Board Recruitment

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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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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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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24 Nov The Board of Directors Poker Game

A board of directors is similar to a poker game.  They both meet on a regular basis, there is a variety of individuals involved, they are primarily men, the number of members need to be present to make it meaningful and this is not anyone’s primary career. So what if the monthly and/or quarterly poker game is missing one or more players?  The remaining group needs to recruit another player or two.  The group seeks to recruit someone with the same skill level as the other players, no one wants an unskilled player that is too slow or needs to be taught the...

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13 Nov Companies With Three or More Female Directors Achieve Better Financial Results

Here is proof that diversity pays dividends! There have been numerous studies and reports on the advantages of having women on your board of directors.  In the Wall Street Journal article Female CEO's Make Room for Female Directors spells it out and how women CEO's are leading the way on this in their own company boards.  One of the best quotes in the article was "Big companies with three or more female directors achieved significantly better financial results than those with none".  The other quote really supports my experiences that the CEO Mindy Grossman of HSN said "If you narrow what you...

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24 Oct Using a Recruiter to Build a Better Board of Directors

In a recent interview with Enterprise Minnesota Magazine the question was is it always better to recruit a board member blindly or by using a board of directors executive search firm. My response was I'm not sure there is a perfect answer for that.  I'm a little bit biased because we are in the business of recruiting board members, but let me tell you why I think it is better to have people you do not know on your board to begin with. With it you get unbiased perspective and advice regarding the business. This is critical to the success of...

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25 Sep Biotech Firms Search For 300 New Board of Directors in Next 2 Years

A strong board of directors is needed for every business. In Biotech, a combination of c-level executives with a background in R&D is hard to find. Good training and talent are important for every board room. According to a recent article at, "the 'half-life' of a recent IPO's Director is about four years. In other words, within the first four years or so post-IPO, ~50% of the Board of Directors on a newly public biotech Board have departed and been replaced." In the article goes on to say that "in its 35 year history ever needed as many new Board...

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23 Sep 3 Hurdles Every Board Member May Face

Every board is different, with its own individual personalities meshing for one common cause. Therefore, it is inevitable that there will a few hurdles a rookie or veteran board member may encounter. 4 hurdles every board member may face:   1. Not Doing the Homework: Not being prepared for the meetings could be detrimental to the board because then all the reading material may have to be re-presented to the board. That cuts into the time they have for proactive dialogue which is important in order to create an effective board. 2. Lack of Organizational Knowledge: Along with not being prepared, not knowing enough about...

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