I feel like one lucky guy on America’s Thanksgiving. I just got back from visiting my wife’s 97 year old great aunt in Honolulu. Wonderful to hear stories of her own experiences during WWII and the Depression. Also, to hear her speak of stories she heard from her grandparents (Julia at left) who brought the first banyan and lychee trees to Hawaii and about ancestors who predicted the birth of King Kamehameha, played a key role in the Battle of Nuʻuanu, and created the Hawaiian flag.
Auntie reminded me of how much we are shaped by those who have gone before us. Although the world of corporate governance as a named discipline is relatively recent, I can still give thanks to a few who have influenced my work.
Thanks to Tim Smith, Lura Berry and Interfaith Center on Corporate Responsibility for not compromising on principles. To Hank Boerner, working long and hard to bring SRI and corpgov communities together. Bob Tricker for practically inventing the phrase corporate governance, to Bob Monks and Nell Minow for inspiration and tenacity: “Corporations determine far more than any other institution the air we breathe, the quality of the water we drink, even where we live. Yet they are not accountable to anyone.” (Power & Accountability).
Thanks also to Rich Koppes, Rich Ferlauto and Broc Romanek for showing how to work effectively within the system, to Glyn Holton and John Chevedden for challenging it, Jay Brown for dissecting it, and Sonia Jaspal and Sarah Wilson to name two who have helped broaden my field of vision.
The interesting crowd developing on Twitter is certainly something to be thankful for: TrustEnabler, AlyceLomax, DrRLeblanc, dougchia, MurnPost, ActiveInvesting, DougYPark, Ruth999, JayneJuvan, fayfeeney, nminow, lucymarcus, SMDavisYaleGov, moxyvote and UrmiAshar, just to name a few.
Finally, I’m thankful to see folks like Jack Ucciferri taking up the mantle (Public Corporations Are Not Democracies, But They Should Be) and Sharegate for coming on soon with tools that will again transform shareowner activism.
I’ve left out hundreds but its late and I’ve got to start cooking. Have a great day.