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Next Generation: Michael Wisler, M&T Bank's chief information officer

They are part of the next generation of leaders in the Buffalo Niagara region, filling top roles in health care, banking, development and manufacturing as the local economy accelerates its transition from the old economy to the new. Some are new to the area, bringing with them an infusion of fresh ideas. Others are natives, with a keen sense of the region's past and its long struggles. Each of these up-and-coming leaders is in a position to help sway the direction of the Buffalo Niagara region. Here is one; click here to see the rest.

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Technology is crucial to banks. No one needs to explain that to Michael A. Wisler.

M&T hired him last year as its chief information officer, as the bank upgrades its technology resources.

Wisler has an adventurous spirit. He has climbed some of the tallest mountains in the world, and rides to work on Main Street on what resembles a one-wheeled skateboard. The broad scope of the M&T job appealed to him and was part of the challenge he sought.

"The fact we're trying to enable not just a single product — but for our retail business, for our commercial business, for our wealth business, for our businesses that are operating in Europe institutionally, as well — I think that kind of brings a scope and scale to the role that is certainly differentiated," he said.

Wisler wants to make the bank and the Buffalo area a draw for information technology professionals. M&T is hunting for downtown office space where the bank could bring together technology workers spread across the region.

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