The Board’s Role in Strategy | Women in the Boardroom

Recorded Webinar

The Board’s Role in Strategy

For many years, boards were not involved in a company’s strategy formulation, and often also did not refer to it when making decisions, setting executive compensation, or evaluating performance. However, it is now widely accepted that a key board role is to understand how a company’s strategy is created, including what alternatives may have been considered, and why that strategy is appropriate. In addition, boards increasingly use strategy as a context for important decisions, such as M&A, as well as for designing and overseeing executive compensation and performance. It is also widely recognized that a company’s strategy should be reviewed regularly in light of any changes or trends, in order to keep it effective and appropriate for the company, and boards can help identify trends that may affect the company. Our panel of experts will discuss “The Board’s Role in strategy”, and share their knowledge and experience regarding this important area of corporate governance.


Howard Brod Brownstein, D’Anne Hurd, Erin Essenmacher

Date & Time

August 18, 2020
12:00 PM ET


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About the Speakers

Howard Brod Brownstein


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.

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), a leading sustainable investment mutual fund family integrating 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 private company board positions, most recently, Ms. Hurd joined the board of EILEEN FISHER, Inc. as its first independent director. As chair of the governance committee, she is helping the board instill best practices that reflect the company’s strong values and unique culture. 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.

Erin Essenmacher

Director, Eileen Fisher; Past President, NACD

Erin Essenmacher is a seasoned visionary leader and strategist known for pioneering cutting edge programs, I help shine light on what’s possible—and I help an organization get there. Both a creative and critical thinker, I have a strong track record of being able to help business leaders understand emerging trends early on. And I help them see how they can proactively leverage those trends for future success. With the right foresight, vision and forward-thinking approach to ever-changing business and social landscapes, disruption can work in our favor. I help C-suite and entrepreneurial leaders see and act on that basic principle.

Relentlessly curious and always with an eye out for potential and possibility, scouting out barely budding ideas and experts long before they hit the mainstream is second nature for me. I use that skill to connect leaders, ideas and causes to improve organizations and better society.

The early years in my career as an award-winning filmmaker with a commitment to diversity and inclusion helped me become an imaginative storyteller across all mediums.

From concepting and launching a podcast focused on the intersection of diversity and innovation, to translating cultural trends via high-impact content to help corporate leaders oversee strategy and risk, to launching and overseeing the nation’s first-ever certification program for board directors, I have a track record of envisioning, leading and overseeing to fruition high-impact programs that create resonance and relevance for issues and organizations.

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