Boston Program | The Role of Corporate/Advisory Board in Accelerating Private Company Performance

Tuesday, March 20, 2018
06:00 PM - 08:00 PM EST
200 Clarendon Street, 23rd Floor
Boston, MA 02116



How does an 87% increase in revenues, an 81% increase in EBITDA, sales tripled & productivity doubled in 3 years sound? According to Lodestone Global Private Company Board Survey and other reports, these are the likely impacts from adding an independent Board of Directors. At this inaugural event for PDA Boston, the above panelists of CEOs, business owners and consultants, and private company board directors will discuss how private companies can drive this type of performance through the strategic use of corporate and advisory boards.

This event's discussion is designed for private company business owners and management, board members, and prospective board members. Key takeaways addressed:

  • Who fits the profile of a private company board director?

  • How are Advisory Boards and Fiduciary Boards different…and which ones are appropriate under which circumstances?

  • What topics are likely to emerge when starting or joining a private company board?

  • How has our panelists' board membership directly enhanced company performance?

  • What circumstances indicate that a private company should consider adding outside directors?





Ellen B. Richstone
Full-time Corporate Board Director

Ellen is a full-time corporate Board Director for four public companies and one private company. She has served on public and private corporate boards for over 15 years. She chairs Audit Committees and has extensive experience on both Nominating and Governance and Compensation Committees for private and public boards. Ellen serves on the Board of the National Association of Corporate Directors (NACD) in New England. Her expertise: technology (computers, hardware/software, semi-conductors, telecom); industrial; consumer products; pharma/biotech; chemicals; clean tech; financial services; and automotive. Ellen is a NACD Board Leadership Fellow and the recipient of the first annual Distinguished Director Award from the American College of Corporate Directors.


Ed Pendergast
Board Director
Managing Director
Dunn Rush & Co., LLC

Ed Pendergast is a Managing Director of the investment bank, Dunn Rush & Co LLC. He has served on a number of public, private and nonprofit boards and has helped develop boards for many private companies. Ed advises, educates and evaluates Boards on governance and has served on the faculty of the Board Advisory Services of NACD. He is a Board Leadership Fellow of NACD and Past President of the New England Chapter. Ed is also a CPA and former Chair and CEO of a regional CPA firm. He is a Past President of the Massachusetts Society of CPAs. Ed has a BS in Accounting and a Masters in Taxation from Bentley University. He is a graduate of Harvard Business School’s Owner President Management Program (OPM).


Ralph D. Crowley, Jr.
President and Chief Executive Officer
Polar Beverages

Ralph is the President and CEO of Polar Beverages, the country's largest independent soft-drink bottler and a fourth-generation, family-owned business that traces its roots back to 1882. Under Ralph's leadership, Polar has undergone its most dramatic growth and change, acquiring its largest competitor and many other strategic acquisitions. Ralph serves on numerous corporate and industry Boards, including: the Advisory Board for Automotive Management, Inc.; Legal Sea Foods' Board of Managers; UMASS Memorial Hospital Foundation; The Seven-Up Bottlers' Association where he was Past President; and Treasurer and Director of The American Beverage Association where he was Past Chairman. He was a Director and Chairman, New England Advisory Council for the Federal Reserve Bank of Boston. Ralph earn his MBA from Clark University.


Roger S. Berkowitz
President and Chief Executive Officer
Legal Sea Foods

Roger S. Berkowitz is the President and CEO of Legal Sea Foods, a Boston-based restaurant group that has 33 restaurants, a wholesale business and mail order division. He started working in his family's fish market and learned every aspect of the business until becoming President and CEO. Berkowitz is a member of the Board of Directors of the Federal Reserve Bank of Boston; a Regional Selection Panelist on the President’s Commission on Whitehouse Fellowships Leadership Council, and Harvard School of Public Health. He also serves on other boards. Berkowitz was mentioned in the book “Dare to Lead! Uncommon Sense and Unconventional Wisdom from 50 Top CEOs” by Mike Merrill, and “Leadership Secrets of the World’s Most Successful CEOs” by Eric Yaverbaum.



Mary Landry
Board Director
Retired Rear Admiral
U.S. Coast Guard, Homeland Security

Mary is a NACD Board Leadership Fellow with a CERT Certificate in Cybersecurity Oversight. She is an Independent Corporate Director serving on the boards of United Services Automobile Association (USAA) and SCORE. Admiral Landry has over 35 years of managing crises effectively, including her time as Commander in the Port of Boston during 9/11 and during her time with the Department of Homeland Security.