NACD to Explore the Board’s Role in Overseeing Organizational Culture

3/28/2017, 3:00 PM (Source: GlobeNewswire)

WASHINGTON, March 28, 2017 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- The National Association of Corporate Directors (NACD), the advocate for the profession of directorship, today announced that NACD’s 2017 NACD Blue Ribbon Commission will explore the role of the board in overseeing its organization’s corporate culture. 

Pressure to meet performance targets in the absence of the right culture can leave companies—and directors—exposed to material financial, regulatory, and reputational risks. Conversely, numerous studies have shown that organizations with highly engaged employees (one indicator of a strong, positive culture) outperform others with regard to customer satisfaction, profitability, productivity, and shareholder returns.  

Throughout the spring and summer, more than 30 experienced directors and leading governance professionals will develop specific guidance for boards on how to work with their management teams to foster a vibrant corporate culture. 

“For years, NACD’s Blue Ribbon Commission reports have set the standards for effective boardroom practice,” said NACD CEO and President Peter Gleason. “The 2017 Blue Ribbon Commission will address a critical issue of interest to directors, investors, regulators, and the governance community as a whole—the issue of organizational and boardroom culture. We look forward to the insights and guidance that will emerge from the commission’s work this year.” 

The NACD Blue Ribbon Commission will be led by cochairs Dr. Helene Gayle (director of the Coca-Cola Co. and the Colgate-Palmolive Co. and CEO of the McKinsey Social Initiative) and Nicholas Donofrio (director of AMD Inc., BNY Mellon, Delphi Automotive PLC, Liberty Mutual Group, the MITRE Corp., and NACD).

“Study after study have shown that culture is a key component of an organization’s success or failure. The commission’s goal is to look at the board’s role in fostering a strong culture that permeates each level of the company, including inside the boardroom,” said Dr. Helene Gayle, commission cochair.

“The mission of the board of directors is to serve as a strategic asset to the company and drive long-term value creation,” said commission cochair Nicholas Donofrio. “Culture is a critical part of this equation.” 

The 2017 commissioners constitute a roster of distinguished corporate leaders and governance experts. While subject to change, the NACD 2017 Blue Ribbon Commission currently includes the following members:


  • Helene Gayle, Director of the Coca-Cola Co. and the Colgate-Palmolive Co. and CEO of McKinsey Social Initiative
  • Nicholas Donofrio, Director of AMD Inc., BNY Mellon, Delphi Automotive PLC, Liberty Mutual Group, the MITRE Corp., and NACD


  • Joan Amble, Director of Booz Allen Hamilton Inc., Sirius XM Holdings Inc., and the Zurich Insurance Group
  • Shellye Archambeau, Director of Nordstrom Inc. and Verizon Communications Inc. and CEO of MetricStream Inc.
  • Daryl Brewster, Director of Freshpet and Starlite Media LLC and CEO of the Committee Encouraging Corporate Philanthropy
  • Stephen Brown, Senior Advisor of KPMG Board Leadership Center
  • Herman Bulls, Director of USAA, Computer Sciences Corp., and Comfort Systems USA Inc.
  • Phyllis Campbell, Director of JPMorgan Chase & Co. and Alaska Air Group Inc.
  • Rodney Chase, Director of Hess Corp. and Tesoro Corp.
  • Sue Cole, Director of Biscuitville, the Cone Health Foundation, Martin Marietta Materials, and NACD
  • Theodore Dysart, Vice Chairman of the Chicago office of Heidrick & Struggles
  • Charles Elson, Director of Bob Evans Farms Inc. and the HealthSouth Corp. and also the Edgar S. Woolard Chair in Corporate Governance and Director of the John L. Weinberg Center for Corporate Governance, University of Delaware
  • Brenda Gaines, Director of Southern Company Gas, Tenet Healthcare Corp., and NACD
  • Peter Gleason, Director of Nura Health and President and CEO of NACD
  • Holly Gregory, Partner with Sidley Austin LLP
  • Janice Hamby, Director of Cubic Corp.
  • Leslie Heisz, Director of Edwards Lifesciences LLC, Public Storage, and the Kaiser Foundation Health Plan
  • Robert Herz, Director of Fannie Mae, Morgan Stanley, Workiva, and the Sustainability Accounting Standards Board
  • Daniel Hesse, Director of Akamai Technologies Inc., JUST Capital, and PNC Financial Services Group Inc.
  • Karen Horn, Chair of NACD and Director of Simon Properties Group
  • Marie Huber, Director of James Campbell LLC and Senior Vice President and General Counsel/Secretary of eBay Inc.
  • Lewis Kaden, Director of ArcelorMittal S.A.
  • Michael Marino, Partner with Heidrick & Struggles
  • Georgia Nelson, Director of Ball Corp., Cummins Inc., TransAlta Corp., and Sims Metal Management
  • Karen Peetz, Director of Wells Fargo & Co.
  • Myrtle Potter, Director of InsMed Inc., Liberty Mutual Group, Proteus Digital Health Inc., and RiteAid Corp. and a trustee of the University of Chicago
  • Elizabeth St. Onge, Partner with Oliver Wyman
  • Adalio Sanchez, Director of ACI Worldwide Inc.
  • Linda Sanford, Director of Consolidated Edison Inc., Pitney Bowes Inc., and RELX PLC
  • Gregory Smith, Director of Lear Corp. and Penske Corp.
  • Lauren States, Director of Clean Harbors Inc. and Webster Financial Corp.
  • Robert Stevens, Director of Monsanto Co. and US Steel Corp.
  • David Swinford, President and CEO of Pearl Meyer
  • John Visentin, Director of Presidio Inc. and CEO of Novitex Enterprise Solutions Inc.
  • Dennis Whalen, Partner in Charge of KPMG Board Leadership Center
  • Dona Young, Director of AEGON N.V., Foot Locker Inc., and Save the Children

The titles and affiliations of commissioners in this list are selective and do not include all directorships. Commissioners participate as a service to the governance community and not as representatives of any organization.

The commission’s report is scheduled for release in October at the NACD Global Board Leaders’ Summit.

About NACD
The National Association of Corporate Directors (NACD) empowers more than 17,000 directors to lead with confidence in the boardroom. As the recognized authority on leading boardroom practices, NACD helps boards strengthen investor trust and public confidence by ensuring that today’s directors are well prepared for tomorrow’s challenges. World-class boards join NACD to elevate performance, gain foresight, and instill confidence. Fostering collaboration among directors, investors, and corporate governance stakeholders, NACD has been setting the standard for responsible board leadership for 40 years. To learn more about NACD, visit To become an NACD member, please contact us at or 202-572-2089. If you are already a member, contact your NACD Membership Advisor at to ensure that you are receiving the best value from your membership.

Media Contact
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Brawner Communications

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