Private Equity Fireside Chat | Women in the Boardroom


Private Equity Fireside Chat

Watch the webinar on demand.

In this fireside chat we will cover:

  • Engaging with PE firms for possible board opportunities
  • What to do and what not to do
  • What skills and/or experience are they looking for?
  • What are they NOT looking for
  • Tips on how best to connect with PE firms


Sheila Ronning, Jeri Harman, Bruce K. Fenton, Simon Jones

Date & Time

March 28, 2023
4:00 PM ET

Individual & Corporate Members, please use your promo code to register complimentary. Cost for non-members to register is $200. 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

Sheila Ronning

CEO & Founder, Women in the Boardroom

Sheila Ronning is CEO & Founder of Women in the Boardroom, a professional membership organization providing senior-level executive women with the tools, knowledge, and connections for corporate board service.

Considered a pioneer in the industry and by her peers, Sheila broke the mold in 2002 with the launch of Women in the Boardroom, by being the first to form such an organization with customized executive training programs and networking opportunities, creating a proven program and process for women to enter board service.

Since its founding, Sheila has grown Women in the Boardroom into an organization with international outreach across multiple industries and countless private and public boardrooms, including Fortune 100 companies.

Jeri Harman

Founder & Chairman, Avante Capital Partners

Jeri Harman is a seasoned executive, investor and entrepreneur who has built teams and
markets for major institutional investors, and founded and run a highly successful private asset management business. Over the course of her career she has held (as an active board member or observer) Board roles in over 20 private middle market companies across the U.S. in a variety of industries, including healthcare, business services, consumer products, and industrial. She currently serves as Chairman of NN, Inc. (Nasdaq NNBR) and as a director of Engineered Performance Technologies.

As part of her investment and board roles, Ms. Harman has consistently provided advice on strategy, growth, management and organizational development, acquisitions and financial matters. Moreover, she is an expert in finance, M&A and capital markets issues and is a frequent speaker on these topics at conferences and symposiums across the country.

Ms. Harman is Founder & Chairman, and former CEO, of Avante Capital Partners. With over $900 million of capital under management, Avante makes debt and equity investments to finance buyouts, minority recaps, acquisitions and growth. In 2020, Avante was named One of the Most Innovative Firms in Commercial Finance by ABF Journal. In 2018, Avante was named Small Business Investment Company (SBIC) of the Year by the U. S. Small Business Administration (SBA). The firm was also named Women-Owned Firm of the Year 2018 by Private Equity Women Investor Network.

Ms. Harman has over 35 years of financing and M&A experience, involving well over $1.5 billion in aggregate investments. Prior to founding Avante, Ms. Harman started-up and led the Los Angeles offices for two multi-billion dollar publicly traded private equity and mezzanine investment funds – American Capital and more recently Allied Capital, where she was also a member of Allied’s Investment Committee. Earlier career highlights include various senior level positions with Prudential Capital. She has served as a Steering Committee Member of PEWIN since its inception and was recently asked to join the PEWIN board.

She has received numerous recognitions over the years including most recently being named an Exceptional Women Awardee. Ms. Harman was named to the Los Angeles Business Journal’s LA 500 Most Influential People in Los Angeles in 2018 through 2022. In 2021 and 2022, the LA Times named her a Banking and Finance Visionary. In January 2016, Ms. Harman was on the cover of Mergers & Acquisitions magazine and named one of the Most Influential Women in Mid-
Market M&A, a recognition she again received in 2017 through 2022. In March 2017, she was recognized as one of 15 Trailblazers by Buyouts Magazine. In 2013, the National Association of Women Business Owners (NAWBO) Los Angeles inducted Ms. Harman into their Hall of Fame.

She received a MBA from the University of California – Berkeley.

Bruce K. Fenton

Partner and Private Equity Practice Leader, Troutman Pepper

Bruce focuses his practice on domestic and cross-border private equity transactions, including mergers and acquisitions, and works closely with the firm’s leveraged finance attorneys on the financing aspects of those deals. Clients such as fund sponsors, strategic buyers, and their portfolio companies trust Bruce to complete their leveraged and management buyouts, recapitalizations, mergers, and asset and stock acquisitions. Bruce also represents sellers of businesses to financial and strategic buyers and advises clients on private placements.

Bruce has structured, negotiated, and closed deals in a wide range of industry sectors. Clients value his ability to assemble an efficient team with the legal acumen and industry knowledge needed to help them achieve their business goals.  

Corporate clients of all sizes rely on Bruce for general counseling. He advises on governance, fiduciary duty, and other shareholder relations matters. Bruce also advises on financing, licensing, outsourcing, capitalization, and incentive equity. He structures limited liability companies, partnerships, and joint ventures and provides guidance to investors and emerging businesses in connection with venture capital investments.

Bruce also is active in the firm’s investment funds practice, which counsels fund clients in areas vital to the success of all types of investment funds throughout their entire life cycle, including with respect to formation, transactional and investment, operational, and regulatory and compliance matters. This group provides fund formation, operations and compliance counseling to sponsors, managers, advisers, and investors from all over the U.S., and globally. The group advises investment groups about the complex structuring, operational, and regulatory challenges they face on a daily basis in the investment management business.

Bruce also serves on the firm’s Policy Committee.


Simon Jones

CEO, Mainsheet Op

Simon Jones has been working with private equity, in the lower-middle and middle markets, in Europe and the US for 30 years, in a variety of different roles including CEO, Board Chairman and leading diligence studies. He has also advised public companies on strategic development in response to the Energy Transition and IOT in their global markets.

Simon is an Operations professional who has spent most of his career working in or advising industrial companies globally. He is a Fellow of the Institution of Engineering & Technology and a UK Chartered Engineer. Simon is currently a member of the global leadership team for TK Elevator, a ~€10B revenue portfolio company of Advent International and Cinven, and the largest PE deal completed in Europe in 2020.


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