The lively panel shared their insights and exeperiences discussing how Culture is like oxygen: It's critically important; it's everywhere; it's difficult to capture; and generally taken for granted unless and until it becomes a problem. Culture being the single strongest common thread among all major boardroom issues - from risk management to management succession and everything in-between. Over sixty attendees joined in the discussion and received a complimentary copy of this year's NACD Blue Ribbon Commission Report.
Panelist Ms. Peetz is the retired President of The Bank of New York Mellon Corporation, a global financial services company headquartered in New York. Ms. Peetz served as President of The Bank of New York Mellon from 2013 until 2016. She joined The Bank of New York Mellon in 1998 and served in a variety of management positions before she was named President, including as Vice Chair and Chief Executive Officer of The Bank of New York Mellon’s financial markets and treasury services group. Before joining the Bank of New York Mellon, Ms. Peetz served in a variety of leadership positions at JPMorgan Chase & Co., and its predecessor companies. Ms. Peetz earned a Bachelor of Science degree from Pennsylvania State University and a Master of Science degree from Johns Hopkins University. Currently, she is a member of the Board of Trustees of Johns Hopkins University and a member of the Financial Business Advisory Board at the Carey Business School of Johns Hopkins University, a member of the Board of Directors of Wells Fargo, The Global Lyme Alliance, and a member of the Business Committee of The Metropolitan Museum of Art. Ms. Peetz is a former Chair and Emeritus Trustee of Pennsylvania State University.
Panelist Blythe McGarvie recently completed two years of full-time teaching and research in the accounting and management unit at Harvard Business School (HBS). During the 2015-2016 academic year, she lived in Zagreb Croatia with her husband as representatives of the US Embassy. She is now focused on corporate board work, giving back to the arts community (mainly opera and visual arts) and writing. For ten years, prior to teaching at HBS, Blythe served as chief executive officer and founder of Leadership for International Finance (LIF Group), offering a global perspective for clients seeking profitable growth. She serves as a member of the boards of directors of LKQ (since 2012), Sonoco (since 2014), and privately-held Wawa, Inc. (since 1998) and formerly served on the boards of Accenture (2001-2017), Viacom (2007-2017),Travelers Insurance (2003-2011), Pepsi Bottling Group (2002-2010), and Lafarge NA (2004-2006). In 2012, 2010, and 2008, NACD/Directorship selected Blythe as one of the Top 100 “Most Renowned and Influentials” in corporate governance.
Prior to founding LIF Group, Blythe was a pioneering CFO, and in 1995, was one of only ten female CFOs in the Fortune 500. Blythe was chief financial officer of BIC Group, a French company traded on the Euronext, famous for its pens, lighters, and shavers. For five years prior to joining BIC, she was senior vice president and chief financial officer of Hannaford Bros. Co., a Fortune 500 company, acquired by the Delhaize Group. She has also served as chief administrative officer – Pacific Rim for Sara Lee Corporation where she had responsibility for growing the business through acquisitions, improving the Information Technology and finance processes, and hiring leaders in Asia and South America.
Blythe is a certified public accountant. She earned an MBA from Northwestern University’s J.L. Kellogg Graduate School of Management, which selected her for the Schaffner Award in 1992, presented annually to an alumnus who is preeminent in his or her field and who provided outstanding service to Kellogg. She is a member of the NACD, American College of Corporate Directors certified as an Executive Masters Professional Director and a member of non-profit organizations including the Lyric Opera of Chicago board of directors and The Chicago Network.
Her bestselling book, Shaking the Globe, subtitled Courageous Decision-Making in a Changing World (published by John Wiley & Sons in 2009) provides entrepreneurs and executives with research and action ideas to overcome obstacles in a competitive and interconnected world. She is the author of Fit In Stand Out, subtitled Mastering the FISO Factor: The Key to Leadership Effectiveness in Business and Life (published by McGraw-Hill in 2005).
Panelist Tom Tropp is Corporate Vice President, Ethics and Sustainability, for Arthur J. Gallagher & Co.,
reporting directly to Chairman and Chief Executive Officer J. Patrick Gallagher, Jr. In this role,
he spends much of his time traveling to Gallagher offices around the world, speaking and
listening to Gallagher employees regarding the values of the company and the role of ethics in
business. Over the last ten years, he has addressed more than 20,000 of the company’s 25,000
employees in small group settings; he visits over 100 offices each year. He also gives
presentations to industry and professional groups on the importance of an ethical culture and
Corporate Social Responsibility.
Tom joined Gallagher in 2007 through the acquisition of Tropp & Company, Inc., a private,
Chicago-based international insurance brokerage firm of which he was President and Founder.
In 2004, while continuing to operate his brokerage firm, Tom began to pursue a Master of Arts
degree in Philosophical and Theological Ethics at the University of Chicago, completing that
degree in 2007. He continues his research into the grounding of corporate ethics in philosophical
and theological traditions. He has also served as an Adjunct Lecturer in Philosophy at Lake
Forest College in Illinois.
Tom is the liaison between AJGCo and such organizations as the United Nations Global
Compact, the Ethisphere Institute, the Boston College Center for Corporate Citizenship, and the
Dow Jones Sustainability Index.
Arthur J. Gallagher & Co. has been named to the list of the World’s Most Ethical Companies in
2012, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016, and 2017.
Moderator Robyn Bew is Director of Strategic Content Development for the National Association of Corporate Directors (NACD). She focuses on driving innovation in NACD’s thought leadership, including NACD’s Blue Ribbon Commission reports, Director’s Handbooks and other proprietary research workstreams. She leads NACD’s Fortune 500 Advisory Councils and other multi-stakeholder dialogues on governance topics, and contributes to NACD’s educational programming. Before joining NACD, Robyn was a principal at Tapestry Networks, where she ran several networks of large-cap public company board members and was a leader of the firm's work on bank governance and board-shareholder engagement issues. She has been a frequent speaker at NACD events and at conferences including the International Corporate Governance Network, the Institute of Internal Auditors, and the International Financial Risk Institute. Recent media appearances include Agenda Week, Bloomberg BNA, CFO Magazine, Corporate Secretary, and Directors and Boards. Earlier in her career, Robyn was a senior director at the Corporate Executive Board and a management consultant at Monitor Group.