33 Rising Stars

Fri, July 15, 2005


Ash Brooks, 42, VP, IT Infrastructure and Operations, Arrow Electronics

; In just a short time, Ash Brooks has completed several hefty infrastructure projects, all with significant ROI; he has been given charge of Arrow Electronics’ vendor management office; and he has instituted a regular benchmarking process for IT infrastructure costs. Brooks supervises 200 IT employees (who in turn support 12,000 end users), and somehow still found the time to earn an MBA with honors. A comment from CIO Mark Settle sums up Brooks’ "legendary" multitasking skills: "Whenever Ash commits to getting something done, it gets done."

Michael Carlson, 42, VP, Business Transformation and Customer Value, Xcel Energy

; Michael Carlson’s most notable accomplishments at Xcel Energy have involved building teams and coalitions. Two examples: His participation was key to the success of Xcel’s utility of the future initiative with the company’s suppliers. And with his consensus-building skills, he turned around an analysis and reporting process implementation that had previously failed three times, and brought it to a successful conclusion in just six months. "[Mike] builds coalitions horizontally across the company better than anyone I’ve ever seen, while creating inspired teams within his own organization," says Xcel CIO Raymond Gogel.

Bill Chapman, 51, Senior VP and CTO, Avnet

; The list of Bill Chapman’s accomplishments reads like an index of IT’s major themes: alignment, ERP, contract management, systems consolidation, infrastructure integration, Web design. You name it, he’s probably done it—and always with significant cost savings and efficiency increases for Avnet. He also holds eight international patents. Yet, CIO Ed Kamins says, what is most compelling about Chapman as a leader is that despite his considerable past accomplishments, "he remains open to all possibilities that might improve his own effectiveness or that of the organization."

Cheryl Cohen, 43, Executive Director, Enterprise Systems, ManTech International

; A certain amount of fearlessness, in addition to an exemplary work ethic, is required when creating something new. Cheryl Cohen has done that several times at ManTech, starting with the position she now holds as well as the software development and customer service organization she leads—both of which did not exist before her tenure. She also took a moribund ERP implementation and revived it, remarkably completing it on the original timetable—the company’s IPO date, no less. And she nurtures a team environment where similar bold action is encouraged and celebrated, says company CIO David Spannare.

Daren Collins, 43, Director, Infrastructure IT, TransAlta

; By keeping himself on the leading edge of IT, Daren Collins has helped TransAlta become an industry leader in technology use. He supervised a complete redesign of the company’s architecture, and he and his group installed process controls, supervisory controls and data acquisition systems, wireless technology, document management and business warehouse systems, and a portal—all integrated seamlessly, and all increasing operational efficiency and reducing costs. No surprise then that Collins has the loyalty and trust of both IS and business leaders, and that TransAlta CIO Greg Wilson calls him his "right hand."

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