MORE NEWS & ARTICLES

June 21, 2022

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June 21, 2022

Now is a good time to revisit risk assumptions with management.

June 21, 2022

Anticipating emerging risks means reshaping the board. 

DIRECTORS ROSTER

Boise Cascade Co.
Boise Cascade Co.
Allison Transmission Holdings Inc.

FEATURED DIRECTOR

Bridging technology '(not generation) 'gaps in the boardroom

 

Technology gaps can exist in the boardroom when some, but not all, directors who serve on a common board are willing to change their personal practices and adopt new technology. These gaps can be intractable, meaning that a director is unwavering in his or her preference to continue to use printed board materials, or the gaps can be temporary, in that directors often adapt to new technology and new practices at different paces.


The authors can be contacted at jhilk@boardbooks.com and jpowell@boardbooks.com.  

Recruiting the younger director: 5 practices to increase your odds of success

Boardrooms have long been the domain of executives in their 50s, 60s — and even 70s, now that more boards are loosening mandatory retirement limits. But many boards are also electing directors in their early 30s — very often younger entrepreneurs who are the leading lights of digital transformation. Competition for these younger directors is fierce because of the experience and perspective they bring regarding the forces shaping the economy. But recruiting them also brings risks because of differences in generational perspectives and expectations. 


Kim Van Der Zon leads the U.S. Board Practice at global executive search firm Egon Zehnder and is based in New York. She can be contacted at kim.vanderzon@egonzehnder.com.

Bringing aboard a younger director

Alex Schmelkin joined the board of United Stationers Inc. in 2012 at the age of 36. United Stationers, whose shares are traded on Nasdaq, is a leading wholesale supplier of business products with 2014 net sales of $5.3 billion. Schmelkin is CEO of Alexander Interactive (Ai), a New York-based firm that he founded in 2002 and grew from a small web agency to a full-scale web design and engineering company.


Alex Schmelkin joined the board of United Stationers Inc. in 2012 at the age of 36. United Stationers, whose shares are traded on Nasdaq, is a leading wholesale supplier of business products with 2013 net sales of $5.1 billion. Schmelkin is CEO of Alexander Interactive (Ai), a New York-based firm that he founded in 2002 and grew from a small web agency to a full-scale web design and engineering company. 

Welcome aboard to your 'youngster' 'on the board

 

Many seasoned directors have noticed the fairly recent minitrend, as chronicled in the business press, of much younger individuals being elected to big company boards (where the average age is 63). We are not talking here about successful corporate executives in their 40s, but rather entrepreneurs in their 20s or early 30s, often with little real business experience much less any board experience or even any meaningful tenure with a company having revenue or, dare we say, profits. One might think, why . . . and then, OK, how can we prepare them for this responsibility?


Dennis Cagan is a seasoned board director, high-technology executive and entrepreneur. He has served on 52 corporate boards, both private and public, predominately early and mid-stage technology companies. He has been a CEO and chairman of both public and private companies, a venture investor, consultant and professional board member for over 39 years. He has founded or co-founded over a dozen different companies, including his first software firm in 1968. He is a frequent contributor to Directors & Boards and speaker at the journal’s Private Company Governance Summit. Based in Carrollton, Tex., he was honored in 2013 by the National Association of Corporate Directors and the Dallas Business Journal as one of 12 Outstanding Directors in North Texas.

The author can be contacted at dennis@caganco.com.

'Flip Generation' 'leadership: On being a young director

 


Edie Weiner is president of Weiner, Edrich, Brown Inc., a leading futurist consulting group (www.weineredrichbrown.com). Formed in 1977, WEB serves clients ranging from national governments to Fortune 500 companies in identifying opportunities in strategic thinking, product development, marketing, investment, human resources, and change management. She is acknowledged as one of the most influential practitioners of social, technological, political and economic intelligence gathering. She has written four books, including the global bestsellers FutureThink [2005] and Supermanaging [1984]. At 29, she was the youngest outside woman ever elected to a corporate board. She has since served on dozens of corporate, nonprofit and advisory boards. 

The author can be contacted at edie@weineredrichbrown.com. 

CEO reviews: Helping the boss get better

The annual performance review. Many boards don’t take full advantage of them as a leadership-development mechanism for the CEO. But CEOs are no different from other employees: they need honest, direct and timely feedback. In the CEO’s case, getting unfiltered feedback from most people can be especially tricky, so a rigorous review by the board matters all the more.


Blair Jones and Seamus O’Toole are managing directors of executive compensation consulting firm Semler Brossy (www.semlerbrossy.com).

The authors can be contacted at bjones@semlerbrossy.com and sotoole@semlerbrossy.com.

Dealing with a heavy 'audit committee agenda

 

Short of a crisis, the issues on the audit committee’s radar don’t change dramatically from year to year (and they probably shouldn’t); but sometimes small shifts tell a big story.


Dennis T. Whalen is partner in charge and executive director of KPMG’s Audit Committee Institute. 

The author can be contacted at auditcommittee@kpmg.com.

The cybersecurity 'scare

 


Doug Raymond is a partner in the law firm Drinker Biddle & Reath LLP (www.drinkerbiddle.com). 

The author can be contacted at douglas.raymond@dbr.com. Eric Dante, an associate with Drinker Biddle & Reath, assisted in the preparation of this column.

A winning mix

Every editor likes to bring in fresh voices to the pages of their publication. But every editor also has their “go to” authors — those who are known for their expertise in the subject matter and have written dependably for the editor before. I typically have both in every edition of Directors & Boards, and this issue especially so.

A gentleman 'and a gentle giant

This past winter my partner Charles E. Fiero passed away. Chuck was my mentor for over three decades, first as a summer intern at Chase Bank, then as a management consultant at the Hay Group, and finally as a partner at MLR Holdings, publisher of Directors & Boards magazine. After a 25-year career at Chase where he rose to executive vice president reporting directly to Chairman David Rockefeller, Chuck joined my father at Hay and later at MLR, becoming his most trusted, loyal, and wise partner.