ESG & the Board | Women in the Boardroom

Recorded Webinar

ESG & the Board

Rapid change is the new normal, with ESG being among the priorities. The rise in the need to understand ESG at the board level of US companies relates to stiff competition for talent, increased consumer demand for product information, investors seeking out opportunities to manage short-, and long-term, risk, and the macro-economic challenge of revitalizing the Innovation Culture in US industry.  At the same time, board composition and succession planning of management and boards are seeming to be proxies for, or indicators of, how companies will fare in a future which is characterized by a cell-phone culture and institutional investors.  During this webinar, you will learn about:

  • If ESG is the same as CSR & sustainability
  • Frameworks for ESG accountability & finance
  • Ways for board governance agility to support ESG accountability


Howard Brod Brownstein , Leonora Zilkha Williamson , D’Anne Hurd, Amy Rojik, CPA

Date & Time

June 24, 2021
12:00 PM ET


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Individual & Corporate Members, please use your promo code to register complimentary. Cost for non-members to register is $50. To become a member, click here. Registrants will receive sign-on information one day prior to the webinar via email. The recorded version of the webinar is automatically sent to all registrants afterward whether you attend the live version or not.

About the Speakers

Howard Brod Brownstein

President, The Brownstein Corporation; Director, P&F Industries (NasdaqGS: PFIN), Merakey, NACD Philadelphia Chapter

Howard Brod Brownstein, CTP, is a nationally-known turnaround and restructuring professional, and regularly provides programs for Women in the Boardroom. He is President of Brownstein Corporation, which provides turnaround management and advisory services, as well as investment banking, fiduciary services, litigation consulting, investigations and valuation services. He regularly serves on the boards of directors of public and private companies, and currently serves on the boards of: P&F Industries (Nasdaq: PFIN) where he chairs the Nominating/Governance and Strategic Planning & Risk Assessment Committees, Renew Financial, where he serves as chair of the Risk Committee, and Merakey, a nonprofit with over 10,000 employees. He is a Certified Turnaround Professional, and also an NACD Board Leadership Fellow and Immediate Past President and Board Chair of the NACD Philadelphia Chapter. He has authored ninety articles and textbook chapters, is a Contributing Editor at two publications, and is a regular guest-lecturer at Harvard Business School, Wharton, NYU and elsewhere. He received JD and MBA degrees at Harvard, and B.S. (Wharton) and B.A. degrees from the University of Pennsylvania.

Leonora Zilkha Williamson

Founder, Platinum Rule Advisors; Lecturer in Business, Vanderbilt University

Leonora Williamson performs strategy and governance work for family-owned businesses and she has a passion for ESG. Leonora is a people-person with blue-chip education and work experience and a unique ability to ask powerful questions. As Founder of a successful executive coaching and consulting firm, Leonora serves family-business owners, CEOs and their leadership teams, and venture capital/ private equity investors with human capital consulting and executive coaching services. The tripling of her business each year since inception is testament to her strong and
influential network, and ability to serve as a trusted advisor. Her high levels of referrals and repeat clients contributed to Influence Digest ranking her Nashville’s #1 Executive Coach for 2021.

Leonora has served on the board of her family’s company, Sabre Yachts, for over a decade. This role has fueled her dual passions for family- owned business (her coaching specialty) and governance. At Sabre and its sister company Back Cove Yachts, Leonora has worked with the management team on strategy, branding and human capital management. Leonora has personal and professional experience in succession planning, and is a tireless advocate for governance is family companies. Leonora also served as one of 12 advisory board members for a fintech company owned by a publicly-traded bank. When the bank spun the company out and formed a fiduciary board, she was the sole advisor asked to become a fiduciary for the value she added on governance, strategy and human capital management. When a crisis
ensued soon after, Leonora led the assessment of strategic options that resulted in a winddown.

Further, she spearheaded the messaging and care-taking of employees impacted.
Leonora is no stranger to operating complex businesses. As a junior investment banker and consultant, Leonora advised many Fortune 500 companies on strategy. As an Executive at Estee Lauder, Leonora oversaw a P&L of over $500m
across 60 countries. In addition, she launched MAC Cosmetics first e-commerce site outside North America, in the UK. In addition, she teaches undergraduates at
Vanderbilt University in Negotiation and a new course she created this year on Corporate Social Responsibility/ ESG. Recognizing that the Undergraduate Business Minor had a curricular gap in ESG issues, she proposed, developed and delivered a brand-new course. Leveraging her strong network, Leonora included over ten
corporate business leaders as guest speakers, and four companies (2 publicly-traded) as sponsors for student consulting projects. Leonora is a single mother in Nashville, Tennessee, living with her two middle-school daughters and a golden retriever named Scout.

She is a yogi, a daily meditator, and avid reader and has recently re-started playing the violin after a 30-year hiatus spawned by a teacher telling her she was no good (lesson: it’s never too late to do what you love).

D’Anne Hurd

Independent Board Member

D’Anne Hurd is a qualified financial expert and ESG (environmental and social governance) authority who brings to her board assignments hands-on experience as a senior financial management executive at two Fortune 100 companies. She has served on the boards of four public companies–including as chair and lead independent director–and six private company boards across retail, medical devices, cloud-based SaaS, technology, pharma/biotech, financial services, telecommunications, and manufacturing industries.

Among her public company board positions, Ms. Hurd has served since 2015 as an independent trustee and audit committee member for PAX World Funds/PAX Ellevate Fund (MYTF: PXWEX), the first mutual fund family to invest only in companies that show a demonstrated commitment to sustainability (since 1971) and to fully integrate ESG measures. For Micronetics, Inc. (NASDAQ: NOIZ), a $100 million designer of microwave test equipment, she served as lead independent director, chair of the nominating and governance committee, and member of the audit and compensation committees (2006-2012). From 1993-2012 for Data Translation, Inc. (OTC: DATX), a USB and Ethernet solutions provider for the test and measurement market, she served as chair of the audit, compensation and nominating/governance committees. And for Vasoactive Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (NASDAQ: VAPH), she served as chair of the audit and governance committees and member of the compensation committee (2004-2010).

Among her many private board positions, for EILEEN FISHER, Inc., in 2017, after consulting to the company and its founder on how to structure and form a board of directors, she was invited to join the board as its first independent director. The company is a 40% ESOP-owned, Certified B Corp, which manufactures and sells luxury women’s clothing sourced and manufactured under stringent sustainability guidelines. The company’s founder, Eileen Fisher, is a pioneer in circular fashion, believing in the many “lives” of her clothes.  D’Anne served as Lead Independent Director, Chair of the Governance and Nominating Committee, Interim Chair of the Audit (Quadruple Bottom Line) Committee and a member of the Technology Committee. Through her finance background, D’Anne helped guide the company through the COVID-19 pandemic, preserving its powerful and unique brand and emerging as a strong digital, but values-driven, retailer.

Ms. Hurd has served as chair of the audit and member of the nominating/governance committees since 2013 for Peckham Industries, a fourth-generation family-owned road and bridge construction materials company. From 2011-2014, she served as lead independent director and audit and compensation committee member for Hiperos, LLC, a cloud-based SaaS company providing software-driven supply chain risk management ensuring vendor regulatory compliance for multiple Fortune 500 clients. For Monzite Corporation, a defense and aerospace contract manufacturer, she has served as independent, non-executive chairman of the board (full equity partner) since 2013. And, from 2012-2017, she served on the business advisory board of Myomo, Inc. (NYSE: MYO), an MIT-born medical technology developer of myoelectric self-powered braces that restore limb mobility.

Amy Rojik, CPA

Partner, National Assurance

Amy Rojik founded and directs BDO’s Center for Corporate Governance and Financial Reporting, overseeing the firm’s communications and governance efforts. Amy has more than 25 years of experience in the auditing profession, engaging with financial reporting executives, audit committees, and board members.  Amy leads a collaborative effort in providing continual thought leadership and educational opportunities for clients and contacts of the firm across a broad variety of corporate governance and financial accounting and reporting topics of interest. This includes live and on demand webinar programming, in-person board of director forums and presentations, as well as the development of practice aids, surveys, publications, and alerts.

She also participates in the development and implementation of BDO’s national strategies and initiatives that support industry, business, technical, and client service goals. She leads the publication and issuance of BDO’s annual voluntary Audit Quality Reports.

Amy currently serves as BDO’s Policy Lead to and participates on the Center for Audit Quality’s (CAQ) Advisory Committee and assists in CAQ initiatives, including audit committee communications and audit quality indicators. She has participated in the AICPA’s EDMAX forum for accounting firm learning specialists to share knowledge/practices on learning methods.

She fully supports BDO initiatives aimed at flexibility, development and career progression and serves on BDO’s Women’s Inclusion Initiative and Virtual Parenting Network.

Amy has a combined 11 years of prior Big Four firm public accounting experience serving manufacturing and high technology companies as well as private companies, primarily in the wholesale distribution and biotechnology markets. Such experience included assisting clients with public debt offerings and acquisition transactions.

Amy is a CPA and member of the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants as well as the Massachusetts Society of Certified Public Accountants

Amy is a member of the National Association of Corporate Directors, where she is a Governance Fellow and a Directorship Certification Holder. She further serves on the education committee for the NACD New England Chapter.

She received her M.B.A. and M.S. in Accounting at Northeastern University, and holds a B.A. in Economics and Psychology at Union College. Amy can be reached at (617) 239-7005, or

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