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Piehler Plans Retirement

Last year's Elite 8 honorees continue to pursue technology excellence and innovation.

After more than 20 years with Northwestern Mutual (Milwaukee), Barbara Piehler, SVP of information systems and CIO, will retire at the end of January 2006. "I'm looking forward to it - I need to fill out that work/life balance," she says.

But before the 2004 Elite 8 recipient calls it a career and begins spending more time with her grandchildren, she is committed to developing Northwestern Mutual's infrastructure. Pressing jobs currently in Piehler's mix include completing a back-office platform for Northwestern Mutual's investment business and managing projects for Sarbanes-Oxley compliance in 2006. "Teamwork is how we get projects done," she says.

Piehler attributes her success to her curiosity, leadership and collaboration with colleagues. "I am always eager to learn and try to find answers to a problem, and I like to motivate people to get the job done," she explains.

Piehler, who became CIO in 2002, will relinquish her role to Greg Oberland, current SVP, insurance operations. "I will miss all the people I've worked with all of this time and ... watching them grow and develop," she says.

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