Webinar | Board Diversity: A Strategy for Company Growth

Please don't forget to ADD this event to your CALENDAR!
Thursday, June 25, 2020
12:00 PM - 01:00 PM CST

10:00 AM - 11:00 AM (Pacific)
11:00 AM - 12:00 PM (Mountain)
01:00 PM - 02:00 PM (Eastern)

Zoom Invitation Will Be Shared the Day of the Event



Companies increasingly cannot rely on their historical strategies, with many traditional business models facing marketplace disruption. Boards play a critical role in encouraging, challenging, and focusing management to pursue new pathways to growth. To do this, there is greater recognition of the importance of board diversity in enabling high-performance boards.

Join us to hear about board statistics and personal stories on how board diversity helps companies profitably grow.





Liz Levy-Navarro
Public Board Director and Corporate Advisor
Summit Strategy Advisors

Liz A. Levy-Navarro is a public and private company board member, former CEO, value creation specialist, and investment expert who helps insurance, asset management, banking, and consumer products leaders grow their businesses and brands. 

Levy-Navarro serves on several public and private company boards:

  • Wilshire Funds Board, a NASDAQ listed public fund complex.  She is a member of their Audit, Investment, and Nominating Committees
  • Alper Services Board, a commercial insurance and benefits brokerage company, serving as Board Chair, and on their Finance and Compensation Committees
  • Burke Distributor Holdings Board, a regional beverage distributorship, serving on their Compensation Committee
  • Gold Eagle Company Board, a consumer products and manufacturing company

Levy-Navarro has led two thriving businesses for over 20 years, and now serves as a corporate advisor on a range of business growth issues.  She holds a MBA in Finance from The Wharton School, and a BBA in Marketing from University of Michigan.


Barbara Ford
Phoenix Strategic Advisors

Phoenix Strategic Advisors LLC is a marketing strategy consultancy that helps businesses accelerate profitable growth through insight-driven understanding of consumers/customers, brands and category dynamics. Barbara has over thirty years of marketing, strategy and advertising experience positioning and building brands and optimizing organizational effectiveness. Barbara’s experience includes leading Marketing Services for SC Johnson & Son, serving as VP Global Advertising Resources for Kraft Foods, and in a senior leadership role at global ad agency DDB. Barbara serves on the Advisory Board of Gold Eagle Company, a leader in the auto after market industry, on the Board of Community Coffee and serves as Chair for Communities in Schools of Chicago, a leading student dropout prevention organization. Ford has an MBA from Loyola University of Chicago, and a BA from Drake University, Des Moines, IA, where she served on the Board of Trustees for nine years. Barbara serves on the Education and Middle Market Committees of Private Directors Assn.


Carol Nolan Drake, J.D.
Founder and President/CEO
Carlow Consulting, LLC

Carol is the Founder & President/CEO of Carlow Consulting, LLC, a business she started in January 2017 to provide consulting on corporate governance best practices, ESG & Diversity, and federal legislative matters. The business advises investors, public and private companies and non-profits. She is a licensed attorney.

Carol worked for three Ohio governors, including appointments to the Governor’s Cabinet and the OPERS Board of Trustees, the Ohio Deferred Compensation Board, and the State Employment Relations Board.  She served as the Chief External Affairs Officer for a large institutional investor, overseeing Corporate Governance, Research, and State & Federal Government Relations. Carol previously worked as an Assistant City Attorney, Assistant County Prosecutor and in private practice. She has served on several governmental and non-profit boards. Carol has received several awards and commendations.

She was elected to serve five years on the Council of Institutional Investors (CII) Board, also serving as Treasurer and Chair of the Policies Committee. Carol was the Co-Chair of the ICGN Shareholder Responsibilities Committee for three years, facilitating the update to the Diversity Policy and Share Lending Guidelines, and continues as a member of the Committee. She has authored several publications, including two on private company governance: “Private Companies Shouldn’t Neglect ESG” and the chapter in the recently published Handbook of Board Governance, Second Edition, entitled “Private Versus Public Company Governance-Top-13 Questions for Board Members to Consider,” with Sally Curley, Founder and CEO, Curley Global IR, LLC.

The company is headquartered in Columbus, Ohio.


Marc Blackman
Gold Eagle Co. 

Marc Blackman is Chief Executive Officer of Gold Eagle Co., an 87-year-old family owned company driven to protect and preserve the things we love.  Gold Eagle provides premium, trusted products that keep things people are passionate about looking and operating like new. 

Gold Eagle Co. makes meaning, provides good manufacturing jobs, supports the local industry base and proudly waves the Made in America banner.

As a member of the ownership family, Marc encourages all Gold Eagle Co. team members to be empowered and engaged as he carefully creates a culture of continuous improvement, honest commentary and trust.

Marc’s industry volunteer activities include currently serving as the Chairman of the Board of Governors of the Automotive Aftermarket Suppliers Association (AASA), Vice Chairman of the Motor & Equipment Manufacturers Association (MEMA).  Previously, Marc was Chairman of the Category Management Committee for the Autocare Association, formerly known as the Automotive Aftermarket Industry Association (AAIA) and past board member of the Automotive Specialty Products Alliance (ASPA) and the Automotive Sales Council.  Marc is the founder of the Global Automotive Network of YPO, the premier global leadership organization for more than 27,000 chief executives in over 130 countries.

Marc is a past Chairman and current Board Member of the Chicago Chapter of Conscious Capitalism, the nation’s leading Chapter in this fast-growing global movement dedicated to elevating humanity through business. He is a staunch advocate of accelerating the shift to a more conscious business environment throughout Chicagoland and the Midwest.

In the Community, Marc currently has recently served as a Naperville Illinois Liquor Commissioner and Board Member of the Green Lake Association in Wisconsin.  Marc has also served as a Board Member of the Eller School of Management at the University of Arizona and the DuPage Children’s Museum.

Marc received a B.S. in Business Economics from the Eller College of Management at the University of Arizona and has studied at Northwestern University Kellogg School of Management. 

Marc enjoys outdoor activities, fitness and follows weather as a hobby.  He resides in Naperville, Illinois with his wife, Joni, where they enjoy their three adult children and young granddaughters.


Marc Sullivan
Managing Director
Phoenix Management Services

Marc Sullivan is a Managing Director at Phoenix Management Services, a boutique advisory firm focused on operational excellence in the middle market.  Marc has served as Interim CEO, Interim CFO, Chief Restructuring Officer, and advisor to the board of directors of a number of companies primarily in old economy hard asset industries such as printing, manufacturing, steel, engineering and construction, mining, etc. Prior to becoming a manager of businesses, Marc worked for a number of private equity firms and hedge funds both domestically and internationally.  In addition, Marc served as the Chairman of the Advisory Board of an international private equity fund for 7 years.  Marc has traveled to over 40 countries, lived in 4, and undertaken projects in approximately 20.  Marc earned a BA in Finance from Morehouse College and an MBA from Harvard Business School in addition to having earned the Chartered Financial Analyst designation.  Marc Sullivan sits on a number of boards including the national board of the Private Directors Association, the board of the Atlanta chapter of the Turnaround Management Association, and the board of the Harvard Business School Club of Atlanta.  Marc is the President of the Atlanta chapter of the Private Directors Association and a Board Governance Fellow of the National Association of Corporate Directors.



Cindy Burrell
DIVERSITY in BOARDROOMS, a board consulting company

Diversity in Boardrooms consults with Corporate Boards and Advisory Boards. Leading the firm, Ms. Burrell contributes over 20 years of executive search expertise with a special focus in recruiting and referring diverse Director Candidates who enhance a company’s growth, profitability, and social responsibility reputation. 

Previously she served as VP, Candidate Referral Services for an organization that excelled in corporate governance training for women and minorities and referred diverse Director Candidates to corporate boards.  She managed the expansion nationwide to six cities: Chicago, Washington DC, New York, St. Louis, San Francisco and Los Angeles.

In the Chicago area, Ms. Burrell is a recognized leader in the business community as well as a strong diversity advocate nationally.  She is a Founder and Board Director of the Private Directors Association and a Board Leader for 2020 Women on Boards, where she was honored with the "Life of Service Award" in 2019.

In addition, she was recognized as a “Director to Watch” by the Private Company Director Magazine in 2019. Currently, she is an Advisory Board Member for Skytop Strategies, which delivers high-content programs worldwide on topics such as Gender Equality in Boards; ESG; CSR; and Impact Investing. 

Ms. Burrell’s academic achievements include a Master’s degree from Boston University and a Bachelor’s degree from DePauw University.