Are you ready to gain international insights from a swath of countries—including Brazil, Ireland, and Malaysia – without having to stand in line at customs? You’re in luck with this year’s NACD Board Leadership Conference. Our theme, “beyond borders,” is about more than extending your operations across boundary lines. It’s about expanding how you think about business, the boardroom, and global issues.
That’s why we’re excited to introduce the NACD Global Village, a unique environment where NACD members and international business leaders can discuss emerging trends and opportunities in global enterprise. Select countries from around the world will have exhibits, each featuring their own embassy representative available throughout the conference for one-on-one meetings with NACD members. Representatives from Brazil, Canada, China, Ireland, Malaysia, Mexico, and Russia will be available to discuss the advantages and challenges of doing business in their country. Attendees can also make appointments to meet with economic ministers, investment and trade commissioners, and other leaders who are at the fore of conducting business around the world.
The NACD Global Village, along with the following slate of handpicked speakers, can help prepare you and your board for the unprecedented changes and challenges we face in the international landscape.
Gen. James L. Jones, USMC (Ret.)—who has served as national security advisor to President Obama, supreme allied commander, Europe, commander of the U.S. European Command, and 32nd commandant of the marine corps—shares his decades of experience in international policy, national security, and global competitiveness. He will also share insights into how boards can play a critical role in ensuring their companies are recognizing and navigating the nuances of current and emerging political, business, and economic issues.
Sue Gardner, the former executive director of the Wikimedia Foundation, the nonprofit behind the online, crowd-sourced encyclopedia Wikipedia, discusses how the foundation transformed from a 10-employee, $3 million operation to a staff of 179 with more than $50 million in donations and grants and has become the fifth most-visited website in the world.
Save the Children President and CEO Carolyn Miles and board chair Anne Mulcahy discuss what the board expects of management—and vice versa—and how they work together to navigate everything from the perils and opportunities of operating around the globe to creating a top-notch organizational culture.
Opening the 2010 NACD Director of the Year Awards celebration by honoring attendees for their integrity, good work, and courage to strive for corporate governance excellence, Mary Pat McCarthy, of KPMG, the Crystal Sponsor for the dinner banquet Saturday night, added, “In this room, we all know guiding a ship in tough seas is never easy; but with these [three Director of the Year Award honorees], it’s easier because we have [the Awardees]—some of the brightest beams—to light our way.”
NACD 2010 Director of the Year Award Winners
These moving words began a celebration of three boardroom heroes, each of whom has demonstrated a spirit of boundless energy towards improving the governance our nation’s boardrooms for the benefit of the shareowners.
The evening’s first honoree, Josh Bekenstein, was honored as NACD’s 2010 Nonprofit Director of the Year. Mr. Bekenstein joked that when
his secretary called to let him know he won “an award for not making a profit during the entire year,” he had a moment of pure panic. In fact, Mr. Bekenstein’s business acumen is legendary. In a taped tribute, one of his colleagues complimented his ability to connect big ideas to powerful execution to get extraordinary results.
Read more about why Josh Bekenstein was honored was NACD’s 2010 Nonprofit Director of the Year.
Next, Richard L. Keyser, former chairman of W.W. Grainger, was honored as NACD’s 2010 Public Company Director of the Year. Mr. Keyser was described as “one of the quietest, most unassuming people in the room” but the person “whose opinions carried the greatest weight.” Mr. Keyser is known to work collegially with others to run a great boardroom and make the world a better place, using this valuable work style praised throughout just about every conference session as essential to running a good board.
Read more about why Richard Keyser was honored as NACD’s 2010 Public Company Director of the Year.
The evening ended with a special presentation of the 2010 B. Kenneth West Lifetime Achievement Award, presented to 12-year DuPont board veteran, Dr. Curtis Crawford. Ellen Kullman, DuPont’s chairman and CEO, flew in to attend the dinner and to personally congratulate Mr. Crawford for his extraordinary accomplishments. “With his background, he is insightful in a way that I and no others in the company are—and he doesn’t shy away from difficult discussions. As chair and CEO, I value that in a board member.”
One way that Mr. Crawford has been sharing his gifts as a strong steward of good governance has been to award scholarships to, and mentor students from, DePaul University, where he serves as a trustee. In fact, the University flies scholarship winners from Chicago to California “to sit at Curt’s knee, absorbing best practices in how to govern an organization well, earning the equivalent of three college credits,” said the University’s chancellor.
Read more about why Dr. Curtis Crawford was honored as NACD’s 2010 B. Kenneth West Director of the Year Award.
Richard Keyser, in his understated yet commanding way, said something earlier in the evening that summed up the insight, knowledge, and integrity of courageous directors. He said that “… all of us in this room, all of us, when we do what is right and follow the basics like integrity and hard work, are boardroom heroes.”
The Honorable Mary Schapiro, chairman of the SEC, closed NACD’s 2010 Corporate Governance Conference by addressing the Commission’s upcoming 2011 rulemaking agenda. Chairman Schapiro highlighted the Commission’s difficult agenda by saying “I am in the trenches with the issues that you deal with.” She also acknowledged that the future rules would “significantly increase” the disclosure requirements for— “and profoundly impact”—boards of directors.
The Chairman said that for the first time, SEC rules require boards to explain in the proxy what a director adds to a particular board. Further, now a company’s proxy simply cannot state “risk is overseen by the board” and leave it at that; it must explain the board’s and C-suite’s risk functions, and illustrate that the board understands the compensation issues affecting risk.
Chairman Schapiro encouraged director engagement with the SEC and has instructed her staff to accept all “face-to-face meeting” requests. In addition, the SEC continues to post on the SEC website all written comment letters on SEC proposed rules and concept releases. Chairman Schapiro encouraged NACD to continue to be active and engaged in robust dialogue with the SEC and invited individual directors to join the conversation.