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Team

Experts and Executives

BoardWise includes the global expertise of more than 50 governance staff expert staff members of the Boardwise working team. Together, they provide the answers, research and solutions to help clients constantly improve. Contact us to learn more about the advisors who are the experts to meet your needs.

Donna Hamlin, Ph.D.

CEO of BoardWise

Dr. Hamlin is a corporate executive with thirty years of corporate, governance and strategy consulting experience. She oversees BoardWise’s global programs, including its centers and their services. These include: board evaluations, professional certification and training, its global registry of qualified directors, Board Bona Fide®, its strategic partnership programs and its Boardwise center. She is certified for governance by the National Association of Corporate Directors in the U.S. and in global governance by Harvard University.

Prior to her role at BoardWise, she founded Hamlin Harkins, Ltd., where she developed a successful track record in strategy change management and human performance management, serving clients from Fortune 500 global enterprises to start-up companies in more than 30 countries. She holds Ph.D. and M.S. degrees from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, a B.A. degree from Siena College and has studied at the University of London. A published author, she writes management articles in the area of strategy, brand value management, change and human performance management. She holds various board directorships.

You can reach Dr. Hamlin at donna.hamlin@boardwise.biz

Experts and Executives

Edward M. (Murray) Cook

Murray is a leading governance advisor and coach for Boardwise. He has served on numerous boards in the fields of financial services, intelligence operations, supply chain and logistics, high performance computing, satellite communications, and specialized medical procedures. His current board assignments are in financial services, security and investigative operations and specialized medical center development. He currently serves a COB of Dry Eye Centers of America, LLC , CEO/COB of Karios Software Systems, LLC and is a BOD Coach for Boardwise

He brings to Boardwise clients his broad-based cross-functional executive acumen, with a strong thirty year record as CEO/COO of international firms, and success in corporate strategy, company definition and positioning, financial management, technology management, project management, and organizational development for global companies and startups. He is experienced in executive leadership positions as CEO and COB, encompassing commercial markets and state/federal government programs, in the US as well as globally.

Murray has been a senior advisor for government sponsored international programs and is experienced in multicultural organizational technology development in more than 15 countries. Most recent activities involve acting as financial advisor for specialized medical clinics as well as adaptation of technology programs for security, surveillance, data acquisition, threat analysis and video interpretation involving international sporting events. His academic background includes undergraduate study in mathematics and physics with graduate study in atmospheric physics, biomedical engineering, and business..

Experts and Executives

Brian Barnier

Brian is a leading corporate governance advisor focused on sustainable global growth, working with clients of BoardWise. His areas of expertise include: accounting and auditing practices, business ethics and corporate risk oversight. From an investor perspective, his emphasis is on business model investing and the “fundamental farm” underlying factor investing. He serves on an endowment investment committee. From an issuer perspective, he has created signature strengths in situational awareness, strategy, product management and business-IT management. His emphasis is on the difficult art of implementing better management practice. In both, he creates platforms for repeatable growth. Understanding the role of technology in sustainable growth, he has led teams to 9 patents and serves on the faculty of NASA-partner Singularity University. He serves as co-chair of the ICGN Corporate Risk Oversight Committee. In this role, a key responsibility is to regularly testify with public and governmental bodies regarding corporate governance. In the past in his role as a legislative policy analyst, he regularly testified regarding pending legislation.He is also a Board Advisor of the Retirement Income Industry Association.

He has served on a range of non-profit and private company boards. He served on the teams that created ISACA’s RiskIT and COBIT guidance for managing cyber risk. He is editor of Feddashboard.com and authored The Operational Risk Handbook (Harriman House, Great Britain, 2011). Previously, he led initiatives for IBM, Lucent and Ameritech (now AT&T).

Experts and Executives

Richard Janney

CFO of BoardWise

In addition to his work as CFO for BoardWise, Richard assists our clients with governance issues, SEC reporting, improving audit committee and executive fiscal management and performance improvement strategies based on board evaluation results. He also provides CFO’s guidance on improving the working effectiveness with their boards, both directly and with online webinars he delivers, available from our academy partner, Proformative.

For the last dozen years, Richard served Vice President and Chief Financial Officer for several Bay Area companies involved in substantial mergers and acquisitions He has extensive experience working with financial strategies, including company wind-downs.

Before joining BoardWise, he spent several years directing the accounting, finance, tax, treasury, IT and indirect purchasing functions of small to mid-size companies. During this time, he managed the worldwide accounting and finance functions for up to 20 legal entities as well as managed a worldwide staff of up to 65 accounting and finance personnel. In addition, he directed the internal audit function for 5 mid-size public companies. Richard’s significant accomplishments include fund-raising activities of more than $100MM and negotiating various credit facilities totaling $178MM.

Richard’s expertise lies in the areas of mergers and acquisitions; initial and secondary public offerings; restructuring and turnarounds; debt agreements; IT and systems integration, transfer pricing and tax planning; financial strategies, budgeting processes and forecasting; resource allocation and capital investments; treasury and cash management; internal controls (SOX compliance); and SEC reporting. His industry expertise is within semiconductor, SaaS, and medical devices.

Richard graduated from California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo, with a B.S. in Business Administration, minoring in both finance and accounting. He serves on the Board of the League of Women Voters of San Francisco. He served on the Board of the Bay Area Chapter of the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation International and was the President of the Walnut Creek Soccer Club.

Experts and Executives

William Lum

Board Director for BoardWise

Bill is currently the CFO and Managing Directorof LPM, LLC, a real estate investment firm for more than twelve years. Prior to that, he served as senior finance leader in various semiconductor, software and investment firms. His expertise in turnaround startup companies provides him broad exposure to the issues and challenges of private equity, board issues, treasury, international tax, SEC and pre IPO readiness situations.

Bill had led international finance teams numbering more than100 staff and has significant “on the ground” international operational experience in resolving management issues, negotiating joint venture partnerships and complex regulatory problems. He deals with companies with revenues ranging from $100 million dollars to more than $6 billion dollars.

Bill graduated from the University of California, Berkeley with an MBA in international finance and accounting. He also holds a Certified Public Accountant certification from California. He currently serves on the boards of BoardWise and LPM, LLC.

Experts and Executives

Inessa O-Childs

She is an angel investor and business advisor who has years of experience working with companies involved in high technology and healthcare. She is a partner of Seraph Group, a growing global investment Micro VC Fund. Inessa is an Angel Investor at Astia Angels, a seed and early stage investment group with focus in companies with gender balanced teams. She also co-founded Kiventures, a company that assists U.S. and Russian companies with establishing operations and outsourcing of technology development of products in emerging markets. A super-connected angel investor, Ms. Obenhuber helps her portfolio companies spearhead strategic relationships with industry-leading corporations. She invested in more than 30 companies.

In addition to her advisory role with Boardwise, Ms. Inessa’s advisory work includes: Astia (a global not-for- profit for women entrepreneurs); Watermark ( non-profit community of executive women); and Socxs (a sophisticated social exchange platform).

Inessa O-Childs is an Expert in the IT cluster of the Skolkovo Foundation Innovation Center (Moscow, Russia) and also served as one of the founding members of the Russian Language edition of PC Magazine in Russian Language.

Noted for her technology inventions as well, Ms. Obenhuber has contributed to four U.S. patents over the course of her career.

Inessa O-Childs maintains involvement with a wide range of philanthropic organizations, including USC Cinematic school (Ambassador for the Media Institute for Social Change), Charity: water, Amnesty International. Fluent in Russian she earned a Bachelor of Arts from Moscow State University of Printing Arts.

Experts and Executives

Brandon Thompson

Advisory Board Director, BoardWise

Brandon’s industry domain experience spans finance, consumer products, turnarounds and military operations. His belief “the best way to predict the future is to invent it” guides him to lead teams to take decisive action and consistently exceed goals.

In addition to serving as an Advisory Board Director for BoardWise, Brandon works with clients on financial strategies. Prior to that, he served in progressive roles in finance, including Financial Advisor, Sales Manager and Branch Manager at Merrill Lynch, Managing Director for Smith Barney, Managing Director, SVP of the Wealth Management Division for Technology Credit Union and the Executive VP, General Manager for Jessie Steele.

Brandon served 23 years of military service, ranking as Commander and contributing across three branches: U.S. Army, U.S. Air Force (Special Operations Helicopter Pilot) and U.S. Naval Reserve as an Instructor and Evaluator Pilot.

His executive expertise includes internal operations, sales, turnarounds and financial performance. In addition to his executive role, he coaches and mentors managers interested in performance improvement strategies, especially related to complex change management issues. His core competencies include: an energetic challenger leadership style, strategic thinking, decisiveness, pragmatic problem-solving and attention to detail.

Brandon hails from Portland, Oregon. He obtained a B.S. degree in Biology from Oregon State University and an M.B.A. in Systems Management from the University of Southern California.

Experts and Executives

Marilyn Nagel

Marilyn has an unusual background that includes over 30 years of experience in the corporate world as a C-Suite executive, entrepreneur and executive coach. In addition to being Chief Learning Officer of SAMI, a game based training company Marilyn has her own consulting firm Ready-Aim-Aspire. Her consulting work is widely recognized in the field of diversity and inclusion as well as women’s leadership development and networking.

Prior to starting Ready-Aim Aspire, Marilynserved as CEO of Watermark leading strategic initiatives designed to help women in the Bay Area enhance their personal and professional impact. As CEO of Watermark, Marilyn brought together global senior executives, emerging leaders and entrepreneurs to connect, develop and advocate for women in the workplace empowering them to make their mark in and for their companies, their careers and their communities.

Prior to joining Watermark, Marilyn was Chief Diversity Officer at Cisco. She was recognized as a thought leader in creating inclusive environments, and a co-chair of the Conference Board Global Diversity Group as well as senior advisor to the Center for Talent and Innovation.

Marilyn holds a Bachelors degree in fine arts as well as two Masters degrees, one in Public Administration with a focus on organizational development and one in Social and Systemic Studies. She is also ABD on a Doctorate in Public Administration.

She serves on the Board of Directors of Ceres Community Project, and has served on the Board of Directors of Watermark, Professional Business Women of California, the National Action Council for Minorities in Engineering, Inc. (NACME), UPWARD,and Family and Children Services. Marilynalso currently serves on the Advisory Boards of The Everest Project, Big Pink Ribbon as well as the Advisory Council of Courageous Leadership.

Marilyn has been listed multiple times in "Who's Who – Women in Business," and recipient of the Women of Influence Award, the Women Leading the Way TWIN Award, Women Worth Watching award from the Diversity Journal, Black Enterprise Top Executives in Diversity, and Diversity Officer Leadership Award.

In addition to her current work with numerous startups, Marilyn also consults with fortune 500 and multinational companies on developing and implementing diversity strategies. She is an internationally recognized speaker and workshop facilitator on topics such as Building Intentional Connections, Building a Culture of Inclusion, Inclusive Leadership, Executive Presence, Creating Influence, as well as Women’s Leadership.She is a regular blogger for the Huffington Post and frequently contributes to Forbes, Inc, Fast Company, and numerous publications. http://www.huffingtonpost.com/marilyn-nagel/

Experts and Executives

The Center includes the global expertise of more than 50 governance staff expert staff members of the Boardwise working team. Together, they provide the answers, research and solutions to help clients constantly improve. Contact us to learn more about the advisors who are the experts to meet your needs.

Brooke Deterline
Board Advisor& Coach

Partner & CEO of Courageous Leadership

As an Advisory Board Member and CEO of Courageous Leadership, LLC, Brooke and her colleagues help boards, executives, and teams develop the understanding and skills to act with ethical courage and ingenuity to overcome complex and challenging business problems. Building on her experiences as the founding Corporate Director for a non profit founded by Phil Zimbardo, she combines social and cognitive psychology and a strategic focus with a passion for leadership, empowerment, collaboration, and social and environmental justice. Previously, Brooke co-founded Street Smart IR, a San Francisco-based investor relations firm, focusing on leadership candor and credibility and corporate social responsibility. A former journalist at SmartMoney magazine and trained mediator, she focuses on building relationships, surfacing individual and systemic challenges that interfere with collaboration, and helping teams achieve structural, team, and individual patterns that support long-term success. Brooke has a passion for working with high-potential/impact team, diversity and inclusion, innovation and values and performance-focused work. Brooke has completed numerous courses in leadership and social entrepreneurship, including certification programs in CSR and corporate board training at UC Berkeley’s Haas School, mediation training at the Justice Center of Atlanta, and executive finance at Stanford.

Experts and Executives

Nola Masterson

Nola Masterson works with our clients on governance practices and coaches directors and aspirational directors. She is an experienced global executive and board leader serving on public company, venture-backed private company and non- profit organization boards. Her successful business experience, as CEO and co- founder of Sequenom, (SQNM) and the first analyst in biotechnology on Wall Street with Drexel Burnham Lambert and Merrill Lynch, followed successful business building at Millipore for eightyears.She has managed her own venture fund, as well as been a Venture Partner in a major European IT and life sciences venture fund, TVM Capital. During her 10 years on the Repros Therapeutics (RPRX) Board she advised the CEO on strategy, finance, operations, and board recruitment.

Areas of expertise include medical device, pharmaceuticals, scientific tools, separation processes and diagnostics technology as well as genetic analysis.A strength she brings is her understanding of the “DNA” that makes a company great. Her leadership style is as a synthesizer, to createa professionalenvironment that alignsd with, and contributes to success at every stage of company development.Ms. Masterson is certified by the American College of Corporate Directors as Certified ProfessionalDirector, and is listed in the Boardwise Registry of Corporate Directors. She has solidexperience in board position recruitment and transition processes, in building productive board cultures and aligning these with CEOs and senior executive accountabilities.

She started her own venture fund in 1998.As a venture investor, she served on the Board of EpiCept Corporation, which focused on vascular disruptive agents, and on the Board of Nanostream, Inc., a venture- backed company focused on assay detection, liquid chromatography, and sample preparation. She served on the Board of Omicia, Inc, a genomics translation company for 7 years. Her experience as CEO of Sequenom helped her understand NGS, and the software needed to support its translation to medicine. She is the Managing Director of Science Futures Management Company and works as an advisor, board member and investor. She is Chair of the Board of Repros Therapeutics and serves as Chair of its Compensation Committee and sits on the Audit Committee. She also serves on the Board of Resonance-med.com in Chicago; Zivo Biosciences, a public company headquartered in Detroit MI.She also has served on the Board of Generex Biotechnology Corporation, a Toronto, Canada-based publicly-traded (NASDAQ: GNBT) company focused on the development of drug delivery systems and antigen technologies, and served on the Audit, and Compensation Committee and Chaired the Nomination And Governance Committee of the Generex Board. She is a special advisor to several private companies and is Chair Emeritus of the BayBio Institute, a best-practices and workforce development arm of the Northern California life sciences industry association. Currently she is an Adjunct Professor at University of San Francisco in the School of Business Management, teaching the Business of Biotech. She lectures and writes for the Life Science Foundation. She also serves on the Silicon Valley Chapter Board of the American Diabetes Association.

Experts and Executives

Ralph E. Adams

Ralph E. Adams is a senior executive and Boardwise partner with extensive-global experience and expertise in all areas of board compensation, director development and director succession planning. His corporate executive experience includes: talent development, human resources management and organizational development, with specific deep experience in:

  • Executive recruiting
  • Strategically-based total compensation programs
  • All elements comprising international human resources including expatriate compensation and offshore local staff management.
  • Employee relations including both labor-represented and union-free workforces
  • Benefits
  • Human resource information systems

Client projects include: business acquisition, due diligence and organization integration, change management, competency modeling, conflict resolution, facilitation and intervention skills, employee communications, training and development, team building and succession planning. His scope of business experience includes an extensive array of industries ranging in size from start-up operations to large, global corporations.

He is the former vice president AGROMAC International Inc. He held director and managerial positions for BioReliance Inc, FMC Corporation, The Bendix Aerospace & Technology Sector at Allied-Signal Corporation and AAR-Brooks & Perkins, Inc.

Mr. Adams holds a bachelor of science degree from Michigan State University's College of Social Science, School of Labor and Industrial Relations.

Experts and Executives

Daniel Rice

Senior Advisor Executive & Director - Acquisition & Development

Daniel brings international breadth to Boardwise clients which operate globally. After his initial service in the U. S. Marine Corps, Daniel developed a progressive professional career, holding leadership roles and responsibilities in security operations, commercial buildings and manufacturing facilities, and high-tech global engineering, supply chain and logistics, asset relocations and building remediation business services. He brings to Boardwise cross-functional executive and business operations acumen, and success in corporate strategy, company definition and positioning, technology management, project management, and organizational development for startups and global companies.

Daniel has served as senior executive and director advisor in acquisition and development supporting international high-technology clients with strategic efforts including M&A due diligence, merger and integration of international service business operations, processes, and systems as well as complex integration of multicultural and matrix managed organizations. His work includes deep cultural understanding having worked in Europe, Asia, and Central and South America where he leveraged fluency bilingual Spanish and English.

Daniel earned an MBA in international business and finance from University of San Francisco, a B.S. in Management from University of Phoenix and an A.A. degree in Aeronautical Science from Embry-Riddle University. His board work includes director roles with the US for Warriors Foundation, Oakland/East Bay Building Owner and Managers Institute, San Francisco Chamber of Commerce and the Chula Vista Benevolent and Protective Order of the Elks, which supports veterans.

Experts and Executives

Vesna Zendelska Lijakovska

Vesna is an organizational development professional with more than 20 years of experience in leadership, management and organizational change. She posseses a solid understanding of management principles and has a proven ability to develop and lead implementation of strategic growth agendas and coordinate among board members, senior executives, business managers and employees.

Working as a senior consultant and Marketing manager at the Adizes institute (Santa Barbara, CA) for a decade, she performed numerous individual and group coaching sessions for large client organizations from both the for-profit and non-profit sectors in USA, Europe and Asia. Fluent in five languages -- Macedonian, English, Serbian, Croatian, Bulgarian - she works with professionals from many cultures and diverse teams.

Vesna is a designer and co-creator of a set of management evaluation tools (BDI®, Pulse®, Vitals®, etc.) with capacity to measure the emotional and behavioral factors which define the operating style and "heart" of the organization. These tools are the result of research performed with more than 10,000 employees in companies worldwide. BDI® is a content-referenced test in which test-statements are samples of board members' individual and group dynamics behavior directly related to pre-defined criteria. BDI helps to create effective functional behavior-based boards. BDI® results can be presented as a group model which becomes an instrument identifying and comparing board members' behavior styles in an organizational context. This unique diagnostic tool improves the effectiveness of individuals and teams. As there are lots of ineffective boards, the tool aims to change this.

The diagnostic tool Pulse® for individuals allows executive teams and individuals to evaluate current organizational performance and to identify the critical actions which must take place to improve. The easy-to-use, online assessment tool allows participants to offer their personal views about: the stage the company is in its life cycle; how clear or conflicted the team is about its goals and objectives and how adequately it addresses ten key performance areas. ‘Pulse® for group use identifies the implications for the working team and indicates priorities for organizational planning and performance improvement. This tool helps teams to focus as improvement areas and new strategic thinking.

Vitals® is an individual styles and team dynamics indicator that evaluates an individual’s style and its impact on group dynamics. The easy-to-use assessment tool helps participants to understand their personal operational styles and how those styles contribute to a team. A group report outlines the implications for the working dynamics of the team and shows the team how to make the best combination for superior team performance. Vitals® considers personality traits that can contribute or detract from a successful group performance.

Vesna earned her BA degree in Law (Macedonia & Serbia), BA degree in Marketing (NY, USA) and completed her Ph.D. studies in Symbergetic Change Management Theory at the Adizes Graduate School (Ca, USA). She has also competed the CNV Aktie Kom Program (Amsterdam, Netherlands) and the Spiral Dynamics Integral (Ca, USA). Vesna is a certified facilitator of TL Organizational Management workshops in 32 topics (six modules).

Vesna resides in Toronto, Canada and serves BoardWise clients in Canada.

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