Friday, June 19, 2015

Diversity Initiative of the California Insurance Department

California Insurance Commission Dave Jones provided great leadership in establishing, internal to his organization, a Diversity Task Force to assess how well insurance companies and insurance supplier firms were doing in the state with regards to governing board leadership diversity.

Imagine if all state departments followed their lead and provided the same, annual benchmark information about board diversity.

Insurance Diversity Initiative:

December 2014 Survey Results:

o Total companies surveyed: 206 with premiums of $100 M plus each
o Total number of board members: 1,153
o Average members per insurance company / group: 10
    § Only 18.6% of board members are women: 214
    § 21 companies have 0 women on their governing boards: 155 men, 0 women

Wednesday, June 10, 2015

Kim Kovacs Joins Hardesty LLC

Congratulations to Kim Kovacs who was just named as Practice Leader at Hardesty LLC’s newly formed Emerging Growth Practice division based in Irvine, CA. The practice will provide strategic financial executive, advisory support, and accounting services to start-ups, VC-backed and high growth companies. 

Read the press release here:

Hardesty, LLC is a national executive services firm focused on the office of the CFO.

Anne Gust Brown

Sunday’s LA Times had a special insert, California Sunday Magazine, which included a very impressive article about Anne Gust Brown, the wife and counsel to California Governor Jerry Brown. “Special Counsel - Anne Gust Brown is the most powerful first lady in the country because she didn’t want to be one” by Vauhini Vara

My impressions of Anne Gust Brown were formed through my research into the board of directors at the Gap Inc. where she was General Counsel and then Chief Administrative Officer reporting to the CEO.

“By the late 1990s, the company had begun to face a backlash over poor conditions in the overseas factories that produced its clothing. The situation seemed intractable: Enforcing higher standards could hurt the Gap’s bottom line, but ignoring the problem could mean a public-relations disaster, not to mention an ethical one. The company’s legal and compliance departments reported to Gust; she was responsible for finding a solution.”

I commend the article to your reading to learn exactly how Gust (Brown) took a major role in putting into place leading edge solutions to a significant industry problem.

External Auditor Assessment Tool

On June 2, 2015, The Audit Committee Collaboration released the External Auditor Assessment Tool: A Reference for Audit Committees Worldwide, a resource that can be used by audit committees or those charged with governance around the globe to evaluate the performance of external auditors.

The Collaboration includes:

Startup Next LA Demo Day

Startup Next LA is hosting a demo day to wrap up our spring program and provide an opportunity to showcase the 8 startups that went through the program.

The event will be held at Cross Campus, 929 Colorado Avenue, Santa Monica, CA 90401 on Monday, June 29, 2015 from 6:00 PM to 10:00 PM (PDT)

Sing up at Startup Next LA Demo Day on Eventbrite:

Connecting Women to Power (#CWP2015)

Thursday, June 18, 2015
8:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.
California State University, Dominguez Hills
Loker Student Auditorium
1000 East Victoria Street, Carson, CA 90747
Register online or by calling

I will be moderating a panel of five outstanding women in California leadership:
Women in High Places: Successful Leadership & Management Skills

Panel Time:
2:15 p.m.-3:30 p.m.

Panel Location:
Claudia Hampton Lecture Hall
(Located on the ground floor of Welch Hall, Cal State Dominguez Hills)

1.                  Edna Murphy, Deputy Director, Administration, Board of Equalization (BOE)
2.                  Ruth Garcia-Corrales, President, National Association of Professional Women
3.                  Lori Guidry, President, Development Industries Incorporated
4.                  Brenda Riddick, Director, Mervyn M. Dymally African American Political & Economic Institute (MDAAPEI), California State University, Dominguez Hills
5.                  Renee Gibson, Chief, Collections Division, Employment Development Department (EDD)

BlogTalk Radio Interview with Elizabeth Ghaffari

Elizabeth Ghaffari was interviewed May 15, 2015 by Chicke Fitzgerald of Solutionz Live! about her latest book, Tapping the Wisdom That Surrounds You: Mentorship and Women (Praeger: 2014). The interview is available on BlogTalk Radio and iTunes.