S.E.E. Us Lead


This series brings female leaders together to discuss the multi-faceted issues currently facing women in the workforce. We seek to Support, Empower, and Effect change for women at all career levels, whether they are just starting out or are well on their way to a top position in their field.

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The Unwritten Rules:
Women Joining
Boards of Directors

April 8th, 2021
We discuss the unwritten rules of joining a Board of Directors with several influential female business leaders. An actionable take-away plan in PDF format will be available to download for anyone who watches the webinar.

Featured Panelists

Julie Castro Abrams

CEO & Founder – How Women Lead,
Co-Founder – BoardLeaders,
General Partner – How Women Invest
Julie Castro Abrams is an expert in board governance and recruitment of diverse candidates. She is a Co-Founder of BoardLeaders.com where she actively places leaders on corporate boards and supports them to build inclusive and high-performance boards. She is Chair and CEO of How Women Lead, a network of over 13,000 women dedicated to promoting diverse women’s voices and propelling women’s leadership forward. Julie is the Managing Partner for the 2020 Women on Boards Bay Area effort, helping to spearhead the national effort to increase the percentage of women on U.S. company boards. She is an advisor to the State of California and the First Partner office on the rollout of the California legislation. An experienced CEO, she is a trusted advisor to dozens of executives across a multitude of sectors, partnering with and launching them towards greater impact. Through her consulting practice, Julie creates high-performance boards, high-impact brands, and high production, multicultural teams. Julie is also the founder and General Partner of How Women Invest, an early-stage venture firm focused on high-growth, tech-enabled women-founded enterprises. The firm is a culmination of her lifetime of work propelling women founders to launch and find success with training, capital, and networks. She is bringing her extensive networks, leadership, and entrepreneurship experience to disruption of the venture landscape. An active investor and advisor to start-ups, Julie also sits on the advisory boards of the fin-tech start-up LENDonate, The New Search Collaborative.

Chelsea Grayson

Former CEO and Board Member of
American Apparel & True Religion and
Board Member of Spark Networks and
Vireo Health
Chelsea A. Grayson was the first-ever female CEO of True Religion and also sat on the True Religion board of directors (where she chaired the Audit Committee). Previously, she was the CEO and a board member of American Apparel. Currently, Ms. Grayson sits on the board of directors of Spark Networks (NYSE: LOV), where she is a member of the Audit Committee, and Vireo Health (CSE: VREO), where she chairs the Nominating & Governance Committee and is a member of the Audit Committee. She also sits on the board of directors of Loudpack, where she chairs the Audit Committee, and serves as an Executive in Residence at Wunderkind (formerly BounceX). Ms. Grayson is a former member of the board of directors of Sugarfina, Inc., where she was a member of the Steering Committee, and the board of directors of Delta Dental, where she was a member of the Nominating & Corporate Governance Committee. Ms. Grayson is also a Board Leadership Fellow and a Corporate Governance Fellow with the National Association of Corporate Directors (NACD) and a member of the Board of Advisors for the Department of English at the University of California, Los Angeles. Prior to joining American Apparel, Ms. Grayson was a partner in the M&A/corporate governance practice group of Jones Day.

Lisbeth McNabb

Technology Executive and Independent
Board Director of Nexstar Media Group
and Neogames
Lisbeth McNabb is an experienced corporate board director with results in Technology, Digital, Consumer and B2B2C, Media, Education, and Retail industries. Leadership multiple times driving finance and revenue levers and strategies to doubling the size of businesses with large scale from plan to execution. Match, Linux Foundation Open Source, PepsiCo marketing and innovation, finance and operations, M&A, data analytics, and integrated marketing digital execution and revenue monetization successes. She is an expert at driving finance, strategy, operations, data analytics and revenue strategies at the high growth scaling inflection stage. Her professional background includes 25+ years in innovation in growth and Pre-IPO to IPO stage businesses at Match, Linux Foundation, Illuminate Education, founder DigiWorksCorp and w2wlink, PepsiCo Frito-Lay, American Airlines, AT&T and Sodexo. Lisbeth is a board of director, former audit chair of Nexstar Media Group (NASDAQ: NXST), a leading-sector media company with 200+ television stations and $5.1B market value, director of NeoGames (NASDAQ: NGMS), chair of audit, nominating and governance, compensation committees and former director of Tandy Brands, a retail apparel company. Experience serving on audit, compensation, nominating, cyber-security committees and lead independent director role. She is a former board member of academic, non-profit, board governance and start-up companies. Lisbeth is a member of NACD and former member of Women Corporate Directors. A speaker on innovation, emerging technology and business models, AI/Analytics and integrated digital marketing, and guest lecturer at universities. She received her B.S. at University of Nebraska and M.B.A. from Southern Methodist University Cox School of Business. Her honors include NACD Top 50 Director, Digital Director 50, Financial Times Agenda Magazine, Distinguished Alumnae by SMU Cox School of Business and Top 25 Women in Business, Top 25 Women in Technology, by Conde Nast’s Dallas Business Journal and expert press including: Wall St. Journal, Forbes, CMO and CIO.

Nicole Sandford

Global Board Services Leader
at Ellig Group and Board Member
of Aspira Women’s Health

Nicole Sandford is a seasoned professional and qualified audit committee financial expert with extensive experience advising complex organizations in their most challenging times. She currently serves on the board of Aspira Women’s Health (Nasdaq: AWH) where she is a member of the audit and nominating and corporate governance committees.

Over nearly three decades at Deloitte, Nicole was known for a strategic mindset and uncommon leadership. She was selected for roles with increasing responsibility, rising to lead the firm’s nearly $600 million regulatory and operational risk practice during a period of strategic transformation. She integrated more than 2,000 professionals in the U.S. and India and completed an acquisition of Huron Consulting’s life sciences practice to build a market-leading regulatory advisory practice.

Nicole’s client work at Deloitte focused on governance, crisis response and regulatory risk management and remediation across sectors. She has helped the boards of 80+ companies (including several of the largest global banks) to transform governance, risk and compliance programs. As a CPA and audit partner for several public companies, Nicole is experienced in M&A, securities offerings, LBOs and other complex transactions and SEC reporting matters. Nicole authored many of Deloitte’s most foundational corporate governance publications and led its response to the governance aspects of the Sarbanes-Oxley and Dodd Frank Acts. She was the architect of its Center for Board Effectiveness and its board diversity initiatives. Nicole has extensive relationships with directors, institutional investors, proxy advisory firms, and other governance thought leaders in the U.S. and globally. In 2020, Nicole joined the Ellig Group as its Executive Vice President and Global Board Services Leader. In this role, she advises boards and senior executives on matters related to governance, particularly those related to board composition, competency and diversity. Nicole is a frequent speaker on governance, risk and culture, and leading practices for boards and board committees. She has spoken at major universities around the country, including Stanford, Yale and Columbia, as well as professional organizations such as the ABA, the NACD, The Society for Corporate Governance, The International Corporate Governance Network, Compliance Week, and The Conference Board. Nicole has received numerous awards including Millstein Center’s “Rising Stars of Corporate Governance” and The International Alliance for Women’s “World of Vision” Award. She holds a Certificate in Cybersecurity Oversight from Carnegie Mellon University and the NACD. Nicole is the Chair of Girl Scouts of Connecticut, director of the Stamford Public Education Foundation and Emeritus Member of the Weinberg Center for Corporate Governance at the University of Delaware Advisory Board. Nicole is passionate about helping people with cancer as a volunteer driver for the American Cancer Society’s “Road to Recovery” program and as the patient advocate/representative on the Greenwich Hospital Breast Center Accreditation Leadership Committee. She lives in Connecticut with her husband and three children.

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