All-Star Panelists Will Lead 2016 Board Dynamics Session

The 2016 Board Dynamics Session How to Unite Your Board in Times of Adversity is less than a month away! The panelists who will be speaking are an impressive group, and you will benefit by hearing about their experiences in the corporate world.

Susan Swenson serves on the Wells Fargo, Harmonic Inc. and Spirent Communications boards as a director. She is the CEO and chair of Novatel Wireless. Swenson also serves as the chair to the First Responder Network US Authority. Susan has served on several other boards and has experience as a Chief Operating Officer at Novatel Cellular. She is able to adapt to many different industries, which makes her such an asset to any board. Swenson was honored with 2015 Director of the Year awardby the Forum of Corporate Directors for corporate growth and board development. She understands how to create emotionally safe environments in which boards thrive during times of adversity.

It is important to establish a safe board environment in which directors are able to openly express opinions and information because when we sense a lack of safety, the body automatically gets ready for a fight-or-flight response. Consequently, collaborative abilities are put on hold. When we sense safety, we become open to trusting and cooperating with others.
Swenson will share experiences that have taught her about times of conflict and stress in the boardroom and strategies for keeping your board united.
Mike GallagherMichael Gallagher is the 2016 recipient of the Director of the Year award from the Forum of Corporate Directors based on his work with the Allergan/Actavis transition. Currently, Gallagher is the Lead Independent Director and Chair of the Organization and Compensation Committee of Allergan as well as a member of the Board of Advisors of the Haas School of Business, University of California, Berkeley. He has a long career of CEO positions at several large brands in a variety of industries. His success has a lot to do with his ability to work with all types of people. Gallagher understands the importance of establishing emotional connections and how emotions impact the decision-making process in the boardroom. Part of Gallagher’s strategy is to make directors feel safe by creating emotional connections and a “safe harbor” within the boardroom for his fellow directors.
Cary Hayden

Cary Hyden is another big name from the Allergan hostile takeover attempt and subsequent merger with Actavis. Hyden was the lead lawyer in the merger and worked with the Allergan board to achieve their goals during the stressful times of the takeover. Hyden is a partner at Latham & Watkins as well as the Chair of the Latham & Watkins’s Corporate Department in Orange County. He was named one of the “Top 100 Lawyers in California” in both 2014 and 2015 by the Daily Journal. Hyden has worked on more than 170 merger and acquisition cases in a broad range of industries. His focus on mergers and acquisitions makes him the perfect panelist for our session on adversity. Hyden will be sharing his experience with hostile takeover attempts and dealing with activist stockholders. Advice from independent counsel like Hyden about the scope of fiduciary duties can provide a sense of safety and security, enabling directors to make decisions that benefit their companies.
Lola Gershfeld

Dr. Lola Gershfeld is the founder and CEO of Level Five Executive. She also serves on the Board of Governors at the Center Club of Orange County. Dr. Gershfeld is a board dynamics specialist who has created several tools used by directors, CEOs, and chairs. Armed with a Doctorate in Organizational Psychology and more than 30 years of experience in business operations, Dr. Gershfeld demonstrates a unique focus on building a board’s value through increased emotional intelligence. Emotional intelligence is especially important when building trust and positive interaction among directors. When a sense of emotional safety is established, the desire to share information and to be transparent is enhanced while feelings of fear and uncertainty dissipate. Dr. Gershfeld will share the latest research on brain function and how to create and maintain positive emotional connections during stressful times.
Ed Merino

Ed Merino will moderate the session, and will provide insight into what it takes to make a board of directors successful. He is the founder and CEO of Office of the Chairman and a proven boardroom executive coach. Merino is also Chairman Emeritus of the Forum for Corporate Directors, Orange County and the Board Vice Chairman of the National Association of Corporate Directors, Southern California Chapter. He is well known within the corporate directors community as an expert in board governance. Mr. Merino’s 25 years of experience informs his deep understanding of how to create safe and effective environments for boards to perform at a higher level and meet their goals during stressful times. By working together to overcome obstacles, complete assignments, and deliver results, directors build a closeness and are energized to lead their companies in ways that will positively impact the future.

Our all-star panelists will provide fresh perspectives on how to keep a board united in even the most difficult times. The session will be held on March 7, 2016 from 7am to 10:30am at the Center Club Orange County. Register for the event here. For more information on effective board dynamics, please contact us at [email protected].

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