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The call for entries for the Barlow Research 2010 Monarch Innovation Awards, which recognize financial institutions and vendors that provide innovative products to business customers, is in full swing and the deadline for submissions is fast approaching on December 4, 2009. Past winners of the Monarch Innovation Awards include Bank of America’s Small Business Online Community, Wells Fargo’s Spending Report with Budget Watch, SunTrust’s Fraud Inspector and Digital Insight’s Small Business FinanceWorks.

Barlow Research is honored to announce the selection of four distinguished judges for the 2010 Monarch Innovation Awards. This year’s judges are:

John O’Connor, Partner, Praxis Advisors, LLC. Over the past 20 years, John has worked and managed hundreds of consulting engagements for financial institutions ranging in asset size from $50 million to more than $1 trillion. He has extensive project management experience and has managed various engagements including operational consolidations, financial and organizational analyses and productivity improvements; with a major emphasis on multi-bank consolidations, credit policy, workflow re-engineering, improved productivity, financial analysis, system automation, collections/workout/recovery, customer service and expense reduction.

Robert Seiwert, Sr. VP at the American Bankers Association Center for Commercial Lending and Business Banking. Bob is responsible for developing and managing ABA’s Center for Commercial Lending and Business Banking. Prior to entering into the trade association world, Bob was a commercial banker. During his 30-year banking career, he served in various line and staff positions. He has extensive experience in the areas of commercial lending, sales and marketing, executive education and strategy development.

Jack Hubbard, Chairman, St. Meyer & Hubbard, Inc. Jack Hubbard has helped craft and sustain more than 100 Business Banking Performance Culture initiatives in banks from $150 million to three of the nation’s top five. A bestselling author, lecturer and classroom instructor, Jack’s three decades in banking and consulting make him widely accepted as an industry expert in sales and sales management initiatives. With more than 62,000 Middle Market and Small Business bankers personally trained and coached, he is one of America’s most prolific and sought after facilitators.

Eric Cook, Certified Internet Business Consultant, WSI Internet Consulting, works with financial institutions and other organizations with Web development and online marketing initiatives, ensuring that the Internet is used as a strategic business and marketing tool. Prior to dedicating his career to the digital arena, Eric held a variety of positions in the community banking sector, most recently as COO and Regional President. With over 15 years of banking experience, he is a graduate and now faculty member at the Graduate School of Banking at the University of Wisconsin, Madison, and regularly speaks at industry association meetings across the country on technology, Internet marketing and social networking.

The judges will rigorously evaluate the Monarch Innovation nominations based on five key categories: uniqueness, stickiness, defendability, value and ease of use. Each of the judges’ area of expertise will lend itself to the evaluation process, reviewing each nomination from a different point of view.

Financial institutions that offer services to business customers and vendors supplying products/services to financial institutions or directly to business customers are eligible to enter. Nominations will be accepted from banks for the product and feature categories. Vendors may nominate their products and features under the Industry Partner category. Organizations interested in making a nomination can obtain more information from www.MonarchInnovationAwards.com or by calling 763-253-1825.

About The Monarch Innovation Awards:

Developed to recognize innovation in the financial services industry, the Monarch Innovation Awards are the first award of their kind. The award is named after the monarch to symbolize the rebirth that results when old formulas and methods give way to new ways of doing things. www.MonarchInnovationAwards.com

About Barlow Research Associates, Inc. (BRAI):

Barlow Research Associates, Inc. was founded in 1980 to provide research and consulting services to the banking industry in the U.S. and overseas. BRAI specializes in custom research projects and strategic consulting and has also developed a widely used proprietary product in the Customer Relationship Audit® (CRA), a customer satisfaction research tool designed to provide actionable data at all levels of the bank. BRAI has a wide range of experience in many financial markets, most notably the middle market and small business market. BRAI knows the questions to ask and the issues to probe. www.BarlowResearch.com.

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