NACD Chicago and Protiviti were proud to host this board-level Special Interest Group roundtable on Keeping the Pulse on Culture to 30 corporate directors. With corporations and boards under the lens of public scrutiny, having the right culture is a top issue for today's boardrooms. Directors and executives need "eyes and ears" focused on culture and know the real and perceived culture at all levels of their entity. Why is Culture important? How do you assess your corporate culture? Is the focus on corporate culture here to stay? These key questions were framed in a topic for each table where discussions were lead by a Protiviti executive and one of our guest veteran directors.
Cheryl Francis serves on three corporate boards: Aon plc, Morningstar, and HNI Corporation. She serves on the Compensation and Finance Committees for Aon; Chairs the Audit Committee and serves on the Compensation Committee for Morningstar; and Chairs the Audit Committee for HNI. She is a Cornell University Emeritus Trustee and Presidential Councillor, and a board member of the United Way of Metropolitan Chicago. She formerly served on the boards of Hewitt Associates, Lands’ End, and Cornell University; and chaired The Chicago Network, Chicago’s leading professional women’s organization.
Francis’ board experience includes chairing the audit committees of four public companies and Cornell University; serving as Lead Director of Hewitt Associates through a successful CEO search and, later, sale of the company; serving on all major board committees; starting up the audit committee for two newly public companies (Hewitt Associates and Morningstar); playing a leadership role in CEO succession (HNI and Hewitt Associates); and board service outside of the U.S. (London-based Aon plc).
Cheryl Francis is co-founder and Co-Chairman of Corporate Leadership Center (CLC), a mission-driven non-profit which partners with CEOs and respected academics to advance top corporate leaders and leadership practices. More than 100 CEOs have spoken at and sponsored executives into Corporate Leadership Center programs in the last 14 years, and CLC’s academic partners include professors from Kellogg, Booth, Harvard, Stanford, Columbia, Michigan, and others. 12% of alumni of CLC’s CEO Perspectives program have become corporate CEOs and 23% sit on corporate boards. Francis plays an active, hands-on role in CLC programming which includes candid dialogue with dozens of CEOs discussing emerging and persistent business issues.
Cheryl Francis was Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer of R.R. Donnelley and Sons Co. from 1995 to 2000. She oversaw all financial functions, including mergers and acquisitions, of this $5 billion print services company. Under her leadership, return on investment improved to greater than 14% from 10%, return on equity exceeded 23%, cash generation increased more than $200 million per year, and organic revenue grew faster than industry indices.
Earlier in her career, Francis was Treasurer of FMC Corporation, its first woman officer, and an adjunct professor at The University of Chicago Booth School of Business. She earned her undergraduate degree from Cornell University and her MBA from Chicago Booth.
Cheryl Francis is a frequent lecturer in university and business settings on subjects ranging from corporate governance, strategy and leadership, and the advancement of women. Francis chaired the judging committee for Financial Executive International’s Chicago CFO of the Year award from its inception in 2011 through 2014. She served on the Board of CFA Society of Chicago 2015-16. She led the Major Gifts Campaign for her Cornell Class’s 40th reunion. She was honored for Community Leadership by the YWCA in 2004. She is a member of the Commercial Club of Chicago and The Chicago Network.
Kathryn J. Hayley is an experienced CEO and board member, with global experience in IT, business strategy, operations, acquisition integration, regulations, human resources and benefits, with sector experience in healthcare, professional services, insurance, and financial services. She serves on the Board of Directors for First Midwest Bancorp (NASDAQ:FMBI), one of the largest publicly traded bank holding companies in the Midwest, where she is a member of the audit committee and the compensation committee. She also serves on the Board of Directors for Alight Solutions, the leading provider of technology-enabled health, wealth, HR and Finance solutions. Other board experience includes Deloitte & Touche LLC and Tribridge Holdings, LLC, and the advisory board for E.A. Renfroe & Co. She serves on the board of directors for The Chicago Shakespeare Theater.
Kathryn Hayley provides advisory services on healthcare innovation, and has spoken on the importance of having IT/digital expertise in the boardroom.
Kathryn Hayley has a long and diverse professional background, having served as CEO for Aon Hewitt Consulting Americas, and CEO of Aon Consulting Worldwide. Hayley served as EVP at UnitedHealthcare, where as a direct report to the CEO, she led a program to develop a new strategy to reinvent members’ healthcare experience and move UHC to a new business model. As an IT partner with Deloitte Consulting, she led some of the firm’s most complex IT strategy and implementation engagements, and led multiple industries and market segments, including leading the Midwest Region, and leading the U.S. Financial Services sector.
Kathryn Hayley received her B.S. in Applied Computer Science from Illinois State University, and her M.B.A from the Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University. She is a member of The Chicago Network, and The Economic Club of Chicago. Kathryn is a member of a competitive masters rowing team, and serves as a big sister for Big Brothers & Big Sisters.
Lou is president of Nieto Advisory LLC, an advisory firm that works with small and mid-cap consumer foods companies. He retired in 2009 as president of ConAgra’s $8.0B Consumer Foods business. He was previously President of ConAgra Meats in 2005 and President/CEO of the Federated Group, a private label business, from 2002 to 2005. He was a Group President and Corporate Officer of Dean Foods from 2000 to 2002. Earlier, he spent 2 years with Mission Foods and 10 years with Kraft Foods. Lou started his career with Quaker Oats in 1981.
Lou has served on the Ryder and Auto Zone boards since 2007 and 2008, respectively. He is chair of Ryder’s Finance Committee and an Audit Committee member at both Ryder and Auto Zone. Lou also serves as board chair of Fresh & Ready Foods, a private equity owned business.
Lou has been involved locally and nationally in the effort to increase educational opportunities for disadvantaged youth. He served as the founding Chairman of Cristo Rey Jesuit High School’s Board of Trustees from 1994 to 1996 and as a board member until 2000. He has also been very involved with his various alma maters, church and community. Lou has been involved with his parish in religious education, benevolence efforts and other leadership activities. He served in a leadership role with youth soccer in his community for over 7 years. He was a six-year member of the University of Chicago’s College Visiting Committee and has co-chaired multiple reunions. Lou also served as an elected village park district commissioner for six years. He is currently on the St. Ignatius College Prep board of trustees, the Chicago Community Trust board and the Academy for Urban School Leadership board.
Lou is a 1981 Harvard MBA where he was President of the Latino Association. He earned a BA from the University of Chicago in 1977 where he served in numerous student leadership roles and was elected to the Maroon Key Honorary Society.
Sharon is a Managing Director with over 30 years’ experience in providing audit and risk consulting services to a variety of companies. She leads Protiviti’s global Manufacturing & Distribution Industry team, which includes the Materials & Chemicals, Industrial Products, Automotive, Distribution & Logistics, and Pharma & Life Sciences sectors. Prior to being a founding managing director at Protiviti, Sharon was a partner at Arthur Andersen. She is a CPA and received her bachelor’s degree from Sam Houston State University.
Sharon has delivered various presentations on risk management and internal audit hot topics at AC Chair Roundtables, CAE Roundtables, IIA and FEI chapter meetings, and other industry seminars. She is also an active board member with Umoja Student Development and a Leadership Greater Chicago fellow.
Brad leads Protiviti’s Internal Audit & Advisory practice for the Central Region and the Chicago market. He brings over 25 years of experience in public accounting, internal audit and consulting services. Brad is also the Central Region Leader of Protiviti’s Public Company Transformation practice. He has assisted over 50 companies with their private to public transformation around Finance and Accounting, IT and Corporate Governance/Compliance.
Prior to joining Protiviti, Brad was a senior manager in Arthur Andersen’s Chicago office. Brad also spent several years as the Chief Financial Officer of a manufacturing and distribution company.
Brad is a CPA and received his bachelor’s degree from Indiana University and his MBA from Northwestern University’s Kellogg Graduate School of Business.