Private Company Director

Achieving Healthy Conflict & Tension

Join Howard Brownstein, President of Brownstein Corporation, Joan Conley, Senior Vice President and Corporate Secretary of Nasdaq, and Directors & Boards Executive Editor Eve Tahmincioglu for a discussion on boardroom dynamics, and ways to facilitate healthy conflict in decision making.

Balancing Healthy Conflict & Tension to Enhance Board Effectiveness

Tuesday, June 4, 2019

2 p.m. ET | 11 a.m. PT





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One of the signs of a healthy board is the ability of members to debate and disagree without tempers flaring.  Nevertheless, some boards avoid disagreement altogether, and others allow differences of opinion to taint the board’s collegiality and effectiveness.

How can a board strike the balance between healthy and unhealthy tension and conflict?

This webinar will look at examples of both functional and dysfunctional boards, and explore the roles of the following in creating healthy and productive board dynamics:

  • How does the style of the Chair impact conflict and tension?
  • If the Chair is also the CEO, how does that inform conflict resolution?
  • What tactics can individual board members employ to create respectful debate?
  • What is the role of recruiting in informing boardroom dynamics and collegiality?  Are board members who don’t know one another likely to deal with conflict better than those who have a prior relationship?
  • How can a board recover from dysfunction?

Join Howard Brownstein, President of Brownstein Corporation, Joan Conley, Senior Vice President and Corporate Secretary of Nasdaq, and Directors & Boards Executive Editor Eve Tahmincioglu for a discussion on boardroom dynamics, and ways to facilitate healthy conflict in decision making.

Joan Conley

Senior Vice President and Corporate Secretary

Joan Conley is Senior Vice President and Corporate Secretary of Nasdaq, and its global subsidiary organizations and in that role is responsible for the Global Nasdaq Corporate Governance Program. Ms. Conley is also responsible for the Nasdaq Global Ethics and Compliance Program. Lastly, Ms. Conley is Managing Director of the Nasdaq Educational Foundation and a member of the Nasdaq NLX Ltd. Board of Directors. 

Ms. Conley is a contributor to NACD publications including the NACD Blue Ribbon Commission 2013 Report on “Talent Development: A Boardroom Imperative” and the 2011 Report on “Effective Lead Director”. Ms. Conley received the award "The Best Corporate Secretary in an M&A Transaction" by Corporate Secretary Magazine in 2008. 

Prior to joining NASDAQ in 2001, Ms. Conley was the Senior Vice President and Corporate Secretary at the NASD (now FINRA) from 1994 – 2001 and Director of Human Resources from 1986 – 1994. Prior to her tenure at NASD (FINRA) Ms. Conley was a Research Associate/ Writer at the National Academy of Science in Washington, D.C. and Business Analyst at an advertising agency in Chicago, Illinois. 

Ms. Conley holds a Bachelor of Arts/Science with a double major in Economics and Communications from Dominican University and a Master of Science, with honors, in Industrial & Labor Relations from Loyola University of Chicago. Ms. Conley studied Economics at the London School of Economics and the University of London. 

Ms. Conley serves on the Board and Audit Committee of two non-profit organizations in Washington, D.C. and mentors several young women. In 2014 she was elected to the SIFMA Foundation Board of Directors.

Eve Tahmincioglu

Executive Editor and Digital Director, Directors & Boards

Eve Tahmincioglu is executive editor and digital director for Directors & Boards magazine. She is an award-winning journalist most recently covering business for and She’s the author of "From the Sandbox to the Corner Office", produces the blog named one of the top 9 must read blogs by CareerBuilder, and was named one of the top 10 business tweeters on Twitter by CNN and CareerBuilder. (Follow her on Twitter at @EveAsks.) She’s also written for the New York Times, Business Week, Kiplinger's, The Atlantic, Time, Knowledge@Wharton, and Harvard Business Review.

Howard Brownstein

President, Brownstein Corporation

Howard Brownstein is President of Brownstein Corporation, which obtains financing and buyers for companies large and small, and provides turnaround management and advisory services to companies and their stakeholders, as well as fiduciary services, litigation consulting, and investigations. Mr. Brownstein regularly serves as an independent board member, and has chaired board Audit, Nominating and Strategic Planning/Risk Assessment committees. He serves on the board of P&F Industries (NasdaqGM: PFIN), a manufacturer and distributor of air-powered tools and hardware. Mr. Brownstein’s board experience spans a broad range of domestic and international industries, including basic metals production, manufacturing, apparel design and retailing, banking and financial services, as well as nonprofit organizations. Such positions have included ‘sensitive situations’ involving, e.g., governance issues and restructuring. He previously served as sole board member of Betsey Johnson LLC, a privately-held designer and retailer of women’s apparel, on the board of Special Metals Corporation, a $1 billion nickel alloy producer, where he also chaired the Audit Committee, and on the board and Audit Committee of Magnatrax Corporation, a $500 million manufacturer of metal buildings. He also served as Board Chair of the National Philanthropic Trust, among the fastest-growing charities and largest grant-making institutions nationally (over $1 billion to date), and the largest independent provider of donor-advised funds. Mr. Brownstein’s additional board experience includes a regional bank, a retail department store, and nonprofit Boards including board chair of a United Way agency. Previously, Mr. Brownstein was Managing Director of Enprotech Corp., a wholly-owned subsidiary of ITOCHU (formerly C. Itoh), a Japanese trading company, then one of the world’s largest companies. Mr. Brownstein served in several senior executive and board positions, including CEO and COO of The Stone Group, a leading multinational manufacturer of comfort and safety equipment for the passenger rail industry with operations in the United States, Spain and England. Prior to becoming a turnaround management consultant, Mr. Brownstein founded a metals trading firm. Mr. Brownstein is a Certified Turnaround Professional (CTP). He has served on the boards of the Turnaround Management Association, the Commercial Finance Association, and the American Bankruptcy Institute, as well as board committees and program leadership, and received TMA’s ‘Outstanding Individual Contribution’ award in 2007. He has published over seventy articles, books and chapters, and serves as a contributing editor to two publications. He is an annual guest-lecturer at Harvard Business School, Wharton, NYU, Villanova, and Northeastern, as well as at professional and educational programs. Howard Brownstein is a graduate of Harvard University, where he obtained J.D. and M.B.A. degrees, and of the University of Pennsylvania, where he obtained B.S. and B.A. degrees from the Wharton School and the College of Arts and Sciences.

Howard Brod Brownstein is president of The Brownstein Corporation, a nationally known turnaround management and restructuring firm headquartered in the Philadelphia area. He has served as an independent corporate board member for publicly held and privately owned companies for over 40 years, and currently serves on the boards of A.M. Castle & Co., PICO Holdings Inc., where he is audit committee chair, and P&F Industries Inc., where he chairs the nominating & governance and the strategic planning & risk assessment committees. He is president of the Philadelphia Chapter of the National Association of Corporate Directors and as an NACD Board Leadership Fellow he is a regular speaker at national organizations.



  • Completely FREE to attend 

  • All participants receive a copy of the webinar materials after the event.

  • All particpants will receive Director & Boards'  weekly newsletter with real-time news, trends and analysis  -- delivered right to your inbox. You may, of course, opt out at any time.

  • Opportunity for questions and feedback

  • Unbiased third-party director education

  • 60 minutes -- maximum value for time


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