Board Access Program



Watermark is an active advocate for board leadership and best practices in governance. To support this goal, we offer customized services to all Watermark members with interests to serve on boards and to find qualified directors to serve.

Board Readiness

Women and men across the country prove their mettle every day in senior executive roles. For most, however, board of director positions remain out of reach. For members with an interest to become a director, we partner with Boardwise, Ltd. to offer the Board Access Program. It is a six-month, interactive program designed to help you to craft your professional development plan and to connect you with the resources to make it happen. The program is managed by Boardwise, Ltd., Watermark’s strategic partner for governance matters.

Participants tell us:

"I have gained new insight into my career development by participating in the Board Access program. The assessment, coaching and simulations have been invaluable in opening my perspective about what more I can do to effectively prepare for a position as a board member. My coach, Donna Hamlin, is an incredible resource and brings a global set of experience and expertise across industries and geographies to help you think broadly but also engage locally in your career. Every senior woman should go through the Board Access program!” –Ashley Magargee, National Sales Director, Genentech

"The Board Access Program offered me both systematic education and personal guidance for my career path to the board director role. The coaches work with professionals in a personal, customized way that is best for you. I highly recommend this program to professionals, like me, who just start exploring board director roles, I believe you will be just as excited as I am, once you start the program. I also recommend this program to those serving as board directors already, as I believe the great networking and connections through this program will help us inspire each other and lead us to the next level of our careers.” –Lyndsey Zhang, CFO, MiaSolé

"The Board Access Program has both helped me structure my thinking about what type of board position fits with my experience, interests and ambitions today and then developed my relevant brand and board profile to match my ideal fit. I found the board simulation and my time with my coach, Murray Cook, to be incredibly valuable in testing and evolving my thinking and skills to serve as a director.” –Yvonne Wassenaar, VP, Office of the CXO, VMware

"The Board Access Program helped me learn and recognize the biggest thing I needed to do to get ready for board service was to acknowledge that I was ready for board service." –Meg Bear, Senior VP and General Manager, Cloud Services, Imperva

Components included in our program:

  1. Boardwise’s Board Bona Fide™ board readiness assessment and talent registry
  2. Four one-hour sessions of professional coaching that result in your creation of a board bio and personal action plan to reach your board goals
  3. Staged board simulation, offered three times per year
  4. Connection with a Board Recruiter
  5. Introduction to a sitting board member appropriate to your goals and profile
  6. Board Access Development Programs: Building Your Board Action Plan, Leveraging Your Connections, Hot Topics in Governance Workshops and other programs are offered throughout the year.
  7. Discounted rate for board certification with MAXIMIZE YOUR BOARD POTENTIAL, the annual global governance 4-day director program jointly run by Harvard, Boardwise and The Decision Institute.
  8. One free year of Premium Subscription to Board Prospects, an online boardroom community

In addition to the above components, the Board Access Program offers Board Governance workshops on topics critical to board members – these are at an additional cost discounted for Board Access participants. The workshops are interactive sessions with men and women who sit on boards, providing both opportunities for development and connections. Examples include:

  1. Audit Committees – How to identify issues before they are problems
  2. Forensics – What happens when the SEC calls
  3. Cyberattacks – How to prepare and monitor for protection
  4. Corporate Brand, Marketing and Social Media – Board’s role in monitoring and positioning
  5. Board Ethics – How to manage impending and potential issues and leadership dilemmas
  6. Governance in International Markets – How to create standards when operating in different regulatory governance areas around the globe
  7. Board Diversity – How to Create and Manage Diversity
  8. Shareholder Activisim – Reducing Risk and Managing If it Happens
  9. Early Stage Governance – What Makes for a Winning Company


Participants can begin the Board Access Program at any time. This program is open to both members and non-members.


Watermark Members: $2,600 Non-Members: $2,995

Cancellation Policy

The Board Access Program is not refundable or transferable.


Finding Directors

Members who seek qualified directors for their boards can find top quality talent from the Board Bona Fide® global registry. Boardwise maintains the registry of screened and evaluated professionals who wish to serve. The registry is global and many of our Watermark members who have completed the Board Access program are included. Once you identify the key experiences and skills you seek in a director, you can contact Boardwise to help you source candidates. As Watermark members, this service is free to you. For more information, contact Donna Hamlin at  Questions? Please feel free to contact Donna Hamlin, Executive Director of the Board Access Program.