Banner Corporation (NASDAQ: BANR)
Premera Blue Cross
Q & A
How did you learn about your current board opportunities? Did active networking play a role?
How has DirectWomen helped you achieve your board service-related objectives?
What have been/were the most challenging aspects of establishing yourself as a director?
Which of your skills/attributes do you believe have been most instrumental in your board role(s)?
What specific events, people or tactics (if any) have helped your transition from career woman to board director?
What ongoing activities continue to develop/enhance your effectiveness as a director?
What are your further short/medium/long-term board service objectives?
What advice would you give to aspiring women directors?
Connie Collingsworth is the General Counsel, Secretary and member of the Executive Leadership Team of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, the world’s largest foundation, with over $43 billion in assets. Ms. Collingsworth serves on the board of Banner Corporation, a bank holding company, with assets of approximately $10 billion, operating throughout the Pacific Northwest and Northern California. She is the Chair of the Governance and Nominating Committee and also serves as a member of the Compensation and Risk Committees. Ms. Collingsworth also serves on the board of Premera Blue Cross, one of the largest health plans in the Pacific Northwest, and sits on its Audit & Compliance Committee, Investment Committee and Quality Committee. She previously served as a board member for Attenex Corporation, a privately held company that became an established leader in automating data processing with powerful visualization tools to analyze massive amounts of electronically stored information.
Prior to joining the foundation, Ms. Collingsworth was a partner of Preston Gates & Ellis (now K&L Gates), a leading Northwest law firm based in Seattle, where she served as lead attorney for a broad range of commercial transactions, merger and acquisitions, and private equity financings, including venture capital and hedge funds. During her tenure at Preston Gates & Ellis, she served as a member of the firm’s Executive Committee, was the Chairperson of the firm’s Business Department and served as a member of the Compensation Committee.
Nonprofit activities include serving as the Secretary and board member of Women’s World Banking, a global network of microfinance institutions focused on expanding the economic assets, participation and power of low-income women and their households by helping them access financial services, and also serves as a member of the Finance and Compensation Committees. Ms. Collingsworth is also currently a board member of the Northwest Chapter of the National Association of Corporate Directors (NACD).
Previous nonprofit leadership activities include serving as the Board Chair of Social Venture Partners (SVP), a network of individuals who combine financial contributions and professional skills with a passion for philanthropy to leverage expertise and resources to strengthen nonprofits. She was also a Co-Founder, Board Chair and President of the French American School of Puget Sound, a nonprofit, full-immersion French language school serving students from pre-school through grade 8, with current enrollment of approximately 415 students.
Connie holds an LL.M. in International Business Studies from the University of Exeter, England, a J.D. from the University of Nebraska and a B.A. from Andrews University.