Sue W. Cole, Founder and Managing Partner of Sage Leadership & Strategy, Elected Incoming Chair of NACD Board of Directors


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Extensive Experience in All Facets of Governance for Private and Public Companies Sets Cole Up for Success in Chairing ‘The Board Of Boards’

WASHINGTON, DC (May 25, 2022) — The National Association of Corporate Directors (NACD), the authority on boardroom practices representing more than 23,000 board members, today announced that Sue W. Cole has been elected chair of the NACD board of directors, effective May 25, 2022. She succeeds William “Bill” McCracken, a past CEO and board chair of CA Technologies, who was chair of the NACD Board. 

Cole is the founder and managing partner of SAGE Leadership & Strategy LLC, a boutique consultancy firm advising family and other private businesses as well as large nonprofits on strategy, leadership development, and governance. She has more than 35 years of experience in the financial sector, including corporate lending and wealth management. Before founding SAGE, Cole was a principal at Granville Capital Inc., mid-Atlantic regional CEO for US Trust Co., president of North Carolina Trust Co., and senior vice president at North Carolina National Bank. She earned a bachelor’s degree in business administration and an MBA in finance from the University of North Carolina at Greensboro. 

A member of NACD’s board of directors for the past seven years, Cole also serves as cochair of the NACD Future of the American Boardroom Commission and is a founding director and past president of the NACD Carolinas Chapter. Cole has chaired the nominating and governance committee of Martin Marietta Materials Inc. twice; she has also chaired the compensation and management development committee. In addition, Cole has led the boards of Biscuitville Inc., Greensboro Science Center, United Way of Greater Greensboro, and the North Carolina Biotechnology Center, among other board appointments. 

“You’d be hard pressed to find a corporate leader as well versed in all aspects of governance and finance as Sue is,” said Peter R. Gleason, NACD president and CEO. “The culmination of all of her experience—from nonprofits to Fortune 500 companies, and from senior management to strategic board leadership—is what will make her shine in this role leading our board of directors.” 

Cole added, “I am eager to continue the path of excellence that Bill McCracken has led us on for the past several years, striving to make the NACD board the gold standard for all boards. I also look forward to taking the organization to the next level at this pivotal moment, with initiatives including NACD Accelerate™ and NACD Directorship Certification® being excellent examples of innovative ways we are transforming for the better.”

About NACD
For more than 40 years, NACD has been on the leading edge of corporate governance, setting standards of excellence that have elevated board performance. NACD arms today’s directors with insights and education that drive their mission forward, while preparing a new generation of boardroom leaders to meet tomorrow’s biggest challenges. NACD is a community of more than 23,000 directors driven by a common purpose: to be trusted catalysts of economic opportunity and positive change—in businesses and in the communities they serve. To learn more about NACD, visit

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