Hal Shear is Managing Director of Board Assets, Inc., an advisory firm that provides governance services to directors and boards throughout the U.S., Europe, the Middle East and Latin America. He has served on more than 20 boards and currently is chairman of two privately held companies for which he provides strategic and operational advice as well as governance expertise. He is also a director of four nonprofit boards, including the Florida and New Jersey chapters of the National Association of Corporate Directors (NACD). An expert witness on governance matters, he has opined on more than ten cases to date.
Mr. Shear regularly advises governmental authorities, CEOs and boards of directors of NYSE, NASDAQ, private, family and nonprofit corporations on corporate governance matters, including strategy, director recruitment and selection, board composition, boardroom dynamics, and board, committee and director evaluation. From 1999 to 2005, Mr. Shear was an advisor to the NACD and as a member of its national faculty taught courses throughout the U.S. and internationally. In addition to having served as a professor of management and corporate governance at the Hult International Business School in Cambridge, MA, he was a senior faculty member for in-boardroom programs for NYSE and NASDAQ companies in such diverse industries as energy, insurance, finance and technology.
Former Chairman and CEO of the NACD New England Chapter, former CEO of the Chicago Chapter and former Chairman of a similar group in Silicon Valley, CA, Mr. Shear directed the formation of 12 new NACD chapters throughout the U.S. from 2002 to 2005. NACD Blue Ribbon Commissions (BRCs) of which he was a member include those that published reports on The Role of the Board in Corporate Strategy and on Board Evaluation: Improving Director Effectiveness as well as the BRC on Board Leadership.
The author of articles on corporate governance and a frequent speaker at conferences, Mr. Shear presents seminars on topics related to strategy, family businesses, entrepreneurial companies, investor relations, internal audit, conflict, ethics, and directors’ roles and responsibilities. Among the conferences and programs on which he has served as an expert panelist/presenter are: an Early-Stage Governance conference sponsored by the University of Texas Law and Business Schools; a Governance Compliance program for the Practicing Law Institute (PLI); conferences on the CFO and the Board sponsored by Financial Executives, Inc. (FEI); a presentation on venture capitalists as early-stage company directors for the Florida NACD chapter; and an international governance program at NACD's national conference.
A member of the Boston Bar Association's nationally recognized Task Force on Corporate Governance, Mr. Shear chaired its Committee on Director Education and Training. He was a regular guest lecturer for the Babson College MBA Entrepreneurial Program and is a Fellow of Kennesaw University’s Corporate Governance Center. For the past two years he has lectured at the Harvard Business School on early-stage company matters.
Mr. Shear is a founding director of Bioethics-in-Action, Inc., a nonpartisan organization that encourages a national dialogue on ethics in biotechnology.
Ralph Hasson is a nationally recognized expert in systems for ethics oversight and litigation cost control, having assisted a number of major U.S. corporations in designing systems for uncovering misconduct and managing conflict. His articles on ethics oversight and corporate governance have appeared in Harvard Business Review, Sloan Management Review and Directors Monthly, and he is co-author of Controlling the Costs of Conflict: How to Design a System for Your Organization (San Francisco: Jossey-Bass, 1998).
Mr. Hasson has taken a leading role in corporate governance legislative and educational projects. In 2005 and 2007 he initiated efforts in the Texas State Legislature to pass the first state shield law for ombudsmen, and on behalf of the steering committee he organized 21st Century Governance for Early Stage Companies conferences in 2005, 2006 and 2007 .
A graduate of the University of Texas (B.A., J.D.) and Harvard University’s John F. Kennedy School of Government (MPA), Hasson has wide-ranging experience in resolving impasses within senior management and between governing boards and management. From 1992-2001 he served as a Lecturer in the McCombs School of Business of the University of Texas at Austin, teaching negotiation. He is a Fellow of the IC2 Institute and of the Center for Public Policy Dispute Resolution of the University of Texas at Austin, where he was inaugural Fellow-in-Residence in 2005.
From 1990-2001, Mr. Hasson served as Vice President of Chorda Conflict Management, Inc. where he specialized in the design, implementation and evaluation of comprehensive conflict management systems, primarily for Fortune 500 and other large, U.S.-based corporations. Several of the systems Chorda designed have become national models. In his current role as Special Assistant to the Vice Chancellor for Administration for the University of Texas System, he is responsible for long-term strategic initiatives.
Paul D. Lapides
An independent advisor to Board Assets, Paul Lapides is director of the Corporate Governance Center in the Coles College of Business at Kennesaw State University, where he is a professor of management and entrepreneurship. A member of Corporate Board Member’s Academic Council and a research fellow at the University of Tennessee’s Corporate Governance Center, Mr. Lapides has been recognized as one of the leading academic authorities on corporate governance. His research and teaching interests include corporate governance, entrepreneurial finance, management, real estate, and venture creation.
The author of more than 100 articles and twelve books, Mr. Lapides is frequently invited to speak to business, professional and academic organizations, and his opinions have appeared in more than 500 publications and on national and local television and radio, including The Wall Street Journal, Business Week, Forbes, CNBC’s Morning Call, Bloomberg television, radio and wire service, The Associated Press, London's Financial Times, The Washington Post, Director's Monthly, Corporate Board Member, and Directors & Boards. He was also a member of the National Association of Corporate Director’s Blue Ribbon Commission on Audit Committees that published The Report of the Blue Ribbon Commission on Audit Committees (1999, 2004).
Mr. Lapides is a member of the board of directors of Sun Communities, Inc. (NYSE: SUI), Internet Commerce Corporation (NASDAQ: ICCA), and the Board of Directors Network, Inc. (BDN). He also serves on the advisory boards of the National Association of Corporate Directors (NACD) and the Newman Real Estate Institute at Baruch College. His business and consulting experience includes advising hundreds of start-up, growth and mid-market companies, as well as many of America’s Fortune 500 companies.
A CPA, Mr. Lapides earned a BS with honors in economics from The Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania and an MBA from New York University. Prior to joining the faculty at Kennesaw State University he held faculty positions at New York University and Columbia University.
Mario O. Mariasch
Mario O. Mariasch, an independent advisor to Board Assets, is President of Full Spectrum Ventures, an investment and consulting firm. Currently on the board of directors of a privately held travel software company, he has served as a board advisor for several start-ups and is a frequent speaker at corporate governance forums.
The Founder and President of the Silicon Valley Chapter of the National Association of Corporate Directors (NACD), Mr. Mariasch has worked with NACD and the World Banks International Finance Corporation to establish corporate governance institutes in Latin America. He has also been involved in their Board Education Project, advising on practical solutions in governance.
Early in his career, Mr. Mariasch worked for Unilever in Argentina. He then joined The Gillette Co. and, after working throughout the Americas and the USA, became the General Manager, President and Chairman of the Board of Gillette Espanola S.A. (Spain) and was a member of the Gillette European Management Committee. Following that he worked for Oral-B Laboratories in California as Area Vice President, Group Vice President and Senior Vice President for New Business Development, managing $225 million in annual revenue and approximately 400 employees. He built and managed the company's businesses in Latin America; managed and turned around the Canadian operation; and restructured factories, negotiated acquisitions, and managed its businesses in Africa, the Middle East, India, Russia and Eastern Europe.
Mario graduated with degrees in Accounting and Business from Buenos Aires University, Argentina, where he has since taught Business Administration, and received his MBA with distinction from Babson College.
James G. Tompkins
James Tompkins, an independent advisor to Board Assets, is a founding member of Kennesaw State University’s Corporate Governance Center, where he has served as Director of Board Advisory Services since 1999, working with boards and senior management in a variety of in-depth corporate governance consulting engagements.
His experience with boards and top management includes working with transitioning board structures through periods of high growth, facilitating and developing optimal governance policies and practices, designing and teaching corporate governance educational seminars, providing expert-witness services, designing and conducting board and committee evaluations, and advising on corporate governance issues unique to the client. James has governance-consulting experience with both publicly traded companies and quasi-governmental organizations, working with both small and large companies in a variety of industries.
A professor of finance teaching in the areas of Corporate and International Finance, James was the Michael J. Coles College of Business recipient of the "Outstanding Scholar” award for the 1999/2000 academic year, the “Outstanding Service” award for the 2000/2001 academic year, and the winner of Kennesaw State University’s “Distinguished Graduate Teaching” award for the 2004/2005 academic year. In 2007 he received a Senior Specialist Fulbright Scholarchip in Greece, where he conducted research and lectured on corporate governance.
Dr. Tompkins has published in books in the areas of corporate governance and ethics and has written for Director’s Monthly. He is an active academic researcher in corporate governance and corporate finance and has authored governance cases for educational purposes.
James received his Bachelor of Science with honors from the United States Merchant Marine Academy, and in 1986 earned his MBA from the Wharton School of Business with a major in finance. He then worked for FMC, a multinational conglomerate, and advised its board of directors and management on major capital budgeting decisions. He joined Kennesaw State University in 1994 following completion of his Ph.D. in finance at Ohio State University.
Bonnie L. Bailey
Bonnie L. Bailey, a senior associate with Board Assets, is a communications consultant with more than 20 years of experience writing, editing, researching and advising businesses and individuals in the art and science of clear, effective communication. She is respected among corporate governance experts for her ability to perceive patterns and connections that others miss and to strategically synthesize their meanings. In addition to providing litigation services to several expert witnesses, she has edited more than 100 articles and 12 books on corporate governance, real estate, investment, management, and leadership.
After earning a master’s degree in language from Auburn University, Ms. Bailey taught at the University of North Carolina-Wilmington before co-founding and operating a Century 21 real estate company in Greenville, South Carolina. Prior to launching her own consulting business, she was Vice President of Public Relations and Communications for a national franchisor of property management companies. Ms. Bailey has conducted surveys and facilitated numerous focus groups to assist nonprofit organizations in building capacity and improving efficiencies, and she is sought after as a consultant for her incisive communication-planning leadership. An Advisory Board member for Kennesaw State University’s Corporate Governance Center, she is also a frequent member of the business-plan review panel for KSU’s Entrepreneurship program and serves on the board of the Georgia Career Development Association.