Board Successes

The Private Directors Association provides a national network where executives and professionals interested in board service can find and meet with those interested in securing exceptional board members.  On a regular basis members of the Association are provided Profiles of Board Positions that are available and how they can respond to these opportunities.  This page provides the "Success Stories" from those who, by virtue of their membership in the Private Directors Association, have been able to secure Board Positions.

Mark A. Zorko
Brentwood Advisory Group

When colleagues and students reach out to me for coaching or networking assistance I try to offer a meaningful response and recommendations for their consideration. I find Board work very meaningful and enjoy the work. Since most positions, so I’m told, are filled through referrals, I have also reached out to colleagues and friends to make my availability known. I was recently appointed to the Board of Westell Technologies, Inc. through an introduction by a colleague (and friend) who became aware of the Company’s need and thought it might be a fit with my background and interests.

Shepherd G. Pryor IV
Independent Director

One of our purposes in founding the Private Directors Association was to provide a nexus for independent directors and private companies that are seeking them. This capability is up and running. In July, Dennis Kessler passed a search inquiry from the Loyola Family Business Center through to members. I responded to that inquiry. In January, I joined the board of Nielsen-Massey Vanillas (private, headquartered in Waukegan, IL) as chairman. 

Venita Fields
Pelham S2K Managers

In late 2014, I met Rod Johnson, a Vistage Chair, at a monthly Private Directors Association meeting. Rod and I met for coffee where I shared my credentials and my desire for board service. In March 2015, I was recommended by Rod to interview for a board position with Field Fastener, Inc. (private: headquartered in Rockford, IL), a multi-generational family owned distribution business. I interviewed for the position in May and joined the board as an independent director in July 2015.

Lorraine Herr
Strategic Account Director
Matrex Exhibits

In 2012, I met the Verde founder, then working out of 1871, Chicago’s entrepreneurial hub for start-ups.  As our friendship evolved, I invited the founder to attend PDA chapter meetings as my guest. In 2016, I accepted an independent director role on Verde’s newly formed advisory board.

Barry S. Cain
Managing Principal
Amuleto Advisory LLC

In October 2016 an East Coast board consultant and recruiter reached out to the Private Directors Association on behalf of a 60-year old family business seeking to add three independent directors to its Board. Not yet knowing the company, but having a reasonably good idea of the director attributes being sought, I applied for one of the positions. Subsequently I learned that I had cleared an initial screening hurdle, and the company was identified and more information was provided. A telephone interview was then scheduled, following which I was asked to travel to the company’s headquarters for an in-person interview with key executives and family representatives. Interviews were concluded in February 2017 and a bit later I was asked to join the Board. The Company is Gallagher Fluid Seals headquartered in King of Prussia, PA with a second facility in East Longmeadow, MA. It is a global distributor and manufacturer of fluid sealing products for OEM & MRO customers seeking technical solutions that solve sealing challenges. PDA was instrumental in helping to make this exciting opportunity a reality.

M. Jay Heilbrunn
The Distributor Board LLC

The Loyola Family Business Center sent out an announcement in June of 2016 on behalf of a 40-year old East Coast Distribution Company.  The specification was for independent directors for their board expansion program.  Given my background in running and working with family owned distribution companies I applied for the position.  Within a short period of time a phone interview was conducted and then I was asked to visit in-person with all of the Board members of the company and their family business advisor.  In December I was asked to join the Board.  The company is Top Notch Distributors located in Honesdale, Pennsylvania.  The company has 3 other distribution centers in Missouri, Nevada and Massachusetts.  They are a leading B to B distributor of Architectural Hardware, including a wide selection of Residential, Commercial and Electronic Access Control products, parts and accessories.  This is an assignment that I would not have been aware of were it not for the Private Directors Association.

Cathy Carroll
Legacy Onward, Inc.

I credit my membership in the PDA for helping me prepare for board interviews.  As a result, I was invited to join the board of Just Born, Inc., maker of Peeps®, Mike and Ike®, HotTamales® and Goldenberg’s Peanut Chews®.  My PDA affiliation has also helped professionalize the governance of another board I advise.  With access to governance best practices, we significantly improved our decision making and board effectiveness.