Diversity on Boards – Journey to and Beyond the Boardroom

Sponsored by Ernst & Young LLP
Research shows that companies and organizations led by diversified boards perform better than those with less diversity. Through both government action and pressure from investors, boards are increasingly adding more diverse officers.

Learn about the impact of gender diversity in boardrooms and prepare to attain that coveted board seat.

Gain insights and strategies on board readiness, plus tactics to navigate the often hidden and mysterious board selection process. Consider how the new and primarily virtual environment has impacted boardroom dynamics, as three board members share their perspectives.

Members who are interested in serving on a corporate, private, or nonprofit board are invited to complete the 100WF Corporate/Private and Nonprofit Board questionnaires. Those members will be included in board searches and invited to selective and complimentary board education/training, networking and VIP events.

Participation in the Board Initiative is open to all members, regardless of attendance at this webinar.

Produced by the 100WF Southern California Committee.
22 September 2020
2:00PM N. America West Coast
4:00PM Cayman and Chicago
5:00PM N. America East Coast
7:00AM Sydney (23 Sept)
The program will begin promptly.

Christina E. Carroll

Sharda Cherwoo
Independent Board Director

Beverly Cole
Independent Board Director

Sarah Francis-Bland
Ernst & Young LLP
Ernst & Young LLP
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Christina E. Carroll
Managing Director, Stout

Christina E. Carroll is a Managing Director in the Los Angeles office where her responsibilities include providing valuation and transaction related advice. For more than 25 years, Ms. Carroll has been a Board and C-suite advisor on complex transactions and strategic issues with a focus on evaluating transactions and assisting her clients in enhancing shareholder value. Ms. Carroll also serves as the Los Angeles Office City Leader and she is a member of the Board of Directors of Stout. Ms. Carroll’s experience includes rendering fairness opinions, solvency and related transaction opinions to board of directors, special committees, financial institutions, pension funds and other fiduciaries in conjunction with mergers & acquisitions, going private transactions, spin-offs, recapitalizations and financing transactions. Ms. Carroll also performs independent valuations of businesses and securities for tax, financial reporting, estate and gift tax planning, Employee Stock Ownership Plans and other purposes. Prior to joining Stout, Ms. Carroll was a Director in the Financial Advisory Services Group at Houlihan Lokey where she was responsible for business valuations, fairness opinions, co-investment advice, portfolio valuation and other strategic transaction advice to institutional investors and large private and public companies. Prior to Houlihan Lokey, Ms. Carroll was a partner at Ernst & Young in Los Angeles, Dublin, Ireland and Dallas, Texas. During her tenure at Ernst & Young, she advised CEOs, founders and management teams on their strategic transactions included mergers, acquisitions, capital raising, IPOs, ESOPs, spin-offs and going private transactions. Ms. Carroll is currently a member of the Board of Directors of NN, Inc., a publicly traded industrial manufacturer (ticker NNBR) and she was formerly a member of the Board of Directors of The Chefs’ Warehouse (ticker: CHEF), 2018-2019.

Sharda Cherwoo
Independent Board Director

Sharda is a strategic global thinker, innovator and a leader with deep experience in finance, risk management, governance, digital and business process transformation, shared service strategy, analytics, robotics, AI and blockchain. In her 37-year career with Ernst & Young LLP (EY) —28 as partner—Sharda has held a wide range of leadership positions involving global entrepreneurial initiatives, intelligent automation, strategic practice development, operations and business unit management, in addition to client service leader roles for several of EY’s largest global clients. As CEO of EY’s Global Shared Services, Sharda pioneered the firm’s offshore shared services initiative in 2001 and led the strategy and implementation, which accelerated EY’s vision for the future of work and talent transformation. It currently has 25,000+ people in 5 countries. Most recently, Sharda spearheaded EY’s Intelligent Automation initiative in 2015. Her efforts led to the EY Board directing investments in intelligent automation. This positioned EY as a leading adopter and user of cutting-edge technologies and advisor for clients seeking to advance their own digital transformation and AI programs. She received the 2017 Gold Stevie® Award for Innovation of the Year for her strategic leadership and implementation of robotics at EY. Sharda is a member of the board of World Fuel Services Corporation, a Fortune 100 company (NYSE:INT), which provides an integrated platform for energy, logistics and related advisory services. She is a member of its Technology & Operations, Governance, Sustainability Committees, and the Board’s point person on cybersecurity for the Audit Committee. She has been a member of the International House Board of Trustees, a nonprofit, whose mission is to train and empower the next generation of global leaders and foster cross-cultural understanding. She has served as a mentor in their Women’s International Leadership Program and a member of the Audit and Development Committees. Sharda is also on the Board of Tax Analysts, a nonprofit, premier outlet for high-quality tax news and commentary committed to improving the transparency of tax systems. Sharda was selected as an honoree in the Directors & Boards 2020 as a Director to Watch and also been honored to be invited to join the NYSE Board Advisory Council Network (founded by 15 NYSE CEOs) and is a member of this exclusive network of CEO-vetted, board-ready candidates. Throughout her career, Sharda has proven to be a respected and valued coach, mentor and advocate of promising new talent. Sharda has been interviewed and published in the business and technology media on a variety of diversity and inclusion, compliance and consulting topics, including digital transformation, intelligent automation, tax planning strategies and continuous career learning and professional growth. Sharda is passionate about living her personal purpose everyday: Proactive and intentional in giving voice and opportunity to those with untapped potential.

Beverly Cole
Independent Board Director

Beverly Cole, an attorney and investment banker, has expertise in human resources, diversity, real estate, property management, franchise ownership, hospitality, securities, financial services, corporate governance, audit, and regulatory compliance. Ms. Cole was involved in M&A, acquisition due diligence, post acquisition, public-private and international partnerships, franchise management, manufacturing and consumer products sourcing and economic development. Ms. Cole was a Regulator with the Office of Thrift Supervision and the FDIC, leading safety and soundness, CRA, Commercial / Residential Mortgage Lending examinations and bank closures. During her FDIC tenure, Ms. Cole led multi-state marketing efforts selling billions of failed financial institutions’ assets. She managed top 20 banks’ Loss Share Agreements and real estate loan modifications. For the Small Business Administration, Ms. Cole managed $950 million a SBIC liquidation portfolio. Ms. Cole was an executive in strategic sourcing and purchasing with the Walt Disney Company, where she participated on corporate global repositioning of local and regional supply chains to more cost-efficient global manufacturing supplier base. Her national team had cross divisional responsibilities across all US business units except film and entertainment. Ms. Cole was an executive with Eastman Kodak’s Real Estate Department where she managed corporate real estate asset divestitures of warehouse, manufacturing facilities and office building. One of the real estate disposition efforts won an ULI Award and received California’s Public / Private recognition because Kodak’s property abuts the City of San Ramon’s property. The City and Kodak entered a multi-year process to dispose of parcels resulting in affordable housing, shopping center, and parks. At Union Carbide, Ms. Cole was an attorney with expertise in FTC, SEC, Real estate and contract responsibilities for the Consumer and Eveready Battery Divisions. She was tapped to participate on the product liability litigation legal team for Bhopal ‘s toxic spill case. Ms. Cole was a Wall Street investment banker with Merrill Lynch and smaller regional firms, where she structured MBS real estate, asset-backed securities and limited partnerships. She covered state pension funds, corporate Treasury offices and managed relationships with real estate developers for participation and securitization structuring. She also participated on the short-term security desk. Ms. Cole is the CEO and CFO of family office owning multi-state affordable housing and triple net properties. She is retired CEO of CR Foods the largest woman owned franchise network in Southern Fla. She is an avid world traveler and tech audiophile.

Sarah Francis-Bland
Executive and Board Network Leader, Ernst & Young LLP

Sarah Francis-Bland serves as the Executive and Board Network Leader for the Americas Financial Services Organization of Ernst & Young LLP (EY). In her role, Sarah is responsible for the development and execution of strategic programs that enhance EY’s global brand, create sustainable value, and help organizations source Directors for board refreshment and board effectiveness. She is a passionate connector, innovator, convener and a regular speaker on topics related to board readiness, board diversification, board composition, corporate governance, and social capital. Prior to joining EY in 2008, Sarah worked for a Philadelphia-based venture capital firm where she oversaw talent strategy and recruiting efforts. She is a member of EY's Women Athletes Business Network (WABN) steering committee and previously sat on EY’s Americas People Team (APT) Advisory Board. Sarah currently serves on the Advisory Council for Villanova University's Anne Welsh McNulty Institute for Women's Leadership and sits on the board of Marjorie's Fund, a New York-based nonprofit that helps to empower people with type 1 diabetes in under-resourced locations, where she chairs the Development Committee. In 2019, she received the distinguished Young Alumni of the Year Award from Villanova University. She resides in New York with her husband and two sons.
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100 Women in Finance
100 Women in Finance's more than 15,000 members strengthen the global finance industry by empowering women to achieve their professional potential at each career stage. Its members inspire, equip and advocate for a new generation of industry leadership, in which women and men serve as investment professionals and executives, equal in achievement and impact. Through Education, Peer Engagement and Impact, the organization furthers the progress of women who have chosen finance as a career, and enables their positive influence over pre-career young women.
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