Webinar | The Independent Director Primer for Private Equity: Why, Who and How

Please don't forget to ADD this event to your CALENDAR!
Wednesday, September 09, 2020
03:00 PM - 04:00 PM CST

01:00 PM - 02:00 PM (Pacific)
02:00 PM - 03:00 PM (Mountain)
04:00 PM - 05:00 PM (Eastern)

Zoom Invitation Will Be Shared the Day of the Event



Please join the Private Directors Association at 3 pm (Central) on September 9th for a webinar where a panel will discuss the role of an independent director on private company boards—focusing on how independence is defined, the benefits of the independent director, and the characteristics of an ideal independent director.  The panel will include private equity executives and independent directors at both family-owned and PE-owned businesses. 





Joe Eichelberger
Chairman of the Board
A.H. Harris Construction Supplies

Joe has served on the Boards of numerous organizations over the past 15 years, most recently as Chairman of the Board of AH Harris Construction Supplies.    As a board member he has partnered with numerous Private Equity firms such as AEA Investors, Shorehill Capital, Frontenac, and FdG Associates.  These portfolio companies have all enjoyed excellent returns for investors.

Prior to that he was the CEO of Industrial Controls, a Private Equity owned company, for 10 years.  Previous senior management roles included VP of Sales & Marketing of Daikan/ McQuay International, General Manager of the North American Products Group of Siemens Building Technologies, and Area General Manager of Johnson Controls.

Joe is a licensed engineer and graduate of the United States Merchant Marine Academy.


Bill Stroner
Stroner Advisory Group

Bill has held numerous executive positions in primarily family owned businesses. For twelve years Bill was the non-family CEO of the Wall Family Enterprise in which he led the growth and diversification of the business through a series of acquisitions in the United States and United Kingdom. Formerly Bill was the Vice President of Operations with Lab Safety Supply, a division of W.W. Grainger and has a broad background in direct marketing and distribution based businesses.

Bill has a passion for family owned businesses and currently serves on the Boards of a number of family businesses. Bill enjoys working closely with families and management teams on the development and execution of strategy, continuity planning, leadership development, and risk assessment. Bill is a frequent speaker at family business conferences and focuses on governance and the benefits of independent directors on family business boards.

Bill has an MBA from Loyola University of Chicago and a degree in Accounting from Western Illinois University. Bill lives in Janesville, Wisconsin with his wife Gail where he is active in his community and is an avid golfer.


Jeffery Keith
Operating Partner
Sterling Partners and Avathon Capital

Jeffery has founded or co-founded multiple successful companies in various sectors including education, industrial services, financial services, software and commercial real estate. Currently, Jeffery is an Operating Partner at Sterling Partners and Avathon Capital, a $5.0 billion private equity fund group. He has led or participated in multiple M&A transactions over the past 14 years. He is an active board member or chairman for several companies in multiple sectors. Jeff is considered a financial expert and usually chairs the audit and risk committees on the boards where he serves.

He holds an M.B.A. and B.S. in economics and management from Purdue University, and an M.S. and Ph.D. (ABD) in finance from the Stuart Graduate School of Business at the Illinois Institute of Technology. Additionally, Jeffery has a graduate certification in financial law from the Kent College of Law/Stuart GSB and attended Harvard’s Graduate School IEM program.



Diane M. Meister
Chief Strategy and Development Officer
Private Directors Association

Currently serving as an Officer of the Private Directors Association, Diane has been an advisor to 12 private company boards on governance issues as well as on managing strategic risk and funding alternative investments in strategic growth.

She is the founder of the Chicago-based growth advisory firm, Meridian Associates Inc. Meridian has assisted leaders of over 50 often-underperforming companies to reimagine their efforts around strategic growth planning and to use strategic foresight to prepare for industry disruption.

Diane holds an Executive MBA from the Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University. Prior to founding Meridian, she had a progressive 15-year career with two Blue Chip international advertising agencies (Leo Burnett Company and Young & Rubicam Inc.). During these affiliations, she initiated distinctive corporate and brand marketing programs as well as business model innovation approaches, in collaboration with executive leadership of 16 Fortune 100 consumer products companies.