NACD Board Leadership Conference NACD Chapter System
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Corporate Governance for the Next Generation

June 8, 2017
Chicago, IL

Member Price: Complimentary
Non-Member Price: Complimentary



This session was very well received with over 80 attending to hear a seasoned veteran and rising stars share their successes and road blocks operating in a variety of boardrooms.


Private equity firms often offer valuable experience to their advancing professionals by appointing them to the Boards of Directors of their portfolio companies. In many cases, these less experienced Directors may not have the governance training as they begin this critical role for the company. This panel discussion will provide first-time Directors with an education of the basic principles of corporate governance, so Directors will be more prepared to make decisions that maximize shareholder value and mitigate risks. Our panel of experts will address and discuss:

  • The fundamentals of corporate governance 

  • The Board’s key duties and responsibilities to all stakeholders and shareholders

  • Legal obligations of the Board

  • The Board’s role in strategy and risk

We invite this next generation of board members to join us for this complimentary program, which is being presented in partnership with Duff & Phelps, the premier global valuation and corporate finance advisory firm.  A networking reception will immediately follow this program.


Location and Time


The Metropolitan Club
233 S. Wacker Dr. Willis Tower
Chicago, IL

3:00 - 3:15 PM: Registration

3:15 - 5:15 PM: Program

5:15 - 6:00 PM: Networking Reception


  June 2017 Event Summary

Speaker Spotlight


Jai Shekhawat

Panelist Jai Shekhawat is the Founder and former CEO of Fieldglass, a cloud platform for the management of contingent labor and services. Under his leadership, Fieldglass grew globally with users in 100+ countries in 30 languages and emerged as the largest firm in the world in the fast growing vendor management software category. He was Ernst & Young's 2012 Midwest "Entrepreneur of the Year" as well as the 2012 recipient of the Peter Yessne Staffing Innovator Award, recognized for pioneering the Vendor Management Software (VMS) space. Fieldglass was also recognized as the Illinois Venture Capital Association's 2014 Private Equity Portfolio Company of the Year and has received many other awards. The company was acquired by SAP in 2014. Jai is a former strategy consultant with McKinsey & Company where he served clients in areas of corporate strategy, technology and cross-border alliances. He is also a former senior executive at Syntel, a software services firm in Michigan and the co-founder of Quinnox, an application outsourcing firm in Chicago, Illinois. Jai is a Trustee of the Field Museum of Chicago, serves on the Board of 1871 (Chicago's entrepreneurial hub for digital startups), on Governor Rauner’s Illinois Council for Innovation and is a member of the Commercial Club of Chicago. He is an adviser to Starvest Partners, a New York based venture capital firm and serves as an Advisory Board Chairman for Madison Dearborn Partners, a private equity firm based in Chicago. He currently serves on the Boards of Signal, Semantify, Fleet Complete, Highground, Utopia, HealthEngine, Four Kites and OfficeLuv along with being an investor and adviser to many high growth firms. He is a founding member of the Firestarter Fund, which mentors and invests in Chicago startups. He has previously served on the Mayor’s Council of Technology Advisers, the Technology Membership Committee of the Economic Club of Chicago, the Board of Tie-Midwest and the Board of MetroSquash. He is a frequent speaker on entrepreneurship and strategy at the Kellogg and Booth Business Schools as well as at various industry events. Jai holds an MBA with specializations in finance and strategy from the J.L. Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University in Evanston, IL, and a bachelor's degree in management science from the Birla Institute of Technology and Science in Pilani, India.

Dennis Chookaszian

Panelist Mr. Chookaszian served as CNA Insurance Company chairman and chief executive officer from 1992 until 1999 and as chairman of the executive committee from 1999 to 2001. He also served as President and as CFO. He was chairman and CEO of mPower Inc, an internet financial advisory service, from 1999 to 2001. Prior to joining CNA, he was a management consultant with Deloitte for eight years. Mr. Chookaszian served from 2007 to 2012 as chairman of FASAC (Financial Accounting Standards Advisory Council) which provides guidance to the FASB on accounting matters. During his career, he has served as a director on the boards of thirteen publicly traded corporations and fifty private corporations. He is currently a director of five public companies, and twenty private corporations. He also serves as an arbitrator and expert witness. Mr. Chookaszian is an Adjunct Professor at the University of Chicago Booth School of Business and teaches courses in Corporate Governance. He also teaches a course in International Corporate Governance at Cheung Kong University in China, Shanghai Advanced Institute of Finance in China, and at IIPM in India. Mr. Chookaszian has a bachelor’s degree in chemical engineering from Northwestern University, a master’s degree in business administration from the University of Chicago, and a master of science degree in economics from the London School of Economics. He is a Certified Public Accountant, Chartered Global Management Accountant, a Chartered Property Casualty Underwriter, and a Certified Management Consultant. In 2010, Mr. Chookaszian received the Outstanding Director Award from the Financial Times Outstanding Directors Exchange.

Doug Grissom

Panelist Doug Grissom is a Managing Director on the Madison Dearborn Partners (MDP) Business & Government Services team. Prior to joining MDP, he was with Bain Capital in private equity, McKinsey & Company and Goldman Sachs. Mr. Grissom currently serves on the Boards of Directors of BlueCat Networks, CoVant Technologies II, Fleet Complete and LGS Innovations. In addition, he was formerly on the Boards of Directors of @stake, Aderant, Asurion, Cbeyond, Fieldglass, Great Lakes Dredge and Dock, Intelsat, and Neoworld. Outside work, Mr. Grissom is a Board Member at Amherst College, the Illinois Venture Capital Association, the Lincoln Park Zoo, METROsquash, the Museum of Science and Industry, UChicago Impact, and the University of Chicago Laboratory Schools. Education B.A., Amherst College; M.B.A., Harvard Graduate School of Business Administration

Chris Abbinante

Moderator Chris Abbinante is co-leader of the firm’s Private Equity practice. He represents private equity sponsors and corporate clients on complex transactions, including leveraged buyouts, mergers, acquisitions, divestitures, investments, joint ventures and other corporate matters. Over the past 20 years, Chris has represented a wide variety of private equity and corporate clients across a number of industries, including healthcare services, medical products and devices, financial institutions, products and services, technology / e-commerce, media / entertainment, consumer and retail, and business services. Prior to assuming leadership of the firm’s Private Equity practice, Chris was co-leader of Sidley’s Emerging Company practice. Chris continues to regularly work with emerging companies, entrepreneurs and growth capital investors in connection with their investment activities and corporate needs. Chris has been recognized by numerous industry publications, including the following: Law360 (recognized as a “rising star” in 2010 and one of the publication’s 10 corporate finance lawyers under 40 to watch. PLC Which Lawyer (recommended in the area of Private Equity/Venture Capital). The Best Lawyers in America (Leveraged Buyouts and Private Equity Law: 2013–2017); The Best Lawyers in America (recognized as a 2016 “Lawyer of the Year” -- Leveraged Buyouts and Private Equity Law); and The Legal 500 US (Private Equity Buyout: 2014–2016).



Question about this Event?

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