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WomenCorporateDirectors Foundation Names 2016 Visionary Award Winners for Best Corporate Governance

Wednesday, February 10, 2016   (0 Comments)

WomenCorporateDirectors Foundation Names 2016 Visionary Award Winners for Best Corporate Governance

Publix, Santander, Ulta Beauty, Maggie Wilderotter, and Izumi Kobayashi


NEW YORKFeb. 10, 2016 /PRNewswire/ -- Honoring companies and CEOs who are pioneering best practices in corporate governance and boardroom diversity, the WomenCorporateDirectors Foundation (WCDF) has named PublixThe Santander GroupUlta Beauty, Frontier Communications Executive Chairman Maggie Wilderotter, and Izumi Kobayashi, director at ANA Holdings, Suntory, and Mitsui and Co., as its 2016 Visionary Award winners. WCDF is the largest organization of women board directors globally, with more than 3,500 members serving on 8,500 boards.

"WCDF's Visionary Awards program recognizes companies and individuals in five categories whose transformational strengths truly make them leaders among their peers across the globe," said Estelle Métayer, Visionary Awards selection committee co-chair and director of Ubisoft Entertainment, BRP (Bombardier Recreational Products), and Zag Bank. Mel Lagomasino, also a selection committee co-chair and director of The Walt Disney Company, The Coca-Cola Company, Avon Products, Inc., and the Americas Society, said of the winners, "These are the leaders who are putting WCDF's mission to practice by increasing the number of women on boards and raising the bar for better governance around the world."

WCDF will present the 2016 Visionary Awards at the Visionary Awards Dinner on May 4, 2016, as part of its annual invitation-onlyWCDF Global Institute (May 3-5) in New York City. Since 2011, WCDF has each year named top companies and CEOs as recipients of its Visionary Awards, including L'Oréal, Procter & Gamble, Publicis, Intel, The Coca-Cola Company; and CEOs Beth MooneyMarjorie Scardino, and Marilyn Carlson Nelson, among others.

2016 Visionary Award Winners

WCDF Visionary Award for Leadership and Governance of a Public Company: Ulta Beauty, largest beauty retailer in the United States

"At Ulta Beauty, we place a strong emphasis on creating gender diversity in the workplace, and we are honored to be recognized for our efforts," said Mary Dillon, Ulta Beauty Chief Executive Officer. "Like WCDF, we know that gender equity in the boardroom is critical to our future success. We are also very focused on giving our associates – 92 percent of whom are women – unique opportunities to grow into leadership roles. Since we expect to add thousands of jobs over the next several years, it is important that we continue our pipeline of diverse leadership."

 WCDF Visionary Award for Strategic Leadership: Maggie Wilderotter, Executive Chairman, Frontier Communications, anddirector, DreamWorks Animation, Costco Wholesale Corporation, Juno Therapeutics, Inc., and Chobani Yogurt

"At Frontier, we approached diversity as a strategic business objective," said Maggie Wilderotter. "You need strong leadership and a plan because high-performing diverse organizations and boards rarely result from serendipity. Profitability and enhanced shareholder value are the best proof points that diversity is a business imperative."

WCDF Visionary Award for Innovation in Shared Value: The Santander Group

Baroness Shriti Vadera, Chairman of Santander UK said: "On behalf of Santander Group, thank you for this important award from WCDF. Responsible businesses invest in the communities they serve – it is our 'licence to operate' in society. Santander Universities has committed around $152m annually in partnership with 1,200 universities all over the world since 1996. Beyond the intrinsic value of all young people being empowered to succeed and follow their ambition, education is critical to meeting the challenges of skills in the workforce, productivity, and economic growth."

WCDF Visionary Award for Leadership and Governance of a Private Company: Publix Super Markets, the largest employee-owned grocery chain in the United States

"Publix Super Markets is honored to be recognized as the recipient of WCDF's 2016 Leadership and Governance of a Private Company Award," said Ed Crenshaw, Publix CEO. "As a retailer committed to serving a diverse marketplace, we value and embrace diversity not only in terms of gender, race and ethnicity, but also in the thought, experiences and fresh ideas that arise from an inclusive workforce. A talented, diverse workforce is a key component to our business success."  

WCDF Visionary Award for Strategic Leadership of a Woman Corporate Director: Izumi Kobayashi, director ANA Holdings, Inc., Suntory Holdings, Ltd., Mitsui & Co., Ltd.

"In this century, the world is facing many new challenges adding to issues we have been working on for so long," said Izumi Kobayashi. "Corporates need to be serious and fully engage to sustainable quality of people's life and nature. To achieve this goal, management must recognize new directions to go and steer the firm. WCDF takes the critical role to educate leaders in the world to helm their organizations to sustainable futures. It is my honor to receive this Visionary Award. This recognition means to me that there is a greater expectation for stronger engagement and effort for future generations through business and other activities."

2016 WCDF Visionary Awards Selection Committee

Committee Co-Chairs

  • Estelle Métayer (Canada) – Director, Ubisoft Entertainment, BRP (Bombardier Recreational Products), and Zag Bank; WCDF Quebec Chapter Chair
  • Maria Elena (Mel) Lagomasino (U.S.) – Chief Executive Officer & Managing Partner, WE Family Offices; Director, The Walt Disney Company, The Coca-Cola Company, Avon Products, Inc., and the Americas Society; WCDF South Florida Member

Committee Members:

  • Yolanda Auza (Colombia) – CEO & Owner Librería Wilborada 1047; Board Director CEJ, ACLI; WCDF Colombia Chapter Chair
  • Sherry Barrat (U.S.) – Director of NextEra Energy, Inc., Prudential Insurance Funds, and Arthur J. Gallagher & Company; former WCD Advisory Board Member; WCDF South Florida Member
  • Anne Berner (Finland) – CEO Vallila Interior; Potential Investor, Sweden and Finland, Dragons Den TV show; former co-chair of WCD Family Business Council; WCDF Finland Chapter Chair
  • Phyllis Campbell (U.S.) – Chairman, Pacific Northwest, JPMorgan Chase & Co.; Lead Director, Alaska Air Group; Director, Nordstrom; WCDF Asia Vice Chair
  • Carmen Rosa Graham (Peru) – President and Director, Fundación Backus; Director, Ferreyros S.A.A. and Interbank; WCDF Peru Chapter Chair
  • Christie Hefner (U.S.) – Chairman of Hatch Beauty; Director, Center for American Progress Action, Luminary Digital; former Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Playboy Enterprises and Executive Chairman of Canyon Ranch Enterprises; WCDF Chicago Member
  • Jill Kanin-Lovers (U.S.) – Director, Heidrick & Struggles Board, Home Preservation Foundation (HPF) Board; WCDF NY Member
  • Aliza Knox (Singapore) – Managing Director, Online Sales, APAC, and Twitter; Director, InvoCare, Singapore Post, and GfK; WCDF Singapore Member
  • Pat McKay (U.S.) – Partner and Managing Director, Templeton & Company; WCDF South Florida Chapter Chair; WCDF Advisory Board Member
  • Merle Okawara (Japan) – Chairman, JC Comsa Corporation; Director, Parco; WCDF Japan co-chair
  • Kalpana Raina (U.S.) – Managing Partner, 252 Solutions LLC; Director, RealNetworks, Inc., John Wiley & Sons, Information Services Group, The World Policy Institute; WCDF NY Member
  • Barbara Reno (Belgium) – Trustee, The American University of Paris; Board Member, Columbia University Club of Belgium; Director, Stewart Investments; former Executive Director, Chief Executives Organization; WCDF European Member
  • Susan Remmer Ryzewic (U.S.) – President, CEO, and Director, EHR Investments, Inc., The Remmer Family Foundation, Cabot Wellington, LLC, and University of North Florida Foundation; WCDF Chapter Chair, Family Business Council co-chair, Advisory Board Member
  • Susan Stautberg (U.S.) – Chairman & CEO WomenCorporateDirectors Foundation (WCDF); Co-author of Women on Board; WCDF South Florida Member
  • Joan Steel (U.S.) – Founder and Managing Principal, Alpha Wealth Advisors, LLC.; Director, Hershey Trust Company; WCDF Chicago Member
  • Deborah Wince-Smith (U.S.) – President, Council on Competitiveness; Director, NanoMech; former Director, NASDAQ OMX; WCDF Washington D.C. Member

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

About WomenCorporateDirectors Education and Development Foundation, Inc.  (WCDF)

The WomenCorporateDirectors Education and Development Foundation, Inc. (The WCD Foundation) is the only global membership organization and community of women corporate directors, with more than 3,500 members serving on more than 8,500 boards. A 501(c)(3) not-for-profit organization, the WCD Foundation has 71 chapters around the world, with seven more to launch over the next year. The aggregate market capitalization of public companies on whose boards WCD Foundation members serve is over $8 trillion. In addition, WCD Foundation members serve on numerous boards of large private and family-run companies globally.

WCD Foundation membership provides a unique platform for learning from the intellectual capital of accomplished women from around the world, and the WCD Foundation's mission is to increase courage, candor, inclusion, and cohesion in the boardroom.

The WCD Foundation has chapters in ArizonaAtlantaAustinBeijingBoston, Charlotte, ChicagoChileClevelandColombia,ColumbusDallas/Fort WorthDelhiDenmarkFinlandFranceGermanyGreater ColoradoGreater New MexicoGuatemala, Gulf Cooperation Council, HanoiHawaiiHo Chi Minh CityHong KongHoustonIcelandIndonesiaIsraelJapanKansas CityKenya,LondonLos Angeles/Orange CountyMalaysiaMelbourneMexicoMilan, MinnesotaMongoliaMoroccoMumbaiNetherlands,New YorkNew ZealandNigeriaNorthern CaliforniaNorth Florida/South GeorgiaPanamaPeruPhiladelphiaPhilippines,QuebecRio de JaneiroRomeSan DiegoSao PauloSeattleShanghaiSingaporeSouth AfricaSouth FloridaSpain,SwitzerlandSydneyTampaTennesseeTorontoTurkeyWashington, D.C., and Western Canada. 

For more information visit or follow us on Twitter @WomenCorpDirs, #WCDboards.