Ed Meyercord

Position: Chief financial officer, treasurer, and corporate development officer for Talk.com, based in Reston. Talk.com is a discount long-distance telephone service provider that specializes in Interenet-based billing and marketing operations.

Career highlights: Meyercord was previously executive vice president of marketing and corporate development for talk.com. Before that, he was vice president in the global telecommunications corporate finance group at Salomon Brothers Inc. in New York.

Age: 34

Education: Received B.A. in economics from Trinity College, Hartford, Conn., 1987; MBA in finance from New York University's Leonard N. Stern School of Business, 1991.

Personal: Lives in Princeton, N.J., with his wife, Andrea, and their two children; commutes twice a week to his office in Reston.

You mentioned focusing on accelerating growth. Can you give specific examples? "We're building a new finance department, an information rich company, data- and numbers-oriented. In the past we made decisions more intuitively, but now we're making decisions based on numbers. We have a proprietary billing software, which provides us with access to real-time information regarding our financial model. The major thrust of our strategy is to find partners that have credit card relationships with their customers like DSI, and Prodigy. Given the growth in online households and the overlap of online consumers and credit card holders, our target market has expanded dramatically in size."

What sets talk.com apart from the major telecoms? "Instead of waiting for a bill in the mail customers can have the bill posted on the Internet in 15 to 20 minutes. We're able to move very quickly to design and implement new marketing programs and product offerings. That means, we rarely have to compete on price."