The recent NACD Directorship 100 Forum brought together more than 300 governance experts, C-suite executives, journalists and corporate directors from around the country to share insights on the most important issues facing boards today.
For those attendees weathering global economic uncertainties for their organizations while mitigating media and public scrutiny, the importance of good governance in today’s business world could not be stressed enough. This year’s B. Kenneth West Lifetime Achievement Award Winner, Jon F. Hanson, founder and chairman of The Hampshire Real Estate Companies and chairman of HealthSouth, might have summed it up best when he explained that he looks at his role in the boardroom as being a “part-time job with full-time responsibilities.”
The responsibilities tied to a directorship cannot be understated. Through the forum topics, which ran the gamut from “Building a Better Board” to “Audit Committee Hot Topics,” NACD worked to ensure that directors came away from each course with added insights from peers who are moving the ball on strategy and leading the way in governance.
Each D100 session was tailored to provide maximum value to attendees. Designed by directors for directors, they offered specific insights into not only what is expected of a boardroom leader, but also how to go above and beyond the minimum expected requirements. Promoting this type of exemplary board leadership has always been one of NACD’s explicit goals, and the D100 Forum used every opportunity to highlight those who continually work to enhance the professionalism of those in the boardroom, maximize shareholder value and supply confidence to investors.
This type of open exchange by governance leaders is one of the factors that make NACD education events so valuable to real world directors. New directors and those with decades of board experience can all find something to take away from these events.
Given the turbulent economy, managing risk oversight shone through as one of the major themes at this year’s event. Forum host WilmerHale provided expert insights on avoiding the high-profile missteps that can consume boardrooms, using real world examples and instances where crises could have been averted and good governance maintained.
Meanwhile, forum discussions, such as “Corporate Strategy and Sustainability: Driving Long-Term Value,” focused on how directors can look beyond financial metrics and learn how “responsibility” and “sustainability” are key in driving long-term shareholder value.
Thanks to all who made this event such a valuable resource for our community of professional directors, and we look forward to seeing you at next year’s D100 Forum.
NACD is dedicated to recognizing and advancing exemplary board leadership. As part of this commitment, each year we select two individuals who are role models for director professionalism and set the standard for exemplary board service.
This year, we will recognize Jon F. Hanson as the 2011 winner of the B. Kenneth West Lifetime Achievement Award and Jenne K. Britell, PhD as the NACD Director of the Year.
Mr. Hanson is the chairman and founder of The Hampshire Companies. In addition, Mr. Hanson serves as the non-executive chairman of HealthSouth; chairman of Pascack Community Bank; a director of Yankee Global Enterprises; and chairman emeritus of the National Football Foundation and College Hall of Fame, Inc. His past directorships include serving as lead director for Prudential Financial, Inc., and as a director of CD&L. He is also an honorary director of Hackensack University Medical Center, following more than 20 years of service on their board of directors.
According to Hanson’s peers, he is well deserving of this award. He “exhibits the highest standards of integrity and ethics, courageous leadership under difficult circumstances, and prioritization of stakeholder interests.” He is a leading proponent of excellent corporate governance and director accountability.
Dr. Britell is a senior managing director of Brock Capital, LLC, an advisory and investment banking firm. Additionally, she is non-executive chairman of United Rentals, Inc., the world’s largest equipment rental company. Dr. Britell currently serves on the boards of Crown Holdings, Inc., Quest Diagnostics, the U.S. Russia Investment Fund, the U.S. Russia Foundation for Entrepreneurship and the Rule of Law and the Santa Fe Institute board of trustees. Her prior directorships include service to Lincoln National Corporation, West Pharmaceutical Services, Aames Investment Corporation and the TIAA-CREF board of trustees.
Dr. Britell’s executive credentials include senior positions with GE Capital, Dime Bancorp, Inc., HomePower, Inc., Citicorp and Republic New York Corporation. She was the founding chairman and chief executive officer of the Polish-American Mortgage Bank in Warsaw, the first private mortgage bank in postwar Poland.
In nominating Dr. Britell to be the 2011 NACD Director of the Year, her peers cited outstanding boardroom integrity and leadership, as well as “her intelligence, her insight, and her sense of responsibilities on a corporate board.” In addition, they highlighted her ability to apply her financial expertise to important strategic decisions facing the boards on which she serves.
We invite you to join us in congratulating Mr. Hanson and Dr. Britell for their outstanding and well-deserved achievements, and to celebrate director professionalism with us at this year’s NACD Directorship 100 Forum Gala on November 8th at New York City’s Waldorf-Astoria. We hope to see you there!