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Big Data and the boardroom: How business analytics are driving corporate performance and decision-making

By Taylor Simonton

Corporate boards have relied on “Big Data” since the advent of the adding machine. But this decision-making discipline based on quantitative, numeric information was mostly limited to the compilation, analysis and presentation of individual financial transactions. These transactions are historically rolled into a handful of leading indicators – the numbers we use to oversee a company – e.g., earnings per share, cash flows and inventory vs. sales. Read More.

Shareholders, Disarmed by a Delaware Court

The New York Times reports that, in May 2014, Delaware Supreme Court ruled that a company "can adopt, without shareholder approval, bylaws requiring investors who file lawsuits against it to pay the company’s legal fees if the suit is unsuccessful."

"Since the ruling," the Times concludes, "more than two dozen companies have added fee-shifting language to their governing documents." Jay Brown, DU Law Professor, holds a critical view of the ruling. Read more.

Denver Business Journal announces Outstanding Directors nominees, winners (Slideshow)

The Denver Business Journal is recognizing exemplary board members from Colorado with its first Outstanding Corporate Directors Awards. These men and women are board members who honor their fiduciary responsibility and actively work behind the scenes of public, private and nonprofit institutions in Colorado.

Nominations were taken online at and solicited from the National Association of Corporate Directors - Colorado Chapter. An award luncheon to present the honorees is slated for Nov. 6, 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. at the Grand Hyatt Hotel in downtown Denver. Anne Stevens, chairman and principal of SA IT and former COO ofFord Motor Co., will be the keynote speaker. For more information about attending the event, click hereRead more.

NACD Marks its First Decade in Colorado. 

Colorado’s experience—derived from its high-tech, high-risk heritage—has helped to further refine these protocols that have become key priorities for corporate boards even in today’s most established industries. Read more of this article by Taylor Simonton in the September/October 2014 issue of NACD Directorship.

2014-15 Program Summaries are Here

The 2014-15 program year is underway! Interested in what's coming up? Read about all eight programs in one convenient place. View the PDF here.

NACD CO Featured in 'Confluence Denver'

Since its establishment in 2004, Colorado's state chapter for the National Association of Corporate Directors (NACD) has set the national pace for corporate board best practices. In celebration of the chapter's 10th anniversay, Taylor Simonton discusses their approach as well as the changing role of directors over the decade. Read the full story here.

Facing Compliance Challenges at the Board Level

Agenda, a Financial Times weekly news service for directors, conducted a live webinar on July 8, 2014 titled The Exchange: Facing Compliance Challenges at the Board Level,  and featuring Stuart Levine and Taylor Simonton. Simonton is Past Chairman of the Colorado Chapter’s Board of Directors and current director and Audit Committee Chair at three Colorado public companies. 

Compliance with laws and regulations continues to be an ongoing challenge for public companies, large and small. The Director of the Enforcement Division of the SEC recently shared his thoughts about predictors of enforcement actions against companies by the SEC. Taylor and the other panelist discussed the Board of Directors’oversight for this evolving governance responsibility. As Taylor said in his presentation, the biggest blind spot to boards is “not knowing what you don’t know."

Listen to a recording of the webinar, including subsequent questions and answers, for insights into how your board should address compliance with laws. Due to copyright requirements, a free trial subscription to Agenda is necessary to listen to this webinar.

2014 Outstanding Director Awards Now Open

The Denver Business Journal and the National Association of Corporate Directors - Colorado Chapter are honoring corporate Directors who are superb examples of Directors with skills that complement excellent corporate governance.

When faced with tough decisions, an increasingly competitive market, or a financial crisis, executives often look to their Board's Directors for sound advice. Directors can be the tipping point for expedient decisions in successful turnarounds, smooth management transitions and in implementing strategic initiatives.

Our goal is to recognize those Directors who honor their fiduciary responsibility and actively apply their skills and loyalty to assure successful public, private and non-profit enterprises in Colorado.

Nominations for the inaugural Outstanding Directors Awards are officially open. Our categories include large and small, public and private companies as well as nonprofit organizations. You may nominate individual Directors online. Nominations are due August 1, 2014.

Honorees will be recognized during an awards luncheon on November 6 at the Grand Hyatt Hotel in downtown Denver and featured in a special publication of the Denver Business Journal on November 7, 2014.

Former Board Member Valkenberg Inducted into Cable Hall of Fame

Congratulations to David Van Valkenberg, former CEO and COO of TeleWest PLC (UK) and former NACD Colorado Board member, who was inducted last week into the 2014 Cable Hall of Fame, one of the industry’s highest and most exclusive honors. Read more.

So, you want to be a public company director? What you need to know to protect yourself.

By Taylor Simonton

You have just been asked to join a public company board. How do you make sure you are not joining the next Enron or a board rife with dysfunction a la Hewlett-Packard? Read more.


Notes and slides from the March Dinner Program Now Available

Notes and slides from the March Dinner Program,Generation Y–Bringing it into the Boardroom and the C-Suite, are now available for your convenience.


Top 10 Keys to Corporate Talent Development

By Taylor Simonton

As we emerge from the longest recession in our nation’s history, America’s corporate boards of directors are hard at work navigating the challenges to achieve, growth, profitability, sustainability and trust. Boards know that having the right team of executives is critical to a successful strategy; however, the talent pool of executives, who can help accomplish those goals, is declining for the first time in decades. At the same time, in many industries, more than half of a company’s expenses now relate to personnel. Those two reasons alone are motives for companies to develop strategies to ensure that they recruit and develop the best talent available. Read More


Risk Communication: Aligning the Board and C-Suite

Effective risk communication between the board of directors and the C-Suite is critical for companies to seize on opportunities in today’s uncertain business environment. This new research conducted by the Association for Financial Professionals (AFP), the National Association of Corporate Directors (NACD), and Oliver Wyman examines four critical elements required to develop a world-class risk communication capability. Read More


Why Join NACD?

Business is dynamic and directors need to keep up with the latest developments. NACD, the association by directors and for directors, is here to help.  Read More


2014 Scholarship Recipients Selected

The Board of Directors of the Colorado Chapter is extremely pleased to announce the winners of the 2014 Scholarship Program. Read More


Corporate Governance and Securities Compliance

Ten Key Topics for 2014  Read More


Top 13 LinkedIn tips for corporate directors

More than ever, networking happens online
By Taylor Simonton
Sitting or aspiring corporate directors who want to elevate their careers need to be findable. Most professionals accomplish this by achieving excellence in their careers and using the personal connections and professional networks that they built over many years. More recently, LinkedIn has become very important to this networking process as executive search firms and board nominating committees utilize LinkedIn for locating qualified director candidates. Read More.


Directors Share Their Views On The Role Of The Board 

The editor of the Metropolitan Corporate Counsel interviewed members of the National Association of Corporate Directors (NACD) to get their views on questions relating to corporate governance and their roles as directors. The interviewees were Barbara Duganier, David Rosenblum and Mary Beth Vitale. The following remarks reflect the views of the interviewees, not those of NACD. Read More.


NACD-CO member, Susan Bowick, on Award Winning Board

At its annual awards dinner, OnBoard, a Georgia-based organization that advocates for more female representation on public corporate boards, announced that EarthLink, Inc. (NASDAQ: ELNK), a leading IT and communications provider headquartered in Atlanta, tops its 2013 list of Georgia-based companies with four women on its board of directors. OnBoard's 21st annual study points to acceleration in women executives serving on the boards of public companies, and indicates that this year's result is an all-time high for the state. Read More.


Daniels College of Business Announces Alliance with Colorado Chapter of National Association of Corporate Directors

DU EthicsThe Institute for Enterprise Ethics at the University of Denver’s Daniels Business College today announced the formal alliance with the Colorado Chapter of the National Association of Corporate Directors (NACD). This new alliance will allow both organizations to offer joint programs to their members and students and further support each other’s work. Read More.


NACD-CO 2014 Scholarship Program

The Colorado Chapter of the National Association of Corporate Directors (NACD) is devoted to the professional development of its current and future leaders and other active members who are, or desire to become, public and private company Directors.  The purpose of the NACD Colorado Scholarship Program is to honor a select few members annually for their board service or aspirations. Learn More.


Announcing New NACD Colorado Chapter Administration

Dorothy Donnelly of DenMark Communications has taken over the helm as the primary contact point for our Chapter along with her team of experts in event planning, financials, data base and web administration and in supporting our Chapter Members, Chapter Board and Advisory Board members, and our Sponsors.  Please make note of the contact information below for assistance:

Dorothy Donnelly
President, DenMark Communications
3773 Cherry Creek North Drive, Suite 575
Denver, Colorado 80209


New Advisory and Chapter Board Members – 2013

Mary Beth Vitale, Chair of the National Association of Corporate Directors Colorado Chapter Board, announces the recent appointment of four community and business leaders to our Advisory and Chapter Board with a statement to our communities; “We are honored to have the commitment of four highly qualified Directors to our Boards, noting that their appointments support our vision to develop the best educated Directors with a focus on skills, ethics and leadership.” Read More.


Directors Have Bigger Appetites for Risk This Year (an Agenda article appearing in the April 2013 edition)

This article presents two views on risk taking in these unsettled times.  Agenda, a Financial Times weekly news service for directors interviewed Taylor Simonton, Colorado Chapter Board Director, in its April 22nd 2013 article who took an enlightened view on risk in 2013  that is contrary to others surveyed by Agenda.  Read this very interesting perspective on two angles of risk taking and draw your own conclusions on how you should approach risk in today’s markets.

Read the entire article here.  Due to copyright requirements, a free trial subscription to Agenda is necessary to read the article. Read More.


Board Diversity: The Power of Three

Meeting the challenge of Board diversity, Colorado’s own CoBiz Financial creates an environment that welcomes new perspectives – In seeking Board diversity, companies find that encouraging more diverse backgrounds of Directors, different angles of looking at strategic and risk challenges and varying viewpoints of meeting client needs supports increasing shareholder value.  Colorado’s own CoBiz Financial has called on three very talented “Mary’s” in utilizing Director diversity as a strategic advantage. Read More.


NACD Directorship Recognizes Outstanding Leadership of the Colorado Chapter

With 22 chapters across the country, Mary Beth Vitale, Chair of the Board of the Colorado Chapter is recognized as one of three exemplary Chapter leaders of NACD for her untiring leadership and unending innovation – including creation of the 2013 Scholarship program which gives outstanding NACD members of the Colorado Chapter opportunities to attend NACD classes. Read More.