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My Board Journey

Sonita Lontoh

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Capitalism, which has regrettably become a somewhat pejorative term to many (explaining

Thu, September 22, 2016
Conference Speaker Title(s)

President and CEO, Temin and Company

Davia Temin is a highly experienced marketing, media and reputation strategist, crisis manager, and leadership and communications coach.
As President and CEO of Temin and Company, a boutique management consultancy she founded in 1997, she leads their practice focused on international crisis, reputation, and risk management, with a specialty in cybersecurity crisis management, preparation, and recovery.
She serves as the spokesperson for major organizations during crisis, coaches numerous global CEOs, is a frequent and popular public speaker, and advises worldwide corporations on the strategic direction of their women's councils. She runs and moderates popular CEO and corporate programs including, most recently, "How to Survive, Thrive and Add Value During Difficult Times," "Visionary Leadership," and "Crisis Games." She has appeared as a guest on every major network in the US, and numerous local and national television shows around the world.
Prior to starting Temin and Company, Ms. Temin led Corporate Marketing (marketing and media strategy, crisis management, reputation management and coaching, advertising, corporate social responsibility, product and new product marketing and partnerships) for GE Capital; Schroders; Scudder, Stevens and Clark; Citicorp Investment Bank; and Columbia Business School. She created and was the Producer of the extremely successful entertainment industry conference "The Business of Entertainment: The Big Picture."
An Honors graduate of Swarthmore College, she attended Columbia University for her Masters Degree. She is a member of the Board of Managers of Swarthmore College and has served as Chair of the College's Long Range Planning Committee on Visibility and Leadership in Higher Education.
From 2005 to 2014, Ms. Temin served as the First Vice Chair of the Board of Trustees of The Girl Scouts of The United States of America, and the Chair of the Board Fund Development Committee — launching their $1 Billion Campaign on their 100th Anniversary, the largest fundraising campaign for girls in the world. In addition, she is Chair of the Board of the India-based Video Volunteers — which empowers marginalized communities to produce stories, take action, and devise solutions. She also serves as an Advisory Board member and Thought Leadership Commissioner of WomenCorporateDirectors. Previously a founding Board Member and Corporate Council Member of The White House Project, and Chair of the Board of Women's eNews, she currently serves on the Boards or Advisory Boards of, among many others: The Committee for Economic Development; Harvard Kennedy School's Women's Leadership Board; ProPublica; and The Knight-Bagehot Fellowship Program of Columbia Journalism School.
She is a member of The Economic Club; The Foreign Policy Association; The Belizean Grove; The Women's Forum; the Financial Women's Association; the National Investor Relations Institute; and The Princeton Club.
On April 29th, 2015, Ms. Temin was honored by the Girl Scouts of New York at their Gala Annual Dinner. She was presented with their highest award — the Pinnacle Award for Leadership — honoring her work as a business leader and role model for girls and women, within business and the greater communities.
In 2014, Ms. Temin was chosen as a Delegate by the U.S. State Department to the Global Entrepreneurship Program in Greece.
For the past four years, she has been named one of the "Top 100 Thought Leaders in Trustworthy Business Behavior" by Trust Across America — for "an extensive and positive contribution to building trust in business." She has also been honored as one of the "30 Outstanding Women" advancing women and girls' leadership by the National Council for Research on Women, and as a Woman of Distinction by The Girl Scouts of New York. She is featured prominently in several books, including "Stiletto Network," "Wall Street Women," and "The Board Game." Her column, "Reputation Matters," is featured on She also writes for the Huffington Post and the American Banker, and she is currently writing a book on crisis management.
Thu, September 22, 2016
Conference Speaker Title(s)

Founder and CEO, Board Prospects

Mark is the Founder and CEO of Prior to founding the company, Mark practiced corporate law in the Boston area for more than 10 years. In 2010, he was selected by Massachusetts Lawyers Weekly as one of Massachusetts’ “Up and Coming Lawyers”. Mark also served as an adjunct professor for 4 years at New England School of Law. He serves on the boards of several non-profit and private companies and has lectured and written extensively on the topics of corporate governance and boardroom issues. His articles have appeared in numerous publications, including The Wall Street Journal, Los Angeles Times,, and The Boston Globe.

Thu, September 22, 2016
Conference Speaker Title(s)

Senior Consultant, The Family Business Consulting Group

Stephanie Brun de Pontet, Ph.D., is a senior consultant of the Family Business Consulting Group. She specializes in advising family enterprises facing important transitions. She has extensive experience working with sibling teams and developing training programs to educate next-generation family members. A recognized expert on the topic of succession, Stephanie frequently collaborates with clients on key aspects of this process, such as establishing succession plans, drafting needed policies and governance structures, and building a framework for next-generation collaborations. Her work is driven by knowledge and experience from the fields of management, entrepreneurship and psychology.
In addition to her consulting work, Stephanie co-authored Building a Successful Business Board and Siblings and the Family Business, two well-regarded, practical books published by Palgrave. A regular contributor to thought leadership in the field, Stephanie is also the executive editor of the Family Business Advisor.
Fluent in English and French, Stephanie has lived in Atlanta since 2005. Building on her passion for helping families, Stephanie serves on the board of Kate’s Club, an Atlanta non-profit whose mission is to empower children and teens after the loss of a parent or a sibling.
Thu, September 22, 2016
Conference Speaker Title(s)

CEO, Neptune Advisors; Director, Kayem Foods Inc., Mason Companies Inc.

Lawrence Siff is the CEO of Neptune Advisors, a consulting firm focused on strategically positioning companies for accelerated growth. Mr. Siff has coached hundreds of CEOS and Boards on best practices for governance. He is the Founder of the Annual Pathway to Platinum Conference designed for CEOS to share best practices in management and oversight. Mr. Siff currently serves on the Board of Directors of Kayem Foods, Inc. and Mason Companies, Inc. and is an Industry Advisor for Silverwood Partners, a boutique investment bank. Mr. Siff serves as an independent board member and is the Chair of Strategic Planning, Investment, Compensation and Benefit Committees. He is a Trustee of the Museum of Science (Executive Committee), Chairman of the Asia-­‐America Chamber of Commerce, a Director of the Smaller Business Association of New England (SBANE), a Director of the Two Ten International Foundation (Executive Committee) and the Winsor School Corporation. Mr. Siff is the past Chairman of the Brimmer and May School and a past Director of the Association for Corporate Growth (ACG).
Prior to Neptune Advisors, Mr. Siff was Principal and Managing Director of Gordon Brothers Group, a $50 billion investment and transaction advisory firm. At Gordon Brothers Group, Mr. Siff founded the consumer products and branding businesses, which grew to become two of the firm’s largest divisions. As its Director of Strategic Acquisitions, he led acquisitions ranging from $5 million to $1.2 billion. Mr. Siff served on the Executive Committee and was an advisor to GBMP, an equity and debt fund. Over his 30-­‐year career as a growth-­‐oriented corporate executive, Mr. Siff led manufacturing, technology, consumer, wholesale and retail businesses. He was the President and CEO of Babystripes, Inc., an online retailer of luxury baby gifts, and the President and CEO of Cherry Tree Products, Inc., a manufacturer, wholesaler and retailer of high-­‐end children’s clothing. Mr. Siff was the President and CEO of Ambassador Shoe, B/W Footwear Inc. and B/W/A International, where he established operations at 38 factories in 9 countries and successfully sold the company to strategic acquirers. Mr. Siff began his career at Procter and Gamble where he created the Wholesale Club Division which today accounts for over $3 billion in sales.
Mr. Siff is a recognized expert in corporate governance. Most recently, he has been a speaker at the National Directors Institute (Chicago), The Society of Corporate Secretaries and Governance Professionals (NYC), the Chief Executives Officer’s Club (Boston), and the Asia America Chamber of Commerce (Boston). Mr. Siff has been a speaker for Morgan Stanley Smith Barney (NYC), Armanino McKenna Technology Forum (San Francisco) and a lecturer at Brandeis University International Business School, Babson Olin Graduate School of Business and Harvard Business School. He has been an Instructor for Pinnacle Solutions Exit Planning Advisor Certification and a contributor to Forbes. He graduated magna cum laude from Brown University and the Executive Program at Dartmouth’s Amos Tuck Business School.
Thu, September 22, 2016
Conference Speaker Title(s)

Retired Chairman and CEO, CNA Insurance Companies

Dennis Chookaszian is the retired chairman and chief executive officer of CNA Insurance Companies.
Mr. Chookaszian served as CNA’s chairman and chief executive officer from 1992 until 1999. He also served as chairman of the executive committee of CNA from 1999 to 2001.  From 1990 to 1992, Mr. Chookaszian served as CNA’s president and chief operating officer, with responsibility for all property and casualty, life, health and investment operations. Mr. Chookaszian joined CNA in 1975 and served as chief financial officer until 1990 when he was named president.  He also served as chairman and CEO of mPower Inc, an internet financial advisory service, from 1999 to 2001.  Prior to joining CNA, he was a management consultant with Deloitte for eight years working on various financial and systems related assignments.
Mr. Chookaszian served as chairman of FASAC (Financial Accounting Standards Advisory Council) which provides guidance to the FASB (Financial Accounting Standards Board) on accounting matters for five years and completed his term in 2011. He is also a member of the FCAG (Financial Crisis Advisory Group) which is the international commission that was created to develop recommendations to solve the financial reporting problems associated with the current economic problems.
During his career, he has served as a director on the boards of twelve publicly traded corporations and fifty private corporations.  He is currently a director of the Chicago Mercantile Exchange, the world’s largest derivatives exchange, Career Education, a private post-secondary education provider, Allscripts, a leading provider of software for the Health Care sector,  Internet Patents Corp, a firm that licenses Internet Patents, and MacDonald Dettwiler, a space satellite technology company.  He also serves as a director of a number of private corporations and has served as an arbitrator in ten diverse cases and an expert witness in five cases.
Mr. Chookaszian is an Adjunct Professor at the University of Chicago Booth School of Business and teaches courses in Corporate Governance. He also teaches a course in International Corporate Governance at Cheung Kong University in China, Shanghai Advanced Institute of Finance in China, and at IIPM in India.
Mr. Chookaszian is a member of the national board of the Boy Scouts of America, a trustee of Northwestern University, a member of the advisory board of the University of Chicago Booth School of Business, and a member of the advisory board of Kellogg Graduate School of Management. He is also a director of Northwestern Memorial Hospital and president of the Foundation for Health Enhancement.
Mr. Chookaszian has a bachelor’s degree in chemical engineering from Northwestern University, a master’s degree in business administration from the University of Chicago, and a master of science degree in economics from the London School of Economics. He is a Certified Public Accountant, a Chartered Global Management Accountant, Chartered Property Casualty Underwriter, and a Certified Management Consultant as well as a member of the directors’ table of Beta Gamma Sigma, an honorary fraternity. In 2010, Mr. Chookaszian received the Outstanding Director Award from the Financial Times Outstanding Directors Exchange.
Thu, September 22, 2016
Conference Speaker Title(s)

CEO, NewAge Industries

Ken Baker is the CEO of NewAge Industries, a plastic and rubber tubing and hose manufacturer and RFID tag solutions provider located in Southampton, Pennsylvania. The company originated in 1954 and Ken joined in 1985 as the second generation of his family to carry on its successes.  NewAge provides solutions to many Fortune 500 companies and services customers worldwide.

Ken has over 25 years of experience in the tubing and hose industry. He is a majority owner of Colex International, NewAge’s sister plant in Leicestershire, England. In 2001, Ken led NewAge in the launch of AdvantaPure, the company’s high purity tubing and hose division, and has since worked to develop several innovative Single Use disposable solutions. He is a co-inventor on five patents in RFID tagging technology for the company’s Verigenics™ RFID division and is a co-founder in the RFID in Healthcare Consortium. Ken is also a board member of the BPSA Bio-Process System Alliance, an industry trade organization. 

In 2006, Ken established the company’s Employee Stock Ownership Plan (ESOP), and its employees now own 40% of the company.  He is a founding member and Chairman of Pennsylvania Center for Employee Ownership (PCEO), a new organization designed to raise awareness and increase the number of employee owned companies in Pennsylvania. In addition, Ken spends time speaking about ESOPs to other CEOs at local and national events. 

Ken invites area high school students to intern at NewAge Industries each summer and is on the Foundation board of Montgomery County Community College. Ken is also a generous contributor to local and national charities.

Thu, September 22, 2016
Conference Speaker Title(s)

​Director, A. Duda & Sons, DKH, Incorporated, D&K Insurance Agency, ECI, Inc.

Bud Miller has over 35 years of experience in real estate, mergers and acquisitions, corporate restructurings, and finance. He has been a senior officer and/or board member of companies ranging in size from Fortune 100 to entrepreneurial start-ups and is, or has served, on the boards of a number of family-owned or private businesses.

Throughout his career Bud has assisted or led efforts that enabled companies to capitalize on opportunities or to solve complex and challenging problems by designing and implementing action plans based on a realistic assessment of a company’s current situation and economic environment, its strengths, weaknesses, and competitive position, and the needs of investors and lenders. His experiences have included involvement in a number of corporate turnarounds, including the Penn Central Corporation (the then largest bankruptcy in US history), leading over 50 corporate and real estate acquisitions, raising in excess of $1.5 billion in debt and over $750 million in public equity. Bud also was the CEO of a major real estate development company with sales in excess of $1.0 billion. In addition, Bud has been the dean of a business school (at Clayton State University) where he assembled an outstanding team of faculty and staff that enabled the school to become one of the top business schools in the southeast. Bud also was on the Board of Trustees of the University’s Foundation and the Board of the Foundation’s Real Estate LLC. As one of the LLC’s Managers, he helped raise over $40 million in a public/private bond issue that was used to fund the design and construction of a dormitory and a student activity center.

Early in his career Bud worked for the Sperry & Hutchinson Company and helped that company expand into the banking, retail, home furnishings, and financial services by leading 10 acquisitions with a total cost of over $200 million. He then joined the Penn Central Corporation as part of a small team that radically restructured the company so that it could successfully emerge from bankruptcy. Bud’s responsibilities included the identification and sale of non-essential assets, acquisitions to enhance core assets, development of a new strategic plan, and leading the successful defense of a hostile takeover.

In 1980 Bud joined Arvida Company where during a 15 year period he rose from CFO, to COO, and then CEO. During this period Arvida became one of the largest and most successful community developers in the southeast and southwest with a reputation for quality and integrity. Arvida also successfully transitioned through several changes in ownership including a LBO with the Bass Brothers, ownership by Disney, and acquisition by JMB Realty and subsequent sale of public limited partnership interests.

Bud also was a co-founder and Chairman of Wilson Miller Capital, a privately held company that specialized in acquiring troubled real estate assets, creating value by solving the problems, and realizing the higher value through sales. In addition, Wilson Miller worked with small and medium sized companies and helped them grow by providing “hands on” advice in developing and implementing strategic plans, restructing balance sheets, acquisitions, management development, and succession planning.

Bud has served on a number of boards of directors of corporations as well as not-for-profits and was the first non-family chairman of a 100+ year old family business. He currently is on the boards of four family businesses and advises other companies on how to navigate change successfully. Bud graduated from Tufts University, received a MBA from Harvard University, and was an infantry Captain in the United States Marines Corps.

Thu, September 22, 2016
Conference Speaker Title(s)

Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, Penn Mutual

Eileen C. McDonnell has been chairman and chief executive officer of Penn Mutual since July 2013. She was appointed chief executive officer in 2011 and president in 2010, after serving as chief marketing officer since 2008.

Before joining Penn Mutual, she was president of New England Financial, a wholly owned subsidiary of MetLife, and senior vice president of the Guardian Life Insurance Company. Ms. McDonnell is a former member of the Master of Science in Management faculty at The American College in Bryn Mawr, Pa., where she held the newly endowed chair for Women and Financial Services and was author of “Marketing Financial Services to Women.”

Ms. McDonnell serves on the Board of Managers of Janney Montgomery Scott LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Penn Mutual. In 2013, Ms. McDonnell was named to the board of Universal Health Services, Inc. (NYSE: UHS) and is a member of the Audit Committee. She also is a member of the Executive Committees of the Board of the American Council of Life Insurers and the Insurance Federation of Pennsylvania.

A graduate of Molloy College, Rockville Centre, N.Y., Ms. McDonnell majored in mathematics and computer science, and received an honorary doctor of laws (LL.D.) degree in 2011. She earned her MBA in finance and investments from Adelphi University, Garden City, N.Y. and was recognized in 2013 for ‘Outstanding Service” to the university.