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Women Board Directors Development Program

Build a personal roadmap and action plan for effective board service

Boards are actively seeking qualified women to diversify their decision-making, provide a fresh perspective, and improve their business results. Learn why this is so and how you can take advantage of this opportunity. This seminar is designed for executive women looking to become more influential board members, move from non-profit to for-profit boards, or serve on the boards of bigger organizations. During this two-day seminar, you will build on the stories and experiences of corporate board members and develop your personal roadmap to find the right boards and serve effectively at the table.

Upcoming Program Dates

June 21-22, 2018

  • Deepen knowledge of board roles and responsibilities, including financial reporting, corporate strategy, CEO performance and regulatory compliance
  • Understand the best professional pathways to influential boards
  • Develop a detailed personal action plan for securing the right board seat and advancing board service
  • Learn proven techniques for becoming known to nominating committees
  • Understand the board interview and onboarding process
  • Hear from sitting board members how they found their best voice at the table

The Women Board Directors Development Program is designed for senior-level women looking to serve on boards or more influential boards, those wishing to move from non-profit to for-profit boards, and those wanting to become even more effective in the boardroom.

The Opportunity

  • How do women board members contribute to higher performing organizations?
  • Where are board opportunities increasing for women?

Effective Boards and Board Members

  • What are the characteristics of the best boards and board members?
  • What do women in particular bring to the table? A look at the research on this diversity effect as well as the opinions of current board members.

Board Roles and Responsibilities

  • How are boards structured and what are formal roles and responsibilities?
  • What are the characteristics of different types of boards, including nonprofit, private, startup and corporate?

Developing a Personal Board Strategy and Action Plan

  • Which boards make sense for you? Getting clear on relevant values and goals.
  • How can you leverage your experience into the right board opportunities?
  • What skills and background are boards looking for? What will they see as your strengths? What is the best way to fill gaps?
  • What strategic career choices should you consider to position yourself for directorship?

Focused Networking Techniques

  • Learn how marketing yourself as a potential board member is different from seeking an executive position.
  • Practice this different type of marketing and networking.
  • Learn how to reach out to male directors and others outside your network.

Effectively Joining New Boards

  • What are board members and recruiters looking for in a candidate?
  • Best practices for onboarding.
  • Forging influential relationships with other board members and with management.

Cate Goethals

Cate GoethalsAdjunct Professor Cate Goethals of the Foster School of Business at the University of Washington specializes in leadership development for professional women. Cate’s “Women at the Top” class was recognized by Forbes as one of the 10 “most innovative” MBA classes. A much sought-after speaker on issues related to women in leadership, Cate has recently completed a major international study of the impact of women on boards.

Guest Speakers/Advisors

Betsy Berkhemer-Credaire
Betsy Berkhemer-Credaire

  • Author of The Board Game – How Smart Women Become Corporate Directors
  • Founder, Berkhemer-Clayton Retained Executive Search
  • Chairman, Women Corporate Directors, Los Angeles/Orange County

Colleen Brown
Colleen Brown

  • New Chairman of the Board, American Apparel
  • Former President, CEO and Director, Fisher Communications
  • Managing Director Pacific Northwest, Newport Board Group

Connie Collingsworth
Connie Collingsworth

  • General Counsel, Secretary and Member of the Executive Leadership Team of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation
  • Board Member and Governance and Nominating Committee Chair, Banner Corporation
  • Board Member, Premera Blue Cross

Dawn Lepore
Dawn Lepore

  • Former CEO and Chairman of the Board of, inc.
  • Currently serves on the boards of AOL, Real Networks and
  • Previously served on the boards of TJX, eBay, Inc., Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. and The New York Times Company

Liane Pelletier
Liane Pelletier

  • President, National Association of Corporate Directors Northwest Board, Northwest Chapter
  • Member of corporate boards of firms in global logistics and telecommunications as well as a solar power and seafood harvest and processing
  • Operating executive in telecommunications for twenty-five years

Susan Preston
Susan Preston

  • General Partner for the CalCEF Clean Energy Angel Fund
  • Buerk Endowed Fellow for Entrepreneurship at the University of Washington, Foster School of Business
  • Trustee, Angel Resource Institute
  • Chair of Angel Resource Institute: Women First Enterprises

Lucinda Stewart
Lucinda Stewart

  • Recruitment Consultant for Spencer Stewart
  • Former Vice President of Corporate Development and Investor Relations, Fisher Communications

Bernee Strom
Bernee Strom

  • Founder & Executive Chairman, WebTuner
  • Current or former member of the board of directors of Benchmark Electronics, and a former director of Hughes Electronics /DirecTV, the Polaroid Corporation,, Krug International , DDL Electronics, Inc., Software Publishing Corporation , InfoSpace, Ensequence, Inc.,, PassKey, and (private companies)


Phyllis Campbell

  • Chairman, Pacific Northwest, JP Morgan Chase
  • Lead Director, Alaska Air Group
  • Director, Nordstrom Inc.
  • Toyota Diversity Advisory Board

Annette Jacobs
Annette Jacobs

  • Managing Director, Seattle, Newport Board Group
  • Co-founder and Co-chair for the Seattle Chapter of Women Corporate Directors (WCD)
  • Board Director and past Northwest Chapter President for the National Association of Corporate Directors (NACD)

Program fee: $1,850
Program fee includes parking, lunches, networking reception and learning materials.

Payment must be made by check, credit card or submit a purchase order for later invoice. Discounts may apply.

Partial scholarships might be available for individuals from underrepresented groups. Contact us via email or phone (206-543-8560) to learn more.

Summer Registration

Application deadline
The application deadline is June 14, 2018, but it is strongly encouraged that you apply early as space is limited.

Apply Now

Bank of America Executive CenterBank of America Executive Center
University of Washington Main Campus
Seattle, WA 98195
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Women on Boards: Taking a New Direction

“Boards are intimate, collaborative environments. Board members, women as well as men, want to make sure they are bringing on new directors who can both bring a lot to the table but also be able to comfortably support and challenge others in the group.” – Cate Goethals, Director of Foster’s Women Board Directors Development Program. Read the full article on the movement to put more women on corporate boards in Seattle Business Magazine.

Partial scholarships

Partial scholarships might be available for individuals from underrepresented groups.
Contact us via email or phone (206-543-8560) to learn more.