staffing
LEADERSHIP PHILOSOPHY: "A steady, guiding hand. Calm, optimistic, easygoing is my style."
Akhil Tripathi
TITLE: SVP and CIO
COMPANY: Harleysville Group Inc.
LOCATION: Harleysville, Pa.
INDUSTRY: Insurance
REVENUE: $1.25 billion
EMPLOYEES: 2,000
IT STAFF: 250
2006 HIGHLIGHT: Launched a new agent portal
2007 CHALLENGE: Creating a new policy-administration system
LEADERSHIP PHILOSOPHY: "To help alleviate employee fears, I conduct IT town-hall meetings to get questions answered."
Debra L. Varner
TITLE: IT Director, Application Development
COMPANY: AAA Life Insurance Co.
LOCATION: Livonia, Mich.
INDUSTRY: Life insurance
REVENUE: $215 million
EMPLOYEES: 342
IT STAFF: 66
2006 HIGHLIGHT: Launched an enterprise content management project
2007 CHALLENGE: Instituting project management methodologies
LEADERSHIP PHILOSOPHY: "I believe in leading by example, being visible, engaged, approachable and responsive. I force myself to step back and allow others to take the lead to promote their growth."
Ron A. Wells
TITLE: CIO
COMPANY: Butterball LLC
LOCATION: Mt. Olive, N.C.
INDUSTRY: Turkey processing
REVENUE: $500 million
EMPLOYEES: 5,200
IT STAFF: 18
2006 HIGHLIGHT: Instituted a new data collection system on the plant floor
2007 CHALLENGE: Standardizing after an acquisition
LEADERSHIP PHILOSOPHY: "I make sure executive management is aware of the accomplishments of my team members."
Doug Wenger
TITLE: SVP and CIO
COMPANY: Omnova Solutions Inc.
LOCATION: Fairlawn, Ohio
INDUSTRY: Chemical manufacturing
REVENUE: $700 million
EMPLOYEES: 1,700
IT STAFF: 40
2006 HIGHLIGHT: IT won the company's customer service award for the first time.
2007 CHALLENGE: Widening an SAP ERP system to the Decorative Products unit
LEADERSHIP PHILOSOPHY: "I'm hands-on. I'm willing to do anything that I ask my teammates to do. I give staff an opportunity to provide input on key decisions."
 


METHODOLOGY: CIO Decisions launched the Midmarket IT Leadership Awards program in December 2005. This year's nomination process began in January 2007 and included a short Web-based questionnaire filled out by the nominator and a longer questionnaire completed by the nominee, with a total of 160 nominees. This form included five essay questions on the following topics: leadership style; most successful relationship with a business colleague; the initiatives applicants had launched in the past year that successfully aligned IT with business goals; the measurable results of those initiatives; and how applicants would resolve upcoming challenges. A judging panel then scored the nominations, rating each essay question equally (for judging panel, see below).

JUDGING COMMITTEE CO-CHAIRS: Joyce Chutchian, editorial director, SearchCIO.com and SearchSMB.com; Anne McCrory, editorial director, CIO Decisions magazine and chair, CIO Decisions Conference

JUDGES: John Bowden, CIO, Lifetime Products Inc.; Barry Brunetto, VP of IS, Oregon Cutting Systems Group, Blount International Inc.; Tony Habash, CIO, American Psychological Association; Bonnie Hardy, VP of shared services, Slade Gorton & Co. Inc.; Tim McCracken, vice chairman and national practice leader, Technology Leadership Practice, Tatum LLC; Ellen O'Brien, senior editor, CIO Decisions magazine; and Mykolas Rambus, partner, KahlePartners.

This was first published in July 2007

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