Tuesday, April 24, 2012

The Road More Traveled (Jan Babiak)

LadyRomp recently shared the news of Jan Babiak's appointment to Walgreens' Board of Directors as an independent director. As I was reading her biography, I became fascinated.

Babiak recently retired from Ernst & Young, where she spent nearly three decades. And she has literally been everywhere during that time.

She joined Ernst & Young in Oklahoma City, after receiving her degree from the University of Oklahoma. A few years later, she found herself in Ohio, where she was working in Ernst & Young's Cleveland office while earning her MBA. One year after completing her MBA, she transferred again - to London. That's when her career really took off:

Babiak was founder and managing partner of Ernst &Young’s fastest growing and most profitable UK practice, which provided IT security, transformation, program management and advisory and assurance services. With full P&L and operational responsibility, she grew the technology security and risk services practice in the United Kingdom, later adding Northern Europe, Middle East, India and Africa (NEMIA), for more than 10 years while also serving on Ernst & Young’s UK operating board.

Following her success in these roles, Babiak was appointed in 2006 to the NEMIA executive management board and as managing partner for regulatory and public policy in NEMIA, and was the board level sponsor leading all services related to climate change and sustainability across the NEMIA area.

In 2008 she created a new practice as Ernst & Young’s global leader for climate change & sustainability services, operating from the firm’s London headquarters. She was responsible for the strategy and delivery of commercially focused climate change transformation and sustainability services to clients, as well as providing coordination with government offices, regulatory bodies, national professional bodies and other stakeholders. She has led teams delivering advisory, assurance, tax and transaction services focused on clean tech, renewable energy, carbon trading, environmental policy and taxation, green building, green supply chain, carbon measurement and modeling.

However, her career could have taken an entirely different term. According to Babiak's public LinkedIn profile, she was working as a dispatcher in Norman, Oklahoma while attending college. But she left that job after graduating, and public safety's loss was Ernst & Young's gain.

And the gain of other companies. After retiring from Ernst & Young, she set about with her new career:

Now building a full time board portfolio focused on large global public companies where a diverse combination of leadership roles will provide value on a wide range of strategic and commercial considerations as well as delivering practical global experience as a member of Board Committees such as Audit, Finance, Technology, Governance, Risk, Compensation and/or Sustainability.

The first component of Babiak's "board portfolio" was a position on the Board of Directors of UK-based Logica, which she joined in 2010. Now she's accepted her second position, with Deerfield, Illinois-based Walgreens.

So how does she participate in an American company after living in the UK for over twenty years? Well, according to her LinkedIn profile, she now lives in the United States. Not in Oklahoma, not in Cleveland - but in the Nashville, Tennessee area.

I wonder if Babiak can get decent fish and chips in Nashville. If not, the Inland Valley Daily Bulletin's David Allen notes that Babiak can come to Ontario, California to get some.
blog comments powered by Disqus