Feedback from our Alumni

Leslie F. Seidman
Leslie F. Seidman, GCB.D

Former FASB Chairman, Non-executive Director and Audit Chair, Moody’s Corp. and General Electric

Why did you join the Competent Boards Certificate Program?

I wanted to educate myself about the wide range of ESG matters affecting companies and our stakeholders, how to provide effective oversight of these issues. I liked that the classes were held using videoconferencing so directors and experts from all over the world could participate.

What did you get out of the Competent Boards Certificate program?

It was incredibly helpful to discuss ESG and sustainability issues in the heightened context of the pandemic. We had great speakers who were very willing to answer questions, excellent materials, and directors from all over the world and from many different sectors. The program discusses risks and best practices without any particular jurisdiction in mind, which is really helpful during this period of rapid change. I feel better equipped to oversee ESG and sustainability issues in my board rooms.

Would you recommend it to others and why?

Yes, I think this program is more relevant than ever, and I would highly recommend it. Take a look at the topics covered over the 12 sessions to give yourself a sense of the breadth and depth of the curriculum.

Shailesh Haribhakti
Shailesh Haribhakti, GCB.D

Chairman, Blue Star LTD, Larsen&Toubro Financial Holdings LTD, NSDL E-Governance infrastructure co of India Ltd and Independent Director of Lafarge Holcim Subsidiaries, ACCLtd and Ambuja CementsLtd.

Why did you join the Competent Boards Certificate Program?

My motivation was to participate most actively in India and on the Boards that I serve on to truly encourage and act on Climate challenges, the Social responsibility imperative and raise Governance to purposeful, world class Governance. The promise that I could fulfil all my objectives was visible only in the CB certificate programme. I, therefore, chose to enrol and work hard on the certificate programme. The material was superb!

What did you get out of the Competent Boards Certificate program?

Deep insights, a rare opportunity to participate in a cohort drawn from all over the world, the unique opportunity to hear world leaders in every session, the engaging discussions on every subject and a chance to share my own experiences. The group discussions were a very valuable part of the experience! I am deeply grateful for the immense efforts of the CB team in supporting us so competently. Helle, your leadership is exemplary!

Would you recommend it to others and why?

Absolutely without hesitation. The permanent value I have derived is so immense, that anyone acceding to my recommendation is likely to be grateful!

Juan Copeland
Juan Copeland, GCB.D

CEO, Corporate Properties of the Americas

Why did you join the Competent Boards Certificate Program?

“Tell me who you walk with, and I’ll tell you who you are”, I’m very interested in serving and adding value in my areas of expertise from a strategic, high level perspective. When I was introduced to the CBC Program felt like the right fit not only per its content and leaders participating but also because of the range of attendees.

What did you get out of the Competent Boards Certificate program?

A full new perspective on the different topics. It was an eye opener and a great start to better understand high-impact areas that world-class companies are looking at today and what sustainability leaders are focusing their time and effort on.

Would you recommend it to others and why?

Absolutely, it is a great tool for any leader who has the slightest curiosity on sustainability. The program is an excellent resource to understand the fundamentals, and applications of the key concepts.
The more this community grows, the better it will be to help sustainability fast track into a better environment for next generations. Congratulations, keep it going!!

Terry Heymann
Terry Heymann, GCB.D

CFO, World Gold Council

Why did you join the Competent Boards Certificate Program?

I felt that the Competent Boards Certificate Programme was a good way of “rounding out” my knowledge and understanding of the evolving ESG landscape; and the way in which Boards and management should be incorporating this in their decision-making. This is clearly an increasingly important area of operating a business; knowing what you need to be aware of and “on the lookout for” will be a core expectation of Board members.

What did you get out of the Competent Boards Certificate program?

I particularly appreciated the breadth – of topics, of speakers and of fellow participants. Helle and her team do an excellent job of pulling a wide range of resources together that helps participants develop a rich and rounded awareness of ESG challenges that Boards will likely face. The number of case studies and personal experiences brings real-life experience and thoughtful perspectives, helping all participants understand some of the complexities and trade-offs. In addition, I was extremely impressed by the range of external speakers, who were all very gracious in sharing their time and expertise, which made the program very rewarding.

Would you recommend it to others and why?

I would recommend this course to any aspiring Board members, as well as others looking to develop their understanding of the modern business landscape. The course is well structured, with case-study-focused learning, and a wide range of supporting materials, delivered through an engaging and modern platform. The course is designed to run virtually, which supports participation from across the globe, bringing further diversity of experiences and cultural perspectives.

Eric Wetlaufer
Eric Wetlaufer, GCB.D

Member, Board of Directors: TMX Group, Investment Management Corporation of Ontario (IMCO), Enterra Solutions LLC, Niyogin

Why did you join the Competent Boards Certificate Program?

I joined because the Competent Boards Program addresses the most important issues boards are facing today and in the future. The other standard training and continuing ed sessions I attend are fine, but have significant gaps when it comes to Sustainability, ESG, Cybersecurity and Data Privacy, and the broader stakeholder perspectives, particularly in the face of the current pandemic and post-pandemic business realities. 

What did you get out of the Competent Boards Certificate program?

I got even more out of the program than I expected. The written and video content is comprehensive, deep and first-class.  The cases are well written and spot-on appropriate.  The quality of both the content providers and other participants is very high.  I felt honored to be learning and woking through these topics with such a fine group of experienced global directors and professionals.  I really look forward to continued learning, engagement and networking through the alumni group. 

Would you recommend it to others and why?

It was only after just a few sessions that I started to recommend the program to fellow board members and others. I believe my duty as a Director requires me to be knowledgeable and prepared for the challenges of an ever more dynamic and changing world.  Corporations need directors trained to fulfill their duties and lead by example.  The small investment in time and money to be so much more prepared is the best investment I have made in a long time.  

The Competent Boards Program is hands down the best director education out there. Global in its scope, deep in its content, extraordinary speakers and excellent interactivity, I am so glad I found it (or it found me!) and truly appreciate all the work that goes into making it so valuable. I take my duties as a director very seriously and believe I am far more prepared to perform at a high level on the most important issues boards are grappling with today and in the future: Sustainability, the realities of the pandemic and post-pandemic world, ESG and progress on the Sustainable Development Goals, and CyberSecurity and Data Privacy. I give the Competent Boards Program my hearty and unqualified recommendation.

Partheeban Theodore
Partheeban Theodore, GCB.D

Sr. Vice President & Regional Head (Cote d’Ivoire & Senegal), Olam International

Why did you join the Competent Boards Certificate Program?

I am a firm believer and practitioner when it comes to sustainability and ESG and I was keen to gain a deeper perspective into what is relevant now and what’s likely to gain greater relevance going forward. The amazing speakers and protagonists make the Competent Boards Certificate Program’s unique course and structure really comprehensive, interesting and compelling. I felt it would give me a ring side feel for what’s keeping Boards around the world awake at night!

What did you get out of the Competent Boards Certificate program?

There is growing urgency when it comes to bringing ESG to the forefront of our day to day life. It’s not sufficient anymore that it simply remains the realm of the Board. It’s time that management takes complete ownership. There is a need for a ground-swell when it comes to ESG appropriate behavior. The frontline needs to not only recognize the change required but is empowered to act and make the change happen.

Would you recommend it to others and why?

I would most certainly recommend the program to others. It’s time to act and the program does a great job of instilling this sense of urgency.

Anar Shamji Popatia
Anar Shamji Popatia, ICD.D, GCB.D

Corporate Director

Why did you join the Competent Boards Certificate Program?

I enrolled in the Competent Boards Program to build on my interest in sustainability and add value to boardroom discussions on ESG matters.

What did you get out of the Competent Boards Certificate program?

The program surpassed my expectations! It was excellent in its delivery, content and relevance. Hearing from international esteemed speakers and working with. a cohort of directors from around the world gave me a global perspective of emerging issues and opportunities facing directors today.

Would you recommend it to others and why?

I highly recommend the program to those who want to future proof their boards.

Pia Laub
Pia Laub, GCB.D

Board Member, Alm. Brand A/S, The Danish National Center for Grief and The New Carlsberg Glyptotek

Why did you join the Competent Boards Certificate Program?

I adhere to constant learning and as a board member I believe it is an obligation to continuously seek to expand ones skills and knowledge and be up to speed with global trends and developments. I find it imperative for all good, effective board members to secure a profound knowledge, insight in and broad understanding of ESG issues.

What did you get out of the Competent Boards Certificate program?

I had high expectations before joining the program, and I got even more out of it. It gave me a tremendous amount of inspiration and new insights. I was impressed by the thorough, relevant and very timely preparation material as well as the quality of the speakers and the width of the topics that was covered – and learning with an international group of peers further enhanced the experience. I feel the program has contributed significantly to my personal development and strengthened the competencies and skills that I bring to use in my board positions.

Would you recommend it to others and why?

Without hesitation – and I already have. I see it as an extremely relevant and high quality program for board members and business leaders, both in regard to content and to learning process. This program certainly contributes to future sustainable value creation!

Jan Mattsson
Jan Mattsson, GCB.D

Chairman, UN Live. Board Expirience: UN Live, EverImpact, SolarSack

Why did you join the Competent Boards Certificate Program?

I had been looking for a course like this for the past 5-6 years and was so glad I found the CB programme. (I was critical of a well-stablished, traditional board course I attended, which was silent on ESG.)

What did you get out of the Competent Boards Certificate program?

The CB program covered ESG comprehensively. I was able to learn new things even in areas where I already had pretty good command.

Would you recommend it to others and why?

ESG is as essential as it is fast-moving these days. Joining this program will help place you at the leading edge as it advances.

Elaine Cohen
Elaine Cohen, GCB.D

Managing Director, Beyond Business Ltd

Why did you join the Competent Boards Certificate Program?

I signed up for the Competent Boards Certificate Program to enrich my understanding of the role of the Board of Directors in addressing ESG issues. I hoped this would make me a better consultant to Boards and senior executives leading ESG at my client companies. Also, I simply found the curriculum fascinating.

What did you get out of the Competent Boards Certificate program?

The Competent Boards Certificate Program gave me a much fuller appreciation not only of the ESG issues facing Boards of Directors today, but also of the ways in which Boards can (and should) provide direction for corporate executives. I now have a new sense of the responsibility Boards carry to oversee a much broader set of issues in ways that I had not previously understood.

Would you recommend it to others and why?

I unhesitatingly recommend the Competent Boards Certificate Program. The program is thorough and professionally managed, and will deepen and broaden your knowledge, whatever your level of maturity in ESG matters. The program is engaging and fun, more than any other study program I have undertaken, and makes learning easy.

Kimberly Wiehl
Kimberly Wiehl, GCB.D

Non-Executive Director, UKEF

Why did you join the Competent Boards Certificate Program?

Climate change, the SDGs, TCFD, ESG and sustainable finance were all topics that were coming onto the agendas of my board meetings with increasing frequency as well as being current themes at conferences in my field of global trade finance and export credit insurance. I realized that to be better equipped, I needed not only a deeper dive into specific areas but also a more comprehensive overall understanding of these concepts and their applications on a practical basis.

What did you get out of the Competent Boards Certificate program?

I was motivated to enroll in the Competent Boards course as the 12 individual interactive sessions covered the exact topics I was most interested in. But what I had not fully appreciated until the course got underway was the amazing array of experts who offered their insights and opinions on each topic, with particular emphasis on the role of the board in navigating these areas. The international nature of the cohort with colleagues from all over the world, each of whom brought his/her own experience to the discussions, was an enormous additional benefit to my broader understanding.

Would you recommend it to others and why?

I would enthusiastically recommend the CB course to other board members and senior executives because it offers a unique platform to learn from experts as well as colleagues with real-time, open and well-structured interactive sessions. The in-depth interviews with the leaders in their respective areas of expertise were invaluable. In each live session, we were fortunate to have them join us in person for further discussion and highly lively Q and A sessions. Altogether, the access to the very top experts, the excellent supplementary materials along with the highly professional execution of the program, made the CB course an energizing and very worthwhile experience.

Samantha Mooi
Samantha Mooi, GCB.D

Environmental Manager, Investec

Why did you join the Competent Boards Certificate Program?

To gain not just competency, but clarity around the ESG issues that are affecting companies, and which the board have an effect on.

What did you get out of the Competent Boards Certificate program?

This is a wonderful opportunity to gain insights from, and access to people we would not normally have access to. Speaking with Mervyn King was an absolute highlight for me.

Would you recommend it to others and why?

Absolutely. This course should be something that all senior leadership and board members should take part in, even if they have an ESG subject matter expert available to them.

Marianne Harper Gow
Marianne Harper Gow, GCB.D

Director, Governance and Sustainability Specialist

Why did you join the Competent Boards Certificate Program?

I wanted to challenge, and build on, my ESG knowledge. The opportunity to hear from and engage with world renowned practitioners who are recognised as global leaders in their area of ESG specialism was a privilege.

What did you get out of the Competent Boards Certificate program?

Confidence that my knowledge and skills are transferable; an appreciation of the nuance and complexities associated with short term challenges and a long term strategic vision; and I met an extremely diverse group of people who were all on the same journey I was. We started from different geographic locations, with experience in different sectors, but all with the same goal of deepening and extending our knowledge of the environmental, social and governance challenges and opportunities that companies face today.

Would you recommend it to others and why?

Yes. It’s insightful, challenging, and thought provoking. At the end of each group call, I looked forward to starting the video interviews for the next session. Thank you!

Christine Diamante
Christine Diamante, GCB.D

Managing Director, Business Transformation, BSR

Why did you join the Competent Boards Certificate Program, what did you get out of it, and would you recommend it to others?

I joined the Competent Boards program to grow and challenge my own thinking about ESG at a time when the rise of active and aware corporate boards has never been so important. What I gained from the program was ‘top of mind’ insight from today’s leaders — corporate, government, civil society, entrepreneurs, academics — on the unanswered ESG questions and a framework to forge long-term solutions. I also gained an extraordinary network of colleagues who I look forward to engaging with and continuously learning from. Thank you Helle and team for this valuable opportunity. I can’t recommend the program enough to any interested leaders!

Irina Scarlete Zabala
Irina Scarlete Zabala, GCB.D

CEO, AMNIe.org

Why did you join the Competent Boards Certificate Program?

I joined the CB program because I was looking for THE differentiator in the market for what I believe to be future-fit leadership. ESG and Sustainability are no longer side plays for businesses and the faster boards and leadership adopt a new curriculum and mindset, the better we can get to a state of affairs where Sustainable Development becomes a reality rather than a “lofty goal” as was once touted in economic theories based on depletion of natural, and human, capital.

What did you get out of the Competent Boards Certificate program?

Not only did I gain in-depth knowledge of how boards consider and embed ESG issues into governance, I also acquired a large network of thinkers and doers who are well positioned to lead the charge as we transition to a more sustainable model of business and society.

Would you recommend it to others and why?

I would recommend this course to any business leader looking to grow professionally and personally by adopting a more holistic perspective of good corporate governance and what it means in a radically uncertain world.

Genevieve Young
Genevieve Young, GCB.D

Independent Director, Auxly Cannabis Group; Chair, Audit Committee; Director, Hello.me

Why did you join the Competent Boards Certificate Program, what did you get out of it, and would you recommend it to others?

As a Chair I was looking to understand the ESG landscape as the organization is just embarking on its own ESG path. I didn’t feel equipped to effectively participate in this discussion. Now, I feel like I have a sufficiently wide and deeper understanding of not only the upcoming disclosure requirements but also the opportunities inherent in an effective ESG program. I feel strongly that this is a program for anyone who would like to learn from experts in their field but also from those that are practically applying these lessons in real time. The practical piece of this program is extremely valuable.

Harriet Goodman
Harriet Goodman, GCB.D

Chair, Dress for Success

Why did you join the Competent Boards Certificate Program?

I wanted to expand my boardroom skills and knowledge. The understanding of ESG in today’s world is more important than ever and I wanted to have the tools to help me on my boardroom journey.

What did you get out of the Competent Boards Certificate program?

The impact of ESG in today’s business is so complex. The 12 modules of this program helped to clearly identify the salient issues that businesses face today and how to best prioritize them as a board member. The material was brilliantly laid out and fascinating to learn from. I feel well equipped to address the issues as I continue on in the boardroom.

Would you recommend it to others and why?

I already have! Your new student is Mardi Witzel and she is so excited to begin her ESG journey.

Matthew Johnson
Matthew Johnson, GCB.D

Manager, External Relations for Eagle Mine, a subsidiary of Lundin Mining

Why did you join the Competent Boards Certificate Program?

I joined the Competent Boards Certificate program to specifically prepare me for future board positions.

What did you get out of the Competent Boards Certificate program?

I enjoyed the opportunity to expand my global network and awareness by interacting with fellow participants. I was able to utilize learnings from each session not only for a future board position but to benefit the strategy and senior leadership of the company and industry I work in. The program also expanded my comfort level and confidence to engage stakeholders on ESG issues.

Would you recommend it to others and why?

Yes. The opportunity to expand your knowledge to develop strategies for future scenarios is priceless.

Maureen Metcalf
Maureen Metcalf

Founder and CEO, Innovative Leadership Institute

Why did you join the Competent Boards Certificate Program?

I believe the Competent Boards program is the most comprehensive in the market, and ESG needs to be a crucial focus for effective board members in the future.

What did you get out of the Competent Boards Certificate program?

This answer could fill pages so briefly – I gained a much more comprehensive understanding of the breadth and depth of ESG topics and how to put them into practice as a board member. The certificate is the beginning of my journey to understand and apply principles and mindsets necessary for effective board members now and well into the future.

Would you recommend it to others and why?

I highly recommend the program. This program is very content-rich! The speakers are the top people in the world in their fields. Helle Bank Jorgensen does a brilliant job organizing the content, curating the interviews, presenting and summarizing crucial information. The entire program weaves critical topics to help participants build insight and understanding that can be applied in real board situations. It is practical and still covers the foundational frameworks and theoretical and historical foundations required to grasp the topics thoroughly.

Monique Kack-North
Monique Kack-North, GCB.D

Vice President, Supply Chain Solutions, Logistics Solutions & Services Inc.

Why did you join the Competent Boards Certificate Program?

I joined the Competent Boards Program to increase my understanding and broaden my perspective of ESG (environmental, social and governance) competencies necessary to be an effective, insightful and educated Board Director.

What did you get out of the Competent Boards Certificate program?

The Competent Boards Program provided the exceptional experience to learn from world-renowned global leaders that shared their insights of competencies over a range of critical subjects providing the identification and oversight of business risks and opportunities. I thoroughly enjoyed the bi-weekly session discussions with exceptionally talented and diverse fellow cohorts from which I increased my knowledge and insights.

Would you recommend it to others and why?

I highly recommend this program to others and have colleagues that have signed up to also experience this unique learning opportunity. My experience with Helle, her Team and ESG Competent Boards has been educational, professional and overall a transformational program. I was very impressed with the program materials which are outstanding, thorough and thought-provoking. The ESG Competent Boards program is an insightful and professional learning experience.

Doris Honold
Doris Honold, GCB.D

Non-Executive Director at Credit Suisse International, Chair of Board Risk Committee

Why did you join the Competent Boards Certificate Program?

I joined the Competent Boards Certificate Program because I was very impressed by the curriculum as well as the high-profile speakers. As a new-ish NED I was keen to get more familiar with the key challenges boards grapple with.

What did you get out of the Competent Boards Certificate program?

A fantastic network of NED’s, excellent discussions and intellectual stimulation on the most current and pressing issues facing boards.

Would you recommend it to others and why?

Yes and already have. It is a well thought through course, it has an excellent mix of pre-course preparation and in-class training. It provides a fantastic collection of relevant reference material, which I am actually using in my NED work.

Pernille Dahlgaard
Pernille Dahlgaard, GCB.D

Chairman of the Board of Ministeriernes Boernehave. Board Member, LoyalMe and Danish Business Association in Singapore. Vice President, Group Finance at PSA International Pte Ltd

Why did you join the Competent Boards Certificate Program?

With the increasing focus on ESG, I thought this was an excellent complement to more traditional board training focussed on more traditional business management and fiduciary duties.

What did you get out of the Competent Boards Certificate program?

A very comprehensive overview of what ESG implies, how you can impact both from a board perspective and as an executive. What questions to ask and where to start. On top of that I expanded my network significantly with both speakers and participants. An asset that I am confident will continue to be very valuable.

Would you recommend it to others and why?

Yes, absolutely. I am not aware of any executive ESG training of this calibre. Many courses are a few hours or so. This is a proper education with excellent faculty, relevant cases, thorough discussions and full coverage of all ESG angles. Hence, just as you need traditional board training, in an increasingly ESG focused world, the Competent Boards certificate is an absolute must have.

Elisa Ruiz
Elisa Ruiz, PMP, GCB.D

CEO and Founder of earg Architecture & Development. Manager of REstate Development BC Housing Management Commission

Why did you join the Competent Boards Certificate Program?

As a professional directly involved in the creation of communities I wanted to take one more step forward and level up the impact of my work.

What did you get out of the Competent Boards Certificate program?

Development of sustainable communities is my passion and the Global ESG Competent Boards Certificate has redefined the concept of how a brighter future can be shaped.

Would you recommend it to others and why?

I recommend the program to those who either want to initiate their ESG journey or dig into it further. Many thanks to Helle and the entire Competent Boards team for such an enlightening and up-to-date learning experience.

Gill Winckler
Gillian Winckler, GCB.D

Non-Executive Director, Pan American Silver Corp, West Fraser Timber Ltd, and FLSmidth & Co.

Why did you join the Competent Boards Certificate Program?

This is an area that I have always been passionate about. I wanted to increase my ESG knowledge and get up to speed with global trends and developments.

What did you get out of the Competent Boards Certificate program?

I deepened my knowledge in many areas, enjoyed discussions with my diverse fellow cohorts every two weeks and thoroughly enjoyed all the preparation materials. With the insights I have gained I think that I have come away as a better director and will be able to contribute more to the boards that I am on.

Would you recommend it to others and why?

Absolutely. If you want to be a better director and make a difference in the world, this is the course to enhance your skills.

Ani Hotoyan-Joly
Ani Hotoyan-Joly, GCB.D

Independent Corporate Director

Why did you join the Competent Boards Certificate Program?

I am a continuous learner and the Competent Boards Certificate Program provided me with the opportunity to continue learning to become a more educated board member.  Board members need to stay current with their board education and knowledge and this program is definitely one that should be on top of a board member’s list of courses to take.  I am very glad I made this investment in myself and registered for this certificate program.  During the 12 sessions, we discussed many strategic and timely topics with world class experts and this was made available to us through this professionally organized virtual experience.

What did you get out of the Competent Boards Certificate program?

The experience of taking the ESG Competent Boards Certificate program has been invaluable to me. Each one of the 12 strategic sessions provided the participants with a unique learning experience. The preparation materials were outstanding, the guest speakers were world-renowned and extremely knowledgeable and the participants were experienced board members from around the world. My classmates and I learned from each other and we developed lifelong friendships. I left each one of the 12 sessions invigorated and excited about the opportunity to apply what I have learned and through this process, I believe I have become a more valuable board member.

Would you recommend it to others and why?

Absolutely!  Even if you have other board designations, you will still benefit from this very insightful and valuable certificate program.

Tanya Dos Santos
Tanya Dos Santos, GCB.D

Global Head of Sustainability, Investec

Why did you join the Competent Boards Certificate Program?

I joined the Competent Boards program for a number of reasons. I believe it is important to ensure that you are constantly growing and learning as an individual and equipping yourself as a leader in international best practice on your area of expertise. As a board member of UN Global Compact, it was valuable for me to know I am asking the right questions and playing the role expected of me as an independent perspective. As the Global Head of Sustainability at Investec, I spend a lot of time engaging with our board and Executive on sustainability matters so I felt that the program would help me to challenge the board and ensure they are approaching their sustainability discussions as effectively as possible.

What did you get out of the Competent Boards Certificate program?

The most important takeaway from the program was that it gave me the confidence to know that I have the knowledge and expertise required of me to be a valuable member of the board or adviser to a board on sustainability matters. It also gave me access to deeply insightful and comprehensive sustainability content. The case studies used were real examples and hence meaningful and relevant to current issues we are facing in the world. I also enjoyed the opportunity to connect with like-minded, yet diverse, leaders from around the world who are all humble in their knowledge and understanding of the topics. Lastly, it gave me a sense of what the upcoming trends are going to be for 2021 and how we should start preparing to address them.

Would you recommend it to others and why?

I strongly recommend the program. It exposes you to the broadest ESG thinking around the world and equips you to ask the questions that should be asked of management as you embrace what sustainability means for you as an individual and the role you play as a leader, sustainability professional or board member. The program immerses you into all aspects of ESG in a very engaging way that leaves the core concepts deeply embedded in your consciousness and motivates you to want to do more to ensure we create a sustainable world.

Tim Bekhuys
Tim Bekhuys, GCB.D

Vice President, Environment & Community Relations at SSR Mining

Why did you join the Competent Boards Certificate Program?

The Competent Boards program is the only certificate program with a focus on ESG with an incredible array of speakers and topics.

What did you get out of the Competent Boards Certificate program?

The Competent Boards Certificate Program has enabled me to have a focused understanding of ESG from a Board member lens. Working with seasoned professionals in the cohort expanded my knowledge and understanding of ESG drivers. The personal follow-up by staff will ensure my continued success.

Would you recommend it to others and why?

I would without hesitancy recommend this Program to others. The speakers were incredible and the structure was well suited to professionals in this field. As ESG continues to gain importance in the Boardroom, the CB Certificate Program will prepare current and future board members for the challenge.

Amanda Ellis
Amanda Ellis, GCB.D

Director, Global Partnerships, ASU Global Futures, USA Exec Dir, Hawaii/Asia-Pac, ASU Wrigley Global Institute of Sustainability; Professor of Practice, Thunderbird School of Global Management; Former NZ Ambassador to the UN/Prime Minister’s Special Envoy 2013-2016

Why did you join the Competent Boards Certificate Program?

As NZ Ambassador to the UN (Geneva) during the negotiations for the Sustainable Development Goals I became acutely aware of the important role for business to actually achieve them. The ESG Competent Boards program underscores this role.

What did you get out of the Competent Boards Certificate program?

The course is very cleverly designed, with a wealth of relevant and continually updated information, and perhaps most importantly, an incredible array of global experts with whom to interact during the virtual course sessions. I have a much deeper understanding of the shift from shareholder to stakeholder, materiality issues and the role of business in helping reach net zero by 2050. I believe I am a much more effective board member now I have completed the course.

Would you recommend it to others and why?

Absolutely! I already have and will continue to do so. I would also like to see the audience continue to expand significantly – the planet needs ESG Competent Boards!

Mary Francia
Mary Francia, GCB.D

Partner, Board Practice, Odgers Berndtson

Why did you join the Competent Boards Certificate Program?

To broaden the range of skills – to be efficient and effective, respond to new enterprise risks, business complexity, technological disruptions, and social and environmental obligations. I found the Certificate a tremendous complementary offering to my governance knowledge.

What did you get out of the Competent Boards Certificate program?

An in-depth understanding of all the oversight areas where boards can enhance a company’s sustainability efforts. Best practices for questions from the board to guide the ESG integration into the company strategy.

Would you recommend it to others, and why?

I have already, the quality of the content and preparation is top-notch.

Pamela Strifler
Pamela Strifler, GCB.D

Vice President of Global Stakeholder Strategy and Affairs, Bayer Crop Science

Why did you join the Competent Boards Certificate Program?

The Competent Boards Program offered in depth discussion into the expectations and realities of Board Directorship. It included not only compliance topics but real time complexities and dilemmas facing Boards today in an increasingly dynamic and complex world.

What did you get out of the Competent Boards Certificate program?

Through the Competent Boards program, I was able to learn from global leaders and other participants which increased my knowledge and broadened my perspective on many topics. The course sparked a greater curiosity for me to dive even deeper so that as a future Board of Directors or Advisor, I can contribute at an even higher level.

Would you recommend it to others, and why?

I would highly recommend the Competent Boards Program as you will hear from Global leaders, engage in real-time issues and dive into the complexities that Boards must consider in decision making, including ESG which affects the long-term reputation and viability of the company. This program is for current executives, management teams presenting to Boards or prospective Board members.

Kristen Mariuzza
Kristen Mariuzza, GCB.D

Vice President of Environment and Social Performance, Lundin Mining Company

Why did you join the Competent Boards Certificate Program?

The CB program intrigued me due to the broad scope of ESG material and the commitment of influential global leaders who invested time to share their knowledge and expertise. There is not another program that offers that level of insight or engagement in the area of ESG.

What did you get out of the Competent Boards Certificate program?

The program provides the opportunity to evaluate and discuss a broad range of ESG topics through the lens of a board member, which offers tremendous insight to the issues they face and the integrity with which they need to consider their decisions. In our rapidly changing environment and the growing societal expectations, organizations need to be prepared, and to recognize and embrace their broader responsibility to society as a whole. Through the in-depth analysis and discussion of a variety of situations, this course provided the tools and insight needed to help guide organizations through that change.

Would you recommend it to others, and why?

I have and will continue to recommend this program to current leaders and board members who are responsible for ensuring the long-term success of their companies and organizations. It is a comprehensive program covering all facets of ESG, providing a broader perspective on current issues and emerging expectations that society has for organizations going forward. The in-depth course material and workshop discussions provided the opportunity to evaluate numerous challenges through the eyes of a board member. Anyone would improve their overall maturity and competence in the ESG area through participation in this program.

Kevin O'Kane
Kevin O'Kane, GCB.D

Board Member, SolGold Plc and NorthIsle Copper & Gold Inc., Senior Vice President and Chief Operating Officer, SSR Mining 2018 – 2020

Why did you join the Competent Boards Certificate Program?

For some time, I had been looking for a program that would improve my understanding of the critical components of good ESG performance, and enhance important competencies essential to be an effective Board Director. The Competent Boards program was recommended by a work colleague. After researching this and other learning programs it quickly became clear that the Certificate Program from Competent Boards would be right for me.

What did you get out of the Competent Boards Certificate program?

Obviously, the specific learnings from the 12 modules have been invaluable. Participating in the program has also connected me with a network of excellent professionals and experts in the field of ESG and general business leadership. I was able to gain insights on how stakeholder and shareholder interests can connect in a meaningful way with the strategies, objectives, behaviours and performance of a business, and what competencies might be most important for Boards and Senior Management in the future.

Would you recommend it to others and why?

Yes, I would, and already have. Many of us who are Senior Executives or already Board Members bring a wealth of strategic, technical, business and operating experience to a Board. The Competent Boards Certificate Program provides the important framework that can integrate these experiences and support the participant in being an impactful leader and team member of company boards. A board director needs to bring more than specific technical skills and experiences to the business.

Poonam Madan
Poonam Madan, GCB.D

Director, Sustainability Strategy and Reporting, Capital Power

Why did you join the Competent Boards Certificate Program?

Competent Boards provided me an opportunity to learn from global leaders on a variety of environmental, social and governance (ESG) topics like climate change, ethics, cybersecurity, diversity and inclusion, as a few examples. Sustainability is an increasingly complex and ever-changing and coupled with the pandemic I wanted to ensure I had the most current tools to help provide effective and strategic ESG leadership that would support value creation, resiliency and open up opportunities for the company.

What did you get out of the Competent Boards Certificate program?

I feel the program has enhanced my effectiveness in providing leadership on environmental, social and governance topics which is needed especially in today’s increasingly complex and ever changing business environment.

Would you recommend it to others and why?

The structure of the program allowed me to learn from experienced global leaders through a variety of learning tools through online interactive sessions, current and relevant videos and podcasts, as well as a comprehensive list of readings. I was impressed by how Helle and her strong team at Competent Boards integrated COVID-19 in the sessions illustrating how the program is meticulously maintained and kept current. The digital sessions were held biweekly and allowed me to have direct access to highly regarded and respected global leaders every session – I have not seen that wealth of experience and engagement in any other program related to this topic making the program exceptionally unique. Additionally my cohort of very senior and executive leaders brought their experiences forward and the structure of the program allowed us to share our ideas in a very pragmatic way, only enhancing our learnings.

Katie Schmitz Eulitt
Katie Schmitz Eulitt, GCB.D

Director, Investor Outreach at SASB – Sustainability Accounting Standards Board, USA

Why did you join the Competent Boards Certificate Program?

The COVID19 pandemic has brought the world to a standstill and has been devastating for millions of people around the world. What better time than months of quarantine for self-reflection and improvement? When I learned of the Competent Boards Certificate Program, I knew it would be time well-spent. Why? Competent Boards was founded and is led by Helle Bank Jorgensen, a true pioneer and thought leader in sustainability. She has crafted a thoughtful curriculum and tapped thought leaders from across the world to dig into some frankly tough issues – delivered in a way that (even prior to COVID) respected the needs of busy people to meet digitally rather than in person (with the added benefit of reducing GHG emissions related to travel).

What did you get out of the Competent Boards Certificate program?

The Competent Boards program draws upon the experience of international thought leaders at the intersection of society’s changing values and related heightened expectations of corporations, their management and boards of directors. While I understood these issues from the perspectives of investors and sustainability practitioners, the view from (and challenges in) the board room was new to me.

Would you recommend it to others and why?

I highly recommend the Competent Boards Certificate Program. The case study based program puts one in the proverbial shoes of corporate board members re-examining the strategies and practices of the companies of which they are stewards related to ESG issues which many corporate boards are currently ill-equipped to do. Whether you are a newcomer to considering the impact of companies on society and the potential impacts of ESG issues on the value creation prospects of companies or consider yourself to be an expert on these issues, this certificate program is well worth your time and investment.

Judith Mosely
Judith Mosely, GCB.D

Non-Executive Director of Galiano Gold, BlackRock World Mining Trust and Women in Mining UK, and Trustee of the Camborne School of Mines Trust

Why did you join the Competent Boards Certificate Program?

I was looking for a program that would give me insight into a broad range of ESG topics and to hear from leading experts who are at the forefront of thinking in sustainability.

What did you get out of the Competent Boards Certificate program?

Up to date thinking on ESG – real time – including discussions on the impact of COVID-19 and the opportunity to discuss with the experts and fellow CB participating board members in our case study groups. This gave me the opportunity to interact with and learn from board members in different industry sectors which I found really valuable.

Would you recommend it to others and why?

I have been incredibly impressed by the scope and depth of the program. The materials are extensive and topical and the CB organisation under Helle’s leadership is really professional. It’s been a really enjoyable 6 months.

Louis-Martin Richer
Louis-Martin Richer, GCB.D

Senior Vice President, Marsh Canada

Why did you join the Competent Boards Certificate Program?

The traditional curriculum for Board members and the senior management team is changing at a rapid pace. Being financially literate and understanding basic corporate governance rules is not enough anymore. The rapid currents of change are prompting a need to continuously rethink the interaction with all stakeholders. The program provides guidance and thoughtful exchanges with subject matter experts and key business leaders from all around the world. I joined not to become the subject matter expert but to learn about the changes, the trends, the challenges and what should be worked on personally and professionally to be attuned to the needs of business and communities in the future.

What did you get out of the Competent Boards Certificate program?

First and foremost, access to a unique community of practice that doesn’t exist elsewhere. This program forges a bond between leaders and board members spread across the world, who are eager to share and bring organized change that is accretive not only to companies but to communities we live in. The depth and breadth of experience shared has provided a reflective roadmap for continued learning to refine skills and add value in a meaningful and thoughtful way in future discussions namely in matters of sustainability and diversity.

Would you recommend it to others, and why?

This program is a must for all who want to learn more and share views with people all around the globe. The curriculum is balanced in terms of sessions and workload. It is simply custom made for people on the go that have no time. Moreover, this community places sharing of knowledge as it’s central value, something that we often are reluctant to do in highly competitive environments.

John McMillin
John McMillin, GCB.D

Board Member, Act II Global Acquisition Corp. (Symbol ACTT), Limited Partner, Lord Abbett & Co. LLC Jersey City, N.J

Why did you join the Competent Boards Certificate Program?

I signed up for the program because I was going on the Board of a publicly traded company and needed help in governance and related issues. The ESG movement had begun well before COVID 19 but the virus has accelerated the development and I wanted to be more educated about it.

What did you get out of the Competent Boards Certificate program?

More than anything the program has taught me how to ask the right questions as a Board member. I have heard in the past that if you don’t measure it then it won’t matter to senior management. There is truth in that statement and ESG issues need to be better measured by Boards. I think this program helps me identify the most relevant variables to be measured.

Would you recommend it to others and why?

Of course I would recommend it. Once you get in the routine of 11AM EST every two weeks you start to look forward to it and prepare for it with enthusiasm. Will miss it.

Dianne Saxe
Dianne Saxe, GCB.D

Environmental Lawyer and the Former Environment Commissioner of Ontario

Why did you join the Competent Boards Certificate Program?

I joined the program to improve my credentials for sitting on the boards of corporations with significant climate pollution footprints and vulnerabilities.

What did you get out of the Competent Boards Certificate program?

The content of this program was excellent. The speakers were outstanding world leaders in their fields, and it was a real privilege to have them join our conversations after their talks. The quality of the participants was also unusually high, including senior directors from major companies around the globe with first-hand experience of complex corporate ESG challenges. The combination of speakers and participants made each session a detailed and illuminating examination of these challenges, with no place for lazy assumptions. The overall effect was both eye-opening and encouraging.

Would you recommend it to others and why?

Yes, I definitely recommend this program for senior people who already have a general understanding of E.S.G. issues at the board level, but wish to examine their assumptions, update their knowledge, broaden their understanding, and expand their networks.  I also recommend that board chairs should seek to have at least one Competent Board certified board member if their board is facing significant E.S.G. challenges.

Mark Pfister
Mark Pfister, GCB.D

CEO and Chief Board Consultant

Why did you join the Competent Boards Certificate Program?

In my search for a robust and specialized ESG program, Competent Boards is clearly the gold standard. Board Directors today face unique challenges in the areas of environmental protection, socially-elevating inclusion, and transparent governance – education is the first step in achieving meaningful progress in these important areas.

What did you get out of the Competent Boards Certificate program?

The Competent Boards ESG Certificate program is unique in its approach of combining real-world sustainability expert insights, international standards on ESG performance measurement, socially responsible investing (SRI) trending, the effects of ESG-related legislation, and counsel on how to effectively report to investors and stakeholders.

Would you recommend it to others and why?

Board Directors have not only a duty of care, loyalty, and obedience, but also an obligation to continuous learning. This ongoing learning is most effective when it offers both personal and professional benefits when applied. Deep understanding of ESG is definitely one of those special knowledge areas that elevates ‘diversity of perspective’ leading to ‘diversity of thought.’ This is an important conduit to create in strategic positions and needs to be paramount in Board architecture considerations to ensure outstanding company results.

Cathy Goddard
Cathy Goddard, GCB.D

Chief Executive Officer, FyreFem Fund Managers

Why did you join the Competent Boards Certificate Program?

South Africa has been through a tough time and a series of governance failures. As corporate citizens and private equity/impact players, it’s so vital that we make a difference in our ecosystems. The Competent Boards program was an ideal place for me to gain exposure to international best practice in ESG, so that I could bring this back home into our South African boardrooms and organisations.

What did you get out of the Competent Boards Certificate program?

I learnt so much about how to operate at board level to manage risks relating to ESG issues. Our online classroom/cohort learnt how to ask the right questions to obtain meaningful information from management and encourage management to approach strategic decisions with an ESG lens (that is far more varied and impactful than I had imagined and with varied and unpredictable risks). I found the practical question lists for board discussion with management, on each issue, immensely valuable, and I will keep these lists as reference material.

Would you recommend it to others and why?

I would definitely recommend the Competent Boards Certificate program because of the diversity of thinking that comes through in each session from global participants who operate in a wide variety of sectors and geographies. The programme is well run and thoroughly researched, and filled with relevant live information and case studies. I have been exposed to thought leadership that I would not otherwise have had access to.

Be at the forefront of ESG, sustainability & climate risks and opportunities.

Soledad Matteozzi
Soledad Matteozzi, GCB.D

Argentine and New York Attorney, Counsel at Alfaro-Abogados (Argentine law firm) based in NY. Executive Director at the Argentine-American Chamber of Commerce (based in NY)

Why did you join the Competent Boards Certificate Program?

Environmental, Social, Governance has become crucial in today’s world, and this relevance accelerated with the pandemic. I joined the Competent Boards Certificate Program to get a deeper understanding of all the areas that ESG encompasses and to learn from the experience and knowledge of peers around the world. After doing research on other programs available this program had all I needed: flexibility (an online platform that you can take from home or anywhere), global perspectives provided by a talented network of experts, interactivity, and current and relevant content.

What did you get out of the Competent Boards Certificate program?

I gained insights, awareness, and competence on the most pressing ESG issues at the moment, I am able to understand and identify all risks and opportunities associated with ESG and I am already making use of this knowledge when advising my clients.

Would you recommend it to others and why?

I will highly recommend this program; it’s a top world-class resource to deepen your understanding of ESG issues that should be part of all companies’ agendas and strategies. I found this program to be unique since there is nothing quite like it in the market. It provides online flexibility; it is thought-provoking and action-driven, and very interactive. It gives you the opportunity to engage with CEOs and world leading experts in ESG gaining invaluable insights. The global component and interaction between participants and speakers from around the world was one of the best values for me. I learned valuable insights from colleagues and experts coming from different countries and industries, which is crucial in today’s interconnected world. The program materials and content provided has also been carefully curated and are very current, and is a very helpful tool for navigating complex issues that you can implement right away. I strongly recommend the Competent Boards program to anyone looking to generate a positive impact and more responsible and sustainable performance in our business community.

Robert Celik, GCB.D

Growth and Partnerships Lead, Genecis Bioindustries Inc.

Why did you join the Competent Boards Certificate Program?

I joined the Competent Boards Certificate Program to prepare for the next decade of corporate decision making. In a rapidly changing and increasingly interconnected world, good corporate governance is essential. Through this program I sought to refine my decision making process to be more proactive, holistic, and representative of all shareholders and stakeholders. I was able to join the recent cohort thanks to a generous scholarship offered by TELUS.

What did you get out of the Competent Boards Certificate program?

The program broadened my horizons to consider multi-stakeholder perspectives. I now feel prepared to manage in a way that is aligned with internal and external stakeholders’ interests and the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). I plan to utilize learnings from this program to de-risk the future, evaluate opportunity costs, and make better decisions.

Would you recommend it to others and why?

Companies that will win the 2020s need to be focused on creating new forms of value for society in addition to shareholder value. This reality requires comprehensive approaches to governance and decision making, and accountability for the allocation of resources. Competent Boards teaches good corporate governance by bringing together a community of leaders from across industries and fully immersing you in complex real world situations faced by corporate boards. It is my opinion that all key decision makers in future-facing organizations should make it a priority to experience this training.

Jacob Knudsen
Jacob Knudsen, GCB.D

Board Member at Plura Consulting & Head of Business at MyBlueLabel

Why did you join the Competent Boards Certificate Program?

A business connection recommended me to participate. Furthermore, it is relevant to my position.

What did you get out of the Competent Boards Certificate program?

Experience in presenting complex subjects and a global network of people interested in Sustainability and Leadership.

Would you recommend it to others and why?

Yes, I would certainly recommend it to others – I believe that a Board position can make a massive impact in this world. Thanks to Competent Boards, I can ask the right questions to make a positive impact.

Leesa Muirhead
Leesa Muirhead, GCB.D

Strategy and Development Lead with the World Benchmarking Alliance

Why did you join the Competent Boards Certificate Program?

In order to be intelligent and confident in the board room, you have to understand the issues and know what you are talking about. With an entrepreneurial, strategic and sustainability sector background, I was keen to further develop my experience and abilities – gain new wisdom and learnings – to confidently provide independent oversight and constructive observation at a Board level. I was specifically seeking a programme that deep dived on a broad range of themes and offered practical insights.

What did you get out of the Competent Boards Certificate program?

The programme widened my horizon in creation of value – both to the management of a company and its stakeholders. I feel equipped, confident and therefore, a better candidate for professional practice at a board level. To be able to connect with so many great minds – from the contributor’s expertise and their breadth/depth of knowledge to the calibre of my peers – really brought this programme to life. The sharp focus on developing board level governance with a sustainability lens, has solidified my belief that values driven leadership is a force to harness, to influence business for the better.

Would you recommend it to others and why?

The Competent Boards Programme is a highly focused and great virtual learning experience. Using practical examples and learnings, the programme frames critical issues to enhance the performance of the board and company. The insightful bi-weekly materials offer a fantastic review of essential topics spanning governance, ESG, supply chain, human rights, ethics and tax (and more!). The virtual sessions bring diverse, thought provoking and inspiring content and people, in an engaging and interactive format. Curated in a thoughtful and dynamic way, I highly recommend Competent Boards.

Bryan Buggey
Bryan Buggey, GCB.D

Director, Vancouver Economic Commission

Why did you join the Competent Boards Certificate Program?

Several reasons:

1 – First, I was already impressed by Helle’s work at the SDG Global Compact Network Canada that she had founded.  So, when she reached out to me with this new program, it was an easy decision to make.
2 – Secondly, I am always looking for an opportunity to make a positive impact and I feel that, given my stage of career and work experience, I am ready to apply that impact-thinking at the board level.  It’s time.
3 – Finally, I had signed up to the Canadian Climate Law Initiative as an expert to speak to Boards about their fiduciary responsibilities around climate risk.  Given this new commitment, I felt it important that I improve my knowledge about the Board’s role and how they might positively impact an organization’s environmental footprint and GHG reductions.

What did you get out of the Competent Boards Certificate program?

I’m fairly focused on climate and the economy and how the two can work together as opposed to work against each other.  So, it was quite refreshing to get an education on other aspects of governance such as anti-corruption, diversity, human rights, cybersecurity, taxes, etc.  I feel much better prepared to put my name forward to contribute as a board member now.

Would you recommend it to others and why?

I would absolutely recommend Competent Boards to others.  Why?  I believe that a well-rounded board that has ESG values engrained in them can have tremendous influence on senior management for any company in any industry.  While there has been tremendous momentum from a grass-roots, bottoms-up approach to demand more change, I believe that complementing the voices for change with strong board-level governance will effect change even faster for the benefit of all stakeholders and society at large.  This is the most important movement of our generation and corporations must move faster, especially in the absence of effective governments.  When I recommend the Competent Boards program to individuals, I am inviting them to land on the right side of history.

Thy-Diep Ta
Thy-Diep Ta, GCB.D

MBA (INSEAD), Mindfulness Trainer (SIYLI), Executive Coach

Why did you join the Competent Boards Certificate Program?

Having met Helle Bank Jorgensen at WEF in Davos 2019 and hearing her share about her works towards driving more conscious and competent board leadership, I knew that I couldn’t find a better program to learn about how to integrate topics I care deeply about (e.g., SDGs, ESG, Diversity) into strategic governance. If you want to drive change in an organization, you need to be able to speak in the language of those overseeing and guiding the organization.

What did you get out of the Competent Boards Certificate program?

This program helped me understand how to think like a board and how to identify the relevant questions from a board oversight perspective. This helps me prepare for my own board meetings in a structured way, providing me the tools (vocabulary, concepts) to communicate with my board in a way that helps them understand the business relevance and risk mitigation potential of good corporate governance.

Would you recommend it to others and why?

Highly recommend joining this wonderful program. My group of peers were fantastic; curious, inspirational and ambitious change-makers in their fields and from all around the world. The guest speakers were brilliant and provided spot on answers to any of our questions. The Competent Boards program is just one entry point into a vibrant community of people who dare to envision a business world beyond profits, and most importantly, who already implement these changes as pioneers in their own organisations.

Upgrade your ESG Competencies with the knowledge that investors, nomination committees, and recruiters are looking for

Andrea Palmer
Andrea Palmer, GCB.D

Responsible Investment Lead, Listed Real Estate, PGGM, Founder and President of Net Impact Amsterdam

Why did you join the Competent Boards Certificate Program?

I joined the Competent Boards Certificate Program to dive deeper into how boards consider sustainability through a governing lens. Boards had always been a bit of a black box to me, so I wanted to participate in this program to demystify who they are, what they do, and what motivates them. Without the buy-in of the board, sustainability ambitions will always fall short, and this program offers a platform to open the conversation.

What did you get out of the Competent Boards Certificate program?

The Competent Boards Certificate program opened my eyes to how board directors think, approach challenges, and probe management to present situations through different lenses. I have a much clearer picture on what boards need to be convinced on sustainability topics and how they should be involved. Also, the cohort network, as well as the guest speakers, will be valuable assets going forward.

Would you recommend it to others and why?

Yes, I would certainly recommend the program to others. The program presents the right tools, background, and perspectives to be an informed corporate board member and to better understand the roles of sustainability in strong and effective corporate governance.

Maria Jamriska-Mulder
Maria Jamriska-Mulder, GCB.D

Senior Advisor, Central Risk Management, ABN AMRO Bank and Co-owner/Director, Apollo Capital VoF.

Why did you join the Competent Boards Certificate Program?

While considering participating in similar programs at business schools, I came to the conclusion that the Competent Boards program was, considering the high level of faculty members, (by far) the most advanced, forward looking and practitioners’ oriented program in my preparation for possible board -positions.

What did you get out of the Competent Boards Certificate program?

My timing was perfect. The considerations for me to join the Competent Boards program were only reinforced by the Covid-19 impact on society, economy and the role of the financial sector. The insights, oversights and perspectives have definitely strengthened my mindset towards the need for integrated opportunity, risk and impact thinking, acting and reporting, with the SDGs as a lighthouse.

Would you recommend it to others and why?

Definitely, not only will I recommend the program to my peers, but would also like to come back one year from now as the pace of the sustainability place is fast moving and dynamic.

Jan-Maarten Mulder
Jan-Maarten Mulder, GCB.D

Founder, Summer Capital

Why did you join the Competent Boards Certificate Program?

Its broad range of topics, including ESG, transparency, diversity, climate, etc, is unparalleled and the format is ideal to dive into each of those issues. In addition, the speakers, background information and cases are excellent and very topical. I have gained practical insights that I deploy in my board work already.

Would you recommend it to others and why?

Having considered several executive board programs, I am glad I chose to participate in the ESG Competent Boards Certificate Program. Highly recommended for any board member!

Juvarya Veltkamp
Juvarya Veltkamp, GCB.D

Director, Canada Climate Law Initiative

Why did you join the Competent Boards Certificate Program?

I truly believe that corporate success and prosperity is compatible with creating a just and sustainable planet – if corporations put people and planet at the heart of business strategy. Sustainability is no longer a nice to have public benefit; it is intimately correlated with future cash flows, as brought home by the recommendations of the Task Force on Climate-Related Financial Disclosure.

To augment my 23-year career in sustainability, I completed the Competent Boards certificate program because it provides valuable tools and resources I can use to help boards and corporate stakeholders fully understand and execute on their fiduciary obligation related to climate change.

What did you get out of the Competent Boards Certificate program?

A paper from leading researchers at Harvard, MIT, Google, and Microsoft last year discussed the numerous ways technology is helping to fight climate change, but they closed by saying “technologies to reduce climate change have been available for years, but are still not deployed at scale”.

The Competent Boards certificate program has given me the tools and language to understand better systems of decision making so that we can finally overcome this inertia. As a result of the Competent Boards Certificate Program I can work more effectively with government policy makers and corporate stakeholders to navigate one of the most fundamental economic shifts of our time.

Would you recommend it to others and why?

I would absolutely recommend the Competent Boards certificate program to anyone who is interested in how we ensure human prosperity while staying within planetary limits. In addition to offering an excellent program including excellent seminars, high-caliber speakers, compelling case studies and indispensable tools, the Competent Boards certificate program has expanded my professional network to now include a cohort of world-class change makers and international business leaders.

Jennifer Garrett
Jennifer Garrett, GCB.D

Founder, JG Consulting Services, LLC

Why did you join the Competent Boards Certificate Program?

I joined the Competent Boards Certificate Program because of my interest in ESG and leadership. As a business management consultant, both areas are critical to continuous improvement and long-term success to me and to my clients. The Competent Boards Certificate Program is a one-of-a-kind opportunity to dig deep into these areas with other leaders engaged in areas outside of my food and agricultural sector.

What did you get out of the Competent Boards Certificate program?

The Competent Boards Certificate Program provided an in-depth view of business risks and opportunities related to sustainability in the business world. Most importantly, it helped me to see the important questions to ask to help businesses and boards embrace the value of incorporating ESG into all aspects of the business. The invited speakers were ingrained in current business and policy issues, thus always bringing a current, real-world view to address current challenges while always looking to the future for opportunities.

Would you recommend it to others and why?

I would highly recommend the Competent Boards Certificate program to others! Especially to professionals interested in providing meaningful change to the boardroom, businesses and society. The extensive information available for each of the 12 classes is thought-provoking for board members and aspiring board members, plus anyone with a desire to be a leader in addressing global ESG challenges. The depth of the materials, the case studies and the interviews with experienced global leaders (live and on video) stimulated very interesting dialogue from differing business perspectives. The program is organized in a way to make the material challenging yet applicable to one’s own business situations.

Achieve the Global ESG Competent Boards Certificate and Designation

Stephanie Catalano
Stephanie Catalano, GCB.D

Director of Financial Reporting for MasTec, Inc.

Why did you join the Competent Boards Certificate Program?

To learn about, deepen and broaden my understanding of Sustainability and ESG matters, as I had recently become involved with Sustainability initiatives within my organization.

What did you get out of the Competent Boards Certificate program?

The Competent Boards program comprehensively explores the broad subject matter of Sustainability, as well as how it has developed over time and considerations for the future. The incredible panel of speakers, along with thought-provoking presentations, insightful preparatory materials and collaborations with participants from across the globe in a virtual classroom are a powerful combination. Each session was jam-packed with relevant topics and actionable items, and reflected real-life current news and events. The Competent Boards program provided me with the knowledge and resources to be able to apply the learning in real-time.

Would you recommend it to others and why?

In this dynamic environment, Sustainability and ESG matters are increasingly at the forefront. The Competent Boards program equips you with a robust toolkit, and challenges you to think in an innovative, big picture and forward-thinking manner. A top-notch experience!

Peggie Pelosi
Peggie Pelosi, GCB.D

Executive Director, Innovators Alliance and Board Member, USANA Health Sciences

Why did you join the Competent Boards Certificate Program?

As a new Corporate Board member with a background in CSR, I have seen the increased awareness and emergence of ESG oversight as an important role for directors. The Competent Boards Certificate program provides extremely valuable ESG education which is not available through any other Director education program that I am aware of.

What did you get out of the Competent Boards Certificate program?

The roster of International guest speakers brought very relevant and current insight into the ESG risks and opportunities that the business world is facing globally. The quality of the speakers was excellent. The guest speakers along with the diverse profiles of the global participants in the program created an extremely valuable perspective on the growing ESG considerations for all boards. As the program progressed, I realized that my understanding of, and ability to identify the risks and opportunities associated with ESG issues had increased dramatically. The program enhanced my skill and confidence in providing ESG oversight on a corporate board.

Would you recommend it to others and why?

I would highly recommend the Competent Boards Certificate program to anyone that currently serves on a board, is interested in becoming a board member and/or reports to a board. The content of this program has been brilliantly curated to focus on the critical growing ESG issues that Boards are facing and will continue to face – and is not available through any of the traditional Corporate Director certifications that I am aware of. Thank you Helle and the Global Competent Boards team!

Tamara Somers
Tamara Somers, GCB.D

Senior Advisor in the Chief Sustainability Office at Telstra

Why did you join the Competent Boards Certificate Program?

My current role involves preparing a significant amount of information on ESG issues for our Board and investors. I wanted to gain a better understanding of what my audience is looking for when I provide this kind of briefing, and how these issues play out at a broader strategic level in the Board’s and investors’ thinking.

What did you get out of the Competent Boards Certificate program?

The Competent Boards Certificate program gave me a thorough grounding in the full spectrum of ESG issues considered by Boards, and how those issues can be embedded into business strategy to drive accountability for deliverables. The nexus between strategy, executive compensation and ESG performance became much clearer to me as a result of the program. I also gained incredibly valuable insights from peers and thought leaders around the globe. In Australia, we are sometimes disconnected from or lagging behind international trends, but most of our institutional investors are based in other markets. As such, it was really helpful to understand how these markets are thinking about ESG issues and what the expectations of our major investors are likely to be in relation to disclosures and ESG strategy.

Would you recommend it to others and why?

I recommend this program unreservedly to anyone who sits on a Board, is preparing to do so, or advises Boards on ESG risk and strategy. It’s such a great program that I spent six months getting up in the middle of the night to do the online sessions. The opportunity to connect and interact with peers from around the world is unique, as is the chance to learn from some of the most senior and experienced people in this space. Whenever my colleagues would look at me and ask “why are you doing this course when you have to get up at 2:30am?” I would respond with “because I got to spend an hour and a half learning from someone I would never otherwise meet”.

Sanjay Khanna
Sanjay Khanna, GCB.D

Foresight Advisor, Former Futurist at Baker McKenzie

Why did you join the Competent Boards Certificate Program?

I am already advising non-executive directors. As part of my professional development, I wanted world-class training to bring a comprehensive range of knowledge and expertise to my board advisory toolkit.

What did you get out of the Competent Boards Certificate program?

Helpful and deeply informed knowledge and insight from some of the world’s leading board directors, strategists and advisors.

Would you recommend it to others and why?

Yes, without reservation. The Competent Boards team is completely committed to excellence and innovation in leadership, knowledge and learning at a pivotal time in human history. Today, the global commons and the corporate landscape are threatened by environmental, social and governance issues. These include the climate emergency, global health, socioeconomic disparities, cyber security and data privacy. Competent Boards strives to answer the question: How are boards to govern responsibly in such a potentially value-destroying global context?

William Surphlis
William Surphlis, GCB.D

Managing Partner, Brooklin Consulting

Why did you join the Competent Boards Certificate Program?

I looked at the content and the schedule and felt it was exactly the content I wanted with input for global experts, and the schedule of every two weeks online with a global class was very appealing.

What did you get out of the Competent Boards Certificate program?

I am now well researched on all the topics covered and feel capable of delivering a more comprehensive service to our clients.

Would you recommend it to others and why?

I have already recommended the program to individuals in my network that I feel would benefit from the course and the Certificate. The value that you get from this course with the sustainable delivery model Helle and her team employ is dollar for dollar one of the best investments in Professional Development I have come across. As an aside I also had a lot of fun meeting people from around the world that share my passion for making a positive impact in the world we operate in. My hope is that we will stay connected and when I visit their countries we can meet un-virtually and when they come to Canada they look me up.

Lynette Gould
Lynette Gould, GCB.D

Senior Vice President, Investor Relations & Corporate Development, Bullfrog Gold Corp.

Why did you join the Competent Boards Certificate Program?

With the continued increase in funds under management within investment firms targeted towards sustainable investment and my role as head of Investor Relations I felt it was vitally important I find a course that could provide a very comprehensive overview of the matters related to ESG. This would then allow me to understand more fully what investors are looking for and be able to incorporate the information into our external communications.

What did you get out of the Competent Boards Certificate program?

I feel now I have a much better understanding of the key matters surrounding ESG. I found the videos by various leaders in the space thought provoking and the readings were very helpful to round out the course.

Would you recommend it to others and why?

I would highly recommend the Competent Boards course for anyone at the board or senior executive level. The topics covered were highly relevant to every company and really help broaden an individuals’ knowledge in each of the areas of environment, social and governance. The speakers that were on each module were leaders in their areas and it was a huge benefit to get their perspectives over the 12 module course.

Learn with and from world-renowned leaders and build a global network without having to travel

Julie Hansen
Julie Hansen, GCB.D

Global Executive Advisor, Salesforce

Why did you join the Competent Boards Certificate Program?

As a global executive advisor, my role is to be a divergent thought leader who can consider and advise on current challenges facing corporations and how emerging technologies can play a role in meeting those challenges.

It has been clear to me for a few years that there is increasing pressure on companies to consider success factors that go beyond financial success and shareholder value. Successful companies of the near future will be the ones who become purpose driven and generate impact aligned with environmental, social and economical goals. These companies will be the ones that will enjoy long term sustainable success attracting customers, talent and investments through being aligned with the growing body of these influential stakeholders.

Helle, an expert global advisor confirmed my thoughts when she invested the time and secured a willing group of global experts to create the Competent Boards curriculum as a means of spreading essential guidance and insight to more leadership.

This course covers material topics from ESG demands to climate challenges to cyber security to governance giving board members and advisors relevant education that can be applied to board agendas and priorities as a strategy for long term corporate success.

What did you get out of the Competent Boards Certificate program?

The course covered a range of relevant topics that are current and relevant to my role as an advisor. It broadened my mind and provided increased clarity around how essential it is for boards to welcome education and insight on a broader set of material topics that may affect long term sustainability of the business. Diversity of thought at the board level will help to mitigate risk including new risks that are surfacing as expectations and our world evolves. This course feeds that diversity of thought.

Would you recommend it to others and why?

Yes, I recommend this course. It educated me on why certain topics are growing material to a company’s longevity along with how to broach the subjects as a responsible advisor with a long term lens for success.

Vibeke Bak-Solok
Vibeke Bak-Solok, GCB.D

Board member CO-RO and Danica Pension Norway, Former EVP and COO for Group Risk Functions, Danske Bank

Why did you join the Competent Boards Certificate Program?

In the financial sector, as in many other highly regulated industries, a changed mindset on sustainability & ESG will help boost client engagement and enable better client advice. By simplifying processes and building strategies with sustainability in mind, companies can develop a more robust risk appetite and culture, ultimately building employee satisfaction and creating long term value across generations.

What did you get out of the Competent Boards Certificate program?

The Competent Boards Certificate programme gave me valuable knowledge on sustainability, ESG, and how global leaders are working to change the mindset of individuals across a variety of industries.

Katie Dunphy
Katie Dunphy, GCB.D

Director, KPMG Canada

Why did you join the Competent Boards Certificate Program?

As an experienced sustainability professional, I’m always eager to find opportunities for continued PD and education that provides more insight into the evolving needs of Boards. The flexible program design also really suited my needs – engaging videos, course materials and group discussions that were relevant, current, and business focused.

What did you get out of the Competent Boards Certificate program?

I’m really pleased with the breadth of topics that were covered, and the expertise shared. I now have a more well-rounded understanding of the individual course topics and their importance to Boards. CB also helped me to think through challenging dilemmas and case studies to identify the types of questions to ask and points to raise to help further develop productive discussions.

Would you recommend it to others and why?

I absolutely would and have shared with colleagues. The content is excellent and delivery is practical.

Anna Tudela
Anna Tudela, GCB.D

Former Vice-President, Diversity, Regulatory Affairs and Corporate Secretary, Goldcorp Inc.

Why did you join the Competent Boards Certificate Program?

I have known Helle for over 5 years and have great admiration for what she has done and is doing on the ESG front. When I heard about the program and her vision I was sold. In my role as Corporate Secretary of a major mining gold company I’ve seen board members not asking the right questions and management not providing the whole story. This program enhances your knowledge on ESG and brings it to a new level. It provides you with views and experience from world business leaders and experts.

What did you get out of the Competent Boards Certificate program?

It was inspiring! It has provided me with the tools and skills to identify, articulate and ask the right questions or bring to the attention of Management environmental, social and governance issues that are not being taken into consideration on board presentations, and more important, to make members of management think about all these issues.

Would you recommend it to others and why?

Absolutely, in my opinion, every company should consider asking at least one or two of their board members to enroll and attend this program. I have identified a few people who will benefit from the program and have already made my recommendations. I will continue to do so as we need more people to understand and act upon ESG issues now.

Lee Kindberg
Lee Kindberg, GCB.D

Head of Environment, Health, Safety and Sustainability for Maersk Line in North America

Why did you join the Competent Boards Certificate Program?

The Competent Boards program is a unique opportunity to learn from global business leaders and those who originated foundational concepts like the Sustainable Development Goals. I felt I needed to take my understanding of these concepts and global best practices to the next level.

What did you get out of the Competent Boards Certificate program?

The program was incredibly rich and deep, with opportunities to interact directly with global leaders in leading businesses, NGOs and agencies. As a result I’ve found increased sophistication in my thinking about these issues and in the information and thoughts I provide both internally and externally. Thank you Competent Boards for the opportunity to grow and learn in this program.

Would you recommend it to others and why?

Yes, and already have. The quality of the speakers and materials is exceptional, and the execution of the distance learning concept is the best I have ever experienced.

Elissar Sarrouh
Elissar Sarrouh, GCB.D

CEO of Expert Consulting on Governance; Vice-President of the Canadian Association of International Development Professionals

Why did you join the Competent Boards Certificate Program?

I was interested in learning directly from World Business Leaders how businesses and big corporations are addressing the challenges of integrating the 17 Sustainable Development Goals into their business models and strategies; and how they are turning these Goals into sustainable business opportunities.

What did you get out of the Competent Boards Certificate program?

In-depth understanding of how a global “good” corporate governance system is uniquely positioned to lead the world in fulfilling the promise of the 2030 Agenda of transformational change and leaving no one behind!

Would you recommend it to others and why?

I would definitely recommend this program specifically to professionals in the international development field, in order to learn and access the wealth of knowledge and insights this program offers.

I highly recommend the CB Program for the opportunity to engage directly with corporate leaders and gain insights on how sustainable business models and competent corporate boards can lead a global transformational agenda to address climate change risks and achieve the 17 Sustainable Development Goals.

Geoffrey Pegg
Geoffrey Pegg, GCB.D

Director of Sustainability & Environment, TELUS

Why did you join the Competent Boards Certificate Program?

I wanted to enhance my knowledge and education with respect to the ESG issues Boards face and to learn from leading experts and practitioners as assembled by Helle Bank Jorgensen leveraging her experience and network.

What did you get out of the Competent Boards Certificate program?

So Much! Since completing the course, I have been looking at these risks with a different lens and have taken action to bring some thoughts forward to our Board. I am able to reflect on case studies and interviews with experts – where I was able to ask them questions directly – as well as the many other resources shared during the certificate program. I believe my governance expertise has improved and am able to use that to improve the resiliency of my organization.

Would you recommend it to others and why?

Absolutely. In fact, my company has supported a subsequent cohort with a scholarship for a student who can benefit from the CB certificate program who may otherwise not have been able to attend. This is a quality program, covering a vast array of ESG issues Boards face, supported by a great repertoire of resources and subject matter experts.

Andrea Wood
Andrea Wood

Chief Legal & Governance Officer, TELUS

Why did you join the Competent Boards Certificate Program?

TELUS is deeply committed to being the world leader in social capitalism. It has received global recognition of its leadership in corporate citizenship and philanthropy, environmental, and business innovation.

a. TELUS is the only telecommunications company in the world named to The Wall Street Journal’s Top 100 Most Sustainably Managed Companies, ranking 29th overall and 15th in Social Capital.

b. TELUS has been ranked on the Dow Jones Sustainability World Index for the fifth consecutive year and on the North American Index for the 20th year in a row, ranking at the 90th percentile in the telecommunications industry for its leadership in sustainability.

c. The TELUS team has contributed $1.3 billion in value, time, and financial support to Canadian charities and grassroots organizations since 2000 including $736 million in cash and 1.4 million days of volunteerism. This combined with TELUS’ own very generous contributions makes TELUS one of the most giving companies in the world.

d. TELUS committed more than $150 million in 2020 to provide front line support to Canadians during the COVID pandemic.

e. In addition, TELUS’ robust governance practices have resulted in TELUS being recognized as one of Canada’s leading organizations by the Globe and Mail’s Board Games. In 2020, TELUS enjoyed a score of 92/100 and it ranked 16th nationally.

Still, we intend to continuously improve and evolve how we leverage our commitment to social capitalism to deliver extraordinary results for our stakeholders.

As Chief Legal and Governance Officer of TELUS, I felt it was important to ensure that I was fully up to date on the topics covered by the Competent Boards program. I wanted to have greater visibility into what other companies were doing and why, and I wanted to start to understand how I could use my platform to help TELUS to continue to achieve its goals while inspiring others to try to match us!

What did you get out of the Competent Boards Certificate program?

The Competent Boards program enhanced my knowledge and gave me the vocabulary and confidence I need to be an effective advocate for social capitalism both within TELUS and externally. In addition, it enabled me to identify steps TELUS could take to continue evolving and improving our programs, including those relating to governance and disclosure. Finally, it provided me with a strong foundational understanding on which I intend to build, helping me remain current as the world inevitably changes and expectations of corporate behavior evolve.

Would you recommend it to others and why?

I highly recommend the program to anyone leading organizations in the not-for-profit sector. In addition, I recommend it to leaders in the for-profit world, provided they are open to the idea that corporations should be committed to delivering sustainable results for the benefit of all stakeholders (including the environment) and that the corporations that take this approach will win in the long term.

Stine Birk
Stine Birk

Board experience internationally within infrastructure and private equity companies, from DNB Bank, ATP Pension and Industriens Pension

Why did you join the Competent Boards Certificate Program?

From my work as an investor with an active ownership approach, I have seen the demand for Sustainability and ESG awareness and initiatives growing fast over the last few years. I believe that investors need to develop and become more sophisticated in the way they work with Sustainability and ESG, to not only add cost, but also create value. I wanted to enhance my contribution to creating value in a commercial perspective for the businesses that I am involved in as a board member and when being “behind the board” as an investor. The Competent Boards program has strengthened my skills for doing that.

What did you get out of the Competent Boards Certificate program?

I have strengthened my skills for working actively with Sustainability and ESG from a board and executive perspective – in a commercial mindset. You get great value for your money with this program. It offers easy access to extensive knowledge in a flexible format. The speakers are very experienced business leaders that provide inspirational insight from an international and business perspective. The broad catalogue of tools and case studies makes it easy to apply to individual real-life circumstances. The program has definitely extended the tool box for my future board work, bringing ESG better into play to create value for the business, shareholders and stakeholders.

Would you recommend it to others and why?

Yes, I think every board should be aware of including Sustainability and ESG in their work and focus on stakeholder management, purpose, transparency, trust, climate, safety, etc. as an integrated part of both the strategy and the day-to-day business, while still serving shareholder interests to get a return. The competent boards program gives you a practical and flexible way of being able to add that skill to your board work.

Be at the forefront of ESG, sustainability & climate risks and opportunities.