“If they don't give you a seat at the table, bring a folding chair.”

- Shirley Chisholm, First African-American woman elected to the US Congress

Board of Advisors

The executives, professionals and academics of the Institute’s Board of Advisors are those individuals with the “Right Stuff” to be certified as Board Advisors by virtue of their proven principles, career accomplishments and exposure to corporate adversity. 

Each BoA member is actively engaged in:

  • Promoting the Institute’s Mission in their day-to-day work with others;
  • Adding to the Institute’s research into effective oversight strategies and tools;
  • Helping to direct the Institute’s mission.

 

Daniel Testa CBA

Chairman, Board of Advisors

Dan is the Chairman of the Advisory Board of the American Institute of Certified Board Advisors, the first and only organization dedicated to ensuring the professionalism of America’s Boardrooms through Certification. He is the driving force behind the evaluation of the Center for Strategic Business Integrity into the AICPA. As both a successful entrepreneur, a senior level executive and Lead Director of a Publicly Traded Company, he is an avid supporter of competent decision making, effective board oversight and responsive crisis management.

Dan is a highly experienced business executive with over 40 years of enterprise leadership, business planning, management coaching, marketing, and sales experience. He founded two companies and served as a member of the board of directors of privately held companies and not-for-profit organizations. He has extensive experience working in turnaround situations and functioned as a valued advisor to an extensive network of boards, customers, associates and business executives throughout the Mid-Atlantic region. His integrity, business values and ethics are respected among his customers and competitors.

For over three decades and until its sale in 2016, Dan was the Founder and CEO of Telcept Holdings, LLC (TCI – Telecommunications Concepts, Inc.), a leading Baltimore/Washington area value added network solutions reseller and systems integrator.

Currently, Dan serves as a founding shareholder and Director of FVCBank, a Northern Virginia community bank serving the Washington/Baltimore Metro area and has grown to eleven branches, $1.8 billion in assets and raised nearly $60 million in new capital since its founding in late 2007. Dan’s personal network of executives, associates and friends account for about $12 million of the capital raised and four of the banks ten largest customers. Dan also serves on the Director’s Loan Committee and is Chairman of the Compensation Committee that establishes performance metrics for the CEO and President.

Dan serves the Board of Directors of Advanced Solutions International, Inc. Established in 1991, ASI is one of the leading global software providers for member and donor-based nonprofit organizations.

Dan is also Chairman and CEO of People 2 People of Washington, DC, a senior level executive consulting and networking firm. Additionally, Dan is Managing Partner of eSportsStaduim, LLC, a high-end eSports gaming facility located in Temecula, CA.

Aside from his business activities, Dan is an avid Porsche enthusiast, member of the PCA, Potomac Chapter, and enjoys several race events annually with his son David on many of the racetracks in the Mid-Atlantic.

Dan has a Marketing degree from Quinnipiac University in New Haven, Connecticut. He is an active supporter of the American Heart Association. Dan is a Certified Board Advisor.

 

Walter J. Sarkees CBA 

Chairman Emeritus of the Board of Advisors

Walter J. Sarkees is the retired Chairman of the Advisory Board of the American Institute of Certified Board Advisors, who lead the organization’s executive training programs.

Walt is a highly experienced business executive with over 30 years of executive coaching, board advisory, corporate governance, organizational development, professional training, and executive search experience. He has worked with large, multi-national corporations and high-tech companies, as well as both professional and financial service firms.

Walt has been a member of the board of directors of several privately held companies along with not-for-profit organizations. He has extensive experience working in turnaround situations and has functioned as a valued advisor to numerous private equity funds in assembling the management teams for their portfolio companies. He has advised the boards of many Fortune 1000 and large privately held companies in resolving serious, material integrity issues involving senior executives.  

For over a decade, Walt has been the CEO of Smithbridge Consulting, Inc., a Service-Disabled Veteran-Owned Business (SDVOB) that specializes in management and board consulting as well as executive search. 

He has advised senior management and boards in the development of growth plans, creation of job roles and responsibilities. He has helped to formulate innovative compensation structures as well as strategies to effectively deal with serious organizational crisis. 

Walt is known for his holistic style that incorporates the many aspects of achieving both professional and personal success in the work environment without compromising integrity. During his career, Walt has directed the hiring, training, and staff development for both large and small organizations. He has held senior leadership positions at Cap Gemini, PricewaterhouseCoopers (formerly Coopers & Lybrand), KPMG and the Wharton MBA School. As regional CEO of Chubb Computer Services, he was responsible for the creation and development of the system and network engineering curriculum that became the firm’s most successful program. 

Walt’s approach to serious, game changing issues has allowed him to build close working relationships with many senior executives and board members. 

As a board advisor, Walt has developed a unique approach to organizational issues that allowed enterprises with whom he has worked to move quickly to secure market success and ensure integrity. 

He is the author of Jump Start, an innovative approach to conducting assessment/diagnosis of both profit and not-for-profit organizations. Walt has provided many organizations with strategies and tools that allow management to minimize waste, fraud, and abuse by increasing “value-added” activity and enhancing effective service to customers. 

He is widely recognized for his leadership mentoring accomplishments. 

Walt received a Master’s in Organizational Dynamics from the University of Pennsylvania where is was also a PhD candidate and a BS in Political Science from Widener University. 

He was an adjunct professor of management at Neumann University where he taught organizational behavior and general management classes. Walt is a Certified Board Advisor.  

 

Carolyn J. Stefanco PhD., CBA

Vice-Chair, Board of Advisors

Dr. Carolyn J. Stefanco is a higher education and women’s leadership expert, with extensive experience on non-profit boards. Following two decades as a tenured professor of history, she served as dean, vice president, and president in both public and private American universities. She now works as a senior vice president for a corporate firm providing services to higher education, and offers executive coaching to leaders who want to improve their performance and advance their careers. 

Carolyn’s work has always incorporated a global perspective. She was a Senior Fulbright Scholar to the University of Zagreb in Croatia; served as resident director of a London Study Program; created many programs for student exchange and faculty research throughout the world; and worked as a consultant for Saudi Arabia.

As a college president, she led efforts to create numerous partnerships between American institutions and universities in other countries, and greatly expanded international student recruitment. 

In addition to forging global connections, she is passionate about women’s leadership and diversity and inclusion. Carolyn has founded numerous programs to support women’s career advancement, and has raised millions of dollars to launch initiatives to prepare diverse young women for leadership in their professions and communities. She is a sought after speaker about women’s issues, and publishes regularly in popular and scholarly venues. In recognition of her lifetime achievement, she recently received a Helen Gurley Brown Genius Award Grant of $100,000.

Carolyn is a board member of the International Leadership Association and Albany Medical Center. She also serves on the American Council on Education’s Women’s Network Executive Council. She just completed her service as a trustee and board chair of the American University in Bulgaria. She has also served on the boards of the Center for Economic Growth in New York, the Metro Atlanta Chamber, Hearst’s Women@Work, The National Association of Independent Colleges and Universities, the Association of Chief Academic Officers, and the Council of Colleges of Arts and Sciences. She is currently an Associate Member of the Centre for Cross-Cultural Management at the University of Wollongong, Australia, where she is part of an international research team studying responsible leadership in corporations and higher education, in both the U.S. and Australia.

Carolyn earned a Ph.D. in history from Duke University, an M.A. in women’s history from Binghamton University, and a B.A. in history and a women’s studies certificate from the University of Colorado at Boulder. She supports many educational and cultural organizations, and is a fervent advocate for the Girl Scouts. Carolyn is a member of Chief, and is a Certified Board Advisor.  

 

Joseph Diegel CBA

Member, Board of Advisors

Joe is a seasoned financial and operations executive who has dealt with multi-site global manufacturing as well as domestic financial and government entities.  He has acted as General Manger, Chief Financial Officer, Chief Restructuring Officer and Board Member in numerous commercial and financial turnarounds along with public sector work.

Joe has over 25 years of general management, financial management, controllership, M&A transaction, fraud investigations, business controls and board advisory experience.  He has been a member and/or a trusted advisor of the board of directors of several privately-held companies, a member of the strategic advisory board of a group of multiple international companies and a key advisor to the board of emerging companies preparing for their initial public offering transactions.  He has been the Chairman of both strategy and global capital investment committees of several boards.  Joe has directly dealt with and resolved serious incidents of financial irregularities in both the domestic and international arena.

Joe’s professional work began with Certainteed Corporation where he held various controllership positions in the financial department eventually working with the senior executive team in developing the company’s new Vinyl Building Products venture.

Following Certainteed, he became VP & CFO of a community bank in Philadelphia with over $100M in assets. He sat on the Board of Directors of the Bank and acted as Treasurer. Next he became VP & CFO of Bethlehem Wire Rope Works in Pennsylvania and also sat on the Board of Directors of the company as Treasurer.

Joe was recruited from Bethlehem, to become the Duty Major (appointed), CFO and Chief Restructuring Officer of the City of Williamsport Pennsylvania when the Home of the Little League descended into financial chaos.  In less than a year, working with the City’s Police, Firemen and Municipal Workers union leadership, Joe reestablished the City’s financial integrity.

Moving from Williamsport to Elkem Corporation, Joe assumed the role of CFO of Elkem American Carbide. He also held the position of CFO for a Joint Venture between Elkem and Airgas Corporation and sat on the Board as Treasurer for that Joint Venture.

Joe moved from Elkem to Metallurg Inc. a Fortune 1000 Company where he was CFO eventually becoming VP and General Manager of Shieldalloy Metallurgical Corporation.  He was responsible for all aspects of financial and risk management for this $240 million global multi – plant division with both union and non-union employees. Joe served on the Board as Secretary. Joe was part of the Executive team which took this public company through a complex equity transfer transaction to a private ownership structure.

Joe spent several years as a professional consultant with Navigator Associates’ Corporate Turnaround Services as the Managing Director of the Practice. His middle market clients spanned the corporate world including high-tech, medical, telecommunications and others.

After Navigator, Joe joined Alliance Corporation as VP & CFO, responsible for a group of 37 operating companies from global manufacturing to commercial and residential real estate. Joe held full oversight of operations in the Latin America and China, where he led the investigations into serious irregularities which threatened the financial integrity of the entire Corporation.

Joe was brought on at Felman Production LLC as CFO and Chief Restructuring Officer. Felman is part of a one Billion dollar U.S. division of a major European metals enterprise. He successfully generated their first audited financial statements in over 5 years.

Following Felman Production LLC Joe took a Controller position with Special Metals Corporation which is a Precision Castparts Company. PCC employed 28000 people worldwide at 159 locations. Joe oversaw the Finances of three plants in multiple states with the Huntington W.V. plant being the largest plant in the entire PCC network with over 1000 employees at the time. It is also a Navy Nuclear site. Its Nickel is used in every plane flying and every Nuclear Submarine manufactured.

In the first year of his tenure there PCC was purchased by Warren Buffett for $32.3 Billion dollars, the largest acquisition Mr. Buffet ever made. Joe coordinated all the purchase accounting for his facilities. It included conducting oversight on inventories of over $28M dollars of spare parts and 30,000 assets.

Following Special Metals Joe was recruited by Empire State Mines as Director of Finance, Procurement, and I.T. It is a collection of deep shaft Zinc mines that are over 100 years old. They were bought in 2017 by Titan Mining Corporation out of Vancouver B.C. after being on care and maintenance for 10 years. Joe had to set up everything from the ground up. This included all Financial Controls as well as developing the Financial reporting for the company.

At the end of the first year of business Joe concluded a successful Internal Controls Audit and a successful Year End Audit both by E&Y. He also developed the computer systems and security. Today there is fiber and systems at every level of the mine down to 3600 FT.

Joe holds a BS in Business Administration and Accounting at LaSalle University in Philadelphia.  He also has completed MBA studies at St. Joseph University in Philadelphia in Finance and Strategy. He is a Certified Board Advisor and a Certified Internal Controls Auditor.  

 

Billy F. Marlin CBA, CICA

Member, Board of Advisors

Billy Marlin is a Member of the Board of Advisors of the Center for Strategic Business Integrity.  As a corporate investigator and a recognized expert on Latin American issues, he is an avid supporter of competent board oversight and is committed to the mission of the Center.

Billy has over 20 years of combined domestic and international consulting and investigative experience.  Billy is both a senior executive of Navigator Associates as well as the founder and CEO of Veritas Assurance Partners, engaged in global investigative and intelligence work.  Billy is also a Partner in Global Audit LLC a special purpose forensic auditing firm concentrating on international issues.

Prior to 2007, Billy was the Managing Director responsible for Navigant’s Latin American Practice including Financial Investigations, Fraud Risk Management and Litigation Consulting.

Prior to joining Navigant, Billy held senior level positions with Protiviti, Diligence LLC and was Managing Director for the South East Region and Latin America for Citigate Global Intelligence (“CGI”). Before his tenure at CGI, Billy also had pivotal roles at Pinkerton Consulting & Investigations’ Latin American Practice and as Regional Head of Financial Investigative Services in Latin America and the Caribbean for Kroll Associates, Inc.

In the public service Billy was a Senior Confidential Investigator with the New York City Department of Investigation where he conducted highly sensitive investigations of corruption and misconduct involving New York City agencies, employees and companies doing business with the City of New York.

During his private sector career, Billy has been involved in hundreds of consulting projects in the United States and Latin America.  These matters have encompassed several industries including numerous business intelligence and due diligence projects, litigation support matters, fraud investigations, asset searches, employee misconduct inquiries, insurance dispute investigations and money laundering.

Billy has lead many international efforts including consultancy to major multinationals, law firms, financial and manufacturing companies and several governments in Latin America including Ecuador, El Salvador, The Dominican Republic, Puerto Rico, Trinidad Tobago, Guatemala, Colombia and Martinique.

Billy has authored technical and investigative articles and is a frequent speaker in fraud and investigative related seminars and training in the United States and Latin America.

Billy holds a Bachelor of Science Degree in Accounting from the University of Puerto Rico and is fluent in English, Spanish and is conversational in Portuguese. He is a Certified Board Advisor, a Certified Internal Controls Auditor and a Member of the Association of Certified Fraud Examiners.

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