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More Women on Company Board: Reduces Fraud

June 11, 2014

The Industry Leaders Series SIG presents…

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More Women on Company Board:
Reduces Fraud


Professor Oliver Rui and his co-authors, Douglas Cumming of York University Schulich School of Business and Tak Yan Leung from Open University of Hong Kong, examined the impact of gender difference on corporate fraud in China over a 10 year period (between 2001 and 2010). The researchers looked at data regarding enforcement action announcements made by the China Securities Regulatory Commission (CSRC) for regulatory and fraud violations committed by listed Chinese companies. Their findings show that a more gender-diverse board can help minimize the likelihood and severity of corporate fraud; thus the inclusion of more female board directors can be an effective anti-fraud control mechanism to set an ethical tone in the workplace.

The relative scarcity of women on boards of directors is a global issue. According to a study conduced by Catalyst in 2013, only 3 countries are over 20% (Norway, Sweden and Finland , while United State averaged 16.9%. Many European countries showed under 10% (Switzerland, Spain, Italy,..). 13 countries had less than 5% with Saudi Arabia the lowest at 0.1%.

Come learn from our successful executives what helped them through their journey, their success stories and strategies. Is gender diversity a value? Let’s debate!


**The research results appear in a paper entitled “Gender Diversity and Securities Fraud”. The paper received the 11th Eurasia Business and Economics Society (EBES) Conference Best Paper Award given at the Conference in Ekaterinburg, Russia in September, 2013.

Elizabeth G. Jones, EdD, MPH, RD
Founder, Foundation for the Children of the Californias
Dr. Elizabeth Jones holds a nutrition degree from University of Alberta, Canada, masters in Public Health from SDSU, and a doctorate in pediatric nutrition and leadership from University of San Diego. She specializes in providing international innovative programs promoting good health in infants/children. Dr.Jones has worked for Scripps Metabolic Clinic and Research Foundation, Scripps Green Hospital, Mercy Hospital, Wellstart International and in 1976 also began volunteering in Tijuana teaching nutrition for patients, families, paraprofessionals and physicians. Along with Dr. Gabriel Chong-King, a highly regarded Tijuana pediatric surgeon, began to dream of a pediatric facility that would not only provide specialized medical care, but place emphasis on keeping the region’s children healthy. Together they founded a tri-national collaboration (Canada, U.S. Mexico) “The Foundation for the Children of the Californias”.  The first building of their endeavour was a 2000 square foot Pediatric Specialty Center, Hospital Infantil de las Californias (HIC) that now has expanded to 24 specialties, provided more than 375,000 consults, 9,500 surgeries, 260,000 hours of education, plus many outreach programs serving impoverished areas.  An adjoining three operating room surgical center was opened fall of 2012 making HIC a 56,000 square foot medical complex that has alliances with more than forty universities and institutions plus multiple businesses though out the North American continent. These include Rady Childrens Hospital San Diego, UCSD and Shriners Hospitals International.

Dr. Jones has several publications and received numerous honors for her international contributions. She believes that her awards are rightly due to the collaborative efforts of the thousands of persons having mutual goals and working together for the betterment of children’s health.

Eileen Benjamin
Executive Director, Foundation for the Children of the Californias
Eileen Benjamin has more than 20 years experience in non-profit management including 6 years as Executive Director for the Foundation for the Children of the Californias (FCC) in support of the Hospital Infantil de las Californias, located in Baja Mexico.   She considers a career with an organization that genuinely meets the needs of the region as extremely gratifying and is committed to her work in the non-profit sector.   The hospital currently serves approximately 4,000 children per month from the mega-region of San Diego and Tijuana.  No child is turned away from needed surgeries or medical and dental care for inability to pay.A native of Southern California, Ms. Benjamin has lived in San Diego since 1989.    She spent 6 years working with the Diocese of San Diego as the Capital Campaign Director to complete the $85 million Cathedral Catholic High School campus.  She also served as the school’s Director of Development leading a comprehensive, mission centered development plan.  Prior to her work in San Diego, Ms. Benjamin was the Director of Development for the Ocean Institute in Dana Point, California.

Ms. Benjamin serves on the Executive Advisory Board at the University of San Diego’s Center for Peace and Commerce.  Their mission is to prepare new generations of “change agents” building a sustainable world through innovative thinking and action, integrating business principles and effective management with unique ideas for peace building and poverty alleviation. She has served on the Board of Directors for Cathedral Catholic High School, The Foundation for the Children of the Californias,  and the Sullivan Children’s Foundation.  She is an avid golfer and was the founding President of the Santaluz Women’s Golf Association.  Ms. Benjamin earned a bachelor’s degree from California State University, Long Beach with a major in Dietetics and minor in Chemistry.

Maria Fischer
CEO, BienTech International
B.S. Systems Engineering, MBA, Wireless Eng. Certif.
Founded and run BienTech, Maria Fischer is founder Board member of Women in Defense San Diego – Instrumental in the growth of the organization from 3 to 350 members in 5 years. She Established the Legislative committee for WID –the  first of its kind in the country. As the firm’s  Chief Executive Officer, she was elected Chair of Legislative Committee of  Women In Defense in San Diego and is a member of The National Defense Industry Association in DC, (NDIA), where her efforts have been recognized nationally as instrumental in the  October 2010  passing the Federal Procurement Program for Women Owned Business  8(m). She is a member of AFCEA (Armed Forces Communications and Electronics Association), Hispanic Professional Engineers USA among others.

Maria serves on various local, national and international Boards including:,  Advisory Board  member of ARCS Foundation (Achievement Rewards for College Scientists),  University of California San Diego- Advanced Certification Studies Program,  N2Women, -Rochester New York, the  international organization of engineering academic researchers in the communication and networks field (IEEE). Board of directors College of engineering San Diego State University, San Diego Foundation ‘s Sciences and Technology among others

Mrs Fischer ’s background includes a successful corporate career at USA Largest Defense Corporations,  including General Dynamics, (Hughes, now Boeing Satellite )   where she lead international programs  in technology and engineering –there she began her career as the only woman and only Hispanic in a group of over 7,000 engineers designing and testing systems for the Space Shuttle program.  She also has served as a  University faculty member. She was voted  among San Diego most influential women-( San Diego 2009)and is the recipients of numerous awards for her contribution to San Diego, to  Sciences, Engineering and  Educational causes. With her husband raised two sons:  an MD and a US Navy Officer.

Susan Snow
Principal, OSAS Inc.
Susan Snow’s experience spans public accounting, financial services, consumer product manufacturing, construction, clean-tech and defense contracting. She has led HR, IT, Finance & Accounting, Operations, Sales & Marketing, and Contracting in her various roles. She proved her mettle in taking challenged companies through difficult operational and financial turnarounds, resulting in the profitable sales of the corporations. The problems she successfully addresses in this role include senior management turnover, evolving through the Defense Contracting process, implementing critical strategic planning, and a thorough financial and operational turnaround. Ms Snow is expert in Corporate Governance extending from the Board Room, through the Executive Suites, to all Stakeholders. Ms Snow has been recognized with the prestigious Director of the Year award by the Corporate Directors Forum.

Ms Snow currently serves as Chief Restructuring Officer of privately held companies where she affected successful corporate turnarounds, and co-managed the restructuring in excess of $250 million in debt for OSAS clients in the past 3 years. For other clients, Ms Snow is the Chief Financial Officer and/or Chief Operating Officer as she guides those entities from relatively flat performance to strong financial accomplishment, ensuring the owners will ultimately realize handsome profits when they sell all or part of their companies.

Ms Snow began her professional career and earned her CPA at KPMG in Boston, where she spent 4 years in the Tax Department before leaving for a variety of CFO, President and other leadership roles in private industry. Ms Snow has served in a number of high-level Financial, Executive and Board level roles in her more than 20 years in the San Diego area. She has been an active director of numerous public, private and non-profit corporate Boards, nearly always serving on Audit, Nominating, and Governance committees. Ms Snow is published in nationally recognized publications such as Accredited Members. An effective communicator, Ms Snow is frequently invited to speak as a lecturer or a panel member. Finally, Ms Snow gains the highest level of professional satisfaction by serving as a mentor and collaborator for younger professionals.

Katie Rast
Program Director, FabLabs San Diego
Katie has provided program direction for Fab Lab San Diego for four years, working as a liaison with the Massachusetts Institute of Technology to co-site, develop and implement the San Diego instantiation of the MIT Global Network. From this origin, Katie has worked to build local partnerships in order to create a community-embedded learning laboratory and develop related educational programs. Katie has worked for over ten years with community-based organizations and schools to provide creative educational experiences for youth. As the Director for the Fab Lab San Diego, Rast has developed and implemented programs and curricula that bring the concepts of digital media into an accessible and project-based learning environment for youth and learners of all ages.

Additionally, she provides direction in day-to-day operations, including the development and pedagogical implementation of educational programs, communications, and oversight of administrative operations. Katie brings a deep commitment to community access to education and career pathways, as well as the management experience to ensure that all community interactions meet the methodology of equality, access, and engaged learning set forth by Fab Lab San Diego. Educational programs developed or co-developed by Rast have been formally recognized by the MIT Media Lab, The United Nations High Commission on Refugees, Community Technology Association, Education Development Corporation, San Diego Councilmember Marti Emerald, and Congresswoman Susan Davis. Rast has been a presenter at the White House Roundtable on Science and Technology Policy, the Community Technology Networks of America Symposium, the ACLU Youth Conference, The Sparkplug Talks on New Media and Innovation, SIGGRAPH 2010: The International Conference on Computer Graphics and Interactive Techniques, and FAB5: The Fifth International Fab Lab Forum and Symposium on Digital Fabrication.

Andrea Giralt
CEO, Giralt Consulting
Andrea has a passion for innovation, technology and business strategy. She has mentored a number of companies and she collaborates with various local incubators and entrepreneur organizations. She is also part of CommNexus’ MarketLink Committee. After a 20 year career with Hewlett Packard, Andrea Giralt founded Giralt Consulting which specializes in Business Strategy, Supply Chain, and Operations Management. While at HP, Andrea was the Operations head for the Consumer Printing Business ($2B in COS). Her team was responsible for supply chain strategy, operational performance, and new product introductions. Additionally, she directed teams responsible for Business Strategy, Design Outsourcing, DfSC and NPI Program Management. Earlier in her career, Andrea managed operations for a number of HP businesses faced with diverse situational challenges during periods of both declining sales and rapid growth.  The different businesses varied in size from start-up to $5Bn.  She has ramped operations in Spain, Czech Republic, Hungary, Thailand, Singapore, China and Malaysia.Andrea holds a bachelor’s degree in Economics and Business Administration from Zaragoza University, Spain, and a Masters in International Management from ESADE, Barcelona and Houston University.EVENT CHAIRS:
Andrea Giralt, CEO, Giralt Consulting
Mario Diez, Trade Commissioner, Consulate of Canada
Wednesday, June 11th 2014TIME:
5:30 PM Registration/Networking/Refreshments
6:00 PM Program Begins
7:30 PM Program Ends

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3580 Carmel Mountain Road Suite 300
San Diego, CA 92130

Pre-Registration:(Please pre-register by Noon on 6/10/14)
$10.00 – CommNexus Sponsor***
$20.00 – Non-Sponsor
FREE – Mentor Sponsor**
FREE – Students, Military & Press*

At the Door:
$20.00 – CommNexus Sponsor
$30.00 – Non-Sponsor
FREE – Mentor Sponsor
FREE – Students, Military & Press

CLICK HERE for a list of CommNexus Sponsors



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Questions? Contact Brittany Bjerke at


June 11, 2014
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