Franca Gucciardi Wins 2015 Gil Bennett Gold Standard Governance Award

Franca Gil Bennett Governance Award

Left to Right: Ron Stokes (Partner, Ernst & Young LLP), Franca Gucciardi (2015 Gil Bennett Award Recipient), Dr. Michael Hartman (Lead Faculty, The Directors College

Toronto, Ontario, March 27, 2015 – The Directors College last night awarded the 2015 Gil Bennett Gold Standard Governance Award to Franca Gucciardi for her superior achievements as one of the College’s latest Chartered Director graduates. Ms. Gucciardi is the CEO of the Loran Scholars Foundation, an organization that recognizes and supports exceptional young Canadians for their character, service and leadership.














Ms. Gucciardi is also a trustee of the McGill Institute for the Study of Canada and vice-chair of the College Montrose Children’s Place. She has previously served as vice-chair of Volunteer Canada and chair of its public policy committee. In 2013, she was one of 33 women named a Fellow of the International Women’s Forum. Previously she designed and implemented Canada’s Millennium Excellent Award program, and has worked for the Ontario Legislative Assembly, Brampton Caledon Community Living, and TV Ontario.

“The strength of the College’s Chartered Director Program lies in its ability to arm graduates with the expertise and proficiency to exercise informed judgment and to ask the difficult questions required to create real value for their organizations and their stakeholders,” said Dr. Michael Hartmann, Principal of the Directors College. “Franca’s professional acumen, innovative thinking and core instincts exemplify the qualities and aptitudes organizations are searching for to steward their boards.”

The Gil Bennett Gold Standard Governance Award, named after the former chairman of Canadian Tire, is presented to the graduate who has received a top grade on the Chartered Director exam designed to test technical governance knowledge and has also demonstrated over the course of the Program’s 5-modules, the technical and personal characteristics needed to be an effective board director.

In accepting this award at The Directors College 11th graduation ceremony, Ms. Gucciardi applauded the Chartered Director Program. “Organizations are currently facing many challenges where strategy, vision and leadership are vital to success and prosperity. The Directors College’s program has enabled me to further recognize the importance of corporate governance through a new lens and provided me with new tools to be a better director,” said Ms. Gucciardi. “I believe good governance makes good communities and that boards have a huge role to play in building a just and fair society.”

Founded in 2003, The Directors College launched Canada’s first university accredited corporate director development program now offered across the country and in both official languages. The College is a joint initiative of McMaster University and The Conference Board of Canada. For more information visit The Directors College’s website.




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“The Directors College experience has been nothing short of exceptional, with immediate benefit within the boards on which I serve. Undoubtedly, this program supports its brand of being the gold standard in board governance effectiveness. Of particular benefit was the opportunity to share the learning experience with colleagues within their various roles at the boardroom table. I have developed an enriched knowledge base from which to draw, as well as an enhanced quality network. Without hesitation, I recommend this program, and congratulate its faculty and staff for its commitment to excellence within its mandate.”

Silvia Martini, Vice-President, Interlink Research Inc.

“I performed a significant amount of research when selecting an option for advanced governance education. All of my research pointed to The Directors College. Being the only university accredited program was important, but more important, was that the faculty has an amazing balance of academic and professional background. No other program offers such a unique and high learning environment – the perfect balance of academia and real examples. The experience is demanding and allows you to generate a vast networks of peers who are dedicated to raising the bar on governance – truly the gold standard.”

Daniel Johnson, B.Comm, C.Dir., Chief Executive Officer, Innovation Credit Union

“The Chartered Director program provided me with a solid foundation in governance which built my confidence to comprehensively serve as a director. The exceptional content and educational process enhanced my curiosity, courage and ability to ask the right questions on crown, non-profit and corporate boards.”

Victor T. Thomas, C.Dir., H.R.C.C.C., Vice Chair, SaskEnergy

“I thought the entire program was very well developed and comprehensive. You never know what to expect when you sign-up for these programs and this exceeded my expectations and was a great learning opportunity.”

James Scongack, C.Dir., Vice-President of Corporate Affairs, Bruce Power LP

“I found the Chartered Director Program to be an excellent forum to understand how strong governance complements effective management. The ability to create and execute an effective strategy is significantly enhanced by a robust process inclusive of board engagement where the right questions are asked and expected outcomes are identified. I truly enjoyed the setting which fostered a strong level of interaction that was supported by quality presentations and material. As CEO of a Shared Service Organization set to deliver benefits to its members, I see the advantage of having a number of our board members participating in this program.”

Tony Di Emanuele, MBA, C.Dir., President and CEO, Mohawk Shared Services

“A strong board needs a combination of industry knowledge and sound judgement. You need people able to challenge one another, but in a productive environment. The Directors College provides skills, perspectives and tactics to drive value as an effective and successful board member. As a graduate of the Chartered Director Program, I found The Directors College an excellent survey of the critical issues and developing trends of today’s corporate environment. I highly recommend The Directors College.”

The Honourable John Manley, P.C., O.C., C.Dir., President & Chief Executive, Canadian Council of Chief Executives and former Deputy Prime Minister of Canada

“The changes that impact corporate governance are establishing a pattern of increased accountability for the delivery of long-term value to customers, shareholders, employees and society. Proper corporate governance is now being defined to include knowledge of critical elements such as risk management and the measurement of strategic performance. At the end of the day, each board will be judged on its ability to effectively deliver value, rather than on its structure. The Directors College innovative program fills a unique and important gap in providing knowledge and insight as to how this expectation can be met. CMA Canada is pleased to be a sponsor of this timely initiative.”

Steve Vieweg, C.Dir., CPFA (Hon), FCPA FCMA, CEO, CPA Western School of Business

“As an organization focused on educating corporate secretaries, the CSCS believes in furthering the potential of board members to better contribute to building effective governance structures. Given the key role of directors and corporate secretaries in applying proper boardroom practices, corporations need to ensure that these individuals meet a professional standard. The Directors College curriculum covers all the formal regulatory issues for directors and also addresses the informal skills of building effective and appropriate relationships with senior management. We see significant benefits to this program and CSCS is pleased to endorse it.”

Lynn Beauregard, President, Canadian Society of Corporate Secretaries

The Directors College has developed a director education program which goes well beyond the fundamentals to address the structures and the behavioural components of principle-based governance. I am proud to be associated with the Directors College and I am honoured to lend my name to the College’s graduate award.

Gilbert Bennett, Director and Former Chairman of the Board, Canadian Tire Corporation Limited