OnBoard Announces 2019 Lettie Pate Whitehead Evans Award Recipient: Michelle Jarrard, Executive and Corporate & Nonprofit Director
Jarrard is president & CEO of BioCircuit Technologies, an early-stage medical device company focused on applications that monitor, control and repair peripheral nerve activity. She joined BioCircuit’s parent company as a Board member while serving as the managing director of the GRA Venture Fund, a venture capital fund focused on early-stage companies commercializing intellectual property developed on university campuses. She served as the fund’s managing director from 2016-2018.
Prior to her role in venture capital, Jarrard was a senior partner of McKinsey & Company and held multiple senior leadership roles during her 25-year career at the firm. They included Global Chief of HR and Talent Officer with responsibilities spanning the firm’s 20,000 employees and 50+ country footprint, as well as people strategy; talent acquisition and development; learning; partner compensation & evaluation; diversity; HR analytics, risk and policies; and internal communications. Jarrard had direct operational oversight of a $100M+ annual budget and a 200-person staff. She was also a member of the firm’s global operating committee, a group of senior partners appointed by the managing director to oversee the firm's operations.
Jarrard’s nomination for the Lettie Pate Whitehead Evans honor was led by Joseph O. Blanco, general counsel for Crawford & Company. “Michelle fully embodies the characteristics that this award recognizes and balances them in a way that makes her an extraordinary board member, mentor and role model,” says Blanco. “I have witnessed the impact she’s had on our board as well as on individual executives at Crawford. She learned our business quickly and developed business and analytical insights that have helped us grow, but her ability to bridge opposing viewpoints is what is most remarkable. Her wonderful blend of EQ and IQ allows her to listen intently and ask probing questions in a way that builds esprit de corps.”
Jarrard is the board director and a compensation committee member of Lazard, the global investment bank and asset management firm, and a board member of Crawford & Company, the world’s largest publicly listed independent provider of claims management solutions to insurance companies and self‐insured entities with an expansive global network serving clients in more than 70 countries. She is also a board member of Axion Biosystems and was a board member of QUEST Renewables until earlier this year.
Her leadership roles in the non-profit sector include serving as trustee and chair of the Compensation & Benefits Committee for Children's Healthcare of Atlanta, one of the largest pediatric healthcare systems in the U.S., and as trustee and chair of the development committee of the Georgia Tech Foundation Board. Jarrard earned her MBA from Harvard Business School and a bachelor’s degree in Industrial Engineering from the Georgia Institute of Technology, with highest honors.
“Michelle’s many achievements are remarkable and her rare combination of an analytical and logical mind with the an ability to connect with others on a personal level make her so deserving of this recognition,” says Cheri Husney, president of OnBoard and executive director – Marketing for KPMG LLP, the U.S. audit, tax and advisory services firm, which sponsors the Lettie Pate Whitehead Evans Award. “Michelle advocates for women in the boardroom by actively supporting their career aspirations and sharing her knowledge and experience. She inspires many as a role model of ethical behavior, and connects women by hiring, promoting and mentoring them in all her endeavors. Michelle is a unique catalyst for change and bedrock of stability.”
The Lettie Pate Whitehead Evans Award is designed to recognize women serving on for-profit corporate boards. Qualifications for the Lettie Pate Whitehead Evans Award include an overall commitment to professional excellence and outstanding board service, advocating more diversity on corporate boards, and supporting women in realizing their full potential. It is named in honor of Lettie Pate Whitehead Evans, one of the first women to serve as a director of a major American corporation. In 1934, Ms. Evans was appointed to the board of directors of The Coca-Cola Company, a position she held for nearly 20 years.
OnBoard’s Annual Awards and Study Dinner was held November 13th and was the 27th anniversary of the OnBoard study reporting on the state of women leadership in Georgia.
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OnBoard (www.onboardnow.org), formerly the Board of Directors Network (BDN), was founded in 1993 with the initial focus of increasing the number of women on corporate boards of both public and private companies. Now OnBoard is the leading authority on women in the boardrooms and in executive leadership of Georgia public companies. The organization has published, since 1993, original research on women’s progress in Georgia public board and C-suite positions. OnBoard’s strategy is to advocate for more women in these positions, inspire by recognizing the role models of women on boards and in the pipeline and connect women to board opportunities.
Follow us on Twitter @OnBoardGA and LinkedIn at OnBoard Inc.
About KPMG LLP:
KPMG LLP is the independent U.S. member firm of KPMG International Cooperative (“KPMG International”). KPMG International’s independent member firms have 207,000 professionals working in 153 countries and territories. Learn more at www.kpmg.com/us.
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