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Boston Chapter Event

When: Monday, January 23, 2017

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The first dinner of 2017 for Women Corporate Directors Boston Chapter will be held on Monday, January 23, 2017 at 6:00PM at the Colonnade Hotel in Boston. The topic is: Is Your Board Talking About Digital Disruption? The conversation will be led by Jill Smith, former CEO of DigitalGlobe and she will be joined by Andi Karaboutis, EVP, Technology, Business Solutions & Corporate Affairs at Biogen and Tracy Atkinson, EVP and Treasurer of State Street Corporation.


Women Corporate Directors - Boston

January 23, 2017 Dinner

Colonnade Hotel, 120 Huntington Avenue, Boston

6:00 PM Cocktails, 7:00PM Dinner and Discussion


Is Your Board Talking About Digital Disruption?


In many companies today, technology and its budget are viewed as the domain of the CIO or IT department. The CEO sets the priority regarding technology, and often board members do not understand the technology strategy as presented. Technology discussions at the board level are focused on cyber-security and/or response to competitive or customer demands, but are not be forward-looking. Our panel believes this is not the best way for the board to approach technology. 


Technology is impacting every business, driving departmental budgets, and is no longer the responsibility solely of the CIO.  It is challenging businesses in many guises: the Internet of Things (IoT), Mobility, Big Data, the Gig Economy, Cloud, Social Media, Digitization, Automation, E-commerce...   Even the work-force as companies deal with the challenges of hiring and retaining millennials with technology in their DNA.  So how can directors be confident that companies are adequately and appropriately embracing technology and realizing a return on the (significant) investments made?  In part, the answer may lie in how directors frame the technology question. The discussion needs to be about digital disruption.


The panel is not promising a comprehensive guide to bridging the technology gap between the board and management. Instead they hope to explore how to bring technology into the board discussion in the context of some critical topics already on the board agenda: strategy, competitive positioning, new product development/R&D, innovation, costs of IT and automation, talent, and regulatory expectations.


The panel will start the discussion, and ask for your help in identifying critical questions and sharing experiences.  These suggestions will be added to the panel’s list and then compilation of ideas will be circulated to the group. To get us all thinking the panel has suggested the following articles as a pre-read:


Adapting your board to the digital age:


Five questions boards should ask about IT in a digital world:


Digital Strategy: The Economics of Disruption:


Our panelists will be:


Adriana (Andi) Karaboutis is Executive Vice President, Technology, Business Solutions & Corporate Affairs at Biogen.  She is responsible for enterprise IT, digital health and data sciences, government affairs, public policy, patient advocacy and global communications.  Prior to joining Biogen in 2014, she was VP and CIO at Dell and spent 20 years at General Motors and Ford Motor Company internationally.  Ms. Karaboutis is on the board of directors of Advance Auto Parts and Blue Cross Blue Shield of Massachusetts. Ms. Karaboutis received a Bachelor of Science Degree in Computer Science from Wayne State University where she was a Merit Scholar and completed an accelerated Marketing Strategy Program at Duke University’s Fuqua School of Business.


Jill Smith was formerly Chairman, CEO and President of DigitalGlobe Inc. (NYSE: DGI), a global provider of satellite imagery products and services. She brings more than 25 years of experience as an international business leader, including 16 years as CEO of private and public companies in the technology and information services markets.  Ms. Smith started her career as a consultant at Bain & Company, where she rose to become Partner. She subsequently joined Sara Lee as Vice President, and went on to serve as President and CEO of eDial, a VoIP collaboration company, and of SRDS, a business-to-business publishing firm. She also served as Chief Operating Officer of Micron Electronics.  She currently serves as an independent director on the boards of Endo International plc, Allied Minds plc, Hexagon AB and JM Huber Corporation. Ms. Smith earned her BS in Business Studies at London Guildhall University and MSc from the MIT Sloan School of Management.


Tracy Atkinson is executive vice president and treasurer of State Street Corporation.  She is currently responsible for the Treasury, Structured Products, and Recovery and Resolution Planning groups.  Ms. Atkinson has held other leadership positions in Finance, including oversight of Investor Relations, Corporate Accounting, business unit finance and Enterprise Decision Support.  Previously she was Chief Compliance Officer for the company.  Prior to Joining State Street in 2008, Ms. Atkinson was a partner at PricewaterhouseCoopers, where she worked for 16 years before joining MFS Investment Management.  At MFS, Ms. Atkinson was SVP, Chief Risk and New Product Development Officer and later Treasurer & CFO of MFS’ mutual fund complex.  She has been an independent director of Raytheon Corporation since 2014 and is currently chair of its audit committee.  Ms. Atkinson is a Certified Public Accountant and earned her BS from the University of Massachusetts. 



Elaine Eisenman, Pam Lenehan, Mary Ann Tocio


RSVP to Pam Lenehan: or 781-449-9665