Utah Business

2024 Outstanding Directors

Heather Zynczak | 2024 Outstanding Directors

2024 Outstanding Directors
Photo by Jon Hague Photos

Public Company

Board Director |

Currently a board member for:

Thryv, DemandBase, Lendio, Vasion, D2L

What important assets can an individual bring to a board? 

As an independent director, your most important responsibility is to support the CEO and the leadership team by providing advice, mentorship and an operator mindset. 

What should companies look for in a board member to ensure a great cultural fit?

Every board member is in the room because they have an impressive background and expertise the management team can benefit from, but board members don’t work in the business every day. As a result, they know less about the business than the CEO and management team. Look for a board member who can listen, check their biases at the door and recognize what they do not know. A learner mindset is extremely helpful. This will provide for the best discussions and outcomes.

What is the best advice you can give someone serving as a director for the first time? 

Be prepared. Nothing is worse than a board member who shows up unprepared. It slows down the discussion, is frustrating for everyone in the room and is disrespectful of the leadership team’s efforts in preparing the materials. Thoroughly digest the pre-read. If the CEO asks you to watch a two-hour video, watch the video and prepare questions. As a first-time director, you will shine and provide more value if you take the time to be prepared for meetings.

Savannah Beth Withers Taylor is the assistant editor of Utah Business and a graduate of the editing and publishing program at Brigham Young University. Beth has written content about travel, academics, and mental health for Stowaway magazine, BYU College of Humanities and United Way. She enjoys traveling, reading, eating, and mercilessly defeating loved ones in anything competitive.