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All Aboard! How to Land Quality Board Seats

April 15, 2013 9:58 AM | Theresa Boyce (Administrator)

We had an outstanding event this past Monday, April 8 that was attended by a packed room of more than 25 people which is great for this growing chapter.  We even ended up cutting off the conversation after running over the time limit.

In the spirit of “Learn what it’s like from some of the best” we gathered a great panel to share their experience with us.

MIKE LORELLI -- CEO of WaterJel Technologies, accepted his first Board assignment in 1990.  He has since served on the board and chaired the compensation committees of 3 publicly traded companies and served on 5 private equity boards. Mike is presently on the board of CP Kelco and Rita’s Italian Ices. He has master’s level accreditation at the National Association of Corporate Directors and The American College of Corporate Directors. Mike is a Founding Trustee of CEO Trust’s NY & CT Chapters and served two tours of duty as a PepsiCo division president in the 90’s.

Kerry D. Moynihan -- Managing Director at the executive search firm, ZRG Partners, specializes in board search and the strategic restructuring of boards of directors. Previously, Kerry was a partner with two of the world’s largest executive search firms. He has served on a number of advisory boards for emerging companies in technology and business services. He has written about and is sought by the media for his views on corporate governance, human capital, and executive compensation.

Lionel Nowell -- Lionel Nowell has held senior leadership roles over the past thirty years with fortune 500 companies such as PepsiCo, RJR Nabisco and Diageo PLC. Lionel currently serves on the boards of Bank of America, American Electric Power, and Reynolds American, as well as the Dean’s Advisory Board at The Ohio State University Fisher College of Business. A requested speaker at conferences and seminars, and a contributor to numerous publications, Lionel is also author of the self-help book “You Are Better Than Your Best.”

Some of the things we covered included what to watch out for when joining a board of directors: 

  • Financial Accountability: Are there robust financial controls and procedures in place?
  • Regulatory Compliance: Do the other directors meet the standards of independence and financial expertise as newly promulgated by Sarbanes-Oxley, the NYSE, CALPERS, etc.?
  • Personal Financial Liability: What D&O insurance is in place?
  • Time Commitment: What are the typical time commitments required
  • Legal Liability: Is there any outstanding litigation against the company?
  • Try to predict Surprises: What are the potential financial or operational surprises, the not-so obviousrisks, or “bear traps”?
  • Watch out for structural conflict: Does the board have a unified agenda?
  • Interpersonal issues can hamper Board effectiveness: How does the board truly interact?
  • What gets measured gets done: Does the board engage in an annual review of its overall performance?

Overall this was one of our best ever events in my opinion – looking forward to seeing more of you at future sessions!