Author Archives for Cheryl Soltis Martel

Winning Start-Ups: Where Are They Now?

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If you joined the National Association of Corporate Directors (NACD) for its inaugural Dancing With the Start-Ups (DWTS) competition at the 2016 Global Board Leaders’ Summit, you heard from 12 cutting-edge start-ups in the financial, energy, and health care industries. Founders and CEOs from each start-up had four minutes to pitch their companies to a panel of expert judges. NACD recently caught up with the winning companies—Vital Vio, BoostUp, and Disease Diagnostic Group—to see what they have been up to in the past seven months. Illuminating the War on Germs Vital Vio created a lighting system that kills bacteria using... Read More


Leveraging the Risks and Rewards of Information Technology

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As information technology (IT) continues to evolve, so do the oversight responsibilities of corporate directors. From big data analytics to social media to cybersecurity, technology creates opportunities for companies to innovate, to create operational efficiencies, and to develop a competitive advantage. These potential rewards can bring significant risks, however. Directors have the task of ensuring technology is integrated into both company strategy and enterprise risk management—and to do so they must first gain a deeper understanding of how technology is impacting their businesses. To help directors ensure they are prepared to leverage both the risks and rewards of IT, NACD... Read More


The Great Debate: Shareholder Activism in the Boardroom

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While the term “shareholder activist” can send a shiver down the spines of corporate directors, there are often positive outcomes from this activity. Janet F. Clark, former executive vice president and CFO, Marathon Oil Corp. and director, Dell, YES Prep Public Schools, Teach for America; Darren Novak, senior vice president, Houlihan Lokey; Brian L. Schorr, chief legal officer and partner, Trian Fund Management; and Andrew E. Shapiro, president, Lawndale Capital Management discuss how and why activist shareholders can be a force for good. Shareholder activists can take on many forms, and Schorr said activists typically fall into four broad categories:... Read More