Blythe J. McGarvie
3025 River Oaks Road
Williamsburg, VA 23815
757 345 3595
MBA Kellogg School of Management
BA Northwestern University
Professional/business/civic/nonprofit organizations in which you are/have been involved and positions held:
On the Board of Directors for:
- The Travelers Companies Inc. (since July 2003): This $25 billion property and casualty company resulted from the merger of two established insurance providers in 2004. The company is one of the 30 Dow Jones companies (DJIA). Chairman of the Investment and Capital Markets Committee with $80 billion in investment assets and member of the Executive, Compensation, and Nominating and Governance committees. Approximately $26 billion market capitalization.
- Viacom (since April 2007): This $13.6 billion media company has a reach that includes 170 channels and 430 digital media properties in 160 countries and territories. Chairman of the Audit Committee and member of the Compensation and Nominating and Governance committees. Approximately $17 billion market capitalization.
- Accenture (since October 2001): This $22 billion world leader in technology consulting and services has 165,000 people serving 120 countries. Chairman of the Audit Committee since the company went public in 2001. Approximately $25 billion market capitalization.
- Wawa Inc. (since June 1998): a privately held company since 1865, Wawa has grown from $1.1 billion in 1998 to a $6 billion convenience store retailer. Value per share over that period grew from $481 to $2,296, a 15.3% CAGR. Wawa has excelled in retail convenience food service and added gasoline fuel sales in 1999. Chairman of the Compensation Committee.
- Pepsi Bottling Group (from March 2002 – February 2010): This $15 billion distributor of beverages in the US and select foreign markets including Russia, Turkey and Mexico, was acquired by PepsiCo in February 2010. Served as Chairman of the Audit Committee, and as a member of the Compensation Committee. Served on the independent committee evaluating PepsiCo’s offer, increasing it from $29.50 to $37.50 per share.
From a non-profit point of view:
- Lyric Opera of Chicago Guild Board, member since 1989. Top 10 fundraiser for several years
- CIVIC Leadership Institute, connecting proven leaders through service to improve life in Hampton Roads, Class of 2006 and serve on Board of Directors (since 2007)
- Kellogg Alumni Council member since 1983 and selected for the Pete Henderson Society, a group who have helped make Kellogg a leader in management education. Former president of the Kellogg Alumni Club of Chicago (1987-1988)
- President’s Council of Colonial Williamsburg Foundation since 2008, formerly member of the Raleigh Tavern Society since 2003
Who were the important mentors you have had and how did they impact your career?
One of my mentors was Claudine Malone who served on the board of directors for Hannaford when I was the chief financial officer. She mentored me to understand the governance and strategic issues of a Fortune 500 company.
Another important mentor is Dean Nancy Bagranoff of Old Dominion University. She is an inspiration and someone who combines accounting talent, leadership and friendship to make a difference in a community.
What do you consider your biggest personal and/or professional accomplishment and why?
My biggest accomplishment was publishing two books. The first book, Fit In Stand Out, explains how to economically empower men and women. The second book, Shaking the Globe, provides a roadmap for courageous decision-making in a changing world.
What advice would you give to a young person graduating from college this spring?
Read books for inspiration and write down your dreams and desires so you know what you want to achieve. By knowing what you want to do or to become, you will be able to make smart choices.
How do you achieve a balance between your professional life and your personal life?
I make a list at the beginning of each month, reflect on my past month activities and priorities to determine what I need to do to stay on track for the next month in order to achieve my goals. Goals are dreams with a deadline. If I have skewed my time inappropriately toward my profession, personal, friends or community during the month, I adjust to make sure I stay on track.
When you were growing up, what did you want to be?
When I was 14 years old, I wanted to be a CPA. I thought it would be fun to understand business and rewarding to understand the financial mechanics of growing a business.
What is your favorite book or movie and why?
My favorite movie is Out of Africa because the protagonist, Karen Blixen, was courageous, acted on her dreams in Africa and shows the beauty of adventure.
What are two things about you that not many people know?
I write poems. My girlfriend and I went to cooking school in Amalfi, Italy for a week, even though my husband does all of our cooking at home.
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