MAKING A BOARD: Linda Chavez, ABM Industries Director, believes that focus on employees is one big factor to make a board a good one.

GREYHOUND WAS my first Board, a bus company, a major transporter of immigrants and I had the knowledge to provide insights about the customers, their views and concerns. I provided those insights about the Hispanic communities. My second Board was ABM. The General Counsel was looking into expanding the Board and again my background on public issues made me a candidate because he wanted someone able to understand the Hispanic population.

My third Board was Pilgrim's Pride, the second poultry producer in the nation. I was a good candidate for that Board because of my view and understanding of the workers visions. I had recently published a book on Workers Unions issues and at that time it was relevant to have someone with this understanding and view on their Board. Diversity was important but back then they talked more about female Board members and African Americans. These were the two areas in which search firms concentrated in, but there was not a true emphasis on Latinos.

I've been in the Governance Committee at ABM Board and when we are looking for new Board members, I always tell the search firms, "I want to see a first batch of candidates who are diverse." From there we always try to find the best candidates. If they are white male or female, it's okay. We focus on recruiting the best candidate no matter what. But I like to begin the search with a list of diverse candidates; to make sure we're going...

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