I was honored to have been a panelist for an event sponsored by theBoardList and hosted by PwC in Seattle on Wednesday, December 13. The others on the panel included board of directors experts Deanna Oppenheimer, founder of CameoWorks and Mike Buhrmann, Chairman & CEO of Vettd. The three of us were invited to share our insights on working on corporate boards for an audience primarily made up of women who aspire to this role. It was fun to share the stage with these two dynamic and accomplished business leaders/independent directors. The moderator, Lisa Puskarcik, Marketing Lead, CPG, Retail, Luxury, Healthcare, and Politics at Facebook, did a great job of keeping the conversation moving, helping us build upon one another’s comments, and inviting the audience to participate with their questions.
The audience was made up of about 75 women, mostly working in senior executive roles. They were attentive and engaged. The questions they asked primarily focused on how boards work and our advice regarding their own preparation for roles on boards of directors, whether for not-for-profit, private or public companies. These conversations continued one-on-one and in small groups during the breaks and over lunch. In the less than 24 hours since this event ended, I have had 15 of the attendees reach out to me via LinkedIn and email wanting to continue the conversation.
In addition to my role as a panelist, I enjoyed hearing keynote speaker Micheline Germanos, founder of Germanos Leadership. While much of her presentation on executive presence was more basic than I need at this point in my career, she still provided helpful reminders. And, it was fun to see the other attendees so engaged in thinking about their own professional presence and styles.
This event was so worthwhile! I always enjoy helping others grow professionally and I enjoy being a speaker at conferences. I hope to participate in more of these types of events. As a newcomer to the Seattle area, it was also a superb networking opportunity for me to meet other executive leaders in this community.
And, theBoardList is a superb organization. I am pleased to be one of the women whose credentials are included in their database for possible additional work as an independent board director. And, to be included on this list, I was endorsed by Cindy Pain of Lee, Hecht, Harrison; another honor since I hold her in the highest regard.
How are you continuing your professional development? Are you attending conferences like this one from theBoardList? Reading blogs? (you must be if you've gotten this far!) Reading books? Watching TedTalks? One of the best ways to continue to grow professionally is to share your gifts and experience by teaching others; whether at a conference or a brown bag lunch within your organization. Keep learning!