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Message from CEO Deb DeHaas

Hear CEO Deb DeHaas share her perspectives on legacy and stewardship, and what the future has in store for Corporate Leadership Center and its programs.

Our Story

It started as a business relationship in the mid-1990s between Cheryl Francis, who was the Chief Financial Officer at RR Donnelly, and Sheila Penrose, who was President of the Corporate Bank at Northern Trust. As senior executives who also sat on corporate boards, both women recognized the opportunity for a new way to address the unique needs of senior executive leaders in corporate roles. Following input from CEOs and executive leaders, Cheryl’s and Sheila’s joint vision for what became Corporate Leadership Center was launched in 2002.

Sheila Penrose and Cheryl Francis

CEO Perspectives was created in 2004, with the help of trusted academic advisors, to expand executives’ impact in C-suite roles. The program helps participants shift to an enterprise-wide view of the organization, so they can better support and execute their CEO’s vision for success.

The Leading Women Executives program was created in 2009, with input from academic advisors, for women leaders who are advancing to executive leadership roles. The program equips women with strategies to elevate their impact and effectiveness as business leaders.

LWE Fellow at module

In 2019, Deb DeHaas was named CEO of Corporate Leadership Center, to build upon the Co-Founders’ legacy, including: expanding our digital capabilities, fostering ongoing engagement and exploring new ways to support our participating organizations. Cheryl Francis and Sheila Penrose continue to serve as Co-Chairmen of Corporate Leadership Center’s Board of Directors. 

As Corporate Leadership Center’s reach continues to grow, Fellows from the CEO Perspectives and Leading Women Executives programs are increasingly engaging with both programs in a variety of different roles – as participants, advocates, speakers and executive sponsors. In recognition of Corporate Leadership Center’s robust community, we thank our participating companies for their commitment to leadership development and celebrate our Fellows, who are becoming the business leaders of tomorrow.

Panel of Advocates

Our Community

Corporate Leadership Center’s robust community encompasses business executives and thought leaders from around the world. Our focus is on building long-term relationships with each and every individual to provide value and impact.