National Directors Institute (NDI)

For more than a decade, Foley’s National Directors Institute (NDI) has been the forum of choice for business leaders looking to explore best practices and the latest trends impacting the corporate finance and governance landscape.

NDI’s year-long series of Web conferences and interactive programs brings enhanced convenience and accessibility to global and national industry leaders looking to share their corporate governance experiences, while our timely newsletters help keep you on target as you navigate the legal risks arising from increasing and evolving governmental regulation and reform across all industries.

Please take a moment to learn more about the components of this year’s NDI, and join other public and private company directors and executives as we examine how you can hone your corporate governance and business strategies to make the most of changing market and regulatory conditions.

Foley's NDI Checkpoint Web Conferences bring together national and global business leaders in a peer-to-peer, interactive forum to explore a variety of topics impacting public and private company executives and directors.

Past web conferences:

December 2017: Proxy Season Preview

June 21, 2017: Current Landscape of Reporting Non-GAAP Measures

For executives and directors, the years since Sarbanes-Oxley have only brought additional scrutiny and external pressures: national and global economic turmoil, Dodd-Frank, ISS and Lewis-Glass, institutional shareholders, activist groups, hedge funds, and the promise of more burdensome regulations. While it’s tempting to focus on the proverbial light at the end of the tunnel, the reality is that companies must accept this high-pressure environment as the “new normal” in order to ensure that executives and directors are prepared to react quickly to intensified demands while maintaining a carefully strategic view of the company’s long-term success.

This year’s NDI Executive Exchange will be held on November 15, 2019. During this national forum, prominent corporate governance leaders engaged in candid, interactive peer group discussions about the future of governance. Our Executive Exchange directly connected C-level executives and board directors in an interactive, roundtable setting. They shared the issues that matter most to their business and exchanged real-world governance strategies for adapting to the new normal.

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Foley recognized two outstanding boards of directors during the NDI Executive Exchange Dinner held on October 24, 2018. The winners were Public Company BOY – International Seaways, Inc. and Private Company BOY – Aurora Health Care and Advocate Health Care.

Foley would like to thank our 2019 NDI sponsors. The support we receive from them is crucial to the development and continued success of NDI. 

Linklaters is a leading global law firm, supporting clients in achieving their strategies wherever they do business. We use our experience and resources to help clients pursue opportunities and manage risk across emerging and developed markets around the world. 

We build lasting relationships to support clients as they adjust to changes in their markets and the regulatory landscape. Discipline, teamwork and agility enable us to help clients navigate important business challenges successfully.

Our focus is on consistently delivering integrated, global solutions, built on our strong local capability. We take a team-driven, collaborative approach to all that we do for our clients.

Private Directors Association

The Private Directors Association exists to create value through board formation, support excellent practices in board governance and provide a network to connect individuals with private companies.

We bring the right people together to provide education, tips for success and opportunities to network with some of the most talented people in today's business world. Whether you are looking to join a board or need quality board members to start one for your business, we can put you in touch with the right people!


Alpha IR Group is a holistic investor relations consulting firm that provides strategic counsel and informs the decision-making of America’s leading public companies. Alpha IR offers a variety of investor relations services, including full-service retainer programs, investor day preparation, general earnings and messaging support, targeting analyses, activist preparedness programs, perception studies and ad-hoc capital markets research. The firm’s senior leadership team has over 100 years of combined experience in capital markets and financial communications, with offices in Chicago, New York and Boston. Today, Alpha’s growing, 17-person staff supports a client base that spans seven industry verticals and represents nearly $100 billion of equity value trading on public exchanges in North America. Our partnership programs, research capabilities and project services are designed to protect and enhance our clients’ reputations, credibility, and ultimately, their valuation.

Grant Thornton is one of the world’s leading organizations of independent audit, tax and advisory firms. Our advisory practice creates holistic solutions delivered by innovative, curious professionals who bring technical depth and industry insight to our clients. We are progressive thinkers who create, protect, and transform value today, so our clients have the opportunity to thrive tomorrow. With more than 40,000 Grant Thornton people in more than 130 countries, we are focused on making a difference to our clients, colleagues, and the communities in which we live and work. 

"Grant Thornton" refers to Grant Thornton LLP, the U.S. member firm of Grant Thornton International Ltd (GTIL), and/or refers to the brand under which the independent network of GTIL member firms provide services to their clients, as the context requires. GTIL and each of its member firms are not a worldwide partnership are not liable for one another's acts or omissions. In the United States, visit for details. 

JLL (NYSE: JLL) is a professional services and investment management firm offering specialized real estate services to clients seeking increased value by owning, occupying and investing in real estate. A Fortune 500 company with annual fee revenue of $5.2 billion and gross revenue of $6.0 billion, JLL has more than 280 corporate offices, operates in more than 80 countries and has a global workforce of more than 60,000. On behalf of its clients, the firm provides management and real estate outsourcing services for a property portfolio of 4.0 billion square feet, or 372 million square meters, and completed $138 billion in sales, acquisitions and finance transactions in 2015. Its investment management business, LaSalle Investment Management, has $58.3 billion of real estate assets under management. JLL is the brand name, and a registered trademark, of Jones Lang LaSalle Incorporated. For further information, visit

Aon plc (NYSE:AON) is a leading global provider of risk management, insurance brokerage and reinsurance brokerage, and human resources solutions and outsourcing services. Through its more than 72,000 colleagues worldwide, Aon unites to empower results for clients in over 120 countries via innovative risk and people solutions. For further information on our capabilities and to learn how we empower results for clients, please visit:  

DIVERSITY in BOARDROOMS is a board consulting firm that assists Corporate and Advisory Boards to better represent American strengths through their board composition. Cindy Burrell is the Founder and President. We believe that when corporate boards include diverse perspectives, better decisions and solutions evolve. We create boards to foster a corporate governance ethic where Directors recommend goals and objectives that are aligned to benefit all stakeholders: employees, investors, and the community. We promote the addition of both women and minorities who offer the qualifications and expertise needed. Visit for more information. 

Women in the Boardroom is an organization committed to translating the intellect, skills and expertise of their members into inaugural or additional powerful corporate director roles. Click here for more information.


Founded in 1919, Baird is an international financial services firm with $208 billion in client assets. We provide Private Wealth Management, Asset Management, Investment Banking, Capital Markets and Private Equity services to clients through our offices in the United States, Europe and Asia. As employee-owners, we manage for the long term, continuously building capabilities to best serve clients. And we conservatively manage our balance sheet and capital position to maintain financial flexibility in all types of market conditions. On April 1, 2019, Hilliard Lyons and Hilliard Lyons Trust Company became wholly owned subsidiaries of Baird, enhancing client services and adding more than $50 billion to Baird’s client assets.  

2016 – NDI Executive Exchange

More than 200 directors and officers from more than 150 public and private entities attended Foley’s 2016 NDI Executive Exchange in Chicago on November 10th. Pat McGurn of ISS was the keynote speaker at lunch and presented on Key Governance Trends for 2016 and 2017. There were also 23 interactive breakout sessions on key governance issues affecting today's boardrooms and the C-suite. 

During dinner on November 9th, we recognized the following companies with Board of the Year Awards:

  • Sysco Corporation – our Large Cap Public Company BOY
  • Quad Graphics – our Small Cap Public Company BOY
  • Paper Machinery Corporation – our Private Company BOY
  • Alliant Credit Union – our Non-Profit BOY

Visit the 2016 Executive Exchange event page for detailed information about the roundtables and to download presentation materials and key takeaways.

2015 – NDI Executive Exchange 

Foley 2015 NDI Executive Exchange was held in Chicago on November 4. More than 250 directors and officers from more than 130 public and private companies attended the interactive roundtable discussion. Pat McGurn of ISS provided the group with Key Governance Trends for 2015 and 2016, and there were 17 breakout sessions on key governance issues affecting today's boardrooms and the C-suite. 

The 2015 NDI Executive Exchange also hosted the third annual Director of the Year Awards on November 3, 2015, naming Alvin “Pete” Carpenter of Regency Centers Corporation, the 2015 Public Company Director of the Year and Patricia Diaz Dennis, of Massachusetts Mutual Life Insurance Company, the 2015 Private Company Director of the Year. 

Visit the 2015 Executive Exchange event page for detailed information about the roundtables and to download presentation materials and key takeaways.

2014 – Executive Exchange – Accountability and Transparency – Are Your Corporate Governance Practices Putting You at Risk? 
Foley's most recent NDI Executive Exchange was held in Chicago on November 6, 2015. The in-person, invitation-only program connected public and private company C-level executives and board directors of in a roundtable setting to discuss various corporate governance and boardroom topics. Patrick McGurn, Executive Director at Institutional Shareholder Services (ISS), was the featured speaker on Key Governance Trends in 2014 and 2015.

The 2014 NDI Executive Exchange also hosted the second Director of the Year Awards on November 5, 2014, naming Kenneth Jastrow, lead director of MGIC Corporation, as the Public Company Director of the Year and Walter Winding, owner and president of Winding & Company, as the Private Company Director of the Year.

Visit the 2014 Executive Exchange event page for detailed information about the roundtables and to download presentation materials and key takeaways.

2013 – Executive Exchange – The New Normal: An Interactive Exchange About the Future of Governance
At Foley's most recent NDI Executive Exchange, prominent corporate governance leaders continued the in-depth, interactive peer group discussion that began with our first Executive Exchange in 2011.

Held in Chicago on November 13, 2013, the in-person, invitation-only program connected C-level executives and board directors of public companies in a roundtable setting to discuss such topics as Executive Compensation Hot Topics, Board Composition Challenges and Solutions and International and Emerging Market Issues in the Boardroom. Nell Minow, co-owner and director of GMI Ratings, Inc., was the featured speaker on Key Governance Trends for 2013.

The 2013 NDI Executive Exchange also hosted the first Director of the Year Awards, naming Richard Donnelly of Oshkosh Corporation as the Public Company Director of the Year and Marie Meisenback Graul as the Private Company Directory of the Year.
Visit the 2013 Executive Exchange event page for detailed information about the roundtables and to download presentation materials and key takeaways.