SB826 Adds 200 More Women to Public Companies’ Corporate Boards

Some 200 women were added to California public companies’ boards of directors since the law known as SB 826 went into effect last year, said the keynote speaker at an awards luncheon in Goleta on March 12. 

Betsy Berkhemer-Credaire, CEO of Berkhemer Clayton Retained Executive Search and head of 2020 Women on Boards, spoke at the annual BRAVO Awards ceremony put on by the Santa Barbara Chapter of the National Association of Women Business Owners, or NAWBO. 

She said lawmakers in Sacramento initially said there were not enough “qualified women” to serve on corporate boards when Sen. Hannah-Beth Jackson, D-Santa Barbara, co-authored SB826, which was signed into law by then-Gov. Jerry Brown in 2018. 

The state law required at least one woman be allowed to serve on public companies’ boards by 2020.

Berkhemer-Credaire, 73, said the law calls for even more women to be included on corporate boards in 2021. “That law would not exist without NAWBO,” which lobbied for it, she said. 

The speaker told the crowd at the Hilton Garden Inn that NAWBO also had a lot to do with her career in public relations after she started her own company in 1973. 

One of the honorees at the awards ceremony was Ali Cortes who won the Education Advocate Award for her work as executive director of an organization called A Different Point of View. 

The group inspires and transforms underserved youth using aviation leadership and interventions through flight lessons. “We’re the rainbow in someone else’s clouds,” Cortes said. 

The winner of NAWBO’s Entrepreneur to Watch this year is Jessica Baggarly who runs the eco-friendly Tinkle Belle Diaper Service. 

Other award winners include: Philanthropic Champion Nancy McToldridge with the Santa Barbara Zoo; NAWBO Member of the Year Shannon Miller; Lifetime Achievement Marie Sue Parsons of Parsons & Young, Berkshire Hathaway; Public Policy Leader Amy Evans with Devereux California; Rising Star Kailey Quezada with the Goleta Boys & Girls Club; and top Woman Business Owner Alison Hardey with Jeannine’s Restaurants.

Posted March 13, 2020.

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