Member of the Board, Chair of the Audit Committee, OFS Credit Company, Inc. (OCCI)
Former Member of the Board, Chairman of the Audit Committee, Chad Therapeutics (CTU)
Former public company Chief Financial Officer, currently Managing Director, Griggs Consulting, LLC
Advisory Board Member of Brainware, LLC
Kathleen’s Keys to Success:
- Your experience in the particular industry in which you are serving is important
- There must be chemistry between the board members & you
- You are committing to serving the shareholders of a company – that is a very important aspect of how you see a board & their members. The natural tension between management & the board is critical. You should be comfortable with that & the overall strategy of the company.
What made you decide that you wanted to become a corporate board member?
While I was a Chief Financial Officer I spent a great deal of time on the other side of the table from my audit committee and board members. Most of my background was in public companies and I learned a great deal from my boards and the advice they offered. After 30 years in public companies, it was time to become a corporate board member and offer my experience as an advisor on the boards where I serve.
Once you decided to work on getting onto a corporate board, what were some of the first things you did?
The help provided by Women in the Boardroom was essential in providing advice and focus that allowed me to work towards serving on a board. My network was critical and contact with that network on an ongoing basis was vital. Deciding what industry was important to me allowed me to focus on those organizations where my service would be needed. The combination of these things was essential.
How did you get connected to your first board seat?
Except for the Advisory Board seat, all my board service has been through connections in my network.
What characteristic or behavior did you exhibit that you believe was a critical factor in your successful candidacy for your first board appointment?
Getting to the candidate stage was the result of connections within my network. However, my overall background and experience in the growth of dynamic public companies, M&A, and strategic planning were important to the successful candidacy for that particular board.
How did you prepare – in every sense: emotionally, intellectually, practically – for your first board meeting and in what ways did that preparation pay off?
The work associated with board service requires that materials be read, questions developed, and that there is an understanding of the potential opportunities and issues in the business. All of this prepares you for the engagement with management to achieve a better understanding of the strategic objectives and what is happening within the business.
What has surprised you about the reality of board service versus the expectations that you had coming in – in a positive or maybe not so positive way?
Because I spent years at the executive management level, I had continuous interactions at the board level. There were very few surprises because of that. For someone who has not interacted with boards, there might be many surprises. For example, the level of fiduciary responsibility to shareholders, the governance of the board committees as well as executive management, or the processes that public company boards are required to act on and fulfill.
Help, hindrance or both – how does board service complement your professional career?
Board service complements my career in every way. It is a natural transition from the C Suite to board service. The years of experience in my professional career complements the role of a board member and the very important role on a board as an advisor.
Kathleen Griggs Bio
Kathleen is a public company board member and audit committee chairperson. She is the Managing Director of Griggs Consulting, LLC which focuses on corporate business operations improvements, strategic planning and mergers and acquisitions. Her background spans over 30 years of experience at the C level and management in high technology public companies.
Views From The Boardroom is an exclusive series from Women In The Boardroom, where corporate board directors share their experience, insight and wisdom and their view from the boardroom. Corporate board directors interested in participating should email email@example.com.
The opinions and experiences expressed by the interviewees do not necessarily reflect those of Women in the Boardroom.