Despite the strides women are making in the C-Suite, gender diversity on corporate boards remains a persistent problem. Women have been shown to be effective board members, so why aren’t there more of them? Attend this breakout session to hear what boards look for and learn how to effectively position yourself as a candidate for board director consideration.
Caren S. Franzini President of Franzini Consulting, LLC
Caren S. Franzini is president of Franzini Consulting, LLC, a firm which provides strategic assistance with real estate development projects; identifies local, state and federal incentives to fill funding gaps; and assists economic development organizations with their development and review of programs and projects.
From January 1994 until October 2012, Franzini served as CEO of the New Jersey Economic Development Authority (NJEDA). The NJEDA is New Jersey’s “bank for business,” providing financing to small- and mid-sized businesses; administering tax incentives to retain and grow jobs; revitalizing communities through redevelopment initiatives; and supporting entrepreneurial development. Franzini oversaw an organization with over $500 million in assets, a $28-million operating budget and more than 150 employees. Annually, NJEDA provided between $600-$800 million in financial assistance to businesses, not for profits and public organizations throughout New Jersey to leverage additional private sector investment and the retention and growth of jobs.
Franzini has been recognized for her contributions to business growth and economic development in the state. She is a past recipient of the New Jersey Chapter of NAIOP’s Industry Service Award; the New Jersey Technology Council’s John H. Martinson Technology Supporter Award; the New Jersey Business & Industry Association’s Paul L. Troast Award for her commitment to improving the state’s economy; and the Wharton Club of New York’s Joseph Wharton Award for Social Impact. She has also been honored with six additional – and significant – awards.
Prior to joining the NJEDA, Franzini was an assistant state treasurer with the New Jersey Department of the Treasury. Before that, she was employed at the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey and with Public Financial Management.
Franzini currently serves on the board of directors of NJM Insurance Group, The New Jersey Business & Industry Association, Horizon Blue Cross NJ Foundation Board, New Jersey Community Development Corporation, NJ Future and the NJ Alliance for Action. She also serves as a Visiting Associate at Rutgers University’s Eagleton Institute of Politics.
Franzini holds a BA in Urban Studies from the University of Pennsylvania and an MBA in finance and public management from the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania.
Erin M. Hamrick Founding Partner, Sterling James, LLC
Erin M. Hamrick has 18 years of experience as an executive search consultant. Prior to co-founding Sterling James in 2014, Hamrick served as a partner with the insurance practices of both Heidrick & Struggles and Spencer Stuart. During this time, she also took a year sabbatical to work for the US Department of Defense, where she supported reconstruction efforts in Iraq.
Hamrick has worked extensively with board members, CEOs and other senior executives in all sectors of the insurance industry: property/casualty, reinsurance, life/annuity, brokerage and in insurance related business services. Additionally, she has worked with both private equity firms and venture-backed concerns with interests in the insurance industry.
Earlier in her career, Hamrick served in both line and staff roles at The Hartford and at the brokerage firm Hamilton, Dorsey Alston.
She is a contributing writer for Carrier Management and a supporter of research efforts at both Saint Joseph’s University and Drake University, to better understand gender disparity in the insurance industry. In 2014, she was named one of the top 50 women globally in re/insurance by Reactions magazine. Hamrick is a graduate of Villanova University.
Joanne Pace Independent Board Director and Senior Advisor
Joanne Pace is a global Fortune 100 senior executive with more than 30 years of financial and operating experience in complex regulated businesses. She is currently an active independent board director for public and private companies, and an advisory board director in the financial and investment arena.
Pace is chair of the Audit Committee for the Oppenheimer Funds and is a member of its Regulatory and Oversight Committee. Moreover, she is a member of the Audit and Compensation Committees for Horizon Blue Cross Blue Shield of New Jersey. She is an advisory board director for The Alberleen Group, a middle markets investment and merchant banking incubator, and for Massey Quick & Co., a wealth management and investment consulting firm. Pace co-chairs the 100 Women in Hedge Funds’ Women on Boards initiative.
Pace held multiple senior leadership roles at major financial firms during several challenging periods. She was managing director and chief operating officer of Morgan Stanley Investment Management and chief operating officer before, during and after the 2008 financial crisis. Prior to that, she was a partner and chief operating officer at FrontPoint Partners, a multi-strategy hedge fund. She was global head of human resources for Credit Suisse and a member of that firm’s executive committee. Earlier in her career, Pace was Morgan Stanley’s controller and principal accounting officer, a role she assumed after serving as CFO of the oversight committee for the financial industry’s bailout of Long Term Capital Management during the 1998 financial crisis.
Pace holds an MBA from New York University and is a certified public accountant.
Candace L. Straight Private Investor and Investment-Banking Consultant
Candace L. Straight is a private investor and investment-banking consultant specializing in the insurance industry. Throughout her successful career, she has worked for numerous corporations including, Merck & Co. Inc. and Bankers Trust Company. Straight has also served as a principal of Head and Partners and as an advisory director of Securitas Capital, L.L.C., a global private equity investment firm specializing in insurance and financial services related industries.
Straight is also a director of Montpelier Re, a Bermudabased property and casualty reinsurer, and Neuberger and Berman’s mutual funds, which have assets of approximately $45 billion. From 2004 to 2008, Straight served as a director at National Atlantic Holdings Corporation and its subsidiary, Proformance Insurance, a personal and commercial lines insurance company.
From 1987 to 1997, Straight was a principal of Head and Partners, a merchant banking firm specializing in the insurance industry. The Head Group acquired numerous companies including Integon Corporation, Sphere Drake, Marketing One, and Ango American. Straight was president of Integon Corporation from 1990 to 1992, and served as a director until 1995. Straight also served as a director of Integon Life, Marketing One and Drake Holdings.
In 1982, Straight was appointed by Governor Thomas Kean to be a trustee of the Public Employees Retirement System of the State of New Jersey, serving until 1988. Straight was cochair of Governor Christine Todd Whitman’s Budget Advisory Committee and served on Mayor Rudy Giuliani’s Budget Transition Team.
Straight was a member of Governor Chris Christie’s Treasury Transition Team and appointed by Governor Christie to the board of governors of Rutgers University.
In 1994, Straight was appointed by Governor Whitman to the Board of the New Jersey Sports and Exposition Authority (NJSEA), serving until 2003. Straight was vice chairman of the NJSEA from 1996 to January 2002. She also served on Mayor Rudy Giuliani and Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s Private/Public Initiatives Council and is a former trustee of the New Jersey Network Foundation and a past president of the Financial Women’s Association of New York. From 1982 to 1990, Straight was a trustee of Wilson College, and chairman of the College’s Investment Committee. Straight was named trustee emeritus in 2006.
The 2015 Women Business Leaders Forum will be held on September 25 at the Parsippany Hilton. For more information, or to register for the event, click here.