WASHINGTON, DC – Aug. 10, 2010 – The National Association of Corporate Directors today announced the winners of the 2010 NACD "Director of the Year" awards:
• B. Kenneth West Lifetime Achievement Award – Curtis J. Crawford, PhD, director of ON Semiconductor, E.I. Dupont DeNemours, and ITT Corporation
• Public Company Director Award – Richard L. Keyser, Chairman Emeritus of W.W. Grainger and Director, Principal Financial Group
• Nonprofit Company Director Award – Josh Bekenstein, Director of Horizons for Homeless Children, the Dana Farber Cancer Institute and New Profit, Inc.
For more than two decades, the NACD Director of the Year awards have recognized distinguished individual directors who serve as role models in promoting exemplary board leadership, oversight excellence and courage in the boardroom. The awards will be presented to the honorees during an awards banquet that is part of the NACD 2010 Annual Corporate Governance Conference, October 17-19, 2010 in Washington, D.C.
"The NACD is pleased to honor the outstanding efforts of three illustrious directors, recognizing their achievements in the boardroom and on behalf of their organizations as well as their leadership in advancing good corporate governance," said Kenneth Daly, President and CEO of NACD. "In an uncertain and complex environment with a heightened focus on boards from investors, government and the media, Richard Keyser, Josh Bekenstein and Curtis Crawford are directors who lead by example, demonstrating the NACD’s award criteria: an unwavering commitment to integrity, confidence, informed judgment and performance.”
NACD Director of the Year winners are nominated by peers, including board members who belong to NACD. Nominees were evaluated by an independent selection committee according to their proven ability to strengthen board leadership in ways that align with the NACD Key Agreed Principles set forth in NACD's Leading the Way Initiative, a national effort representing areas where the board, executive management, and shareholder groups agree on benchmarks of good governance. The principles are a framework advocating leading practices in areas including risk oversight, corporate strategy, compensation and transparency.
About the NACD Director of the Year Award Winners
NACD's 2010 Public Company Director of the Year honoree, Richard L. Keyser, is Chairman Emeritus of the Board and former Chief Executive Officer of W.W. Grainger. Keyser currently serves as a director for The Principal Financial Group, Zebra Technologies Corporation, The NorthShore University Healthcare System Research Institute and The National Merit Scholarship Corporation. He has served as a director for Morton International, the Rohm and Haas Company, The Chicago Council on Global Affairs and serves in an advisory capacity for several academic institutions.
Mr. Keyser is recognized by his boardroom peers for having developed a long-term succession plan that included his own transition from CEO to Chairman and then off the board altogether, making room for new talent. He was also lauded for his boardroom leadership as “one of the quietest voices that carries the strongest weight,” and for his “immeasurable calm in the face of a crisis.”
NACD's Nonprofit Company Director of the Year honoree is Josh Bekenstein, Managing Director of Bain Capital, a global private investment firm. He currently serves on the Board of Directors of Horizons for Homeless Children, The Board of Trustees of the Dana Farber Cancer Institute, New Profit Inc. and New Leaders for New Schools. He was nominated by his peers for his deep belief in the “transformative power of the nonprofit sector” and for his personal impact on the quality of board governance at each organization where he serves as a director. He is a well-recognized advocate and visionary for social entrepreneurship and he encourages his boards to serve as strategic advisors, not just overseers of the corporate mission. From the back-office to the poorest slums, Bekenstein travels regularly into the field to understand an organization’s mission and challenges, a leading practice long-promoted by NACD.
Mr. Bekenstein has also served on the boards of a wide range of for-profit companies including Bombadier Recreational Products, Burlington Coat Factory, Dollarama, Michaels Stores, Toys “R” Us, Waters Corporation and Bright Horizons Family Solutions. Mr. Bekenstein was also the winner of the 2010 NACD New England Chapter Director of the Year Award.
The B. Kenneth West Lifetime Achievement Award honoree, Curtis J. Crawford, PhD., a member of the boards of ON Semiconductor, E.I. Dupont deNemours and ITT Corporation, was selected for his decades of exemplary leadership, mentorship and influence in corporate boardrooms. The B. Kenneth West Lifetime Achievement Award was established in 2006 in honor of the former NACD chairman who was instrumental in bringing management, boards and investors together to find common ground on issues of transparency, director independence and corporate responsibility.
Dr. Crawford’s career as a board member has been marked by his attention to board process above and beyond requirements and his willingness to mentor others in his high ethical standards for leadership. He has also served as Chairman of the Board of ON Semiconductor, Chairman, President and CEO of Zilog, President, CEO and Director of Onix Microsystems and Chairman of the Board of ISTAT. He is also a Trustee of DePaul University.
Dr. Crawford is also the author of two titles on corporate governance and leadership: Corporate Rise: The X Principles of Extreme Corporate Leadership and Compliance and Conviction: The Evolution of Enlightened Corporate Governance.
The National Association of Corporate Directors (NACD) is the only membership organization delivering the information and insights that corporate board members need to confidently navigate complex business challenges and enhance shareowner value. With more than 10,000 members, NACD advances exemplary board leadership. NACD is focused on creating more effective and efficient boards through director-led education and peer forums to share ideas and leading practices based on more than 30 years of primary research. Fostering collaboration among directors and governance stakeholders, NACD is shaping the future of board leadership. To learn more about NACD, visit NACDonline.org.