CIO On A Mission At The American Cancer Society

October 23, 2013 7:18 AM

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Jay Ferro joined the American Cancer Society with a very personal connection to the disease. He lost his wife to cervical cancer in early 2007. She had, in many ways been his inspiration to become a CIO, as she was his cheerleader, and someone on whom he could lean as he pursued an MBA while working full-time. He established a foundation in her honor called Priscilla’s Promise. Despite his connection to the disease, he did not actively seek this opportunity. He had been a CIO twice over, once at a division of AIG, and later at AdCare Health Systems. When he was approached to join the team, he had many of the preconceptions (and as he later learned, they were truly misconceptions) about non-profit organizations and their ability to drive value efficiently.

In fact, as Ferro notes in my interview with him herein, he would be called upon to drive just such a transformation. American Cancer Society’ s IT department had been very diverse, and therefore very inefficient. In his first 100 days, a big part of the plan that he created was to develop more of a...

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