2017 CEO & Trustee Retreat - Schedule


This schedule is subject to change.

Tuesday, December 5

8:00-9:00 a.m.

Networking Breakfast

9:00-10:15 a.m.

Spotlighting the CEO/Trustee Relationship

A successful partnership between the CEO and Board Chair is essential for organizational success. Understanding the unique responsibilities of each role is necessary for the partnership to thrive. Noting the boundaries between operations and governance while ensuring strategic alignment is paramount.

This plenary will profile what a successful CEO and Board Chair relationship looks like. Two sets of CEO and Board Chairs will share their recipe for a successful partnership, and how they communicate and deal with conflict.

For this session, we’re encouraging participants to bring candor, to share some of their more challenging experiences and how they worked to resolve them, and to evaluate their own recipes for a successful CEO and Board Chair relationship.

Speakers: Peter B. Benedict II, Board Member, Surdna Foundation; Phillip Henderson, President, Surdna Foundation; Vikki Spruill, President & CEO, Council on Foundations

10:15-10:30 a.m.


10:30 a.m.-12:00 p.m.

CEO Breakout: Barriers to Success & Tools for a Good Relationship with Your Board

Moving a step deeper from the opening plenary which highlighted two examples of a successful CEO/Trustee relationship, this moderated discussion between fellow CEOs will illuminate what barriers exist and identify tools to overcome them in order to build strong relationships with their board members. Additionally, the session will provide an opportunity for CEOs to share their experiences and seek answers to how to build better relationships.

Moderator: Anne Wallestad, President & CEO, Boardsource

Trustee Breakout: Barriers to Success & Tools for a Good Relationship with the CEO

This moderated discussion among Trustees will explore the characteristics and dynamics of the CEO/Trustee relationship and consider what leads to organizational success. This session will provide an opportunity for Trustees to share their experiences and seek solutions in order to build better relationships with their CEO.

Moderator: Gloria Johnson-Cusack, Chairman of the Board, Firelight Foundation

12:00-1:30 p.m.

Networking Lunch

1:30-2:30 p.m.

Building Partnerships

Building from the day’s conversations around barriers to success, the group will be led in a frank discussion that shares barriers identified by both CEO and Trustee and create real, actionable steps for removing those barriers.

Moderators: Gloria Johnson-Cusack, Chairman of the Board, Firelight Foundation; Anne Wallestad, President & CEO, Boardsource

2:30-4:00 p.m.

The Impact of a Diverse Board

An organization’s board has a strong impact on how the organization runs, makes decisions, and ultimately, on its success. The perspectives of the board members will have a direct impact upon the effectiveness of the organization. A variety of backgrounds and experiences among the board members contribute to the perspectives considered when making decisions. Allowing for greater diversity can broaden the dialogue to include new and innovative ideas towards grantmaking. This session will offer a provocative perspective on the different dimensions of diversity that can bring fresh perspectives to the board room and maximize the organization’s impact. Hear from a well-respected and seasoned board member from both public and private organizations, who has demonstrated the value of diversity among boards.

Speaker: Daryn Dodson, Managing Director, Illumen Capital

4:00-5:00 p.m.


5:00-6:30 p.m.

Networking Reception

Light refreshments will be served. Dinner will be on your own or with a friend.

Wednesday, December 6

8:30-9:30 a.m.

Networking Breakfast

10:00-11:15 a.m.

Public Policy Update and the Importance of Your Voice

Learn how policies of the 115th Congress, 2018 midterm elections, tax reform, and federal spending may impact your work from two revered D.C. political insiders. You’ll enjoy the conversation and prognostication — and the opportunity to consider the true critical importance of foundations engaging in and influencing the policy space.

Speakers: Arshi Siddiqui, Partner, Akin Gump Strass Hauer & Feld LLP; Ken Kies, Managing Director, Federal Policy Group
Facilitator: Hadar Susskind, Senior Vice President of Government Relations, Council on Foundations

11:20 a.m.-12:30 p.m.

What Strategic Alignment Unlocks for your Organization

Now that you have cultivated a strong CEO and Board relationship with full alignment. Hear from an inspiring leader about how to leverage that relationship to solve our pressing problems, change how communities work together, and create greater impact for your foundation’s work.

Speaker: Rich Harwood, Founder and President, The Harwood Institute for Public Innovation


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