WomenCorporateDirectors Foundation presented its 2018 Visionary Awards on May 9 in New York City. The awards dinner, hosted by “Inside Edition” anchor Deborah Norville, was part of WCD’s Global Institute, which took place from May 8-10.

The awards, which honor corporations and individuals that are increasing diversity in the boardroom, were presented to NextEra Energy U.S. chairman and CEO Jim Robo; Dot Foods executive chairman John Tracy; Canadian National Railway directors Ede Holliday and Laura Stein; WCD co-founder and chair emeritus Susan Stautberg; and minister counselor for commercial affairs—ASEAN Maggie Hanson-Muse.

The selection committee for the awards, which was co-chaired by Homeownership Preservation Foundation director Jill Kanin-Lovers and Alpha Wealth Advisors founder and managing principal Joan Steel, included former Playboy Enterprises CEO Christie Hefner and Templeton & Company partner and managing director, Pat McKay.

Deborah Norville
Deborah Norville emceed the Visionary Awards Dinner.

KPMG, one of the Global Institute’s hosts sponsors, collaborated with the WCD Foundation on its current report, Decision-Making in the Visionary Boardroom. “The speed of change is accelerating rapidly,” WCD CEO Susan Keating wrote in the report, which she said, “provides strategies for boards to really sharpen their decision-making skills.”

“If we were going to make a difference, it would have to be at the board first, and the board was where we started,” Tracy told the crowd. “We tried to take that all the way through the organization… as proud as I am, it is not enough.”

"Although there is an increasing female economic success such as shrinking income gaps between men and women, Female Talent, power and opportunity are still underutilized,” Stautberg said in her remarks. “We need more women directors who are both constructive and help others to succeed. "

WCD has nearly 2400 members, serving over 8500 corporate boards with 80 chapters across six continents. Members include CEOs, board chairmen, lead directors, C-Suite executives, board members, and heads of global divisions in the major indices, such as S&P 500, FTSE 250, DAX and Nikkei.