Author: Jim Zuehlke

gender equality in the board room

25 Sep The Truth About Gender Equality and Board Member Search

Board member gender equality is something that is always on our minds at Cardinal Board Services. Being in the industry for 25 years has given us the opportunity to hear many facts and fictions about why so few women are in leadership positions. If your company is not equally represented, we urge you to learn the facts, because your next best board member is likely a woman. To set the groundwork, let’s start by getting clear on the equality gap. “Women make about 20% of all directors at S&P 500 companies. Nearly three-quarters of boards have at least two women...

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when a small company should build a board

06 Mar How to Know When a Small Company Should Build a Board

During his time as CEO of Hollywood Fashion Secret, Matthew Goldberg tripled his company’s revenue in five years, “The reason I wanted a board for our company is it gave me an instant access to 80-100 years of experience around the table in specific functional areas to accelerate our business through our learning curve.” Small companies, or companies with less than $50M in revenue, can benefit greatly by having a board. A combination of two or three of the following issues drive the formation of a board: 1. Owner or operator turns investor The founder of the company would like to retire, but...

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tech savvy board member cto

06 Oct 5 Reasons Why Your Company Needs a Tech-Savvy Board Member

Fact: your company relies on technology. The digitization of business has continued to boom over the past fifteen years. So much so, that it now encompasses all fields - even farmers have the equivalent of what was once considered a supercomputer in their tractors. Information technology was previously considered operational, not strategic. Which makes sense as most companies first used computers to automate their accounting. But as technology has advanced, so has its importance in the daily lives of companies. Here are five benefits to having CIO or CTO on your board: An approach that finds business solutions by translating models to systems The most...

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board development risk

30 Aug R-I-S-K is a four-letter word for small to midsize companies

This article was originally posted on the Star Tribune's website. If you would like to read it there, please follow this link: R-I-S-K is a four-letter word for small to midsize companies. Most large companies have a risk department in one form or another. This is most often the chief risk officer (CRO). According to Wikipedia, a CRO of a corporation “is the executive accountable for enabling the efficient and effective governance of significant risks, and related opportunities, to a business and its various segments. Risks are commonly categorized as strategic, reputational, operational, financial or compliance-related. CROs are accountable to both the executive...

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04 May 5 Traits of The Quintessential Board Member

When bringing on a new board member, it’s critical to be strategic in your search and selection. While there are many factors to consider, it’s best to narrow them down to create a clear vision. In my experience, these five qualities are innate to the quintessential board member. Financial acumen and aptitude. The ability to thoroughly understand balance sheets, profit and loss statements, business ratios, true gross margin, potential tax implications, depreciation, etc. are all the ideal. A person who is well versed in financials will be able to get to the heart of most business challenges quickly. Mentorship. It’s best to...

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17 Mar Best Practice for Recruiting a New Board Member

Cardinal Board Services is an executive search firm that specializes in recruiting new board members for privately owned companies. Many private and family owned companies that generate $25 million in revenue or more ideally will have a board of directors to help manage the changes as that company grows. Other reasons for a company to have a board of directors includes company succession and managing the company culture overall. Recently Jim Zuehlke was interviewed by David Fondler at the Pioneer Press to discuss how Cardinal Board Services is helping companies build from the top leadership first. Zuehlke mentions the important roles...

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18 Feb Board of Directors Search Firm Shares Tip About How Governance is Not Management

Cardinal Board Services is a board of directors search firm that helps boards in multiple ways. This week we would like to share an important rule for a board member to remember by Ken Dayton, the former CEO and Chairman of Dayton Hudson (the predecessor to Target Corporation) and uncle to the current Governor of Minnesota Mark Dayton. In 2001 Dayton published Governance is Governance, a timeless piece on the importance of good governance in both the profit and non-profit sector.  He provides very clear and understandable of what the right relationship is between the CEO and the Chairman of the...

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06 Feb Board Member Search Firm Seeks More Board Stakeholder Representation

I met with a senior executive woman recently and she concurred that the representation of women board members is about equal to the representation of women in senior management roles in companies. By focusing on representing STAKEHOLDERS, women have a much more likely chance to serve on boards.  Stakeholders represent shareholders, employees, customers, suppliers and communities.  This representation has more than 19% of the employees or customers that are women which gives senior management strong governance guidance as they consider strategic issues that challenge the company. Read the recent Wall Street Journal article "Are Changes In Store for Women in the Boardroom?" and...

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21 Jan Women Board Members Increase in 2015? A Board Search Firm Responds

As a board search firm who works with privately held companies to recruit board members, we are constantly discussing the topic of adding women to the board of directors. According to a recent Washington Post article, women hold 19% of the board seats on corporate boards. The increase in conversation provides optimism for promoting more women in business and leadership. "I don't believe shaming anyone makes a difference on this topic," said Maggie Wilderotter, the CEO and chair of Frontier Communications, who is among the five women on her 12-member board. "But I do think a lever that is gaining some momentum is that...

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10 Dec Below the Surface – Board of Directors Search Firm

BELOW THE SURFACE On Monday, December 8th, it was announced that Trudy Rautio the CEO of Carlson Companies was appointed to the Board of Directors of Cargill Corporation.  It could be construed that this was a diversity addition to the Cargill board as Trudy will be the only female independent board member.  That is too easy of an assumption.  So what would be the real reason that Trudy was added.  Maybe it is because Cargill and Carlson companies both are located in Minnetonka or the companies names both start with the letter "C". Most likely the reasons are multifaceted such as Carlson...

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