Director Professionalism<sup>®</sup>

Director Professionalism®

2019-08-14 07:00 - 2019-08-16 15:15

NACD’s world-renowned Director Professionalism® foundation course in boardroom fundamentals will convene new and aspiring public company directors in beautiful Southern California.

Through panel discussions, case studies, and keynote presentations with experienced directors, you’ll benefit from real-world and real-time insights into board effectiveness and the evolving role of key committees in today's dynamic business environment. 

Small-group peer exchanges will offer dynamic Q&A on the unique governance challenges and emerging issues facing public, private, and nonprofit boards—and ample time for networking.

Attending NACD Director Professionalism makes a strong statement to stakeholders about your dedication to the highest standards of director professionalism and begins your path toward NACD Governance FellowshipThe Gold Standard Director Credential®.


This comprehensive course provides a robust foundation in the fundamentals and leading practices essential to boardroom effectiveness in today's dynamic corporate governance environment. All course participants gain awareness of the board's core responsibilities and critical areas of director knowledge established in the NACD Director Education Framework.


Profile - Howard Brod Brownstein Howard Brod Brownstein President, The Brownstein Corp, NACD Philadelphia Chapter; Director Merakey, P&F Industries, Inc. Howard Brod Brownstein is president and founder of The Brownstein Corp., a nationally-known turnaround-management firm. Brownstein regularly serves as an independent director. He currently chairs the nominating and governance and the strategic planning and risk assessment committees of P&F Industries Inc., and serves on the board of Merakey. Previously, he was the audit chair of PICO Holdings Inc., and also sole board member of Betsey Johnson LLC. He chaired the audit committees of LMG2 LLC and Special Metals Corp., and served on the board of Magnatrax Corp. He has chaired the boards of the National Philanthropic Trust and a United Way agency, and was a director of a regional bank and a retail department store. He has published more than 80 articles, books, and chapters on turnaround management and corporate governance. Brownstein is an NACD Board Leadership Fellow and president of the NACD Philadelphia Chapter.
Profile - Charles M. Elson Charles M. Elson Professor, Director John L. Weinberg Center for Corporate Governance, University of Delaware; Director, Encompass Health Corp. Charles M. Elson is the Edgar S. Woolard Jr. Chair in Corporate Governance and the director of the John L. Weinberg Center for Corporate Governance at the University of Delaware. Elson previously served as a professor of law at Stetson University College of Law from 1990 to 2001. He is a member of the American Law Institute. Elson is vice chair of the ABA Business Law Section's committee on corporate governance and serves on the Standing Advisory Group of the PCAOB. He is a director of Circon, Sunbeam, Nuevo Energy, the Investor Responsibility Research Center, Alderwoods Group, AutoZone, Bob Evans Farms, and Encompass Health. He has been named to the NACD Directorship 100, among Treasury & Risk Management’s "100 most influential people in finance," as a top 10 governance "star" by Global Proxy Watch, and to Ethisphere's 100 Most Influential People in Business Ethics (2014). Elson is an NACD Board Leadership Fellow
Profile - D'Anne Hurd D'Anne Hurd Director Peckham Industries, EILEEN FISHER, Inc.; Independent Trustee, Pax World Funds, Pax Ellevate D’Anne Hurd is a qualified financial expert and ESG/sustainability authority with more than two decades of experience serving on and consulting to boards of public, private, and family-owned companies. She recently joined the board of EILEEN FISHER Inc. as its first independent director and chairs its nominating and governance committee. Hurd also sits on the audit committee of Pax World Funds and Pax Ellevate Funds, chairs the audit committee of Peckham Industries Inc., and is serving a second term on the board of Camp Dudley. She was lead independent director for Hiperos, a cloud-based, software-as-a-service supply chain and third-party governance, risk, and compliance solutions provider. Hurd previously served on the boards of public companies in the technology, pharmaceuticals, and defense industries. Her business background includes roles as COO, CFO, and general counsel for six rapidly growing, Boston-based technology companies. Hurd is an NACD Board Leadership Fellow.
Profile - Erin Essenmacher Erin Essenmacher Chief Programming Officer NACD Erin Essenmacher serves as the chief programming officer for the National Association of Corporate Directors (NACD), responsible for the content curation, strategy, and execution of more than 60 virtual and brick-and-mortar education programs and events each year. Essenmacher is also an award-winning writer, director, and producer with nearly 20 years of experience in media production. She has written, directed, and produced films for PBS, the Discovery Channel, Animal Planet, the History Channel, and Court TV, and she produced and co-wrote the critically acclaimed independent documentary, MINE. Essenmacher currently serves on the board of EILEEN FISHER, Inc.
Profile - James Lam James Lam Chair Risk Oversight Committee, E*TRADE Financial Corp.; Director, RiskLens James C. Lam is the president of James Lam & Associates and a director and risk oversight committee chair of E*TRADE Financial. Lam is also a director and audit committee chair of RiskLens. He previously served as founder and president of ERisk, partner of Oliver Wyman, and chief risk officer of Fidelity Investments. Lam was named the inaugural “Risk Manager of the Year" by the Global Association of Risk Professionals (1997), to the “100 Most Influential People in Finance" by Treasury & Risk magazine (2005, 2006, and 2008), and to the NACD Directorship 100 (2017 and 2018). He is the author of several best-selling books. Lam’s latest book is Implementing Enterprise Risk Management (2017). In addition to serving on NACD’s faculty, Lam is on the Carnegie Mellon University faculty for their Chief Risk Officer Executive Certification Program. Lam is an NACD Board Leadership Fellow.
Profile - Jennifer C. Wolfe Jennifer C. Wolfe Founder & CEO Dot Brand 360 Jennifer Wolfe is CEO of Dot Brand 360, a digital agency and registrar, and principal of Wolfe Board Advisors, where she consults with boards and C-suite executives on digital and cybersecurity trends. She was previously the managing partner of patent law firm, Wolfe, Sadler, Breen, Morasch & Colby, and the first female president of the Greater Cincinnati Venture Capital Association. Her highly acclaimed books—Digital in the Boardroom (2016), Domain Names Rewired (2013), and Brand Rewired (2010)—have been endorsed by senior executives from Microsoft, Uber, Procter & Gamble, and the Motion Picture Association of America. She has written a regular column in Click Z and Search Engine Watch about future digital trends and was named one of the top IP strategists in the world by IAM magazine. She held leadership roles in ICANN, is part of the Direct Women Institute, and was an investor and director in technology start-ups. Wolfe is an NACD Governance Fellow.
Profile - John Fletcher John Fletcher Managing Director Delta Control Group LLC; Director, Headquarters Consulting Group LLC, Zenia Business Services; Former Commissioner Mayor Pro Tem and Audit Committee Chair, Town of Holden Beach, NC John Fletcher is managing director of Delta Control Group, an international consortium of board and management consultants. He serves on the boards of directors of Headquarters Consulting Group LLC, Delta Control Group, and Zenia Business Services. He was elected to the board of commissioners for Holden Beach, North Carolina—where he is mayor pro-tem of the board and chairs the audit committee—in 2015. Fletcher has served on the faculty of the U.S. Air Force Academy as a professor of economics and management. He was awarded the Bronze Star and Meritorious Service medals for military service in Vietnam. Fletcher retired as academic dean at Lake Forest Graduate School of Management in 1988. Fletcher is an NACD Governance Fellow.
Profile - Mary Beth Vitale Mary Beth Vitale Chair, Risk and Technology Committee GEHA; Co-Chair, Women Corporate Directors: Colorado Chapter Mary Beth Vitale is a director of GEHA Inc. She was a director of CoBiz Financial Inc. She chaired the audit and nominating & governance committee as well as serving on the executive committee. CoBiz was sold at the end of 2018 to Bank of Oklahoma. She chairs GEHA's risk and technology committee, and serves on the executive committee. Previously, Vitale was lead director for Eye-Ris Inc. and on the board of Zynex Inc. She chaired Zynex' compensation committee and served on its audit committee. Vitale is a former chair and CEO of Westwind Media Inc. and a past director of both Intrado Inc. and RMI. She is a faculty member for NACD's Board Advisory Services. She is a past president and corporate officer of AT&T Inc. Vitale is a founding commissioner of the Colorado Governor's Commission on Science and Technology; a past president and COO of Rocky Mountain Internet; a past chair and founding member of NACD's Colorado Chapter; and a founding co-chair of the Greater Colorado Chapter of Women Corporate Directors. Vitale is an NACD Board Leadership Fellow and holds the cyber security oversight certificate.
Profile - Robert Galford Robert Galford Lead Independent Director Forrester Research Inc.; Director, Sakonnet Point Club; Managing Partner, Center for Leading Organizations Robert Galford is the lead independent director of Forrester Research Inc., where he chairs the compensation and nominating committee. He is also on the board of directors of the Sakonnet Point Club and is an outside board advisor at Shepley Bulfinch, an architectural firm. Galford is a managing partner of the Center for Leading Organizations and a Leadership Fellow in Executive Education at Harvard University Graduate School of Design. He is the co-author of four books, The Trusted Advisor, The Trusted Leader, Your Leadership Legacy, and Simple Sabotage, along with numerous articles in Harvard Business Review.
Profile - Robert Howell Robert Howell Director Spectra Group Ltd.; Senior Partner, The Howell Group LLC Dr. Robert A. Howell is a faculty member for NACD, responsible for financial statement analysis instruction. He is a senior partner of The Howell Group LLC, and the former David T. McLaughlin D'54, T’55 Distinguished Visiting Professor of Business Administration, Tuck School of Business, Dartmouth. Dr. Howell previously held appointments at the International Institute for Management Development (IMD), Lausanne, Switzerland, The Thunderbird School of Global Management, New York University, and Harvard Business School.
Profile - Thomas Bakewell Thomas Bakewell CEO and Board Counsel Bakewell & Co.; Author, Claiming Your Place at the Boardroom Table: The Essential Handbook for Excellence in Governance and Effective Directorship; Director, FB Corp. Thomas Bakewell has served on private company (retail, banking and manufacturing) and nonprofit boards (education and healthcare) including FB Corp., Bethesda Health Group, Grandpa’s Retail, Roto Metrics Rotary Dies, and Friendship Villages. Bakewell has led major engagements for boards and presidents nationwide in strategy, organizational transformation, and effective governance. He regularly provides financial and legal counsel to CEOs. Bakewell is the author of the book Claiming Your Place at the Boardroom Table: The Essential Handbook for Excellence in Governance and Effective Directorship (McGraw-Hill October 2014). Bakewell is an NACD Board Leadership Fellow.
Profile - Tara Tays Tara Tays Managing Director Deloitte Consulting LLP Tara Tays is a managing director in Deloitte Consulting LLP's National Compensation Strategies Practice. She has more than 20 years of compensation consulting experience. Tays has advised management and boards of directors on a wide range of compensation matters, including the design and implementation of annual incentive and long-term incentive plans, the review and development of internal compensation policies and procedures, the assessment of risk associated with incentive programs, and the design of employment agreements and change-in-control/severance arrangements. Tays has extensive knowledge of shareholders' and proxy-advisory firms' concerns with compensation programs. She is the lead consultant over the Domestic Stock Plan Design and Domestic Stock Plan Administration surveys (cosponsored by Deloitte Consulting LLP and the National Association of Stock Plan Professionals), and has authored articles published in NACD Directorship magazine, Practical Law, and Deloitte's On the Board Agenda.
Profile - Libby Sartain Libby Sartain Principal Libby Sartain LLC Libby Sartain is an independent director and advisor, working with companies on human resource issues or in advisory capacity. With more than 30 years of experience in human resources, she is also an author and frequent speaker, using her HR leadership and management experience at companies in technology, transportation and manufacturing. She led human resources at Yahoo! and Southwest Airlines during transformative periods. Both companies were among Fortune magazine’s “Best Places to Work” during her tenure. Sartain now serves on the board of directors of ManpowerGroup and Shutterfly and is the First Vice Chair of the Board of AARP. She is the former board chair of the Society for Human Resource Management and currently is Chair Elect of the SHRM Foundation Board. She formerly served on the board of Peet’s Coffee and Tea.
Profile - Jake Olcott Jake Olcott VP of Strategic Partnerships BitSight Technologies Jacob Olcott is vice president of Communications and Government Affairs for BitSight, the standard in security ratings. He previously served as legal and policy advisor on cybersecurity issues to the US Senate Commerce Committee and the US House of Representatives Homeland Security Committee. Prior to BitSight, he advised Fortune 1000 executives on cybersecurity governance and technology issues. He also served as an adjunct professor at Georgetown University's Edmund A. Walsh School of Foreign Service where he taught a class on cybersecurity.
Profile - Colleen Birdnow Brown Colleen Birdnow Brown CEO Marca Global Colleen Birdnow Brown has an outstanding track record as a media and technology CEO and extensive experience as a corporate director. During her tenure as director, president, and CEO of Fisher Communications, Brown was selected as the 2014 GAMCO Management Hall of Fame winner. Brown has served in the C-suite of Belo Corp, as president of broadcasting at Lee Enterprises, and as a president at Gannett. She began her career in finance and digital technology. Brown’s board service includes TrueBlue, Spark Networks, and Port Blakely. She was recognized by NACD as a Top 100 Director in the United States in 2017. Corporate Director magazine lists her as a Top 10 Corporate Director You Should Know and Seattle Business Journal named her “Outstanding CEO” in 2014. In 2015, Brown founded Marca Global, an Inc. 5000 fastest growing technology company. She is an Aspen Institute Henry Crown Fellow.
Profile - Lawrence Elbaum Lawrence Elbaum Partner, Shareholder Activism Vinson & Elkins LLP Lawrence Elbaum is the cohead of Vinson &Elkin's Shareholder Activism practice. Elbaum is highly experienced in advising clients concerning proxy fights, merger contests, consent solicitations, "Withhold the Vote" or "Vote No" campaigns, precatory proposals, and short attacks. He also counsels clients on strategic investor relations and shareholder activism-related litigation and investigations in the United States and abroad. Over the past four proxy seasons, Elbaum has successfully led scores of defense engagements across all market capitalizations and covering virtually every industry. He also represents select investors in activism campaigns against public companies. Outside of the office, Elbaum works with organizations to promote gender and ethnic diversity in public company boardrooms, devotes significant efforts to pro bono work, and supports a host of regional, national and global charities.
Profile - Patrick Gadson Patrick Gadson Senior Associate, Mergers & Acquisitions and Private Equity Vinson & Elkins LLP Patrick Gadson is the New York chair of Shareholder Activism Practice in the New York office of Vinson & Elkins. He leverages his deep experience in capital markets, M&A, corporate governance, and private equity to counsel clients across a wide array of industries with respect to proxy contests and other shareholder activism campaigns, such as merger contests, precatory proposals, consent solicitations, withhold the vote/vote “no” campaigns, and short attacks. Gadson also advises clients concerning corporate governance, investor relations, hostile takeovers, strategic minority investments, and corporate capital investments in the United States. and abroad. Prior to joining Vinson & Elkins, Gadson practiced law at a leading shareholder activism law firm and a preeminent corporate law firm in New York City.
Profile - Ken Weixel Ken Weixel San Diego Managing Partner Deloitte & Touche LLP Ken Weixel is a senior partner at Deloitte with more than 35 years of experience supporting life sciences companies, provider organizations, and health plans. For the last five years, Weixel has served as Deloitte's managing partner in the San Diego marketplace. With Weixel's sponsorship and leadership, Deloitte founded the Center for Health Solutions that has become a leading source for thought ware, insight and perspective on changes in the health care industry. Weixel has chaired the Center’s advisory board and has been a frequent speaker and panelist for the Center. He has served on the boards of Biocom and CONNECT and has helped support the San Diego Venture Group and TechCoast Angels. Weixel is also a board member of the California Chamber of Commerce and the Century Club of San Diego, where he has chaired the finance committee.
Profile - Michele Hooper Michele Hooper Director PPG Industries, UnitedHealth Group, United Continental Holdings; President & CEO, The Directors' Council Michele J. Hooper is president and CEO of the The Directors’ Council and a senior advisor at CamberView Partners. She is a director of PPG Industries, UnitedHealth Group Inc., and United Continental Holdings. She is a former director of the Center for Audit Quality, for which she chaired the working group on financial reporting fraud. She has also formerly served on the boards of Target Corp., Seagram Co., AstraZeneca PLC, Warner Music Group, DaVita Inc., and NACD. She is also the former president of NACD’s Chicago Chapter. Hooper is a member of the Smithsonian National Board, the Economic Club of Chicago, the Commercial Club, the Chicago Network, and the Committee of 200. Hooper was named “NACD Director of the Year” in 2017. Hooper is an NACD Board Leadership Fellow.
Profile - Rochelle Campbell Rochelle Campbell Director, Board Services NACD Rochelle Campbell leads the National Association of Corporate Directors' (NACD) Board Recruitment practice. She has placed directors on corporate boards ranging from family-owned businesses to Fortune 500 companies and spanning a breadth of industries including construction, technology, energy, insurance, financial services, and global manufacturing. Eighty percent of NACD's placements in 2015 were diversity candidates. Campbell has advised more than 3,000 boards on leading governance practices and board composition. She also coaches more than 270 military flag and one- to four-star general officers, helping them to successfully transition their military experience into the private sector. Rochelle is a director of Child Steps International, an international nonprofit supporting children and communities in Liberia. She chairs their communications committee.


NACD has reserved a block of guestrooms at the Terranea Resort at a group rate of $375/night, plus a $15 discounted a night resort fee and applicable taxes (10%). Mandatory maid gratitude of $4/ night and a one-time porterage fee of $10 per room also applies. Reservations can be made by calling the hotel at 55-476-3912 and reference “NACD” to receive the discounted rate. The rate will be available until July 22, 2019, or until sold out.


Program Level: Intermediate
Delivery Method: Group-Live 
Prerequisites: Attendees must have an NACD membership and an in-depth understanding of corporate governance.
Advanced Preparation: Materials will be sent to all participants to read before the course.