About this event

For any board, having a strong succession plan can help prevent any sudden and drastic changes to a company. One of the crises a board may face can be the sudden departure of a CEO. More often than not, CEOs will usually give the board a few years notice before leaving, however, sometimes this is not the case. Board Chair of Thrivent Credit Union and CEO-emeritus of 1517 Media, Beth Lewis, will speak in-depth about how boards can deal with the urgency created by a sudden CEO departure and how a proper succession plan can help to reduce the transition process so that the new CEO can hit the ground running.


Coco Brown CEO

Coco is founder and CEO of Athena Alliance. Prior to her current roles, Coco served as President, COO, and Board Director of Taos, a market leader in IT Services serving hundreds of F1000 companies, including Apple, Cisco, ebay, Facebook, and Silicon Valley Bank. Coco brings rich experience across F1000 companies, start-ups, and nonprofits in the roles of CEO, COO, advisor, and Board member to Athena. She possesses a unique understanding of the breadth of challenges and opportunities of leadership. She empowers leaders to execute successfully, working with them to develop the relationship between a company’s strategy and its organizational design and environment. Coco’s expertise in developing and strengthening these important linkages makes her a powerful C-level advisor and Board member. In addition to serving on the Board of Taos from 2004 to 2014, Coco served as a Board Director for MentorNet during its rebranding, product transformation, and subsequent acquisition by Great Minds in STEM. Coco was on the finance committee supporting the Board of Directors of Samasource and established the Operating Committee for the Silicon Valley arm of Golden Seeds, a New York-based early-stage investment firm. She also currently serves as Chair of the Nominating Committee for the Anita Borg Technology Leadership Award, one of the most prestigious awards honoring women in technology.


Beth Lewis Principal

Beth Lewis is a visionary and enterprising leader, positioning companies for future growth and profitability in viable markets with strong product pipelines, cost-efficient operations, and marketing and sales leadership for customer results. In board director and advisory roles, Beth guides strategy, board governance, and administration. As an experienced CEO, Beth leads publishing, digital media, and technology businesses, and held sales, marketing, and general-management roles at three Fortune 500 publishing companies. She is a trusted decision maker, known for successful leading of business startup, turnaround and growth and was recognized as a recipient of the “Women in Business Award” by the Minneapolis/St. Paul Business Journal in 2015, while leading 1517Media. Since 2002, Beth has served as a Board Director and strategic and tactical business consultant, advising board and C-suite leaders at small- and medium-sized organizations that are in markets being disrupted by innovative uses of technology. She is Chair of the Board for Thrivent Federal Credit Union, a financial institution, with an asset base of $650 million. She has also served as Chair of their HR/Compensation Committee. Beth brings her experience as a CEO with a track record of success through expansion into adjacent markets, design thinking, use of omnichannel marketing, creative uses of technology both for product delivery and streamlining of internal processes, and her expertise with talent development, executive compensation and succession planning to boards of directors. Beth also served on the Executive Committee for the Luther Seminary Board of Directors, and the Seminary Relations (marketing and development) and Presidential Support Committees. She also served on the presidential search committee. As the sixteen-year President and CEO at 1517Media, a niche multimedia publishing company, Beth led the succession-planning activities after transforming its corporate culture, P&L, strategy, product development, marketing, human resources, finance and information technology functions, while reporting to the board of directors. Beth is known for reworking business models and organizational structures, leveraging technology to transform organizations to modern, financially stable, and sustainable ventures with improved sales, marketing, and operational capabilities. Her earlier career roles included CMO and General Management roles at The Times Mirror Book Group, as well as Sales Management roles at McGraw-Hill. While at Times Mirror she served on the M&A team that evaluated, acquired and integrated several major acquisitions totaling $500 million in revenue. Beth holds a BS in Marketing from Maryville University and is a graduate of the Advanced Management Program of the Harvard Business School. She has received multiple business awards and an honorary Doctorate degree from Wartburg Theological Seminary. She is a frequent keynote speaker on a wide variety of transformation topics including leadership, strategic thinking, turnaround and governance. Beth is also an active consultant on these topics and serves as Executive Director for the PCPA, a mid-sized trade association. She resides with her husband near Seattle, WA.

Key Details

Risk & Crisis Management

CEO Transition During a Time of Crisis

Tue, Jul 14 @ 9:00am PT (1 hrs)

Virtual (RSVP for link)


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