Our companies are swiftly responding to new issues and opportunities in the realms of technology, sustainability, security, stakeholder engagement, social activism, regulation, market volatility and global competition. But are our corporate boards keeping pace with them? Are they truly leading them?
The panel led a provacative discussion on how high-performing boards are changing what they do and how they do it. Attendees also received a copy of the 2019 Blue Ribbon Commission Report, which contains useful tools for you and your boards.
Anna Catalano manages an active board portfolio, serving as an independent director for both public corporations and not-for-profit organizations. She is currently a member of the Board of Directors of Willis Towers Watson, Kraton Corporation, and HollyFrontier Corporation. She is a certified Board Leadership Fellow of the National Association of Corporate Directors (NACD) and a board member for the NACD Texas TriCities Chapter. In the not-for-profit sector, she is a member of the National Board of Directors of the Alzheimer's Association, a board member of the Houston Grand Opera, and an honorary cofounder of the Kellogg Innovation Network of Northwestern University.
With over 30 years of corporate experience, including more than 15 years of service on public boards, Anna is a renowned expert on the topics of marketing and strategic branding and international business and an outspoken champion of women in business. Her extensive career spanned three continents in both operational and functional roles. In 1995, as president, Amoco Orient Oil Company in Beijing, China, she established the company's downstream presence in the PRC. As senior vice president for Amoco in 1998, she was responsible for the company's U.S. retail business. In her final executive role as group vice president of Marketing for BP in London, she was instrumental in repositioning the BP brand and a primary voice behind the campaign to establish BP's "beyond petroleum" positioning.
Anna is a graduate of the University of Illinois, Champaign-Urbana, and has been recognized on Fortune's ranking of The Most Powerful Women in International Business. She is a frequent speaker on a variety of topics including leadership, board governance, innovation, and the advancement of women in business. Her thoughts on various aspects of leadership can be found on her blog, www.shades-of-leadership.com.
Dennis Whalen leads the KPMG Board Leadership Center, which supports directors in their board service roles through an array of events, peer exchanges, in-boardroom briefings, and thought leadership. In that role, he oversees the Center’s various programs, including KPMG’s Audit Committee Institute, Board Peer Exchange, collaboration with the WomenCorporateDirectors Foundation and other board diversity initiatives.
Dennis is a frequent speaker and writer on board governance issues, including board composition & succession, diversity, culture, investor interests and the corporation’s role in society, as well as issues of special interest to audit committees, including risk, financial reporting and controls, and audit quality. He has been named as one of the most influential people in governance in America by Directorship magazine. He is a Board Leadership fellow of the National Association of Corporate Directors (NACD), and he has served on numerous NACD Blue Ribbon Commissions. Desnnis currently serves as an advisory board member of the Strategic Investor Initiative of the Committee Encouraging Corporate Philanthropy (CECP).
As a senior audit partner, Dennis serves several of KPMG’s top clients. He previously served on the firm’s US and Americas boards of directors, chaired the board’s Audit, Finance & Operations Committee and led audit practices in Houston and Kansas City. Dennis started his career in Stamford and had been seconded to the Hong Kong office where he led teams throughout the Asia Pacific region. Prior to becoming leader of the Center in 2015, Dennis served as partner in charge and executive director of KPMG’s Audit Committee Institute.
Nominating and Governance Chair
Barbara M. Baumann is an independent director of Devon Energy Corporation (NYSE: DVN) and of Buckeye Partners (NYSE: BPL). She is also an independent trustee of the Putnam Mutual Funds and president of Cross Creek Energy Corporation, a direct investor and consultant to energy-related companies. Baumann was formerly an executive vice president of Associated Energy Managers LLC, the general partner of a private equity energy fund.
From 1981 to 1999, she worked for Amoco in a variety of positions, including serving as vice president of the company's San Juan Basin Business Unit. She is a former director of SM Energy Corporation (NYSE: SM), UniSource Energy Corporation (NYSE: UNS), and CVR Energy (NYSE: CVI). She serves on several other nonprofit boards including The Denver Foundation. Baumann brings to the board over 25 years of experience in the oil and gas exploration and production industry, including broad financial, strategic planning, economic evaluation, operational, natural gas marketing, and human resources management skills and experience, which are important to the oversight of financial, operational, and compensation management functions.