Technology acumen needs to improve at the board level in private companies because:
- Almost every organization is significantly impacted by technology
- Organizations increasingly rely on technology investments as market differentiators or strategic advantages
- Technology is the most common tool being used to disrupt entire industries, and quickly
- Checks and balances are often missing for technology leadership
Our panel will share thoughts on how to improve the value of your board participation.
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Nelda J. Connors
Founder and CEO
Pine Grove Holdings, LLC
Nelda J. Connors is the Founder and CEO of Pine Grove Holdings, LLC (PGH), a privately-held investment firm. PGH provides advisory services to the private equity and investment banking sectors, and invests in small and lower middle market companies. Since founding PGH in August 2011, Ms. Connors has overseen transactions representing over $300 million in enterprise value.
Her recognized expertise and sought-after strategic counsel currently place her on the public Board of Directors of Boston Scientific, Delphi Technologies, Echo Global Logistics and EnerSys. Ms. Connors recently attained status as a National Association of Corporate Directors Board Leadership Fellow.
Ms. Connors was formerly a public independent director for Blount International, Inc., CLARCOR Inc., and Vesuvius plc and had the unique experience of a directorship with the Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago during the global economic downturn as well as serving as an independent consultant to the Department of Justice’s Takata Corporation airbag investigation. She has also served as an advisor to several family-owned businesses.
Ms. Connors has a B.S. and M.S. in Mechanical Engineering as well as post-graduate studies in International Finance and Economics. She has lived and worked in Japan, Germany and China.
Alsop Louie Partners
Mark Fields is a Partner. Prior to joining ALP, Mark was CEO, President, and member of the Board of Directors of Wickr, Inc., an end-to end encrypted communications platform enabling enterprises and consumers in more than 190 countries to safeguard proprietary information and sensitive communications. Wickr is also an Alsop Louie Capital 3 portfolio company.
Prior to Wickr, Fields was the Founder and Managing Director of CME Ventures, CME Group’s corporate venture capital group. At its inception, CME Ventures focused primarily on cyber security, payments, next generation computing technologies, and curated big data technologies. During his tenure leading CME Ventures, Fields sat on the Boards portfolio companies either as a full director or an observer. Fields spent 15 years at CME Group, serving as a leader on the mergers & acquisitions, business and strategic development teams.
Fields was recognized as one of Crain’s Chicago Business Tech 50 in 2015. Fields holds a BA in Economics from Rutgers University and an MBA from Pepperdine University. Fields serves as a mentor to young professionals and organizations. Currently, he serves on the Trustee Board of Dominican University.
John E. Knoebel, Jr.
Founder and CEO
International WorkSkill Association
John Knoebel is currently the CEO and founder of the International WorkSkill Association (Geneva, Switzerland), President and CEO of Noble Cause Consulting and Vice Chairman of the Board for the Interprofessional Healthcare Workforce Institute at Rosalind Franklin University of Medicine and Science. John is also Secretary of the Harvard Club of Chicago, Co-Chair Board of Advisors Harvard Football and Harvard Varsity Club, and Board of Governors for the American Public Health Association Food and Nutrition Section. He is Board of Directors Chairman Global AI Solutions and BOD Secretary AXeL360 Group. He serves on the Industry Advisory Council for the American Medical Informatics Association and is also part of the Harvard Institute for Healthcare Improvement.
John Knoebel is an expert in population health having served as CEO of Building Healthier Communities, the official US Department of Health and Human Services non-profit during the first term of the Obama administration for the first lady’s “Let’s Move” campaign responsible for 50 million lives. Finally, in addition to celebrating his 42nd year as a Special Olympics coach, official, event director and volunteer, John still consults regularly in agencies focused on mental and physical challenges.
Board Member and CEO
Orrington Strategies LLC
Liz Levy-Navarro is CEO of Orrington Strategies, and a Board Member of three mid-market private companies, Gold Eagle Company, Alper Services and Burke Distributor Holdings. She is a value creation and investment expert who works with Fortune 500 insurance, investment management, banking, and consumer products leaders to help them grow their businesses and brands. Liz was honored as a 2017 “Directors to Watch” in the Private Company Director, a leading board governance magazine.
Liz holds a MBA in Finance from the Wharton School, University of Pennsylvania, and a BBA in Marketing from University of Michigan. She has also served as an Investment Fiduciary for Orrington’s 401k, profit sharing and defined benefits plans.
RedMane Technology LLC
Mr. Hartzman has spent over 35 years helping organizations achieve business goals through leveraging technology. He has held executive leadership roles in 6 consulting organizations spanning over 20 years, led an internet start-up, and spent 9 years as Chief Information Officer for the College of American Pathologists and TriCore Reference Laboratories. Mr. Hartzman also served as VP of Innovation while at the CAP.
Mr. Hartzman is a thought leader for not only his organization and their clients, but also the community at large balancing strong business and technology acumen. For the last 15 years, Mr. Hartzman has focused on helping healthcare businesses get healthier by applying technology appropriately.
Currently, Mr. Hartzman leads the commercial healthcare IT solutions practice at RedMane Technology, a 19-year-old systems integrator and custom software developer.