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17 Sep 5 Areas Every Board Member Should Focus On

Joining a board can be a rewarding experience, both personally and professionally. Sitting on a board is a great way to use your skills in other areas and share your experience. While you are on a board you may wear many hats. In order to be an effective board member it’s important to remember what to focus on in order to make your role in the meetings as productive as they can be.  Here are five areas every board member should focus on:  The organization:  It is crucial to familiarize yourself with the company and industry before you join the board. Learn more about the company’s mission statement,...

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16 Sep Authors Write Different Ending for Amazon’s Board of Directors

In a recent letter by Authors United to the Amazon board of directors requested to challenge CEO Jeff Bezos to stop the “sanctioning” of Hachette author’s books. In the letter it states that the sanctions include “refusing pre-orders, delaying shipping, reducing discounting and using pop-up windows to cover authors’ pages.” The group charges that this has driven down sales by nearly 90%. Over 1,000 authors signed the letter in an attempt for the board of directors to amend the current company policies that are in place. The letter was first published in the New York Times. Amazon’s current board members include...

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09 Sep Board Recruitment Best Practices

A number of years ago for my birthday a friend of mine brought over 5 different vodka’s for me to try a blind taste test and select my favorite.  He brought Stolichnaya, Kettle One, Grey Goose, Skyy and Belvedere.  They say that vodka is a tasteless, odorless liquor but I found out differently and have been a loyal Skyy Vodka drinker ever since.  All of the others I tasted were well known and I picked the one that works for me. When it comes to best practices in Board Recruitment the blind taste test is one of the most important ones. ...

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04 Sep The Science Behind Board Compensation

When it comes to compensation for Boards almost anything goes.  The variance of the amount of compensation a company gives range from $0 to $500,000+.  Not only the amount of money paid annually, also the way boards are compensated. Here are a few examples showing the range of compensation: Monthly retainer of $500 Annual payment based upon how much dividend the company gave to the shareholders Annual retainer, per meeting fee, fee for committee work, annual stock grants and annual use of company products Annual retainer, cash payment at the end of every meeting and one time use of the company jet Compensation plans of public companies tend...

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03 Sep The Real Value of a Board of Advisors Role and Search

Often the term Board of Directors (BOD) gets confused with Board of Advisors (BOA) or just plain Board.  A Board of Directors is a very specific entity.  It has two main purposes: To Hire and Fire the CEO To approve corporate strategy Those are very direct and simple purposes, but in reality they are very complex and all encompassing.  Often companies have a Board of Directors in title, but by definition they would be unable to execute either purpose.   The CEO or an investor in the company owns enough shares in the company that the board is more advising than directing. A Board of...

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28 Aug Board of Directors Search Results One Year Later

Part 3--The selection and results one year later  Once Cardinal Board Services presented the final three candidates to Tim Gray, the chairman of the board, and Pat Ryan, the CEO of Ryan Companies, the decision was unanimous that they would pursue Alicia Harrison. Harrison had recently retired from Wells Fargo, where she ran the company’s Arizona real estate operation and served as the number two executive in the state. She is located in Phoenix, which also is the home of the Ryan Companies Southwest office. Harrison is also part of a family business in commercial real estate that her husband owns. She knew...

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27 Aug Ryan Companies Search For a New Board Member

Part Two---The search for a new and different board member While Ryan Companies has had a very successful history to date, the company understands that adaptability is paramount for continued growth. One of the biggest changes that occurred for the business was the changing of the company’s stakeholders (ownership, employees, customers, suppliers, communities). With those changes, new stakeholders needed more representation on the board. To better understand their board, Cardinal Board Services conducted a four-part analysis. This included: A review of the current board bylaws that govern how the board operates and their duties and responsibilities. A gap analysis that looked at the current board experience...

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26 Aug Behind the Scenes of the Board (Nationwide Diversity) Recruitment Process

Part One---The need, desire and challenge Companies across the nation turn to Cardinal Board Services for recruiting board members. While the board recruitment process isn’t necessarily easy, it is important for a company’s governance. In this three-part series, we look at Cardinal Board Services’ work with Ryan Companies, a 75-year-old private family construction and commercial real estate development business (www.ryancompanies.com) based in Minneapolis.   While Ryan Companies has a rich history in Minnesota -- including the building of one of the first Target stores in 1966 & being named the 2007 NAIOP National Developer of the Year -- the company has grown over...

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22 Aug Why Your Next Board Member Should not be a Man

There are not enough women that sit on a board of directors, that is a fact! The problem with this fact is most seasoned board members who have served on boards for years have a horror story regarding one woman who served on the board which was frustrating. The problem with that logic is it's like saying that a tall person or someone who worked for General Motors was on the board and they were bad, so now we shy away from all tall people or people who once worked for General Motors for new board members. The reality is: 1. Half...

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19 Aug Seven Reasons Why You Need a Recruiter to Help Select Your Next Board Member

Most board member positions are filled by acquaintances from current board members.  Frequently they use this practice to show a vote of confidence to the current board by adding the best kind of individual that fits the board's personality.  There is a huge flaw in that logic. Experience and diversity are number 1 and 2 on the list for qualifications of a new board member. An experienced board search firm can bring so much more to finding a new board member. This includes: A process that meets the timeline needed for bringing on a new board member. Market information on board compensation. Leading the discussion on current board gaps...

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