Upcoming Speaking Engagements
Silicon Valley Director’s Exchange – Small Cap Companies: Ins and Outs for Boards of Directors
January 19 2022 | Webinar
Governance for small cap companies (whose market capitalization is generally between $300 million and $2 billion) can be quite different from that of large cap companies. Corporate governance is not one-size-fits-all and small cap boards of directors face several unique challenges. Small cap companies often have a particular “do or die” pressure to grow and evolve and are generally more vulnerable to financial crises and global events. At the same time, most small caps are large enough to be subject to the full complexity of regulatory compliance and yet may not have the scale and resources to readily navigate these issues as compared to larger companies. In some cases, small cap companies are easier targets for activist investors, lack deep relationships with institutional investors, and are more vulnerable to outside forces in general. This session will review these issues and discuss how directors might best build trust within a small cap board and with the company leadership as part of the strategy to address these unique challenges.
Princeton University Foundations of Entrepeneurship: Teambuilding
March 2022 | Princeton NJ
Entrepreneurship is about creating value for the benefit of others. It is about innovating, marshalling limited resources, inspiring teams, and persisting through challenges and uncertainty, often by trying, learning from what happens, and trying something better. This class is designed to equip each student with the approaches and concepts of entrepreneurship and how to apply them to achieve positive change in whatever endeavors they choose to pursue. The course employs several experiential methods of teaching and learning so students will understand how they can follow an entrepreneurial path in organizations and in life
Selected Past Events
Big Data, AI, and the Implications for Business Strategy and Ethics
October 2021 | Virtual Conference
As the economy continues its digital transformation, companies will increasingly look to business solutions that are enabled by big data, machine learning, and artificial intelligence in order to meet rapidly evolving demands. While these new technologies seem to promise almost limitless potential, they also come with many risks, and they raise questions that business leaders would be wise to confront now rather than later. Questions such as “Which problems can Big Data and AI solve well?” and big-picture questions such as “What are the privacy and ethical considerations?” have never been more important to deliberate. Answering these and other tough questions early and carefully could mean the difference between your organization experiencing either a century of sustained growth and value creation, or generations of lost business.
The Art of Being an Effective Small-Cap Board Member
NASDAQ-Small Cap Institute | September, 2021 | Virtual Conference
Nasdaq and the Small-Cap Institute are proud to host for our inaugural, two-day virtual Small-Cap Forum which will focus on how small caps can raise awareness and control the narrative. The event will be attended by CEOs, CFOs and IROs from small cap Nasdaq-listed companies spanning multiple industries. This two-day virtual forum focuses on the unique issues affecting small cap companies:
- Best practices for small cap PR: messaging, building brand equity, handling media inquiries, and the effect of social media on corporate PR
- Effects of limited sell side coverage on small and micro-cap stocks
- Small cap liquidity and trading cost hurdles
The Ticking Time Bomb of Compromised and Exploited Employees: Why Technical Cybersecurity Isn’t Enough
Silicon Valley Director’s Exchange | February, 2021 | Virtual Conference
While cybersecurity remains a top concern and is increasingly handled well at the best run companies, other factors may now pose a security threat or serve to undermine even the most impressive cybersecurity strategy. Clandestine and counter intelligence professionals have long known that employees are vulnerable to being exploited, whether by a competitor, a rogue hacker, or perhaps an international entity. Yet only recently have boards and companies started to recognize that the human factor presents multiple weak links in even the most established cybersecurity programs. Former US intelligence officers & technology experts spell out critical issues every board should review. This session discusses risks that you haven’t considered and how to address them before it’s too late.
Digital Transformation in the Board Room
BDO USA, LLP | October, 2020 | Virtual Conference
An interactive discussion of digital transformation as the means of embracing/employing today’s technology to enable the business for revenue growth, new markets, innovation, operational optimization and security & compliance.
Two Digital Transformation experts, Beatriz Infante and Christine Heckart, discuss the Board’s requirement for increased engagement with the company’s Digital presence and Digital capabilities in their industry – as means to fuel market performance and financial performance – positioning as a Disruptor in their marketplace.
Elements of an Effective Board-CEO Relationship
June 17-18 2019 | Chicago, IL
NACD’s highly interactive Advanced Director Professionalism® foundation course will convene experienced directors looking to position themselves as lead directors, board and/or committee chairs in downtown Chicago.
Through panel discussions, committee chair/lead director training, workshops, and case studies with seasoned board leaders, attendees benefit from real-world and real-time insights to help them navigate critical board leadership challenges, build a high performance board, and effectively lead the board and committees. Small-group peer exchanges will simultaneously deepen and showcase attendee expertise while attendees make new connections with experienced directors from a wide range of industries.
The Governance & Nominating Committee
June 13-14, 2019 | San Francisco, CA
The Academy provides corporate governance and board leadership education and training for future corporate board members from diverse backgrounds who are underrepresented on boards of directors via the NextGen Directors program to better prepare participants for their first corporate board experience.
The program is practitioner-led with a faculty of experienced board leaders from a wide variety of public and private companies. The two day program covers a full range of corporate director duties and responsibilities.
2019 CFO Academy – The Pragmatic & Strategic CFO
FEI Silicon Valley and BDO USA, LLP | May 22, 2019 | San Jose, CA
With new challenges facing CFO’s every day, we are witnessing incredible disruption and change in the careers of finance & business professionals. Today’s CFO is looking at emerging global risks, digital transformations, strategic acquisitions, and the battleground for profitable growth to effectively guide the CEO and leadership teams. This workshop allows Senior Finance Professionals to network, develop, and lead skillfully across the enterprise. It’s for professionals seeking to become strategic business partners to line management in ways that take their careers to the next level.
Women’s History Month Panel – 2019
San Francisco, CA
Please join the San Francisco Department on the Status of Women, Queen’s Bench Bar Association of the San Francisco Bay Area, and the San Francisco Public Library for a Women’s History Month panel.
Discussion examining issues facing women in the role of decision maker—whether as jurors, judges, elected officials, or executives—and what women and men can do to change negative perceptions of women in power.
Princeton University Foundations of Entrepeneurship
October & March Semesters since 2018, Princeton NJ
Entrepreneurship is about creating value for the benefit of others. It is about innovating, marshalling limited resources, inspiring teams, and persisting through challenges and uncertainty, often by trying, learning from what happens, and trying something better. This class equips students with the approaches and concepts of entrepreneurship and how to apply them to achieve positive change in whatever endeavors they choose to pursue.
Advancing Diversity in Leadership and Boardrooms
Watermark Leadership Conference | Jul 2018, Mountain View
Watermark is the largest women’s membership organization in the Bay Area, representing more than 800 Bay Area-based senior executives and entrepreneurs and emerging executives. Watermark enables members to make connections with a broad cross-section of influential executives and emerging executives to establish bigger networks and pursue greater opportunities for success. Led by distinguished women board members and executives, the “Advancing Diversity in Leadership and Boardrooms” panel will discuss concrete steps for attendees to take to improve their leadership and organizational skills and leverage mental toughness to use disruption as a springboard to advantage today and in the future.
Challenges of Founder-led Companies
NACD Entrepeneurial Board Forum | July 2018 San Francisco
Founders shed plenty of blood, sweat, and tears starting a business. Once that company hits a revenue threshold of about $250M, having an effective board becomes a key asset to ensuring long-term success. We are increasingly seeing clear links between good governance and robust financial performance over the medium to long term. A failure to focus on boardroom talent and the right processes and controls can lead to a dysfunctional board and a stagnant or failed company. Achieve peak corporate performance by ensuring your board is knowledgeable in leading governance practices and has a strong understanding of ethics and compliance. This event is specifically curated for directors of late stage/pre-IPO companies.
NextGen Director’s Forum
June 2018 San Francisco CA
The Work and Impact of the Board’s Audit / Risk / Finance Committees
In this event curated for aspiring directors, learn first-hand from seasoned directors what the roles and responsibilities for these key board committees are.
Interview by Heather Wolf, Financial Times
The Role of the Board – CEO’s Perspective Panel
Providing the CEO’s perspective on the role of the board in corporate strategy and governance.
Foundations of Entrepeneurship: Team-building
Princeton University Foundations of Entrepeneurship | Feb 2018, Princeton NJ
Entrepreneurship is about creating value for the benefit of others. It is about innovating, marshalling limited resources, inspiring teams, and persisting through challenges and uncertainty, often by trying, learning from what happens, and trying something better. This class is designed to equip each student with the approaches and concepts of entrepreneurship and how to apply them to achieve positive change in whatever endeavors they choose to pursue. The course employs several experiential methods of teaching and learning so students will understand how they can follow an entrepreneurial path in organizations and in life.
Artificial Intelligence (AI): Challenges & Opportunities for A New Age
Latino Corporate Director’s Association Board Leaders Forum | Nov 2017, NYC
AI, sometimes referred to as intelligent automation, is transforming society and business in daunting ways, and there is no turning back! Companies are challenged to stay at the forefront of change with unchartered paths related to talent, capital and time.
How will humans and technology work together?
How will workflow change and employees be prepared for this new age?
What are the implications of cognitive systems performing talks that have always required human intelligence and capacity to analyze?
Demonstrating Organization Value as a Defense Against Activism
NACD Global Board Leaders’ Summit Small-Cap Board Committee Forum | October 2017, Maryland
Shareholder activism today affects companies of all sizes/industries, but may be particularly relevant for small- and mid-cap companies: Companies $100M-$1B (44% of total companies) accounted for approximately 60% of all activist targets in FY2016, and the number of activist campaigns remains high due in large part to newer, often smaller activists targeting small and mid-size companies (60% “first-time activists”). While large institutional investors continue to exert significant influence & increase focus on engagement and governance reform, there are concrete steps every board can take to enhance shareholder transparency and value creation.
Driving Board Effectiveness
ABS Capital Partners Director’s Summit | Sept 2017, Baltimore
Today’s governance environment for both public and private companies place new and shifting governance demands on boards.
Presentation and discussion of how boards can remain effective in a dynamic world, and discussion of measures of board effectiveness in public and private domains.
The Role of the Board – CEO’s Perspectives
NextGen Director’s Forum | September 2017, San Francisco
A discussion of how the board should engage with the CEO and the leadership team to discuss and evaluate a wide array of strategic options and future enterprise-level value creation decisions, including M&A, as well as “best practices” for first-time directors on how to add value to the board they will be joining.
CD&As: An Activism Minefield for the Unwary
BDO Board of Directors Forum | June 2017, Palo Alto
Activism is no longer just the purview of a few activist hedge funds, but is increasingly being used by a broader base of investors to elicit corporate change. Shareholders become activists for a complex set of issues, with CEO & executive compensation being used as the entry point of discussion about larger strategic/financial issues. For the unwary, compensation can become the trigger point to support that the strategy is flawed, with the flaw being reinforced by compensation.
The Path to CFO: From the Lens of Board Members
BDO FutureCFO Round Table | March 2017, Palo Alto
Insights for aspiring CFO’s on the board’s perspective of the strategic role of CFO’s, and directors perspectives on CFO’s success strategies and tips to provide value by building relationships and trust with the board.
Small Cap Board Insights for All Directors
Financial Times Outstanding Directors Exchange | Palo Alto, CA
Small cap companies come in all flavors. Some may have shoestring budgets and first time public company C-suites, while others are flush with cash but are struggling to move beyond one successful product. The session will address how small cap companies – and perhaps companies of all sizes – benefit from strategic director engagement.
Shareholder Activism: Governance Challenges
NACD Global Board Leaders’ Summit | Washington DC
Small-cap companies have unique governance challenges. Review of best practices.
The Mounting Challenges of Cyber Security Oversight
Financial Times Outstanding Directors Exchange | New York
FT-ODX® continues to be the gold standard for director education. Completely off-the-record, the annual New York meeting is limited to sitting public company directors who will gather to discuss critical boardroom concerns. This panel session discussed in simple terms the concepts of cyber security that a director needs to understand, and the questions all directors must know to ask.
Leadership’s Role in Maximizing Corporate Growth
Santa Clara University Leavey School of Business lecture | June 2013, Santa Clara, California
Inflection-point thinking, or avoiding “billion dollar lessons” and recovering when they happen.
Strategic Implications of Board Diversity
NACD Spring Director Forum | New York
What really drives the change for board diversity? Is it board self evaluation, expanding the size of the board to include more diverse viewpoints, or aligning strategy with skill sets? Join a panel of directors from companies with notably diverse boards as they explore how they did it, why they did it, and the pay off of having a diverse board.
Mike Keddington, CEO Lunera
Ryan Benton, CEO Exar
Radu Sion, CEO Private Machines
Debu Chatterjee, CEO DxContinuum
Deborah Barber, Executive and Organizational Consulting
Lou DiNardo, CEO Brainchip
Srini Pagidyala, CEO ProMorphics
Aaron Tolson, Principal in the Middle Market Fund, H.I.G. Capital
Adam J. Epstein, Third Creek Advisors
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