Advocate, Inspire & Connect – Women & Boards

OnBoard NOW is a regular communication distributed by the OnBoard team keeping you up to date on what’s going on throughout the organization and the industry. If you don’t already, sign up today to receive our email newsletters.


OnBoard supports Racial Equity and All Black Lives

As president of OnBoard, a nonprofit whose mission is to increase the number of women in executive leadership and on corporate boards, I want to explicitly state on behalf of our board that we support racial equity and all Black lives.  With this in mind, I want to share some concrete examples of what we are doing to:

  • offer meaningful programs for our board members, membership and sponsors, designed to facilitate conversations and increase the visibility of Black women executives;
  • mitigate hurdles that would prevent Black women from participating in our organization; and
  • increase the number of Black men and women serving on our board.

One way we deliver on our mission is through our annual study that measures the status of women on Georgia corporate boards.  Please visit to view the most current study.  Last year as we reflected on the results, we recognized the need to be more intentional about increasing the number of women of color on corporate boards, a statistic we have tracked since 2001.  Facilitating, advocating on behalf of, and taking action, for more women of color to fill corporate board seats has positive implications beyond the one female executive selected.  She becomes a role model, and she brings her unique experience to the company, which in turn will have a positive impact on the customers the company serves and the communities in which we live.

Our board is prepared to accelerate the advancement of Black women on for-profit boards. The following are a few steps we are taking:

  • Next OnBoard provides motivated early- and mid-career professionals with opportunities to connect with senior executive women and men interested in OnBoard’s mission, learn about board governance, and expand their professional networks.  Through sponsorship, we will offer ten young Black women membership to Next OnBoard.
  • The OnBoard Development Group gets women closer to their goal of serving on a for-profit board.  A usual class has ten women; we will secure scholarships for two Black women to prepare them for consideration on future board roles.
  • We will continue to deliver relevant programming such as the Women of Color on Corporate Boards: How Do We Move the Needle? – a fireside chat with Mayor Shirley Franklin and Maria Saporta, rescheduled due to COVID-19. We have a lot of listening to do, and as a board will consider new programs and ways of working with our corporate partners.

While saddened by how we arrived at this point, we are optimistic about what is ahead and what we will achieve together.  We welcome you to join us.

Lisa Robinson

Lisa Robinson Named as OnBoard President

Lisa Robinson

The OnBoard board is delighted to announce the election of Lisa Robinson to the position of President and board member of OnBoard Inc, effective June 1st. Lisa brings an ideal set of experiences to OnBoard to continue to advance our mission and grow to the next level in this time of corporate change. The president of OnBoard replaces the executive director but in a redefined role designed to further the mission of increasing the number of women in executive leadership and on corporate boards. As president, Lisa will focus on relationships with the Atlanta community, steward the OnBoard mission, and oversee the operations.

Lisa has held nonprofit leadership positions for many years, including Vice President of Philanthropy for The Woodruff Arts Center and Vice President of Advancement for Visiting Nurse Health System. She is currently a partner at Bell Oaks Executive Search and serves on the boards of St. Vincent de Paul Georgia and the Catholic Foundation of North Georgia. She is also a DeKalb County Court Appointed Special Advocate. Please join us in welcoming Lisa to the OnBoard family.

We are so fortunate to have had Rona Wells leading us as our executive director for the past 16 years. Rona has brought OnBoard into its third decade with excellent programming, a strong community presence, and the platform of our Annual Study. Our progress and advancement of the mission that OnBoard was founded on is a tribute to Rona. We have been the beneficiaries of the commitment, intelligence, and enthusiasm that Rona has brought to OnBoard for these many years. She is retiring from the executive director role but will remain on our Board of Directors. Please see the press release.

OnBoard Announces the 2020 Executive Leadership Honor Roll

The OnBoard Executive Leadership Honor Roll recognizes women who are in executive leadership positions. It is awarded annually to 3 Georgia based women leaders to highlight OnBoard’s mission to increase the number of women in executive leadership. An honor roll honoree is a Georgia based woman in a significant leadership role within her organization. She is a role model of career achievement and is building the credentials that place her in the pipeline, either now or in the future, for corporate board membership. Press Release. The 2020 honorees are:

Kali Wilson Beyah
Managing Director – Global Talent Management
Delta Air Lines, Inc.
Full Bio

Jill Campbell
Executive Vice President, Chief People & Operations Officer
Cox Enterprises
Full Bio

Dr. Maureen Schumacher
Marketing Executive
Global Payments, Inc.
Full Bio

Michelle Jarrard Named 2019 Lettie Pate Whitehead Evans Recipient

Michelle Jarrard, board member of Georgia based Crawford & Company (NYSE: CRDA) was honored as the 17th Lettie Pate Whitehead Evans Award recipient at OnBoard’s Annual Awards Dinner on Nov. 13, 2019. Crawford & Company is the world’s largest publicly listed independent provider of claims management solutions to insurance companies and self-insured entities with an expansive global network serving clients in more than 70 countries. Ms. Jarrard is also a Board Director and Compensation Committee member of Lazard, the global investment bank and asset management firm, and of Axion Biosystems and was a board member of QUEST Renewables until earlier this year. The OnBoard Lettie Pate Whitehead Evans award is given annually and is sponsored by KPMG. Michelle’s bio and press release.

New Women on Boards

Saia, Inc. (NASDAQ: SAIA) a leading transportation provider offering less-than-truckload, non-asset truckload, and logistics services, announced the appointment of Susan Ward and Donna E. Epps to the board. Ms. Epps is a retired Deloitte LLP partner, Ms. Ward, is retired United Parcel Service, Inc. Vice President and Chief Accounting Officer. Ms. Ward is a member of OnBoard and a graduate of the OnBoard Development Program.  

Jabil Inc. (NYSE: JBL) announced Kathleen A. Walters has been appointed to the board of directors. Ms. Walters was an executive at Georgia-Pacific Corp (GP) from 2004 until her retirement in June 2019, serving her last 12 years as the executive vice president and group president, leading the consumer products group. Ms. Walters is a longtime member of the OnBoard Advocates List.

No ALL-Male Boards in Georgia’s TOP 50 Companies by Revenue.

Cheri Husney, president of OnBoard presented the results of the 2019 study at OnBoard’s annual dinner November 13, 2019 announcing that there were no all-male boards in the Top 50 Georgia public companies by revenue. In addition to this milestone, she announced that the 2019 OnBoard study continues building momentum from last year with again all new highs in the major statistics. For example, the number of women held board seats in Georgia public companies is now 17.4%. Cheri also noted that the fill rate, the percentage of open seats filled in the last year rose to a record 35%. This leading indicator bodes well for the continued progress of increasing the number of women on board. More details can be found in the Study Brochure and in the Atlanta Business Chronicle article authored by Maria Saporta in the Nov 8th edition.

New Women on Boards

Synovus Financial Corp. (NYSE: SNV) has announced the election of Teresa White, president of Aflac U.S., to its Board of Directors. White has served as president of Aflac U.S., the operating U.S. insurance businesses for Aflac Incorporated.

The 2019-2020 Advocates List Campaign Is Underway

As we celebrate our 27th year, we invite you to join a select group of women and men executives, managing partners and corporate directors who have accepted the invitation to be an OnBoard Advocate. Advocates support our mission to increase the number of women in executive leadership and on corporate boards. This year with new benefits including membership. Want to know more? See the Advocates Brochure or the official invitation or to Join now. Current Advocates are invited to a special Advocates Only reception in early August. Invitations have been sent to your email address. New Advocates, who join by August 2nd will also be invited to attend. Your invitation will be sent to you. RSVP’s are required. Also, please see the profiles of three of our current advocates and why they support OnBoard.

Scholarship Opportunity for the New Brenau University Executive Women’s MBA Program

OnBoard has partnered with Brenau University in offering a $10,000 scholarship towards the University’s Inaugural Executive Women’s MBA (EWMBA) program! OnBoard members, Advocates and friends are invited to apply. It is a great opportunity for any woman who would like to position herself for continued professional growth through earning a top-ranked Executive Women’s MBA. Brenau welcomes applications from female candidates with a minimum of five years management experience who are looking to advance to the C-suite. More information on the programMore information on the scholarshipApplication for the scholarship. Deadline for the scholarship is August 30, 2019.

Women on Boards

Carol-Tome_Bio_952x1328Sovos Brands, a food and beverage company, announced the appointment of Carol Tomé to its board of directors, where she will also chair the company’s audit committee. Carol is currently chief financial officer of Home Depot (NYSE: HD). Her retirement later this year was just announced.

Cheryl Bachelder has joined the board of Chick-fil-A.