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

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 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

Marilyn Nagel

Co-Founder and Chief Advocacy Officer | RISEQUITY

Marilyn has an unusual background including over 30 years of experience in the corporate world as a C- Suite executive, entrepreneur and executive coach. Marilyn is Co-founder and Chief Advocacy Officer of RISEQUITY, a company dedicated to empowering employees, developing leaders and transforming company cultures. She is also Chief Learning Officer of SAMI, a game-based leadership development company, and has had her own consulting firm Ready-Aim-Aspire. She is widely recognized in the field Diversity, Inclusion and Equity, as well as executive and board development, leadership and networking.

Prior to co-founding RISEQUITY, Marilyn served as CEO of Watermark launching their Conference for Women and created breakthrough programs while Chief Diversity Officer at Cisco. She was recognized as a thought leader in shifting the focus on inclusion, launching the first Inclusion Index, flexible work practices, and developed the Maturity Model for Diversity, Equity and Inclusion that has become an industry standard. Marilyn has co-chaired the Conference Board Global Diversity Group, formed a consortium in Silicon Valley for Diversity Officers and was a senior advisor to the Center for Talent and Innovation.

Marilyn consults with pre and post IPO companies, fortune 500 and global multinational companies on developing and implementing diversity strategies. She is an internationally known speaker and workshop facilitator on topics such as Inclusive Leadership, Building Intentional Connections, Inclusive Hiring, Creating Influence, as well as Board Accountability and Women’s Leadership. Marilyn develops programs for Diversity Woman Media and has produced the Women in Tech conference. She has been a regular blogger for the Huffington Post and frequently contributes to numerous publications.

Marilyn is the speaker curator/producer of Sonoma TEDx, 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 (PBWC), the National Action Council for Minorities in Engineering, Inc. (NACME), UPWARD, and Family and Children Services. Marilyn also currently serves on the Advisory Boards of YOL, The Everest Project, as well as the Advisory Council of Courageous Leadership.

Marilyn holds a bachelor’s degree in fine arts, a master’s degree in Social and Systemic Studies and a master’s in public administration MPA. She is also ABD on a Doctorate in public administration.

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 aspiring directors. She is an experienced global executive and board leader serving on public company, venture- backed private company and non-profit organization boards. Her career includes successful business experience, with Millipore for eight years and, as CEO and co-founder of Sequenom, (SQNM) and the first analyst in biotechnology on Wall Street with Drexel Burnham Lambert and Merrill Lynch. She has managed her own venture fund, and has been a Venture Partner in a major European IT and life sciences venture fund, TVM Capital. During her 14 years on the Repros Therapeutics (RPRX) Board she advised the CEO on strategy, finance, operations and board recruitment. She served as Chair of the Board for 5 years and as Chair of the Compensation Committee and a member of the Audit Committee.

Ms. Masterson’s areas of expertise include medical device, pharmaceuticals, scientific tools, separation processes and diagnostics technology as well as genetic analysis. One of Ms Masterson’s key strengths is her understanding of the “DNA” that makes a company great. Her leadership style is as a synthesizer, to create a professional environment that aligns with, and contributes to success at every stage of company development. Ms Masterson is certified by the American College of Corporate Directors as a Certified Professional Director, and she is listed in Boardwise Registry of Corporate Directors. She has many years of experience in board position recruitment and transition processes, in building productive board cultures and aligning processes and cultures with CEOs and senior executive accountability and measurements

Ms. Masterson is Managing Director of Science Futures Management Co. LLC and in that positon acts as a lead investor in Portfolia Femtech Fund, an angel fund, dedicated to supporting women early stage investors with education and investments in women focused healthcare companies. She sits on the board of Prime Genomics, Inc. and LynxBio Inc. She is an Adjunct Professor at the University of San Francisco in the graduate school of arts and science teaching biotechnogy entrepreneurship.

Ms. Masterson is the co-chair of the San Francisco Chapter of Women Corporate Directors (WCD) and sits on the non-profit board of the American Diabetes Association and is president of the Los Viajeros Riding Club. Her hobbies include horseback riding and oil painting.

Experts and Executives

Petra Chequer

Petra Chequer supportsBoardwise client C-suite leaders, board members and investors who are committed to empowering the leaders in which they have invested.

Petra operates at the intersection of business strategy and human-centric leadership. Her mission is to develop leaders who provide a securebase for their teams and create inclusive cultures and work environments while leading impactful, sustainable and thriving organizations.Her proprietary intersectional model of IQ-EQ-SQ-BQ is designed to provide a solid leadership foundation as organizations are facing crises, industry disruptions, transformation initiatives and other needed or imposed changes.

She provides executive coaching and experiential learning programs for C-suite leaders and other key stakeholders, business strategy consulting and innovation and launch programs for companies entering Silicon Valley or Europe, primarily Germany, Austria and Switzerland.

As a partner at 360Lab SF, she is also building a vibrant Business Hub for international and local leadersto create an impactful business community that empowers its members across the globe.The mission is to connect entrepreneurs, executives, board members, influencers and investors both in Silicon Valley and on a global level.

As a Director at the Alliance of Chief Executives, she supports the organization in building strategic peer groups for CEOs and CXOs and has worked with a multitude of C-Suite leaders both 1-1 as well as in a group/team environment.Petrais an advisor to several international as well as Silicon Valley start-ups, angel investor andworks to support gender parity and diversity at the board level. She is an empowering strategist, innovative thinker and global connector and is a German native, who has lived and worked in the UK, Italy, France and Australia before moving to the United States.

Prior to her current focus, she worked with leadership teams at ALCOA, Airbus, Dt. Bank, Digital Equipment and various other large, mid- and small-sized organizations across a variety of industries as well as VC backed start-ups and family owned organizations. She has worked with several hundred CEOs and CXOs and their teams over the course of her career.

She attended the University of Passau (Germany), the Foreign Language Institute Munich (Germany), the University of East Anglia (UK) and the University of Perugia per Stranieri (Italy). She is an avid learner and infuses her work with leadership concepts and mindfulness practices she has studied and explored while traveling the world.

Petra's passion is Health/Wellness and Mindfulness. She is a yoga & meditation practitioner and loves outdoor sports like paddle boarding, skiing, golfing, hiking and tennis and spending time with her three adult children.

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 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.

Experts and Executives

Grace Betts

Grace V. Betts is an accomplished executive and board director. Throughout an eclectic government sector career of increasing responsibility, she became a health promotion professional and community leader as well as a board director in both the not-for-profit and commercial sectors. Her experience includes health promotion, adult education and public policy analysis. An international executive, she has worked in English, French and German throughout Canada, the United States and Europe. For Boardwise initiatives, Grace is a hands-on, engaged director and brings her experience in board governance to clients in the public, private and not-for-profit sectors.

Grace was a senior manager for DND’s Canadian Forces Personnel Support Agency (CFPSA) addressing health promotion, change management and personnel and family support. She served on key DND committees including the: Family Violence Advisory Committee, Employee Assistance Program (CFMAP) Working Group and Rx 2000 Mental Health Reform Working Group. Grace was co-founder, director, senior vice president and public policy practice leader for Shipley Canada Corp. until successfully selling the company in 2017. Shipley Canada continues to operate and is part of a global training and consulting group of companies that helps other companies win business with proven best practices in business development.

Grace graduated from the Kingston Psychiatric Hospital School of Nursing and worked as an RN in general nursing and psychiatric nursing. She then graduated from the University of Maryland, where her academic pursuits focused on how the individual is to be understood within a greater economic, political and social framework. She then earned a master’s degree in Public Policy and Administration (MPA) from Carleton University, focusing on social policy and board governance. She completed advanced studies in counseling, adult education, group dynamics and group therapy at the University of Victoriaand is a graduate of the Department of National Defence’s (DND) Management and Leadership Development Program, Queen’s University Business School’s Operations Management Program and the Cooper Institute’s Health Promotion Directors’ Program. She also holds a secret security clearance.

In addition to her federal government work, she contributes to the not-for-profit sector at the national level. As Chairperson and CEO of the DIVA Foundation for twelve years, she contributed to making a positive difference in the health and quality of life of women.

She is an avid diversified athlete and fitness enthusiast. She has two international marathons to her credit and, depending on the season, runs, weight trains, skis, rock climbs or plays golf. Above all else, Grace enjoys and values people and relationships with family, friends and associates.

Experts and Executives

Jen McClure

Jen McClure is an experienced executive, board leader and corporate governance advisor with more than three decades of experience. She is one of the original authorities on digital and social media and is a respected leader with a track record of identifying important business, technological and societal trends. In her work board work with clients, Jen focuses on board composition and ensuring boards have the expertise, skills and competencies needed to lead and succeed in today’s digitally driven business world. She is a Governance Fellow of the National Association of Corporate Directors (NACD), a member of the Private Directors Association, Women Corporate Directors (WCD) and an instructor in the BoardWise Board Certification Program, where she teaches board members about their role in digital strategy, transformation, governance, risk management, data privacy compliance and technology ethics.

In addition to her expertise in digital, Jen’s expertise includes marketing and communications, M&A and integration, transformation and change management. She was named a “Power Player” and top disruptor in management consulting by Business Insider in 2020. She has more than three decades of experience in media, technology and information services. Jen is founder, CEO and Chair of JEM, a management consultancy and publishing company. She is a former executive of Thomson Reuters, where she was Vice President of Digital and Social Media; served as Chief Marketing Officer of Redwood Collaborative Media and directed public relations and marketing at Ziff Davis. She led research at New Electronic Media Science and was a business reporter early in her career. In 2005, Jen foresaw the significant impact that social media and digital technologies would have on media, business, culture and society, and founded the Society for New Communications Research (SNCR), a global nonprofit think tank to research and educate business leaders on this evolving technology landscape. She served as SNCR’s CEO and Board Chair for more than 10 years. In 2016 she led SNCR’s merger with The Conference Board, a global non-profit think tank that delivers trusted insights to business leaders for what’s ahead. Following the merger, Jen was named a Distinguished Principal Fellow and Program Director of The Conference Board.

Jen currently serves on the board and executive committee of KQED. She is a former board member of a private, family-owned company, the nonprofit Watermark, and former chair of Stanford Women on Boards. She has served on numerous other nonprofit boards and board committees including Audit, Compensation, Executive, Nominating & Governance and Strategic Planning.

Jen works with companies as an adviser, consultant and investor. She is a Limited Partner in four venture funds, has served on the Investment Committee of Spike Ventures, an AVG fund, and is a member of the Silicon Valley Venture Roundtable. She earned her master’s degree from Stanford University, her bachelor’s degree from Sarah Lawrence College and holds a graduate certificate in History, Politics and Society from the University of Oxford.