Title: Senior VP of bank operations and IT, MetroWest Bank, Framingham, MA

Newcomer: In this, her first job in financial services, Wood oversees three facets of MetroWest, a community bank that does business in the suburbs and small towns outside Boston. She manages the $914 million-asset bank's IT infrastructure, new call center and the bank's day-to-day operations. Her goal is to "ensure alignment between the IT strategy, IT operations and the bank's strategy."

Strategy: For MetroWest, that strategy is to differentiate itself from the giants dominating its market by offering a high level of personal service to consumers and small businesses. Technology plays a crucial role, especially in its ability to bring together customer information across traditional product and channel lines. Not that it's easy, Wood admits. "Understanding who customers are by sharing data across the bank is always a challenge."

Change: Fast-moving competition keeps a small bank like MetroWest on its toes. When Wood started out, in the late 1970s, companies planned their strategies out five to seven years. "Now, long-term planning is sometimes one year," she says. So she has to help the bank manage constant change and growth.

Background: Wood, 51, got her start as a cost accountant for Miles Laboratories. She worked for Digital Equipment and was a business process manager at NEC Technologies. Most recently, she was a principal consultant at PricewaterhouseCoopers in Boston, where she implemented enterprise resource planning systems for clients. In banking, she says, "the names of the technologies are different, but the idea is the same. You need to operate across the bank."

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