Advisory Board Experiences Surge in Growth, New Leadership
How important is the leadership of a corporate or nonprofit board?
For Peter Drucker, there was no question about it.
A strong board, he once wrote, is critical because it “not only helps think through the institution’s mission, it is the guardian of that mission and makes sure the organization lives up to its basic mission.”
This fall the Drucker School of Management welcomed nine new members to the Drucker Industry Advisory Board, which taps into the school’s rich network of alumni and non-alumni to provide professional guidance to the school and its students.
The board also welcomed the leadership of longtime member Allen Sugerman (EMBA ’86) as the board’s new chair.
“People really mattered to Peter. He said that no organization can ever expect to do better than the people it has,” explains Jenny Darroch, Henry Y. Hwang Dean of the Drucker School. “That’s true for us. Our board brings together some extraordinary individuals whose achievements are aligned perfectly with Peter’s philosophy.”
In an interview prior to the board’s inaugural fall meeting, Sugerman said Darroch’s view of the revitalized board is “spot-on.” He said he is thrilled to a lead a board whose members’ professional backgrounds span across industries, sectors, and, even more important, ages.
“You’ve got veterans and up-and-comers, and that’s very important to have,” he said. “You get the experiences of people who are seeing things from different perspectives because of their ages and experience levels, and that’s very valuable to any board. This kind of diversity is crucial in providing guidance to the school.”
For Jenny Darroch, Drucker’s Dean, the board “brings together some extraordinary individuals whose achievements are aligned perfectly with Peter’s philosophy.”
Sugerman sees the board as having a two-prong interaction — mentoring students about what’s going on in the outside world and providing Drucker faculty with feedback about the needs of the job market that they are experiencing in their professions.
“We’ll provide the faculty with as much input as we can about what we’re looking at when someone comes to us with an MBA and wants a job,” he said. For nearly three decades, Sugerman has served as a finance executive and consultant in the healthcare and insurance industries. “We’ll make sure they understand, from an employer’s perspective, what we consider the most relevant and important.”
The board has grown to 26 with the addition of the following nine new members, which includes six Drucker alumni:
Los Angeles County Fire Dept
West Client Experience Leader
Partners Federal Credit Union
President & CEO
So Cal Gas Company
Vice President, Gas Distribution
DSM Senior Fellow
Global Business Executive, CNN Contributor,
Columnist, and Keynote Speaker
Chief Technology Officer – Enterprise Clinical Systems
PhD, Executive Management & Business Strategy, ‘93
National Association of Corporate Directors
CEO – Pacific Southwest
Ontario International Airport Authority
Trauma Resource Institute
Founded on the principle that members serve as ambassadors for the Drucker brand in their respective fields, the board’s composition reflects a diverse representation—50% people of color, 38% female—and ranges across the spectrum of professions and industries.
That professional diversity—across 12 industries, including management consulting, supply chain, nonprofit leadership, technology, healthcare, banking, entrepreneurship and much more—reflects two principles that analysts agree are critical to any organization’s success: synergy and connectivity.
“Our board’s leadership provides an overall picture of the way that business is continually changing,” said Darroch. “We can’t thank our current and new members enough for giving their time to provide this kind of experience to us. It’s invaluable.”
For Sugerman, this is an exciting time for the board and the Drucker School.
“I still have much affection for Claremont after all this time,” he said, “and I’m honored to be part of the effort to bring more students to Drucker and our outstanding MBA program. If Peter were still here, I’m sure he would be pleased.”