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Fall 2017 Directors Academy

Gerri C. LeBow Hall
3220 Market Street
Rm. 1237
Philadelphia, PA 19104
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Registration Cost(s):
General: $1500.00

Tuesday, October 24 1-5 p.m.

Wednesday, October 25 9 a.m. - 5 p.m.

Directors Academy provides an intensive and highly-focused interactive dialogue between participants and leading executives, corporate directors, policy makers, legal and financial services experts on critical issues facing boards today. The small, targeted environment affords peer to peer exchange and the opportunity for participants to connect with sitting, seasoned board members. 

Session I – Enhancing Financial Acumen

Board members have worked under the assumption that finance is a tool or task that can be delegated to the CFO. The reality is that financial acumen is a critical element of value creation within a company, which gives owners and directors the ability to understand what type of risk they face. It is imperative that directors know what questions to ask and what to look for when viewing financial statements.
This half day session will provide individuals on their journey to the boardroom an enhanced and refreshed understanding of financial statements to answer the question, “Do I want to serve on this board?” One of the biggest challenges in assessing a firm is to understand which pieces of information to examine and what data are most relevant. Participants will develop tools for examining the effects of executive decisions and how corporate governance drives firm value.

Subject Matter Expert:

  • David Becher, David Cohen Research Scholar in Finance and Associate Professor in Finance, Drexel University

Session II – Board Committees: Emerging and Expanding Responsibilities

Today, investors’ put a growing emphasis on board transparency, accountability and independence, its more critical than ever to clearly define the role of a director. Through the lens of the three key committees—audit, executive compensation, and nominating and governance – this session will explore the unique duties and expanding roles that directors perform to increase shareholder value. Participants will gain an understanding of the purpose and processes of each key board committee and how to engage members of the management team without getting into the weeds.

Subject Matter Experts:

  • Autumn Bayles, VP Global Operational Excellence, Aramark; Compensation Committee Member, QNB Corp

  • Howard Brownstein, President, The Brownstein Corp.; Audit Committee Member, AM Castle

Session III – Director’s Role in Navigating Political Uncertainty

As uncertainty in Washington continues on issues spanning healthcare, tax reform, global trade policy, regulatory reform, and climate change, directors are uniquely positioned to help ensure management focuses on the policy initiatives that are most critical to the company’s strategies, risk profiles, and operations. Experts are anticipating changes to policies on environmental and social issues will cause shareholder activism in those areas to gain momentum. Participants will walk away from this session with an understanding the boards role in assessing the potential impact of any policy shifts on long-term performance of the company.

Subject Matter Experts:

  • Tom Davis, Director - Federal Government Affairs, Deloitte LLP

  • Katayun Jaffari, Partner, Ballard Spahr

Session IV – Proxy Statements: What Matters to Investors

Proxy statements have become lengthy disclosure documents that are difficult to read and understand. It’s imperative that companies produce clear, quality proxies that communicate and tell their story in a way that shareholders can easily comprehend. During this session, experts will discuss how a well thought out proxy statement can support board decisions, as well as what topics are of interest to investors.

Subject Matter Experts:

  • Yelena Barychev, Corporate Governance and Securities Partner, Blank Rome LLP

  • Adrienne Monley, Senior Strategist and Senior Manager - Investor Stewardship, Vanguard

Session V – Journey to the Boardroom

The key to a successful transition to the boardroom is the understanding of the behavioral dynamic and key personal relationships which exist on the board. Participants will have the opportunity to talk with current public and private directors and search firm executives about the successes and challenges of what it takes to prepare for board service.

Subject Matter Experts:

  • Alyse Bodine, Regional Practice Managing Partner, Financial Officers Practice and Partner-In-Charge, Philadelphia, Heidrick & Struggles

  • Joan Carter, President, UM Holdings; Vice Chairman, CYBEX International

  • Ruby Chandy, Director, Ametek and Flowserve Corporation

  • Tony Thene, President and Chief Executive Officer, Carpenter Technology Corporation

Certificate in Director Education:
Directors Academy is held twice annually in the fall and spring. Upon completion of two Directors Academy programs (equivalent to 24 credit hours), participants are awarded a Certificate in Director Education and walk away with an understanding of the increasingly complex and ever-changing role of a corporate board member prepared to contribute to discussions occurring in the boardroom.

Who should attend?


  • Business


  • Continuing Professional Education