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2017 WCD Visionary Awards Winners Announced

Wednesday, February 1, 2017   (0 Comments)
Posted by: Lisa Stella


WomenCorporateDirectors Names Alaska Air, Ecolab, Duchossois Group, and Transcontinental Inc. Chair Isabelle Marcoux as

2017 Visionary Award Winners


Top Honors for Corporate Governance and Boardroom Diversity


NEW YORK – February 1, 2017 – As boards globally move toward a path of greater transparency and diversity, the WomenCorporateDirectors Foundation (WCD) has identified companies and directors who are leading their peers in best governance practices. For its 2017 WCD Visionary Awards, WCD has selected Alaska Air, Ecolab, Duchossois Group, and Isabelle Marcoux, Chair of the Board of Transcontinental Inc. – Canada’s largest printer – as its honorees.


“Making strides in good governance requires leadership that is committed to making this happen and really sets the benchmark for others to follow,” says Jill Kanin-Lovers, co-chair of the Visionary Awards committee and a director at Heidrick & Struggles and Homeownership Preservation Foundation. Awards co-chair Mel Lagomasino – a director at The Walt Disney Company, The Coca-Cola Company, and the Americas Society – said, “These leaders raise the bar for everyone, and show what can happen when you prioritize excellence starting with the very top – the board.”


WCD will present the awards at the Visionary Awards Dinner on May 10, 2017, as part of its annual invitation-only Global Institute (May 9-11) in New York City. The Institute and Dinner bring together hundreds of directors, including many CEOs and board chairs, to explore some of the most urgent issues for boards today – from cybersecurity to shareholder influence to opening new markets amid trade uncertainties.


Now in its seventh year, the WCD Visionary Awards program has named top companies, CEOs, and board chairs as recipients, including Publix, L’Oréal, Procter & Gamble, Publicis, The Santander Group, and The Coca-Cola Company, as well as Maggie Wilderotter, Beth Mooney, and Marjorie Scardino, among others.


2017 Visionary Award Winners


WCD Visionary Award for Leadership and Governance of a Public Company: Alaska Air Group, which includes Alaska Air, Horizon Air, and Virgin America; 45% of board members are women. Award sponsor: Spencer Stuart.


“We are deeply honored to be chosen as the recipient of WCD’s Visionary Award for Leadership and Governance of a Public Company,” said Alaska Air Group Chairman and CEO Brad Tilden. “Alaska Air Group is privileged to have talented and engaged women and men on our board. We believe the diversity among our directors contributes to more robust discussions and ultimately to better decision-making.”


“While the board ultimately chooses the candidate – male or female – with the skills that best align the board’s overall expertise with the company’s long-term business strategy, we go out of our way to seek and interview interested, diverse individuals,” said Independent Lead Director Patty Bedient. “Alaska’s board reflects those priorities not only in its breadth of business acumen and strategic expertise, but in the diversity of thought, gender, and varied ethnic and cultural backgrounds of its members.”

WCD Visionary Award for Strategic Leadership: Isabelle Marcoux, Chair of the Board, Transcontinental Inc.; Director, George Weston Limited, Rogers Communications Inc., Power Corporation of Canada; and the Montreal Children’s Hospital Foundation. Award sponsor: The Coca-Cola Company.


“I am truly honored to be the first Canadian to receive this prestigious award from WCD, which particularly acknowledges my commitment to promoting diversity in the workplace,” said Isabelle Marcoux, Chair of the Board of Transcontinental Inc., which has operations in print, flexible packaging, publishing, and digital media and where women are 38% of the board. “I firmly believe that women leaders create value within organizations. At TC Transcontinental, diversity is at the heart of our business strategy, reflecting our belief that a diverse workforce fosters innovation and stimulates growth. Through our programs and our policies, we promote the advancement of women into leadership roles. In fact, we take great pride in the strength and diversity of both our board of directors and our senior executive teams. Together, they are focused on ensuring the long-term success of TC Transcontinental.”


WCD Visionary Award for Innovation in Shared Value: Ecolab, a global provider of water, hygiene, and energy technologies and services in more than 170 countries. Award sponsor: KPMG.


“We appreciate this recognition and believe a diverse board is the only rational approach to corporate directorship,” said Ecolab Chairman and CEO Douglas M. Baker, Jr. “The best talent wins, including in the board room, and it is impossible to have the best if you exclude half of the talent pool. We want a great board, and to achieve this, we need both talented men and women.”


WCD Visionary Award for Leadership and Governance of a Private Company: The Duchossois Group, a family-owned group of operating and investment companies with four women on its board.


“We are honored to be recipients of this important award. As a family-owned company, we recognize that our differences are often our greatest asset and therefore seek diversity whenever possible,” said The Duchossois Group CEO Craig Duchossois. “A commitment to diversity in leadership is a key ingredient in our success formula.”


2017 WCD Visionary Awards Selection Committee

Committee Co-Chairs

·       Jill Kanin-Lovers (U.S.) – Director, Heidrick & Struggles and Homeownership Preservation Foundation; WCD New York member

·       Maria Elena (Mel) Lagomasino (U.S.) – Chief Executive Officer & Managing Partner, WE Family Offices; Director, The Walt Disney Company, The Coca-Cola Company, and the Americas Society; WCD South Florida member


Committee Members:

·       Sherry Barrat (U.S.) – Director of NextEra Energy, Inc., Prudential Insurance Funds, and Arthur J. Gallagher & Company; former WCD advisory board member; WCD South Florida member

·       Christie Hefner (U.S.) – Chairman of Hatch Beauty; former Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Playboy Enterprises and Executive Chairman of Canyon Ranch Enterprises; advisory board member, The Offutt Companies; WCD Chicago member

·       Pat McKay (U.S.) – Partner and Managing Director, Templeton & Company; Chair, Florida Atlantic University Foundation; Director, Holy Cross Hospital, WCD South Florida chapter chair and advisory board member

·       Estelle Métayer (Canada) – Director, BRP Inc. (Bombardier Recreational Products Inc.), Blockstream, and Zag Bank; advisory board member, Ricardo Media; WCD Quebec chapter chair

·       Merle Okawara (Japan) – Chairman, JC Comsa Corporation; Director, Parco; WCD Japan co-chair

·       Susan Remmer Ryzewic (U.S.) – President, CEO, and Director, EHR Investments, Inc., The Remmer Family Foundation, Cabot Wellington, LLC, and University of North Florida Foundation; WCD chapter chair, Family Business Council co-chair, advisory board member

·       Susan Stautberg (U.S.) – Chairman & CEO WomenCorporateDirectors Foundation (WCD); Co-author of Women on Board; WCD South Florida member

·       Joan Steel (U.S.) – Founder and Managing Principal, Alpha Wealth Advisors, LLC.; Director, Rush University Medical Center and Loyola University Chicago; WCD Chicago member

·       Bernee D. L. Strom (U.S.) – Serial entrepreneur; Partner, Next Level Associates; senior advisor, Cascadia Capital; former director, Hughes Electronics/DirecTV, Polaroid, Benchmark Electronics, and the National Public Radio Foundation; WCD Seattle member


For media inquiries, please contact Suzanne Oaks Brownstein or Trang Mar of Temin and Company at 212-588-8788 or


About WomenCorporateDirectors Education and Development Foundation, Inc.

The WomenCorporateDirectors Education and Development Foundation, Inc. (WCD Foundation) is the only global membership organization and community of women corporate directors. A 501(c)(3) not-for-profit organization, the WCD Foundation has 75 chapters around the world. The aggregate market capitalization of public companies on whose boards WCD Foundation members serve is over $8 trillion. In addition, WCD Foundation members serve on numerous boards of large private and family-run companies globally. For more information visit or follow us on Twitter @WomenCorpDirs, #WCDboards.


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