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Webinar | Role of the Independent Director on a Private/Family Board
Wednesday, March 10, 2021, 3:00 PM - 4:30 PM CDT
Category: Chicago

01:00 PM - 02:30 PM (Pacific)
02:00 PM - 03:30 PM (Mountain)
03:00 PM - 04:30 PM (Central)
04:00 PM - 05:30 PM (Eastern)

Zoom invitation will be shared the day before the event.


Governance practices among leading family-owned and other private companies are shifting as more business leaders recognize that better oversight can have a dramatic impact on the success of their organization,” writes Maureen Bujno, Center for Board Effectiveness, Deloitte LLP in a blog post about private company governance. “Increasingly, private companies are considering outside directors to encourage fresh perspectives and assist in making discussions around risk, strategy and succession more robust.

Join us for an engaging dialogue about best practices and lessons learned regarding the role and value of outside/independent directors from an impressive panel of independent directors – each with multiple experiences working with and serving as independent board members.

Thank you to our Webinar and Gold Chapter Sponsor!


Thank you to our National and Gold Chapter Sponsors!



Ann Deters
CEO & Founder
Vantage Outsourcing 

Board Chair
Committee Chair
Corporate Executive 

Ann Deters has served as Board Chair, Committee Chair, Board Member, and/or CEO over the past 35 years. She has a breadth of experience in the healthcare, technology, and financial services industries, including a proven track record for leading businesses through strategic partnering, re-engineering, succession planning/implementation and process improvement. She combines her strong financial skills, technology expertise, business operations and entrepreneurial acumen, with her quest to achieve high growth and profitability. As a fifth-generation entrepreneur, Ann has started three highly successful companies in the healthcare sector, with the flagship entity being Vantage Technology, a company she founded in 1990. Today, Vantage is the second largest cataract surgical service, serving hospitals and surgery centers on national level.

Ann currently serves on the boards of Bemis Manufacturing (global plastic products manufacturer – 4th generation family business), Xformative Payment Systems (fintech), Vantage Technology (healthcare - family-owned) and Illinois Chamber of Commerce (state lobbying business group). She has served on family-owned businesses as their Board Chair, as well as several privately held businesses, including Midland States Bancorp, which is now a publicly held company (MSBI). Ann received her MBA from Northwestern’s Kellogg School of Business and BS in Accounting from Southern Methodist University. She is a former CPA, having worked at PricewaterhouseCoopers. She and her husband reside in Central Illinois and enjoy spending time have their five children and 2 grandchildren.


Lawrence X. Taylor
Experienced Executive & Board Member

As a C-level executive, advisor, and board member with more than 30 years of business experience, he has guided organizations through complex restructurings, acquisitions, corporate development activities and capital transactions totaling over $15 billion. His experience includes public, private and family-owned businesses across diverse industries including – casino gaming, hospitality, manufacturing, aviation, real estate and healthcare. Lawrence currently serves on the boards of Barrie House Coffee and CLP Holdings III, LLC. At Barrie House Coffee, he chairs the M&A committee and serves on the strategic planning committee. In addition, he has served on the boards and committees (M&A, Strategic Planning, Restructuring, Finance and Compensation) of multiple companies, including two companies in Chapter 11. Lawrence is an NACD Board Leadership Fellow and recognized as a “Director to Watch 2020” by the Private Company Director Magazine. He is a member of the PDA Oversight Board for the Private Equity Initiative and a volunteer director coach with both the PDA and Women on Boards 2020.


George Cook
Finance Executive & Board Member

Mr. Cook is the former chair of the finance committee and audit committee of Condell Hospital, is the past president of the Chicago Chapter of Financial Executives International and has served on numerous boards of directors.

Mr. Cook served 25 years as Vice President Finance and Chief Financial Officer of Maclean-Fogg Company.  During this period (1994 through 2018) the company successfully was developed into a global enterprise 10 times the size, with sales over $1 billion.  Mr. Cook played a key role in building a team of people, raising various forms of capital, and assembling other resources to achieve the growth.  The period included the completion of numerous acquisitions within Maclean-Fogg and also for the Maclean Family Office.  

Prior to his joining MacLean-Fogg, Mr. Cook served as Senior Vice President and Chief Financial Officer of Boulevard Bancorp, Inc. from 1989 to 1994.  From 1985 through 1989, Mr. Cook was an executive at IFINT, a New-York based private equity firm.  During a portion of that period, he served as Vice President, Finance and Chief Financial Officer of CR Industries, one of IFINT’s holdings.



Barbara Ford
Board Chair
Committee Chair
Corporate Executive

Barbara Ford serves on the Board of Directors for Community Coffee Company, the Advisory Board of Gold Eagle Company, both family-owned private businesses, and as Chair of the Board of Directors, Communities in Schools, Chicago. Barbara is a Partner at Phoenix Strategic Advisors, a marketing strategy consultancy that helps businesses accelerate profitable growth through insight-driven understanding of consumers/customers, brands and category dynamics. Past 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 has served as an Adjunct professor at Kellogg Graduate School of Management, Medill/Northwestern University and U. Chicago Graham School. She previously served on the Board of Trustees for Drake University, and on the Board of Directors for the Association of National Advertisers (ANA). In addition, Barbara serves on the Marketing Committee for Lurie Children’s Hospital. Barbara is a member of the Private Director’s Association (PDA) where she serves on the Middle-Market and Marketing Committees and is editor of the monthly Newsletter. Ford has an MBA from Loyola University of Chicago, and a BA from Drake University, Des Moines, IA.