Erin Patrice O'Brien
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Some of these leaders are new to their roles, while others have been in theirs for years. But one thing they all have in common is that they are commanding attention.

None more so than Mary Mack, who tops the list of the 25 Women to Watch for 2017.

Mack is the head of community banking at the embattled Wells Fargo, which is working to recover from a disastrous scandal in which employees created millions of phony accounts to meet aggressive sales targets.

It has fallen on Mack to convince front-line employees — along with customers and regulators — that Wells is a changed company.

Thasunda Duckett ascends to the No. 2 spot on the Watch list, with her appointment as chief executive of consumer banking at JPMorgan Chase, while Ellen Patterson, the general counsel at TD Bank, jumps to No. 5, as she takes on the additional title of general counsel at its Toronto-based parent company, TD Bank Group.

Two technology leaders — Heather Cox and Yolande Piazza — also rank high. Cox is in the newly created role of chief technology and digital officer at USAA. Piazza, who is Cox's successor as CEO of Citi FinTech, is appearing on the Watch list for the first time.

Jennifer Smith, the chief information officer at Zions Bancorp., is another tech leader who is new to the ranking. Smith is overseeing a multiyear core conversion, which is significant not just because it is the largest tech project in Zions' history, but because few other banks have even dared to attempt one.

In all, six of the 25 Women to Watch are making their debuts on the list this year. Besides Piazza and Smith, these include BMO Harris Bank's Alex Dousmanis-Curtis, TD Bank's Jane Russell, and BNY Mellon's Monique Herena and Paulette Mullings Bradnock.

Two others, who have been on the list in the past, but not last year, are returning – Julianne Thurlow of Reading Cooperative Bank and Janet Garufis of Montecito Bank & Trust.

There are five community bankers on the list overall — which might be a record.

This group includes Mary Ann Scully of Howard Bancorp, Jill Castilla of Citizens Bank of Edmond and Laura Lee Stewart of Sound Community Bank, along with Thurlow and Garufis.

Click through the slideshow to see the full Women to Watch ranking.

Make sure to check out this year's other rankings:
Most Powerful Women in Banking
Most Powerful Women in Finance


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