NACD Colorado and our Chapter sponsor, Cooley, will engage in an evening and dinner of high-quality Director-to-Director dialogue. This by invitation only event ensures Directors have the desired Committee or subject-matter expertise for robust conversation. The evening is limited to 16 Directors to ensure a small, one-table conversation over cocktails and dinner.
High growth businesses -- whether family owned, venture-backed or otherwise – present enormous upside opportunity for those that succeed, while also facing unique challenges.
What issues do directors need to understand to best guide these companies and help them achieve their potential?
Experienced directors with a growth track record, partners of Cooley, and other participants will cover a range of issues, to be prioritized by the group in the room. These might include:
Establishing Governance that is “Fit for Growth”. Who should serve on the board? What role should stockholder representatives play? How important are independent directors and what sort of candidates should serve in that role? What are the most important aspects of governance to get right in the early days?
Attracting and Retaining Talent. Having the right CEO and other employees is critically important. How can equity-related compensation work to align short and longer term rewards with the objectives of stakeholders around the table?
Raising Capital. Early stage and high growth businesses need capital to survive and thrive. What are the alternative sources and which are right for the particular business? How should longer-term capital needs be considered (this influences size of raise and dilution)? What are the implications for control and future governance of the company? What benefits (aside from money) can new investors play? How to compare strategic vs. financial investors? What sorts of advisors add value at this stage?
If you are interested in attending, please respond email email@example.com with a description of how your company fits the profile of a small to mid-size business that is growing rapidly and where these issues are high priorities for your board.
Michael L. Platt is partner in charge and head of the business & finance group in Colorado. Mike represents
emerging companies throughout their lifecycle, with a particular emphasis on exit transactions, including
complex M&A and public offerings.
Mike started his career in the Silicon Valley and has become a nationally recognized Venture Capital and
M&A lawyer, with clients extending to both coasts. He has received recognition from The Best Lawyers in
America for each of Venture Capital Law, Leveraged Buyouts and Private Equity Law and Corporate Law.
He has also been recognized as a leading lawyer in Legal 500 for M&A/Corporate and Commercial –
Venture Capital and Emerging Companies, and was named a Colorado "Super Lawyer" in Mergers and
Mike assisted in the formation of Techstars, the leading startup accelerator, and has acted as a mentor and
outside counsel to some of their most successful graduates, including SendGrid, Sphero, Occipital and Next
Big Sound. Mike was a contributing author to Do More Faster by David Cohen and Brad Feld and Startup
Boards by Brad Feld and Mahendra Ramsinghani.
Fran Wheeler is a partner in the Colorado office of Cooley LLP. His practice includes corporate, securities and transactional matters, including public and private offerings, mergers and acquisitions, international transactions, corporate governance, and securities law disclosure and compliance. He has represented publicly and privately held companies, as well as board committees, in a broad range of industries, including as a transactional lawyer advising clients in bankruptcy. Prior to joining Cooley, Wheeler was a partner with a Denver-based AmLaw 200 firm, where he headed its corporate practice. He also practiced in New York City.
Wheeler is currently named in Chambers USA: America's Leading Lawyers in Corporate/M&A; in Best Lawyers in America in Corporate Law, Mergers & Acquisitions Law and Securities/Capital Markets Law; and in Euromoney Expert Guides in Corporate Governance. A member of the Merger & Acquistions Committee of the American Bar Association's Business Law Section, Wheeler is active on the task force authoring the ABA's model tender offer agreement for the acquisition of a public company. He is also an officer and director of the Colorado Chapter of the National Association of Corporate Directors (NACD) and an NACD Corporate Governance Fellow. He has a BS in Chemistry from Weber State University and JD and MBA degrees from Harvard University.
Bob Caruso has extensive senior management experience with Fortune 500 companies such as Alcoa and Coors and small to midsized firms such as Applied Science and Technologies in the capacities of CEO, president, and divisional VP/GM. Caruso's industry background is in aerospace, manufacturing, technical services, technology development/commercialization, and management consulting. He currently sits on the board of NACD Colorado and Steffes Corporation.