Avoiding The Corporate Crisis

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Every corporation faces disruptive forces in their industry.  Every company would like more attention for their stock and dreads unwanted corporate attention.  At some point, most companies face an unforeseen – and uncommon – set back. At this inflection point, members of the board make a significant difference on how well a corporation weathers the storm.  On December 3, DirectorCorps and Nasdaq hosted Avoiding The Corporate Crisis, an exclusive one-day event at the Nasdaq MarketSite in New York City to prepare boards and leadership for future uncertainties.


  • Tuesday, December 3

    8:00 AM – 8:30 AM
    Breakfast + Registration

    8:30 AM – 8:45 AM
    Welcoming Remarks
    Michael Bartels,
    President, Nasdaq Governance Solutions
    Al Dominick, CEO, DirectorCorps
    To welcome participants to Nasdaq’s new event space in New York City, we take a look at the current state of innovation, digital transformation and the re-imagination of business processes taking place across industries. In doing so, we tee up the unexpected challenges that confound leadership teams and anchor today’s program.

    8:45 AM – 9:25 AM
    Managing the Volkswagen Emissions Crisis
    David Detweiler
    , EVP and General Counsel, Volkswagen Group of America, Inc.
    Robert Giuffra, Jr., Partner, Sullivan & Cromwell LLP
    Earlier this year, automotive giant Volkswagen found itself facing a regulatory investigation for the results of their diesel-emissions tests. For some, the ensuing negative headlines would have broken the company. Not so for VW, which has embraced the opportunity to learn from the experience, protect shareholder value and position itself for even better days.

    9:25 AM – 9:55 AM
    Five Questions Every Board Member Should Ask
    Rhonda Barnat,
    Managing Director, Abernathy MacGregor
    Kellie Huennekens, Head of Americas, Nasdaq Center for Corporate Governance
    The best corporations nip a crisis in the bud.  What are the common mistakes that lead to a crisis?  This session focuses on how to prevent those common mistakes.

    9:55 AM – 10:25 AM
    Proactively Addressing Shareholder Activists
    Steven Balet, Managing Director, Strategic Governance Advisors
    Ariel Deckelbaum
    , Partner, Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton & Garrison LLP
    What can the board do when a shareholder’s demands become more than a mere nuisance? What are the tools companies use when facing activists? What are the questions boards should ask during “times of peace?”

    10:25 AM – 10:50 AM
    Refreshment Break 

    10:50 AM – 11:20 AM
    Preventing Accounting Missteps
    Tony Klaich, Managing Partner, Technology, Media & Telecommunications, Crowe LLP
    Michael Shmerling
    , Chairman, Clearbrook Holdings Corp.
    Moderated by: Al Dominick, CEO, DirectorCorps, Inc.
Most companies find and fix issues when internal auditors or staff identifies a problem.  What are the most common issues that create mistakes?  And what happens when the mistake proves material? How should audit committees react — and what should corporations communicate to shareholders without destroying trust?

    11:20 AM – 11:50 AM
    Regulatory & Government Investigations
    Roberto Gonzalez, Partner, Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton & Garrison LLP
    Andrew Stemmer, Americas Head of Litigation and Regulatory Enforcement, Deutsche Bank
    Uncle Sam and state regulators can and do expect boards to understand key regulatory principles. What is the board’s role if the company is under investigation? How do you stay ahead of regulatory and legislative concerns?

    11:50 AM – 12:15 PM
    Balancing Purpose with Profits
    Evan Harvey
    , Global Head of Sustainability, Nasdaq
    Long-term shareholders expect both returns and significant commitments to sustainability and social purpose.  Some companies have faced considerable backlash on issues that CEOs 20 years ago would have called “soft.”  How can the board set the tone at the top — and how can you prepare your company to be measured? 

    12:15 PM – 1:30 PM

    1:30 PM – 2:00 PM
    Avoiding Compensation Issues That Can Lead To A Crisis
    Marc Treviño, Partner, Sullivan & Cromwell LLP
    Moderated by: Mika Moser, President, DirectorCorps
    Income equality social movements often end up in conversations about appropriate executive and board pay. Before you are targeted in the press, what can you do to ensure you don’t make headlines?

    2:00 PM – 2:40 PM
Cybersecurity, Artificial Intelligence & Data: What You Should Know Now
    Justin Bass,
    Chief Data Science Officer, Crowe LLP
    Roberto Gonzalez, Partner, Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton & Garrison LLP
    Georgette Kiser, Operating Executive, The Carlyle Group
    Moderated by: Al Dominick, CEO, DirectorCorps
    This session takes a look at the major issues and trends that corporate leaders must get their arms around.

    2:40 PM – 3:20 PM
    Three Keys to Crisis Communication
    William Briganti
    , Managing Director, Corporate Communications, Nasdaq
    Paul Scarpetta, Managing Director, Sard Verbinnen & Co 
    Moderated by: Al Dominick, CEO, DirectorCorps
    Your company needs to have a plan that spells out who speaks, when they speak and how they speak. This session surfaces three case studies to show how communication makes all the difference during challenging times.

    3:30 PM
 – 5:00 PM
    Networking Reception


Nasdaq MarketSite in Times Square

Nasdaq MarketSite
4 Times Square, 2nd Floor
New York, NY 10036

With its dramatic video tower overlooking Times Square, Nasdaq MarketSite provides spectacular panoramic views and is the ultimate setting for events.  In addition, the Nasdaq MarketSite 7-story tall video tower defines the ultimate consumer outdoor media experience by running advertising on both the Nasdaq Tower and the Reuters Sign, bridging together the entire south side of Times Square.


  • Who should attend Avoiding The Corporate Crisis?

    Attendees include both inside and outside directors and chairmen, CEOs, CFOs and General Counsel and senior management who regularly interact with the board.

  • Why should I attend Avoiding The Corporate Crisis?

    Whether you serve on one board or multiple boards, this program is designed to prepare directors and those in senior management for a corporate crisis. This event brings together unparalleled insight from leading experts in corporate communication, risk management, corporate governance, regulation and strategic planning to provide attendees with both the foundational knowledge and the latest information on best practices in crisis management.

  • How much does this event cost, and what does the fee cover?

    The standard individual registration rate is $1,295, however, attendees should contact our conference department at 877-397-7595 or events@directorcorps.com for special early and group rates. The fee includes all activities, materials and meals at the event site. This price does not include travel or hotel accommodations.

  • What if I need to cancel my reservation at the event?

    Due to commitments and expenses, all cancellations after November 5, 2019 are subject to a $200 processing fee. We regret that no refunds will be given after November 19, 2019; however, substitute participants are welcomed. DirectorCorps, Inc. assumes no liability for any nonrefundable travel, hotel or related expenses incurred by registrants.

  • What hotel options are closest to the Nasdaq MarketSite?

    Marriott Marquis Times Square
    1535 Broadway, New York, NY 10036 (212) 398-1900

    Renaissance Times Square
    Two Times Square, 714 Seventh Avenue, New York, NY 10036 (212) 765-7676

    The Roosevelt
    45 E 45th St, New York, NY 10017 (212) 661-9600

    Grand Hyatt New York
    109 E 42nd St, New York, NY 10017 (212) 883-1234


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December 3, 2019
Event Category:


Nasdaq MarketSite
New York, NY