Each year the American College of Corporate Directors recognizes a member who stands out in the public company director community and who enjoys respect and admiration from colleagues and peers.

The ACCD has many members who are recognized for their good work which goes well beyond their board of directors responsibilities. In their communities, with charities and in academia, ACCD members are looked up to and appreciated for their efforts and commitments to improving life for many less fortunate.

The “Distinguished Director Award” is presented to one member annually who is not only as top director, but whose contributions outside of the boardroom are “above and beyond”.

Jack O'Brien - 2022

Jack Obrien

Award Ceremony

Jack O’Brien was recently honored by the American College of Corporate Directors and Corporate Board Member as the 2022 Distinguished Director Award recipient at their annual forum in Boston, MA. Jack serves on the board of TJX Companies.

A 1965 Harvard College graduate, Mr. O’Brien was captain of the football team and recipient of the Francis Hardon Burr Award (outstanding scholar/athlete). After one year traveling around the world on a Harvard Fellowship, he enrolled in the Harvard Business School graduating with an MBA in 1968.

He joined Fidelity Investments as a Security Analyst and rose to become Group Managing Director of FMR Corp., the number two position at Fidelity. During his 21-year career, revenues grew from $27 Million to $850 Million. In 1983, he became President of Fidelity Management and Research and was responsible for all investment personnel. After another reorganization, he was named Chairman of the rapidly growing Fidelity Brokerage Company.

Mr. O’Brien first served as President & CEO of State Mutual Life Assurance Company in 1989. In 1995, under his leadership, State Mutual reorganized as Allmerica Financial Corporation and became the first insurance company in Massachusetts to demutualize and become a public company. Allmerica Financial Corporation is now known as the Hanover Insurance Group. Mr. O’Brien was also Chairman of the Hanover Insurance and Citizens Insurance companies (two subsidiaries of Allmerica also listed on the New York Stock Exchange). Allmerica grew to become one of the 15 largest sellers of variable annuities and one of the top 30 property and casualty companies in the United States.
After leaving Allmerica in 2002, Mr. O’Brien expanded his responsibilities as a public company director. He currently serves as a director of The TJX Companies, Inc., an off-price retailer of apparel and home fashions. He also was a member of the Cabot Corporation board from 1990-2020; the LKQ board from 2003-2021; the ABIOMED board from 1990-2006, and a director of a family of BlackRock mutual funds from 2004-2018.

Mr. O’Brien has assumed major board leadership responsibilities serving as Non-Executive Chairman of Cabot Corporation for ten years and the Lead Director of The TJX Companies for eighteen years; and at different times during his service on Boards, he served as Chairman of the Audit, Governance and Compensation committees. He has also been active in the non-profit sector serving as Corporation Chairman, Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution (2009-2015), President, Harvard Alumni Association (1992-1993); Vice Chairman, Boston Lyric Opera (2002-2007); Trustee, Worcester Art Museum; and Worcester Polytechnic Institute. He was the recipient of the Ellis Island Medal of Honor Award in 1998 and in 2010 was named NACD Corporate Governance Director of the Year.

Raymond C. Kubacki - 2019

Ray Kubacki

Raymond C. Kubacki

Raymond C. Kubacki was recently honored by the American College of Corporate Directors and received the Distinguished Director Award on March 20, 2019 at their annual forum in Ponte Vedra, Florida.  Ray is a proven business leader and director with a broad experience in finance, marketing and operations.

Ray currently serves as Chairman of the Board, President and Chief Executive Officer of Psychemedics Corporation (PMD: NASDAQ), the world's largest provider of drugs of abuse testing using hair analysis, where he has been CEO since 1991 and Chairman since 2004.  Serving on a number of public   company boards over the years, including Protection One, Inc,  Integrated Alarm Services Group, Inc, and private start-up Centarus Pharmaceuticals, Inc, Ray has also been a long-term member of the Board of Trustees of the Center for Excellence in Education, a non-profit organization founded by the late Admiral H. G. Rickover and dedicated to nurturing careers of excellence and leadership in science and technology for academically talented high school and college students.

Prior to joining Psychemedics, Ray held a number of senior management positions in finance, marketing and manufacturing with Reliance Electric Company and Acme-Cleveland Corporation.  He spent eight years as an investment officer at Massachusetts Financial Services Company, a major mutual fund and investment management firm.

For 4 years in a row (2007 – 2010), Ray was named one of the Best CEOs in the nation, according to a study by DeMarche Associates, Inc., a leading investment research and financial consulting firm also known for its annual Best 100 Companies and 100 Most Improved Companies awards.  This award goes to a small group of American CEOs --- in 2007, 163 or less than 2.5 percent out of a potential field of 6,700 --- who over the last 3 years generated the most shareholder value per unit of CEO compensation.

Mr. Kubacki received his B.A. from Harvard College and his M.B.A. from Harvard Business School.  Mr. Kubacki holds an Executive Master Platinum Level Professional Director Certification, the highest level award, from the American College of Corporate Directors, a public company director education and credentialing organization.

Stephen Walsh - 2018

Steve Walsh

Stephen Walsh

Stephen F. Walsh was recently honored by the American College of Corporate Directors and received the Distinguished Director Award on March 13, 2018 at their annual forum in Ponte Vedra, Florida.  Steve is an accomplished business leader with broad experience in manufacturing, distribution, marketing and general management in industrial companies that operate in the U.S., Europe, Latin America, China and the Pacific Rim.  His experience in policy making, strategy, global business operations and sales bring depth and valuable perspective to the boardroom. 

Steve is a former director of The L.S. Starrett Company, a global manufacturer of precision measuring tools and metrology equipment with headquarters in Athol, Massachusetts.  Until recently, he served as Senior Vice President responsible for both domestic and international operations of the company.  He served on the corporate executive committee.

Previously, Steve was President of the Silicon Carbide Ceramics Division for Saint-Gobain.  A global leader in glass, abrasives and building materials, Saint-Gobain is one of the world’s largest industrial groups based in Paris, France.  He served as Executive Vice President, Saint-Gobain Advanced Materials and Vice President of Technical Ceramics for The Norton Company. 

He is a former director and executive committee member of The Refractories Institute and The Massachusetts Business Roundtable.  For more than 30 years, Steve successfully led global business units and built strong management teams. He is skilled in strategic planning, cash generation, and growing businesses in emerging markets.  His background includes major capital investments, new business development, technology, lean manufacturing, driving cost reductions, divestitures, and successful acquisitions. He is a trustee of The Seven Hills Foundation, a health and human services Network based in Worcester, Massachusetts. 

Mr. Walsh is well versed in corporate governance and holds an Executive Masters Silver Level Professional Director Certification from the American College of Corporate Directors, a national public company director education and credentialing organization.

Pamela Lenehan - 2017

Pam Lenehan

Pam Lenehan

Pamela F. Lenehan is a senior executive with experience in corporate, financial services, and public board environments. She currently serves on the boards of Monotype Imaging, Civitas Solutions, and American Superconductor. She has chaired three public audit committees and two public compensation committees, been chair of the board, presiding director, and on risk management and CEO search committees. She is also on the board and executive committee of the Center for Women & Enterprise, a non-profit with the mission of helping women start and grow businesses.

Pam spent more than 20 years in financial services, starting at Chase Manhattan Bank where she lent money to growing technology companies. Pam moved to Credit Suisse First Boston initially in New York and then Boston where she was a Managing Director in Investment Banking, raising public and private equity and debt and doing mergers and acquisitions for technology companies. She then moved to Oak Industries as SVP, Corporate Development and Treasurer of Oak Industries, a $500 million NYSE-listed manufacturer of telecommunications components, where she engineered the sale of the company to Corning, Inc. for $2 billion. Pam was then CFO of Convergent Networks, a high technology start-up which she joined before initial product shipment and left when the company was at a $30 million run rate.

Pam has a BA in Mathematical Economics, Cum Laude and with Honors, and a MA in Economics from Brown University. She holds an Executive Masters Professional Director Certification, Silver Level, from the American College of Corporate Directors, a national director education organization. Pam is the author of “My Mother, My Mentor: What Grown Children of Working Mothers Want You to Know” which looks at the impact a mother’s working outside the home has on her children.

Richard DeWolfe - 2016

Richard De Wolfe

Richard DeWolfe

Richard DeWolfe is Chairman of the Board at Manulife Financial, a position he has held since May 2, 2013.  He is also Managing Partner of DeWolfe & Company, LLC, a real estate management and investment consulting firm.  He was formerly Chairman and CEO of The DeWolfe Companies, Inc., the largest home ownership organization in New England, which was previously listed on the American Stock Exchange and acquired by Cendant Corporation in 2002.

Mr. DeWolfe is a director of Massachusetts General Hospital, President's Council, a Trustee Emeritus of Boston University, a Director Emeritus of The Boston Foundation and an honorary director of The Boston Center for Community and Justice.  He is also a member of the Wilson Center's Canada Institute Advisory Board.  He was formerly Chairman and Founder of Reliance Relocation Services, Inc. and Chairman of the Board of Trustees, Boston University.

Mr. DeWolfe holds a BAS, Marketing and Finance from Boston University and an Executive Masters Professional Director Certification from the American College of Corporate Directors, a public company director education and credentialing organization.

Blythe J. McGarvie - 2015


Blythe J. McGarvie

Blythe J. McGarvie was honored by the American College of Corporate Directors as a Distinguished Director on March 25, 2015. Ms. McGarvie serves on the boards of Accenture, Viacom Inc., Sonoco Products Co. and LKQ Corporation. She taught accounting at Harvard Business School in the full-time M.B.A. program from 2012 to 2014. Previously for ten years, she was chief executive officer of LIF Group, a firm offering a global perspective for clients seeking profitable growth and providing leadership seminars for corporate and academic groups. At LIF, Ms. McGarvie specialized in delivering keynote speeches and moderating company and association meetings. She is the author of two books: Shaking the Globe: Courageous Decision-Making in a Changing World and Fit In, Stand Out: Mastering the FISO Factor for Leadership Effectiveness in Business and Life.

Prior to founding LIF, Ms. McGarvie was executive vice president and chief financial officer of Bic Group, one of the world's leading manufacturers of convenient disposable products. For five years prior to joining Bic, Ms. McGarvie was senior vice-president and chief financial officer of Hannaford Bros. Co., a supermarket retailer, which was acquired by the Delhaize Group in 1999. She has also held senior financial positions at Sara Lee Corporation and Kraft Foods.

A Certified Public Accountant, Ms. McGarvie holds an M.B.A. degree from Northwestern University's Kellogg Graduate School of Management. She served on the university's board of trustees from 1985 to 1987 and also received the Kellogg Graduate School of Management Schaffner Award, which honors alumni who are pre-Sceminent in their field and who provide outstanding service to Kellogg. Old Dominion University granted her an Honorary Doctorate of Humane Letters in December 2009. In addition, in 2008, 2010 and 2012, Ms. McGarvie was named to the NACD/Directorship list of the "100 Most Influential People on Corporate Governance and in the Boardroom."

​Michael D. Jeans - 2014

Michael Jeans

Michael D. Jeans

Michael D. Jeans is an experienced CEO and board director. He is currently Chairman Emeritus of New Directions, Inc., a nationally-recognized career management and guidance firm in Boston. As President, he founded and led New Directions’ Board Directorship Program. Previously, Mike was President and CEO of Roxy.com, Inc., a start-up on-line retailer of consumer electronics and telecom products. He was also CEO of Nashua Photo, Inc., a direct marketer of branded consumer photo processing services and President of Wesson/Peter Pan Foods (a division of Conagra Foods).Earlier, Mike was SVP of Marketing & Sales at HP Hood, VP of Marketing at Hunt Wesson Foods, and VP of Marketing and Sales for Chesebrough-Ponds Food Group,

Mike is a Director of AMICA Mutual Insurance Company where he serves on the Audit and Investment Committees and is past Chair of the Compensation Committee. He is a former Director of Roxy.com, Inc. He is currently the President of the Board of Directors of the Boston Minuteman Council of the Boy Scouts, a Trustee of the Boys & Girls Club of Greater Nashua (NH) Foundation and a Director of Maine Media College in Rockport, ME. He formerly served as President of the Board of Habitat for Humanity of North Central MA.

Mike holds an Executive Masters Professional Director Certification from the American College of Corporate Directors.He has long been active in the Boy Scouts of America and is an Eagle Scout and recipient of the national Distinguished Eagle Scout Award. He earned a BA from The College of the Holy Cross, magna cum laude and an MBA from the Tuck School of Business at Dartmouth College.

Ellen Richstone - 2013


Ellen Richstone

Ellen B. Richstone has extensive experience both as a Board Director and as an Operating Executive. From an Operating perspective, Ellen is a former CEO of a private company and former CFOr for both Public and Private Companies ranging in size from early stage to US$3 Billion in revenue and is a former Fortune 500 CFO.

As a Board Member, she has experience as a Financial Expert, Audit Committee Chair, Compensation Committee member, Nominating Committee Chair. She was the Financial Expert on the American Power Conversion Board (an S&P 500 Company) until its sale for US$6 Billion in cash, an 82% premium. She is currently on three Public Boards :eMagin (NYSE), Bioamber (NYSE) and Everyware Global (NASDAQ) and two Private Corporate Boards as well as two nonprofit boards.

Ellen was named to the Top 100 Board Diversity Candidates for Public Companies by Agenda (Parent Company-Financial Times) as well as to CFO Magazine’s Editorial Advisory Board. In June 2012, Ellen was elected to the Board of the National Association of Corporate Directors (New England). In April 2013, Ellen was given the first annual Distinguished Director Award from the American College of Corporate Directors, a national Board Governance organization of over 1800 public company directors nationwide.