Tom Schwaninger has worked in several industries, and has always felt most comfortable where IT can play a differentiating role. "Historically that's been the case in the financial services industry, which has traditionally been higher in spending on IT," he says. Having worked for companies as diverse as motion picture manufacturer and distributor Technicolor; Bekins Co., a moving and storage business; and First Interstate Bank, Schwaninger served in the insurance industry as senior vice president and CIO of Aetna International from 1996 to 2001.
"When Aetna sold the international division to ING, I started thinking of other opportunities," Schwaninger recalls. "I wanted to find something where I could use and continue to develop my skills and experiences as an IT manager, while putting myself in an environment where they could do some good."
Schwaninger found such an opportunity with the American Red Cross (Washington, DC), which he joined as senior VP and CIO in August 2001. There are obvious differences between for-profit and non-profit enterprises, but there are some striking similarities between the Red Cross and an insurance business, Schwaninger suggests. In addition to being-like Aetna-more than a century old, the Red Cross "is as vast and diverse an organization as any you'll see in a large financial services supermarket type of a company."
Anthony O'Donnell has covered technology in the insurance industry since 2000, when he joined the editorial staff of Insurance & Technology. As an editor and reporter for I&T and the InformationWeek Financial Services of TechWeb he has written on all areas of information ... View Full Bio