Impacts from #MeToo have reached across industries and into all levels of corporate governance. What are the board’s roles and responsibilities in the face of a MeToo revelation? From corporate culture, to reputational risk, to investigating allegations, the best boards use their oversight role to minimize the chance of a MeToo moment, handle one if it happens and leverage awareness to make their companies stronger.
Attendees joined us for a candid discussion of the issues and consequences as Vanessa Griffith provides her legal perspective and Colleen Birdnow Brown shares her experience from the trenches during her time as Chairman of American Apparel.
Vanessa Griffith represents and advises employers in all aspects of employment law, including internal client investigations. Her work often focuses on sensitive, high-level employment disputes involving senior executives or board members. Vanessa draws upon her deep experience to devise solutions that balance the needs of various constituents with the interests of her clients.
Vanessa also assists clients in drafting executive employment and severance agreements, non-competition agreements, and company-wide arbitration programs. She has advised companies in an array of industries, including insurance, finance, construction, oil and gas, health, and retail. She handles pro bono employment matters as well and has worked with numerous nonprofit organizations and charities.
Vanessa has a background in litigation, having acted as first-chair on trials and appeals involving a wide variety of claims including discrimination, harassment and retaliation claims, collective actions under the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA), unfair competition and trade secret litigation, and various ERISA matters.
Vanessa’s experience as a clerk with the Southern District of Texas shaped the way she approaches counseling clients about employment litigation. During her clerkship, she interviewed juries after each trial, providing her valuable insights into how juries decide cases.
Vanessa has been recognized in multiple publications, including Chambers USA, where reviewers praised her "a problem solver" who "helps [clients] get to a result that makes all parties happy" (2019).
Director, TrueBlue Inc., Big 5 Sporting Goods Corporation, Spark Networks Inc.
Colleen Brown has an outstanding track record as a media and technology CEO and extensive experience as a corporate director.
She was recognized by NACD as a Top 100 Director in the US in 2017 and as NACD Director of the Year (PNW). Corporate Director Magazine’s lists her as a Top 10 Corporate Director you should know. Seattle Business Journal named her “Outstanding CEO” in 2014.
Board service includes: True Blue, Inc (TBI), chair of the innovation and technology committee and member of the Nominating & Governance and Compensation Committees. Spark Networks (LOV), chair of the Audit Committee and member of the Presiding Committee. Most recently Brown joined the board of Big5 Sporting Goods (BGFV). Brown served as chairperson of American Apparel (APP) after a restructuring of the board. She previously served on the boards of DataSphere Technologies, BECU (Boeing Employee Credit Union), CareerBuilder.com, ClassifiedVentures.com (Cars.com) and the Young Americans Bank.
During her tenure as director, president and CEO of Fisher Communications (FSCI), Brown was selected as the 2014 GAMCO Management Hall of Fame winner for delivering outstanding shareholder value. Brown has served in the C-Suite of Belo Corp (BCI), president of broadcasting at Lee Enterprises (LEE), and as a president at Gannett (GCI). She began her career in finance and digital technology.
Brown founded Marca Global in 2015, an Inc. 5000 fastest growing technology company. She is an Aspen Institute Henry Crown Fellow.