AESC Members Quoted in Columbia Business School Article

The Association of Executive Search Consultants (AESC) recently hosted a networking event in partnership with Colombia Business School. Below is an excerpt from the Columbia Business School '3 Steps to Board Membership' article, featuring quotes from AESC President & CEO, Karen Greenbaum; Managing Director of Greenwich Harbor Partners, Carrie Pryor; Managing Partner of Wilbanks Partners LLC, George Wilbanks and President & CEO of The Prout Group, Patrick Prout.

Prior to 2002, a director?s most important role was to act as the CEO?s rubber stamp. Many board meetings were more executive retreat than business forum. ?One Fortune 100 client actually wanted to know what a prospective board member?s golf handicap was,? recalled Carrie Pryor, managing director of headhunting firm Greenwich Harbor Partners, speaking at a recent Columbia Business School Alumni and Career Management Center event entitled ?Preparing Yourself for Board Service.?

But then Congress passed the Public Company Accounting Reform and Investor Protection Act (as Sarbanes-Oxley, or SOX, is officially known), putting fiduciary responsibility for a public company squarely on the board?s broad shoulders. As a result, today?s public-company board seat has become a job in which members must earn their keep and attendance is mandatory. Rather than nod politely at each of the CEO's ?suggestions,? directors must bring definitive skills and functional expertise to the table.

Still, for all its challenges, board membership brings a host of perks. Karen Greenbaum, president and CEO of the Association of Executive Search and Leadership Consultants, who moderated the program, ticks off a few: ?You can use your knowledge and skills to enhance the direction of a company. And you gain tremendous experience that you can bring to your career and the business you work in day to day.?

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