Tuesday, 20 July 2010 15:24

Entrepreneurial Boards Report - Foreword Featured

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Our goal with this survey is to offer a pivotal guide for leaders who are considering a change to the structure of their board and corporate governance activities. There is a bonafide shortage of qualified, executive board members to fill the seats of growing companies, especially as the private sector unveils vital issues that impact executive board director searches for companies of all sizes.

It is important to note prior work in this area, so we can compare and contrast changes in the entrepreneurial board landscape. In 2001, the National Association of Corporate Directors (NACD) joined Ernst & Young’s Emerging Growth Markets practice to study the governance practices of entrepreneurial boards.

The NACD study offered valuable perspectives on executive board directors. However, the market for board directorships has changed over the past six years. By painstakingly finding and analyzing new facts about entrepreneurial boards, we have brought you the latest thinking on this topic at a time when executives want to carefully examine the value and make-up of boards.

The 2001 NACD study measured the extent to which board practices at entrepreneurial companies differ from board practices at more mature companies and, more importantly, it defined the most pivotal reasons for disparities.

The Vell Entrepreneurial Boards Composition Survey offers a narrower focus and an updated perspective relevant for today’s business climate. The results corroborate what some widely experienced corporate directors and advisors have been saying for some years:The boards of entrepreneurial companies are different in many ways from the boards of large public companies. Surprisingly, the Entrepreneurial Boards Composition Survey on which this report is based showed that even within the ranks of entrepreneurial company boards,there are notable differences between private and public boards.

The findings are relevant to corporate directors serving entrepreneurial companies with a talent shortage that affects rank-and-file workers, the executive suite, and board members. The results will also be helpful to many directors serving mature companies, as well as companies seeking to find the best and brightest board members who add real value to the company’s bottom line.

We invite your comments for future entrepreneurial board of directors surveys.

Dora Vell

Vell Executive Search

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Dora Vell

Dora Vell is the Managing Partner of Vell Executive Search, a boutique executive search firm in Boston focused on recruiting technology executives and board members. Vell has successfully completed numerous board member and C-level executive searches, including CEOs, COOs, CIOs, and Vice Presidents - at both public and private companies.

Prior to founding the firm in 2005, Vell was a Partner at Heidrick & Struggles' Technology practice for seven years.  Before her career in executive search, she worked at IBM for 11 years, managing software engineering organizations of 100 people and software sales organizations with revenues of $150 million. She has also served as an executive assistant to the CEO of IBM Canada for one year.

Vell holds seven worldwide software patents. She has published several Business of Leadership reports on governance and leadership and has been quoted in numerous articles including The Wall Street Journal, Forbes, Business Week, Fortune, Agenda Week, MSNBC, Mass High Tech, the OPUS for the World Economic Forum, Boston Business Journal, The Globe & Mail, CIO Magazine, and IEEE. She also has been a featured speaker on leadership at numerous conferences and at Columbia University's MBA program.

Vell is a member of the National Association of Corporate Directors (NACD), the Boston CEO Roundtable. She has served on the boards of Framingham State, Entrepreneur's Organization, Goodwill, Mary Centre for developmentally handicapped adults, garage.ca, and RBC Capital Partners.

She has received an MBA from the University of Toronto, a Master in Computer Science from the University of Waterloo, and a Bachelor in Computer Science from Carleton. She has also completed the MIT Entrepreneurial Master’s program.


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