On Wednesday, November 18, over 400 industry professionals in the governance, risk and compliance world will gather to celebrate the best of the best at Corporate Secretary’s annual Corporate Governance Awards.
For our awards, individuals and companies have the opportunity to nominate themselves or others, free of charge, for aspects of GRC. More information about the categories, criteria, and judging process can be found below.
Join us on the night to meet the companies that are consistently raising the bar and pushing the profession forward through innovation.
For our awards, individuals and companies are given the opportunity to submit written entries, free of charge, to be put forward to a panel of expert judges made up of corporate governance professionals and Corporate Secretary editorial members.
The 2020 nomination process is now underway and you can submit an entry by clicking here.
The deadline for nominations is midnight on Friday, August 7. Should you have any questions about this year's nomination process, please contact Lauren Wilson at [email protected] or call +44 20 8004 5339
The judging process is made up of three simple phases:
Phase 1: The Corporate Secretary editorial team reviews all submissions, selects finalists in each category and sends judges those submissions.
Phase 2: Judges review submissions for finalists individually.
Phase 3: Judges come together to discuss all finalist submissions and determine the winners in each category.
The judges scores will not be shared with nominees, however, comments may be published in articles or reports after the event. The judges are not required to make comments against every submission. This year’s judging panel will be announced shortly.
President of Soundboard Governance and fellow at the Rutgers Center for Corporate Law and Governance
Douglas Chia is president of Soundboard Governance and a fellow at the Rutgers Center for Corporate Law and Governance. He was previously executive director of The Conference Board ESG Center and continues to contribute to The Conference Board as a senior fellow. He is also an adjunct professor at Fordham University School of Law.
Before joining The Conference Board in 2016, Chia served as assistant general counsel and corporate secretary of Johnson & Johnson. Previously, he served as assistant general counsel for corporate of Tyco International and practiced law at the global firms Simpson Thacher & Bartlett and Clifford Chance in New York and Hong Kong.
Chia has held a number of central leadership positions in the corporate governance field, including chair of the board of the Society for Corporate Governance, president of the Stockholder Relations Society of New York, and member of the NYSE Corporate Governance Commission. He is a member of the corporate laws committee of the American Bar Association and the National Asian Pacific American Bar Association.
He has received numerous awards and recognitions in corporate governance and has frequently appeared in the news media, including CNN, NPR’s Marketplace, The Wall Street Journal, the Financial Times and The New Yorker.
Chia received an AB degree from Dartmouth College and a JD degree from the Georgetown University Law Center. He is a trustee of the Historical Society of Princeton and the McCarter Theatre Center.
Executive vice president and general counsel
Lucy Fato is responsible for overseeing AIG’s global legal, compliance and regulatory groups. Currently, she also oversees the government affairs and public policy group. Prior to joining AIG, she was managing director, head of the Americas and general counsel of Nardello & Co, a global private investigative firm, where she remains on the advisory board.
Previously, Fato was executive vice president and general counsel of McGraw Hill Financial (now S&P Global). Before joining McGraw Hill Financial, she was vice president, deputy general counsel and corporate secretary at Marsh & McLennan Companies. She began her legal career at the law firm Davis Polk & Wardwell where she spent 14 years, including five as a partner in the capital markets group.
Fato is a member of the Department of Financial Services state insurance advisory board and a member of the Life Insurance Council of NY board of directors. In 2018 and 2019 she was included in NACD Directorship’s list of the 100 most influential people in the boardroom community, including directors, corporate governance experts, regulators and advisers. In 2015 and 2017 she was named by Ethisphere as one of the Attorneys Who Matter for her dedication to furthering corporate ethics.
Fato serves on the board of directors of Advocates for Children of New York, a non-profit organization that works on behalf of children who are at greatest risk of school-based discrimination and/or academic failure to ensure a high-quality education. She also serves on the board of trustees of the Randall’s Island Park Alliance, a non-profit organization that works with the City of New York and local communities to maintain the park for the well-being of all New Yorkers. Additionally, she serves as a member of the board of the Coalition for the Homeless, the nation’s oldest advocacy and direct service organization helping homeless men, women and children.
Senior vice president, secretary and general counsel
Graybar Electric Company
Matt Geekie is senior vice president, secretary and general counsel for Graybar, a leading distributor of electrical and communications products and related supply-chain management and logistics services. A member of Graybar’s board of directors, Geekie is responsible for corporate governance and the legal and risk management functions of the company. He also serves as chairman of Graybar’s Canadian subsidiary.
Geekie started his career as a trial lawyer at St Louis firm Moser & Marsalek, next moving in-house to Siegel-Robert and later Blackwell Sanders Peper Martin (now Husch Blackwell). From there, he was appointed to assistant general counsel at Emerson, and then served as general counsel and secretary at XTRA Corporation, a Berkshire Hathaway subsidiary. He joined Graybar in 2008 as deputy general counsel and was elected to his current position later that year.
Geekie’s broad-based legal experience includes corporate law, corporate governance, cyber-security, commercial and securities law, ethics, intellectual property, product liability, export/import law and risk management. Under his leadership, Graybar achieved national recognition for excellence in corporate governance in 2015, 2016 and 2018.
A native of St Louis, Geekie received both his law degree and undergraduate degree from Saint Louis University. He currently serves as chairman of the board of the St Louis Community Foundation, as chair of its executive and gift acceptance committee, and as a member of its finance and audit committees. He is also a member of the Saint Louis Zoo Association board and its government relations, investment, finance and major gifts committees, and has previously been president of the board. He is a member of the board of The Oasis Institute and of its executive and finance committees, a member of the board of CK Power, a member of the St Louis/Chicago Regional FM Global Advisory Board, a member of the board of the Missouri Law Institute and a member of Vistage Worldwide.
He and his wife, Karen, have three children. In his free time, he enjoys reading, golf and exercise.
The Governance Partners
Eileen Kamerick is CEO of The Governance Partners, consults and lectures on corporate governance and compliance matters and is an NACD board leadership fellow who has completed the NACD director certification exam. She previously served as CFO of such companies as BP Amoco Americas, Leo Burnett, Heidrick & Struggles and Houlihan Lokey.
Kamerick is a member of the board of directors for Associated Banc-Corp, AIG Funds, Hochschild Mining and 24 closed-end Legg Mason mutual funds. She also serves on the board of directors for private equity-backed ACV Auto Auctions and has previously served on the board of directors for ServiceMaster and IRI before both companies were purchased by private equity firms. She is an SEC financial expert and chairs three audit committees and one corporate governance committee.
She began her career as a lawyer at the law firm of Skadden Arps and she holds a JD and an MBA, with honors, in finance and international business from the University of Chicago. She holds a BA from Boston College where she was elected to Phi Beta Kappa and was valedictorian.
Kamerick was profiled as a ‘director to watch’ in 2016 by Directors and Boards and in The board game: How smart women become corporate directors. She was named among the most influential corporate directors for 2019 by WomenInc.
She also serves on the national board of directors of the Alzheimer’s Association. She is a lecturer at University of Chicago Law School, Georgetown Law Center and University of Iowa College of Law and for the NACD Battlefield to Boardroom board readiness program.
Retired senior vice president, secretary and general counsel at The Sherwin-Williams Company, lead director at The Andersons and a member of the Cleveland Clinic board
Since 2007, Cathy has served on the Board of Directors of The Andersons, Inc. (NASDAQ:ANDE), a $5 billion diversified agribusiness company. She is the lead independent director and chairs the Nominating and Governance Committee and is a member of the Compensation Committee. In July 2018, Cathy was elected to the board of The Davey Tree Expert Company where she serves on the Audit Company. In July 2018, Cathy was elected to the board of directors of Interface, Inc., a global designer and manufacturer of luxury floorcoverings based in Atlanta. She serves on the Audit Committee of Interface.
Cathy also currently serves on the Board of Trustees of The Cleveland Clinic Foundation, the Cuyahoga Community College Foundation, the Downtown Cleveland Alliance and the 50 Club of Cleveland. Cathy is a member of the National Association of Corporate Directors where she serves on the Nominating and Governance Committee Advisory Panel.
In August, 2017, Cathy retired as the Senior Vice President, General Counsel and Secretary of The Sherwin-Williams Company (NYSE:SHW), a $14 billion global paint and coatings company. In that role, Cathy oversaw delivery of domestic and global legal services, advising management on all aspects of legal and regulatory matters relating to the company’s 40,000 employees and over 4,200 retail stores. Additionally, Cathy was responsible for corporate governance, litigation, environmental, mergers and acquisitions, and intellectual property.
Prior to Sherwin-Williams, Cathy served as the Senior Vice President, General Counsel and Secretary of American Greetings Corporation, a position she held for nine years. In this capacity, she had oversight for the legal department and all legal functions, as well as involvement in tax, government relations, real estate and internal audit.
Prior to American Greetings, Cathy practiced law for sixteen years with Baker & Hostetler, LLP, where she was a partner in the general business group, specializing in commercial and intellectual property issues.
Cathy is a 1987 graduate of Case Western Reserve University’s School of Law, and she earned a Bachelor of Arts degree from Case in 1984.
Cathy, her husband Don Bullock, and their two children reside in Hunting Valley, Ohio.
Director of Trireme Energy Holdings and a member of its nominating and remuneration committee
Carol Strickland serves as a director of Trireme Energy Holdings, Inc., the holding company for Terra Firma’s U.S. renewable energy assets, and is a member of its nominating and remuneration committee.
From 2008- 2018 when the company was sold, Strickland served as chief administrative officer of EverPower Wind Holdings, Inc., a private wind energy company with 752MW of spinning assets and a 3.5GW development pipeline. She oversaw the corporate secretarial function, HR, IT, real estate, corporate policies & procedures and insurance. Previously, Strickland was corporate secretary and chief of staff of U.S.Trust Corporation, a wealth management firm now owned by Bank of America. She also headed the U.S.Trust Foundation and CRA Committee at the bank.
Strickland is a former chair of the Society of Corporate Governance and is past chair of its national conference and budget committees and New York chapter. She is a NACD Fellow with over 40 years of experience in the corporate governance arena.
Strickland is a graduate of Skidmore College and New York University’s Wagner Graduate School of Public Service. She has served on the boards of numerous non-profit organizations including Greenwich House, Martha Graham Dance Company, Counterpoint Theatre and the Paul Taylor Dance Company. She was inducted into the YMCA Academy of Women Achievers in 1997 and currently serves on the Skidmore College Presidents Society Advancement Council.
Conference Board ESG Center
Paul Washington is executive director of the Conference Board ESG Center. Before joining the Conference Board, he served as senior vice president, deputy general counsel and corporate secretary of Time Warner. He also served as chief of staff for the company’s chair and CEO after holding positions of assistant general counsel and litigation counsel.
Before working at Time Warner, Washington practiced law at Sidley & Austin and served as vice president and corporate secretary of The Dime Savings Bank of New York. A long-time active member of the Conference Board, from 2013-2014 he chaired its advisory board on corporate/investor engagement.
Washington’s career also includes extensive work in public service. He served as a law clerk for former US Supreme Court associate justices William Brennan and David Souter, and for circuit court judge David Tatel. In addition, he was the principal staffer on tax matters for former congressman Stanley Lundine and, later, his principal speechwriter when Lundine served as New York’s lieutenant governor.
Washington has served on the boards of numerous cultural, civic, and professional non-profit organizations, including the Legal Aid Society and American Folk Art Museum. He also is a former chair of the Society for Corporate Governance. He is a resident fellow at the Fordham University School of Law latter, where he has taught corporate governance for more than a decade.
We have over 400 professional at our awards ceremony. Attendees are primarily nominees of our corporate governance awards for that year. Each guest is someone with an established track record and a strategic GRC role within his or her company. In addition to our nominees, 2019 attendees included:
|Job title||Company||Job title||Company|
|Assistant general counsel & vice president||Bank of America||SVP & director, legal||Citizens Financial Group|
|Chief compliance officer||Nouryon||SVP chief ethics and compliance officer||Guardian Life Insurance|
|Chief governance officer||Regions Financial||SVP, general counsel – corporate & secretary||Nielsen Holdings|
|Chief legal officer, ombudsman and corporate secretary||Interac Corp||SVP, general counsel & corp secretary||The AES Corporation|
|Chief regulatory counsel||Change Healthcare||Vice president and assistant corporate secretary||Bank of America|
|EVP & general counsel||Change Healthcare||Vice president and deputy general counsel, corporate, securities and M&A||Hewlett Packard Enterprise|
|EVP, chief operating officer, legal||Citizens Financial Group||Vice president, assistant general counsel & secretary||IBM|
|EVP, general counsel and chief legal & risk officer, corporate secretary||Caesars Entertainment||Vice president, assistant secretary & associate general counsel||AXA Equitable Holdings|
|Executive vice president and chief legal officer||AXA Equitable Holdings||Vice president, chief sustainability officer and group general counsel||Travelers|
|Executive vice president, general counsel & secretary||PVH||Vice president, corporate governance||Prudential Financial|
|Executive vice president, general counsel and secretary||Atlas Air Worldwide||VP, assistant general counsel & assistant secretary||Coeur Mining|
|President and chief executive officer||Atlas Air Worldwide||VP, associate general counsel – employment & litigation||PVH|
|Senior vice president and chief sustainability officer||Metlife||VP, chief counsel, corporate & securities, assistant secretary||Caesars Entertainment|
|Senior vice president and corporate secretary||Kelly Services||VP, compliance||Comscore|
|Senior vice president, US general counsel & global head of Litigation||RBC||VP, learning & development||Change Healthcare|
Taking place on the day of the awards ceremony, the Corporate Secretary Think Tank is an invitation-only event exclusively for senior GRC professionals.
It is free to attend and our unique format enables participants to network extensively, discuss, debate and dissect best practices and topical issues in the corporate governance world.
What makes our format so unique?
It is far removed from the traditional conference set-up as the event consists of a series of panel sessions followed by roundtable discussions on select GRC issues. These interactive sessions are an opportunity to share experiences with and learn from other top-rated corporate governance professionals.
"The awards are external validations for the work being done by the governance groups within companies whose work might go unseen by the average employee. Having a physical trophy is a good representation of the hard work of those teams"
"It is important that the good work done by many members of the corporate governance community be highlighted, and I particularly appreciate the opportunity for recognition offered to smaller companies and rising stars"
"As was said by many, compliance is a critical function in today’s corporate world. Yet, those engaged in that effort receive insufficient attention. Corporate Secretary, generally, and this event in particular, shine appropriate light on not only the substance of ethics, compliance and good governance, but also put faces to the names who lead in this field"
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Sign up for the complete experience below. You will have full access to the welcome drinks reception, the glamorous dinner, the prestigious awards ceremony and the fun-filled after party!
Please note that these are our early-bird prices and any bookings made after September 25, 2020 will be charged at the standard rate. If you have any questions regarding booking seats and tables for the awards, please contact Brigitte Toledano on +1 212 430 6861.
The Corporate Governance Awards 2020 will be held at Cipriani 25 Broadway. Designed by Benjamin Wistar Morris in 1921, with 65 foot high ceilings, soaring marble columns and murals painted by Ezra Winter, it is truly a sight to behold. See the space come to life at this year’s gala!
New York, NY 10004
Corporate Secretary have arranged preferential rates for awards guests at nearby hotels. View the hotels and rates by clicking here.