NACD Board Leadership Conference NACD Chapter System

Solving the Board Composition Puzzle

January 20, 2016
Denver, Colorado



The discussion will center on board composition issues with an emphasis on small company boards--both public and private--and the difficult balancing act between adding industry-specific experts, diversity, and proven corporate governance experience to achieve high-functioning boards. We will also address the Achilles Heel in many board rooms-the need for consensus builders who will advocate their position based on subject matter expertise yet help reach common ground when decision-making time comes.

  • How do Nominating Committees solve the puzzle of finding the necessary attributes to build an effective board?
  • How do they do so amidst an imperative to keep their boards small enough so directors work well together?  
  • How do newly formed boards, coming out of IPOs or private equity purchases, think about building an effective board from the ground up? 

Our panel of seasoned public and private company board members , moderated by one of Colorado's top corporate attorneys, will offer their views on how to navigate the trade-offs required to produce truly effective boards.

Location and Time


Denver Country Club
1700 E. 1st Avenue
Denver, Colorado 80218

5:30 PM Cocktails and Networking

6:15 PM Dinner and Program 

Speaker Spotlight


James Kelley

Panelist: James P. Kelley is a managing director and co-founder of Vestar Capital Partners, a leading private equity firm that has made over 75 investments totaling over $40 billion. He is currently a director of Sun Products, St. John Knits and HealthGrades, and previously served as a director for Celestial Seasonings, Del Monte Foods, Consolidated Container, Michael Foods and Wabtec, among others. Jim also is the Founder and Managing Partner of the Colorado Impact Fund, a venture capital fund dedicated to supporting local companies that generate consistent investment returns in addition to positive community outcomes. He earned a BS from the University of Northern Colorado, an MBA from Yale University and a JD from the University of Notre Dame.

John Kelley

Panelist: John A. Kelley, Jr., has been the Chairman and CEO of CereScan, a functional brain diagnostics company headquartered in Denver, Colorado since mid-2009. He is a member of the board of directors of Polycom, Inc. (NASDAQ: POLY) where he chairs the Nominating and Governance Committee. John is also on the board of Emulex Corporation (NYSE: ELX). His private company board work has included Aztek Networks, Stored IQ, Circadence Corporation, and 3 Leaf Networks. Prior to joining Cerescan, Mr. Kelley served as the Chairman, President, and Chief Executive Officer of McDATA Corporation. He has also been an executive with Qwest and US West, as well as Mead Corporation. Mr. Kelley holds a BS in Business Management from the University of Missouri, St. Louis.

Gail Schoettler

Panelist: Gail S. Schoettler has served on ten public company boards, including Delta Dental of Colorado, Pepper Ball Industries, and Masergy Communications. She currently chairs the board of Venaxis, Inc. (NASDAQ:APPY) , and served on the board of its predecessor company, Aspen BioPharma, Inc.. She also serves on several non-profit boards, including The Colorado Trust. Dr. Schoettler has been a U.S. Ambassador, Colorado’s Lieutenant. Governor and State Treasurer, Douglas County’s school board president, and a successful businesswoman. She holds a BA in economics from Stanford University and MA and PhD degrees from the University of California.

Betty Arkell

Moderator: Betty C. Arkell, Betty is a partner in Holland & Hart's Denver office, has over 35 years of experience as a corporate and securities lawyer. Her clients include established and emerging growth companies as well as venture capital and other private equity funds. Betty specializes in corporate financings,mergers, acquisitions, leveraged buyouts, corporate restructurings, and general corporate counseling, including advising boards of directors. She also has experience in the formation of private and public venture capital funds. Betty received her BA from Northwestern University and her law degree from the University of Colorado, and recently received CU Law's highest alumni honor, the Knous Award.



3 NACD collaborative credits

Question about this Event?

Contact Colorado Chapter 1625 17th Street, Suite 300, Denver, CO, 80209 phone: 303-331-3402 email: