NACD Board Leadership Conference NACD Chapter System

NACD 2015 BRC: Board's Role in Driving Long-term Value Creation

November 12, 2015
Chicago, IL



2015 Blue Ribbon Commission focuses boardroom attention on a very hot topic - Long Term Value Creation and the role of the Board.  Boards have a fundamental responsibility to help management navigate today's complex and changing business environments without allowing a "meet or beat the quarter" mentality to undermine or dilute the company's focus on long-term strategic objectives.  Private companies and nonprofit organizations may not have public quarterly earning targets to meet, but the underlying situation is the same:  They still face a set of demands and expectations from investors (or donors) and other stakeholders which are frequently very short-term in nature. 


Please join us and engage in the conversation with our panel and peer breakout sessions and explore the role of activism, strategy, compensation and other critical aspects on this important topic.


  November 12th Summary

Location and Time


Chicago Club
81 E. Van Buren St.
Chicago, IL 60605

7:30 - 7:45 a.m. Registration & Networking

7:45 - 10:00 a.m. Panel Session including Peer-to-Peer Discussion

Speaker Spotlight


John Edwardson

Panelist - John Edwardson is the retired Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of CDW, a leading provider of technology solutions to business, government, education and healthcare organizations. Edwardson joined CDW in January 2001 as president and chief executive officer. He became chairman and chief executive officer in May 2001. He retired as chief executive officer on September 30, 2011 and as chairman of the board on December 31, 2012. During his tenure at CDW, the company's revenues grew from $3.8 billion to over $10 billion. Prior to joining CDW, Edwardson served as chairman and chief executive of Burns International Services Corporation, then the USA's largest physical security firm, from March 1999 through the sale of the company in October 2000. He also served as president of UAL Corporation and United Airlines from 1994 to 1998 and as president and chief operating officer from 1995 to 1998. Edwardson is a 1971 graduate of Purdue University, where he earned a B. S. in Industrial Engineering and a 1972 graduate of the University of Chicago Booth School of Business where he earned an M.B.A. He currently serves on the board of directors of FedEx Corporation, Rockwell Collins, Inc., and is an advisory director of Schneider Electric Corporation. He serves as a trustee of the University of Chicago, Northwestern Memorial Hospital and is Co-chairman of Advance Illinois. Edwardson is also the Chairman of the University of Chicago Booth School of Business Advisory Council and is a Life Trustee of both the Ravinia Festival and the Chicago Symphony Orchestra.

Steve Kaplan

Panelist - Steven Kaplan is the Neubauer Family Distinguished Service Professor of Entrepreneurship and Finance at the University of Chicago Booth School of Business, where he joined the faculty in 1988. Professor Kaplan is also the faculty director of Chicago Booth’s Polsky Center for Entrepreneurship and Innovation. Professor Kaplan is one of the world’s foremost researchers on private equity, venture capital, corporate governance, executive talent and income inequality. His papers on private equity and venture capital are the standard references in the field. He has testified to U.S. Senate and U.S. House Committees about his research. He ranks in the top 100 in paper downloads and the top 50 in paper citations (out of over 280,000 authors) on SSRN (Social Science Research Network). He is the co-creator of the widely adopted Kaplan-Schoar PME (Public Market Equivalent) private equity benchmarking approach. A JP Morgan report called him “the patron saint of private equity research.” His findings and opinions regularly appear in the business media. Professor Kaplan is a Research Associate at the National Bureau of Economic Research. Professor Kaplan earned his PhD in Business Economics from Harvard University. He received his AB, summa cum laude, in Applied Mathematics and Economics from Harvard College. Professor Kaplan serves on the boards of Columbia Acorn Funds and Morningstar.

Bill White

Panelist - Bill White is a Professor in the McCormick School of Engineering and Applied Science at Northwestern University in Evanston, Illinois since January 1998. He teaches Organizational Behavior and through a courtesy appointment teaches a leadership course at the Kellogg School of Management. In 2004 he received Northwestern Alumni Association’s Teaching Excellence Award. He was named McCormick teacher of the year in 2001. Associated Student Government named him to the faculty Honor Role in 2002 and 2008. Prior to Northwestern he served as CEO and Chairman of the Board of Bell & Howell Company 1990 - 1998. Previously he had served as Chairman of Whitestar Graphics, Inc. An author: his latest book “Get Ready, Get Set, Go! is to be released shortly. Mr. White is an Industrial Engineering graduate of Northwestern University and he received an MBA degree from Harvard University. He has served on the boards of nine public companies and several start-ups including The Reader’s Digest Assoc., Harris Bank, Masonite, USG, Ivex Packaging, TJI Inc., ForestOne, Intermatic and Polyera. He also has served as a governor of the Chicago Stock Exchange. He is a life-trustee of Northwestern University, and the Field Museum. After twenty years he retired from the board of NorthShore University HealthSystem and currently is on the board of the National Association of Corporate Directors. Northwestern University awarded him the Alumni Medal in 2010. In 1995, he received the St. George Medal from the American Cancer Society’s Illinois Division.

Zorko Image

Mark Zorko

Moderator - Mark Zorko is an international public company CFO and CIO for manufacturing, energy, and high-tech firms. His background includes over 20 years of Board-level experience. He chairs both the Audit and Strategic Advisory Committees and is on the Governance and Compensation Committees of MFRI (NASDAQ:MFRI), a $230-million firm. His CFO experience is primarily with growth-oriented public businesses but also includes turnaround positions with $550 million and $180 million businesses. He has also been the interim CEO of Well Services Ltd., a $30 million Steel Excel business in the oilfield services industry. Mark was the CFO of DGT Holdings Corp. (DGTC) from 2006 until 2012. He became the CFO for Steel Excel, Inc. (SXCL) in 2011, a company related to DGTC. Previously he was active with Tatum LLC, where he was the CFO for a $550-million energy firm, a private equity firm as well as the interim Chief Accounting Officer for a $2.5-billion S&P 500 electronics firm. He started his career with Arthur Andersen and Honeywell, has significant European and Asian experience and has been a CIO. Mark is on the Finance Committee for the Alexian Brothers Health System (revenue of $1 billion) and serves on the Audit Committee for Opportunity International (assets of $500 million). He was previously on the Board of Directors and Operations Committee of St. Alexius Medical Center. Mark received his MBA in IT from the University of Minnesota and his BS in Accounting from The Ohio State University.



3 NACD collaborative credits

Question about this Event?

Contact Chicago Chapter 1154 Blue Larkspur, Naperville, IL, 60540 phone: 630-527-9579 email: