Meet Jeannine Strandjord, a seasoned public company director whose board experience has spanned information technology to retail, and whose executive résumé includes the role of chief integration officer at Sprint, where she oversaw the transformation of the telecom giant during a period of radical change. She recently spoke with NACD Directorship magazine about her path from being a first-time director to becoming a boardroom leader and shared her best advice for new or aspiring directors.
Just what should newly minted or aspiring directors keep top-of-mind? “First of all, learn what you have to offer to that board,” Strandjord said. “Be sure that it’s something that adds value—not just that you’d like to be on a board. Second, if you really want to serve on a board, you better learn how to network. Meet as many other people as you can and find a great mentor who could be helpful in finding the right board for you. A wonderful mentor provided much of the reading material and later helped recruit me to his board, and I’ve acquired other mentors along the way through networking.”
Strandjord currently raises the bar for boardroom excellence at Euronet Worldwide, MGP Ingredients, American Century Mutual Funds, J.E. Dunn Construction, and the Ewing Marion Kaufmann Foundation. To advance her boardroom education and enhance her director skills, she decided to pursue the NACD Board Leadership Fellowship. “I believe I owe it to my boards to continue my education,” she said. “Continuing education is extremely important for all board members. You can’t be as effective in any endeavor unless you keep up your skill sets, because things are changing too quickly.”
NACD Fellowship, the gold standard for director credentials, is a comprehensive program of study developed to educate directors about perennial and emerging boardroom issues and best practices. Completion of this rigorous program demonstrates a director’s serious commitment to exemplary board leadership. “NACD brings the most value in terms of the education that they provide—and I’ve been to programs at the New York Stock Exchange and the Investment Council Institute,” Strandjord said. “NACD’s program is terrific, and I really believe in it.”
Read the full interview with Jeannine Strandjord in the September/October 2015 issue of NACD Directorship magazine, where she also talks about the biggest disruptors she faced at Sprint, her experience as the first and only woman on a board, and how the decision to pursue NACD Fellowship has shaped her board service.
Future issues of NACD Directorship will introduce you to other outstanding NACD Board Leadership Fellows. To learn more about the program and how you can attain the NACD Fellowship credential, click here.
Dawn Mahler and Jesse Rhodes contributed to this piece.
For corporate directors, time is a valuable resource. As such, I’m frequently asked why directors should carve out three days to attend NACD’s annual Board Leadership Conference, which is held every October in the nation’s capital. To me, it is obvious why those in the boardroom should attend this first-rate conference.
Here are the 10 reasons I shared with our NACD chapter leaders at a recent meeting in St. Louis, Missouri:
Save $500 when registering by April 30. The NACD Board Leadership Conference is historically sold out, and this three-day conference represents the most important knowledge exchange for the world’s leading directors, C-suite executives, and governance experts.
For directors by directors. Learn from leading boardroom practitioners, those who have endured many hard lessons you may not want to encounter yourself! Hear firsthand from Laban Jackson, audit committee chair of JPMorgan Chase, about the London Whale controversy and his perspective on the board’s role in risk oversight. Learn more about the shifting landscape of social media from Clara Shih, Starbucks director and CEO of Hearsay. Get the latest on how big data is impacting business with Rich Relevance CEO David Sellinger.
Get more actionable takeaways than from any other conference.Address persistent challenges and gain “next practices” from your peers on the timeliest and most critical boardroom issues, including human capital management, emerging technology, compensation, and global markets.
Make your voice heard.Take part in shaping thought leadership and talk to influential legislators, regulators, and stakeholders.
Sharpen your committee skills. Attend a Sunday Board Committee Forum, including dedicated sessions on audit, compensation, nominating/governance, and risk. Network with peers during breaks following big-name keynote speakers, and share your opinion with peer-led panels and committee chairs who really understand your challenges.
Get hands-on with social media. Visit our first ever social media learning lab, staffed by experts in the latest social media trends, who can show you the ropes and help you understand how social medial is affecting your business.
Spark innovative thinking.Participate in active dialogues around Directorship 2020™—NACD’s new initiative—to explore how and why the boardroom will change over the next several years and what you as a director need to know to keep pace. Gain exclusive insights gleaned from thought leaders and directors around the country in a report from our Directorship 2020 regional events.
Build your network. Exchange ideas with nearly 800 directors from around the world, including those from Akamai Technologies, Ford, JetBlue, JPMorgan Chase, and Union Pacific, to name a few.
Tailor your experience.There’s something for everyone. Join special breakouts for general counsels, private company directors, small-cap directors, and nonprofits organizations. With nearly 50 sessions, choose from unmatched session selection to meet your own boardroom needs and interests.
In my opinion, NACD’s Board Leadership Conference is not only a great value, but an experience every corporate director should take part in.
I look forward to seeing you this October in Washington, D.C. Register here.
Boardroom leadership skills are developed over time, honed through years of experience and refined through ongoing learning. It is a continuous process, as corporate directors must respond to changing, often volatile, business realities, and the NACD fellowship program is a part of that process.
An NACD fellowship is bestowed on those directors who have gone the extra mile (and more) by completing a rigorous foundation course and elective curricula. The result is a select group of directors who have demonstrated their commitment to boardroom excellence and are prepared to implement leading corporate governance practices in the boardroom.
This week, NACD is pleased to announce a new group of 64 Fellows who achieved this significant credential in the second quarter of 2012. NACD offers two fellowship credentials: the NACD Board Leadership Fellowship for experienced directors and the NACD Governance Fellowship for new and aspiring directors.
NACD Board Leadership Program Fellows (partial listing)
Maureen A. Breakiron-Evans, director Cognizant Technology Solutions, Stetson University, Federal Home Loan Bank of Pittsburgh
John L. Dixon, director Wells Real Estate
Paul J. Feldman, director TrendIQ and WECC
Eliza Hermann, director Brightpoint Inc.
John Hotta, director Lake Washington Institute of Technology
Beatriz Infante, director Emulex and Sonus Networks
William T. Keevan, director DeVry Inc.
Jeffrey W. LeRose, director Southern Capital Ventures, Elon University Love School of Business and Research Triangle Software
Michael K. Lorelli, director CP Kelco, Rita’s Italian Ices and WaterJel Technologies
Leslie A. Murphy, director Kelly Services, Vision Service Plan and St. John Health System
Carol K. Nelson, director Premera Blue Cross and Seattle University
Marissa T. Peterson, director Ansell Ltd., Humana Inc., Oclaro and Quantros
John Michael Rauh, director Pioneer Drilling Co.
Darrell R. Tukua, director Allina Health System, Capella Education Co., Gate City Bank, and MMIC Group
NACD Governance Program Fellows (partial listing)
Byron Scott Bagby, US Army (ret.), director Prince Hall Shriners Foundation and Westminster College
Howard Bain, director Nanometrics Inc.
Daniel H. Bauer, director Association for Corporate Growth
James C. Baughman, Jr., director Community Trust Bank, Office Suites PLUS, Dupree Mutual Funds
Selene Benavides, director National Society of Hispanic MBAs
Roberta S. Brown, director The Nature Conservancy
Michael F. Canders, director JPMorgan Chase and Company Military and Veterans Advisory Board
Ivan Ciment, director Tekademic Inc. and SpanTran Inc.
Mark A. Cohn, director Christopher & Banks Corp.
Christopher Warren Cole, director Navy Safe Harbor Foundation and Military Bowl
Brian D. Dittenhafer, director Investors Bancorp
Jeannine English, director AARP
Sara Faivre-Davis, director Farmer Mac
Tony R. Jimenez, CEO MicroTech; director George Mason University Board of Visitors and United States Hispanic Chamber of Commerce
James J. Kaelin, director Wright Patman Congressional Federal Credit Union
John E. Lynn, director Wright Patman Congressional Federal Credit Union
Charles A. Mallon, Jr., director Unitrust Financial Services and Credit Union Mortgage Association
Beryl Raff, director Group 1 Automotive Inc. and Make A Wish