My name is Mark Cummuta, and I am the new author of CIO Job Search: A Real Life Chronicle. I recently began a search for a new CIO position, and today I begin publicly documenting my quest for my next job. Let me share with you how I got to where I am today.
I’ve been working for a Chicago-based community bank as its director of business systems and information security officer and as CIO of its mortgage banking division. The bank hired me in February 2006 as a strategic management consultant charged with researching market opportunities to start the mortgage banking division I now lead and will soon be leaving (we are still negotiating my last day, but it will likely be this month – August). With an IT team at a high of 12, I worked with our executive team and helped build the mortgage banking division to profitability in three months and to nearly $40 million per month in gross sales within a year. That kind of success in a severe industry downturn is good and bad: The entire division was acquired by a larger firm, which is why I’m leaving the company. I am voluntarily stepping down because the bank’s remaining IT needs will no longer need someone at my level.
Knowing my division was going to be acquired, I brushed up my resume, started networking more actively and did some soul-searching. I’ll elaborate on those three activities in future posts.
I would love to find an opportunity supporting the US military, defense, intelligence or aerospace communities, having served as a US Marine from 1983 to 1989. I am also targeting the financial services industry where I earned over half my experience. I’ve posted my resume on executive and military web sites, such as TheLadders.com, ChiefMonster.com and MilitaryHire.com. I’m also letting my network of friends, executive recruiters, previous employers and clients know of my availability for a new position anywhere in the US.
I have been in IT for nearly 25 years, with 10 of those years in senior and executive level management roles (i.e., CIO, VP, regional group director and technology services practice leader), including CTO for two software firms. I have used the leadership and team-building skills I honed in the Marines to successfully manage IT budgets over $10 million and multinational, cross-functional projects and teams.
Over the past 10 to 12 years I have been involved in the full lifecycle of organizations, from startup to closure with natural and rapid expansion and M&As in between. I’ve consulted on and personally weathered more than half a dozen M&A deals, both as the acquirer and as the acquired firm. I’ve taken on challenges that have succeeded and ones that have failed, and learned a lot through both. Funny thing: I recall promising my wife on the night I proposed to her nearly 20 years ago that she would never live another dull moment in her life with me. Thanks to my career, I’ve certainly kept that promise.
Throughout my career, I have worked in a variety of industries, including IT, defense, financial services, insurance, logistics, legal, marketing, and travel. I completed my bachelor’s degree in business with a minor in computer science, earned a dual MBA in finance and international business, and I even have one year of law school under my belt. Then in 1993 my tongue-in-cheek goal of becoming a 21st century Aristotle took a decidedly unexpected turn when I became a father to triplets!
In writing this blog, I am taking the advice of a new networking contact, Mr. Bill Vick, who advised me to actively market myself. (Mr.Vick gave me some other brilliant networking tips which I will share with you over the coming blog entries.) And as Bill Crowell did here previously, I am using my real name and presenting my personal and professional experiences so that I can connect with you and so that we can exchange meaningful lessons and advice. I hope you’ll give me feedback on my search efforts. If you have any ideas, comments or topics you would like to share, let me know.
I look forward to sharing this process with you and hearing from you.