Mara Der Hovanesian is BusinessWeek's banking editor. She joined the magazine in 2000. Mara has been reporting business news for more than 15 years with stints at Knight Ridder newspapers and Dow Jones & Co. She has a bachelor's in journalism and a master's in economics, both from California State University. She is currently at work on a project tracking the emigration of her Armenian ancestors during World War I. Mara admits to having a weakness for artisanal cheeses.

Thomas Broening, who snapped our cover portrait, is a photographer whose clients include Time, Newsweek, ESPN, and BusinessWeek. He studied photojournalism at Indiana University and has been a newspaper photographer in Wisconsin, Florida, and California. He lives in Oakland, Calif., with his wife and four daughters. Says Broening: "I really like shooting entrepreneurs because they seem excited to be photographed and are not as jaded as big-fish CEOs."

Frequent TimeOut contributor Sarah Max covers a variety of topics for BusinessWeek, Golf Digest, Money, Skiing, and other publications. She mostly reports on business and personal finance, but moonlights as a sports and fitness writer. That's an appropriate mix for Sarah, who is also a competitive triathlete and cross-country skier. She lives in Bend, Ore., with her husband and four-year-old twin daughters.

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