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How to Build a Winning Company Workshop

CEOs, Boards and Advisors: How to Build a Winning Company

October 18, 2018 Noon – 5pm

Research shows those early stage companies that leverage boards and advisors early in their development accelerate faster and outperform those companies that don’t.

We aim to make sure you are part of the success league!

If you are a CEO of an early stage company, an investor who aspires to offer expertise as an advisor or board director, or a mentor who wishes to consider governance roles, this workshop is for you!

You are invited to attend this vital program designed to help new CEOs of early stage companies with the best governance and advisory support for success.

Studies show a critical factor for long-term success rests with how well the CEO takes full advantage of its board, advisory board and direct professional executive coaching.This is especially true in the first year. CEOs are winners in building viable companies when they:

  • Select the right mix of advisors and lead advisory board members;
  • Understand corporate governance and CEOs roles and duties;
  • Determine the best board directors based on strategic skills and competencies needed for the business;
  • Develop and support effective working relationships among executives, advisors and directors;
  • Define clear duties, roles and responsibilities for executives, advisors and directors; and
  • Invest time with a professional coach to become the best CEO possible.

This half-day program introduces methods, tactics, policies, and best practices CEOs can use to leverage the full potential of the combined talent to build a viable enterprise.This dynamic, interactive and robust program includes the following topics:

CEOs, Governance & The Big Picture

  • The Purpose of Boards
  • Directors Roles & Duties
  • Composing Boards
    • Factors to Evaluate: Skills & Qualifications, Problem Solving Style, Knowing Your Own Governance Style, Diversity, Committees, Compensation, Conflict Resolution, Managing Conflicts of Interest, Functional/Dysfunctional Boards, Boards for Cross-Border Businesses Bylaws, article incorporation, D&O insuranc
  • Relating to Your Board

Board Simulation: Try It On

  • Take on the challenge of a board situation as directors. You, as a board, must solve a board dilemma based on a real case. Learn how group dynamics, your style of problem-solving and peer-based leadership contributes to success or trouble.

Advisory Boards: Fast Lane Learning

  • Bridging Knowledge Gaps
  • “Kitchen Cabinets”
  • Special Interest Advisory Boards
  • Terms, Limits and Compensation
  • Getting the Most Value from Your Advisors

Professional Growth in Leadership

  • Skills for Next Generation CEOs and Directors
  • Developing Your Personal Brand
  • Taking on Corporate Stewardship
  • Year One Success Best Practices


Donna Hamlin, CEO of Boardwise.

Donna is CEO and Board Director of Boardwise., Inc. as well as Chairperson of Hamlin Harkins, Ltd., a 35 year-old international management consulting firm working with a broad spectrum of domestic and international companies on issues of strategy, market growth and performance improvement. Industries served are wide, including: high technology, retail, professional services, finance and manufacturing spanning 42 countries.

Boardwise, Inc. provides global clients with a combination of professional services and best-in-class software solutions related to corporate governance, including, training, professional certification, director assessment, research, board evaluation and an established first-ever global registry of qualified directors. Clients include a broad range of industries, including global corporations such as ING Bank and an exclusive contract to conduct board evaluations for all publicly listed companies in China.

Founding Boardwise. Inc. as CEO in 2010,Donna took it from start-up to a multinational organization in 3 years. Simultaneously, she continued as Board Chair for Hamlin Harkins, Ltd., which holds a long history of awards for corporate success, including ones from General Electric and the International Communication Association.

In addition to her current board and executive roles, Donna’s board experience includes serving as: Director of Dailypay, Inc, Director for Interhealth, USA, a leading international provider of nutraceuticals, including chair of the compensation committee; board advisory member for Paramit Corporation, a fast-growing standards-setting electronic contract manufacturer as well as for: CoreBrand, a privately-held advertising and branding firm in New York; Lead-Women, an executive development firm in Malaysia; and Themyscira Institute for Integrative Leadership in Europe and has been as a director for the San Jose Stage Company for 25 years. She also served as advisor to compensation committees for publicly-held companies: Asyst Technologies and Trident Microsystems.

Prior to these roles, she served as board director for Commonwealth Central Credit Union, CardioGrade, Inc., Agromac International, and for the non-profit organizations: Girls, Inc, United Way, and the San Jose Ballet.

Donna holds professional governance certifications from National Association of Corporate Directors and Harvard University. She is recognized for her board style as a statesman, with an ability to successfully facilitate robust discussions of issues and integrate directors’ thinking into creative solutions.

Donna holds a Ph.D. in strategic planning from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute(RPI), an M.S. with honors in organizational communication also from RPI, and a B.A. from Siena College.

Nola Masterson, Partner at Boardwise

Nola Masterson works with our clients on governance practices and coaches directors and aspirational directors. She is an experienced global executive and board leader serving on public companies, venture-backed private companies and non- profit organization boards. Her successful business experience, as CEO and co- founder of Sequenom, (SQNM) and the first analyst in biotechnology on Wall Street with Drexel Burnham Lambert and Merrill Lynch, followed successful business building at Millipore for eightyears.She has managed her own venture fund, as well as been a Venture Partner in a major European IT and life sciences venture fund, TVM Capital. During her 15 years on the Repros Therapeutics (RPRX) Board as Chair of the Board and Compensation Committee she advised the CEO on strategy, finance, operations, and board recruitment.

Areas of expertise include medical device, pharmaceuticals, scientific tools, separation processes and diagnostics technology as well as genetic analysis. One strength she brings is her understanding of the “DNA” that makes a company great. Her leadership style is as a synthesizer, to createa professionalenvironment that aligns with, and contributes to success at every stage of company development.Ms. Masterson is certified by the American College of Corporate Directors as an Advanced Certified ProfessionalDirector and is listed in the Boardwise Registry of Corporate Directors. She has attended The Stanford Board Development Program and the Harvard Business School Program. She has solidexperience in board position recruitment and transition processes, in building productive board cultures and aligning these with CEOs and senior executive accountabilities.

She started her own venture fund in 1998.As a venture investor, she served on the Board of EpiCept Corporation, which focused on vascular disruptive agents, and on the Board of Nanostream, Inc., a venture- backed company focused on assay detection, liquid chromatography, and sample preparation. She served on the Board of Omicia, Inc, now called Fabric Genomics, a genomics translation company for 7 years. Her experience as CEO of Sequenom helped her understand NGS, and the software needed to support its translation to medicine. She is the Managing Director of Science Futures Management Company and works as an advisor, board member and investor. She also serves on the Board in Chicago and Zivo Biosciences, (ZIVO) a public company headquartered in Detroit MI.She also has served on the Board of Generex Biotechnology Corporation, a Toronto, Canada based publicly-traded (NASDAQ: GNBT) company focused on the development of drug delivery systems and antigen technologies, and served on the Audit, and Compensation Committee and Chaired the Nomination And Governance Committee of the Generex Board. She is a special advisor to several private companies and is Chair Emeritus of the BayBio Institute, a best-practices and workforce development arm of the Northern California life sciences industry association.

Currently she is an Adjunct Professor at University of San Francisco in the School of Business Management, teaching the Business of Biotech. She lectures and writes for the Life Science Foundation. She also serves on the Silicon Valley Chapter Board of the American Diabetes Association. She is co-chair of the San Francisco Chapter of the Women Corporate Director.

Program Information

This Boardwise program is free of charge for our Global Governance Members. If you are a member, use code WINGUEST!. The fee for non-members is $40. Enroll soon to reserve your place!

Date: October 18, 2018
Time: Noon - 5pm
Main Schedule: Noon – 1:00, Registration and Lunch, 1:00 - 5:00 Program, 5:00 - 6:00 Cocktails and Networking
Location: DLA Piper Offices at 2000 University AvePalo Alto, CA
For more information, contact:


October 18th, 2018 5:30-8:30pm

What Does Harvey Weinstein Have To Do With Board Members?

In this era of heightened awareness around sexual harassment in the workplace, does the board have any responsibility to ensurecorporate leaders protect employees, vendors, and contractors?

Make no mistake – whether you are in a private or public company --womenare talking.Women who have been asked for favors to make a deal, been treated inappropriately or subjected to “locker room talk” at work will damage your company’s brand and will litigate, holding not only the leadership team but the board accountable.

The total costs paid by companies in fighting or settling sexual harassment cases are difficult to calculate, partly because companies often prefer to settle out of court with the alleged victims signing non-disclosure agreements. Yet, the cost is greater than lawsuits and settlements.

Board Directors recognize that they have responsibility to assess and address corporate climate because toxic work environments, where sexual harassment is business as usual impacts the value investors seek and causes the consternation of activists. Yet, how can directors address it? Too often, attention to this doesn’t become clear until after “bad things” happen.

Join us to learn and discuss this important hot topic. You will learn:

  • What are the early warning signs that a culture is toxic to women or other minorities and includes acceptance of sexual harassment
  • How to ensure your sexual harassment policies are more than compliance measures
  • What culture shifts are need in the board room to address sexual harassment
  • Director accountability for; disclosure, investigation, remediation, and reflection
  • What proactive measures should be implemented to prevent future misconduct

This is an interactive format, so please bring your experiences and questions and join in on the hearty discussion!


Marilyn Nagel is a Boardwise strategic partner focused on corporate strategies fordiversity and inclusion as well as women’s development. Marilyn has an unusual background that includes over 30 years of experience in the corporate world as a C-Suite executive, entrepreneur and executive coach. In addition to being Chief Learning Officer of SAMI, a game based training company Marilyn’s consulting firm Ready-Aim-Aspire is widely recognized in the field of diversity and inclusion as well as women’s leadership development and networking.

Prior to starting Ready-Aim Aspire, Marilynserved as CEO of Watermark leading strategic initiatives designed to help women in the Bay Area enhance their personal and professional impact. Before joining Watermark, Marilyn was Chief Diversity Officer at Cisco. She was recognized as a thought leader in creating inclusive environments, and a co-chair of the Conference Board Global Diversity Group as well as senior advisor to the Center for Talent and Innovation.

She serves on the Board of Directors of Ceres Community Project, and has served on the Board of Directors of Watermark, Professional Business Women of California, the National Action Council for Minorities in Engineering, Inc. (NACME), UPWARD, and Family and Children Services. Marilyn also currently serves on the Advisory Board of The Everest Project, YOL, and Jewish Values Investment Funds as well as the Advisory Council of Courageous Leadership.

Marilyn is the recipient of the Women of Influence Award, the Women Leading the Way TWIN Award, Women Worth Watching award from the Diversity Journal, Black Enterprise Top Executives in Diversity, and Diversity Officer Leadership Award.

In addition to her current work with numerous startups, Marilyn also consults with fortune 500 global companies on developing and implementing diversity strategies. She is an internationally recognized speaker and workshop facilitator on topics such as Building Intentional Connections, Building a Culture of Inclusion, Inclusive Leadership, Executive Presence, Creating Influence, as well as Women’s Leadership and Board Access. She is a blogger for the Huffington Post and frequently contributes to numerous publications. offers its HOT TOPICS IN GOVERNANCE series to ensure directors and professionals interested in governance stay current on key issues in corporate governance. All professionals are welcome.

5:30 – 6:15: Registration, Networking and Beverages

6:15 – 8:15: Workshop

8:15 – 8:30: Q&A and Upcoming Events

REGISTER online at (See the icon for Workshop on the right of the home page)

General Attendance Fee: $30

Members of Global Governance Community Discount Rate: $25( USE$5 discount code: WORK5!)

Board Access Program Members: FREE (Use Coupon: WORKGUEST!)

Register early to reserve your seat!


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