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Class of 2000: Where Are They Now?

2001 has proved to be a particularly challenging year, in more ways than one. Here is what the Elite 8 2000 honorees have been up to.

McKinnon Continues Education

"I suppose continued employment is always a good thing!" says GEORGE MCKINNON, whose title of vice president and CIO, Nationwide Insurance, has remained the same over the past year. He also is continuing his education. "Even if you are considered a leader in your industry there is always room to grow," says McKinnon, who has enrolled in Stanford's Executive Education program to gain insight and expertise.

Since being named an Elite 8 CIO, McKinnon has joined the board of the United Way of Delaware County and of a Bay Area start-up. Nationwide Insurance has been named the Number-Three best place to work in IT by Computerworld. Asked to name his biggest professional accomplishments since receiving the award, McKinnon points to implementation of new platforms in the areas of billing, underwriting and claims.

Currently he is working on "Web Bench," which is a roadmap of the company's NIS (Nationwide Insurance Systems) strategy. "As an organization we're moving towards the Web-enablement of our complete set of tools," says McKinnon. "We also seek to continue our progress within the Capability Maturity Model."

Drucker Still Serves Insurance Industry

"I continue to work towards my vision of increased efficiency and superior customer experience in insurance operations," says MAX DRUCKER, partner, Steel Card, a boutique technology consulting firm.

A year ago, Drucker was chief information officer and vice president of operations for eCoverage, which earlier this year was unable to secure a third round of financing and had to shut down. The majority of eCoverage's technology team moved to Steel Card.

According to Drucker, he is currently focused on innovation in the insurance industry. He is looking forward to providing insurance companies with an entirely new way of selling and servicing P&C insurance to its customers. Drucker's biggest personal achievement since being named one of Insurance & Technology's Elite 8: He and his wife are expecting their first child in January.

Annis Focuses on the Web

Since being named to the Elite 8 Class of 2000, DAVID ANNIS has been named one of the premier 100 IT leaders by Computerworld. Annis, who remains senior vice president and chief information officer, information technology, The Hartford (Hartford), has spent the past year continuing to build out and enhance The Hartford's Web capabilities. "Portals and B2B capabilities built on a solid technical foundation are providing competitive benefits for the company," he says.

Annis has also worked on restructuring core IT functions to increase service and reduce cost. Another initiative is sponsoring the company's employee portal. "We're using portal technology to make it easy for employees to access a wide array of services and information to help them do their jobs effectively," according to Annis.

Murray's Responsibilities Expand

New York-based AIG Claims Services' KEVIN MURRAY feels that his biggest accomplishment during the past year was executing an unproven disaster/ business recovery plan following the September 11 attack on the United States. (AIG has numerous offices located within blocks of the World Trade Center; see special coverage, pg. 7).

"All business-critical systems were up and running by 10:00 am on Wednesday the following day as a result of teamwork within my organization," Murray says. Murray, who has acquired all IT accountabilities and responsibilities for AIG personal lines businesses in addition to his chief information officer and senior vice president responsibilities in Claims Services, is currently completing the conversion/ rebuilding of all client/server business-critical applications to true thin-client applications.

"We are currently 70 percent complete and plan to be 100 percent complete this time next year," says Murray. "This includes the execution of our total cost of ownership expense reduction, wireless deployment and document management/image deployment." Murray's future initiatives include the expansion of wireless, voice recognition and image/ICR deployment.

Billis Goes Global

LEON BILLIS, formerly the vice president and chief information officer of AXA Client Solutions (New York), is now the deputy group chief information officer for the global AXA Group. Billis views determining the most effective method to provide infrastructure services globally to AXA companies as his biggest accomplishment since being named one of the Elite 8 2000.

The development and implementation of the plan, which includes everything except application development, is currently in the works, according to Billis.

Claudio Rakes in the Awards

At CECILIA CLAUDIO's Farmer's Group (Los Angeles), where she is senior vice president and chief information officer, the company has received the Computerworld Premier Award, which recognizes 100 IT Leaders in 2001. Also, Farmer's was named one of InformationWeek's Top 500 Organizations based on information technology.

Claudio's biggest professional accomplishments of the past year have included the creation of a more efficient and cost-effective IT organization and the formation of tighter relationships with business leaders within the organization.

Claudio is currently working on raising Farmer's Group's Capability Maturity Model (CMM) rating, as well as developing a new claims-handling system and an IP network project that will benefit agents. A global transparency initiative is also currently in the works. Claudio is evaluating current spending and renegotiating global agreements with key vendors. In the near future, she will work towards identifying new projects for simplifying applications and transitioning maintenance offshore.

Candito Responds to WTC Attacks

TONY CANDITO continues to hold the position of senior vice president for MetLife (New York). Since, at press time, some of MetLife's sales offices located in downtown Manhattan had been inaccessible since the terrorist attacks, "we had to create a new agency location and technology platform to get them back in business," says Candito. "Additionally, we helped expedite claims processing and changed certain administrative processes to help our representatives and our customers impacted by this tragedy."

Candito is currently working on paperless client acquisition processing, self-service delivery, legacy systems simplification and call center and administration desktop development.

MassMutual #92 in InfoWeek 500

CHRISTINE MODIE continues in her role as executive vice president and chief information officer MassMutual (Springfield, MA). MassMutual ranked 92 in InformationWeek's list of the top 500 organizations based on IT.

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