Board placements are a complex system that can be difficult to understand and negotiate. I joined Boardsi in the hopes of landing an executive board position. After eight months as a member, I feel compelled to give an honest account of my experience to help other executives make an informed decision.
A Spectrum of Opportunities
During my time at Boardsi, I had the chance to learn about a wide variety of businesses, from start-ups to multinational conglomerates. The platform offered a wide variety of opportunities, including advisory and board member roles. While some opportunities were outside my immediate purview, I was particularly intrigued by companies on the brink of going public, actively seeking diversity in their board composition. Such positions were enticing because they offered a rare combination of difficulty and payoff.
The Platform: Simplicity with Room for Enhancement
While the Boardsi platform is straightforward and easy to navigate, it may be too basic for some users. I felt it lacked certain features that could further enhance the user experience. When I brought this up, though, I was told to expect an update in the fourth quarter of 2023. This revision assures a thorough “Board Preparedness Initiative,” with the intention of providing executives with resources to strengthen their board candidacy. It is great that you are making Executive Board Education classes available to all of your members. Personal branding assets like articles and podcast interviews are hard to come by, so I was especially intrigued by the “Executive Branding” service.
Addressing the Elephant in the Room
During my time working with Boardsi, I came across a few articles calling it a “scam,” claiming that Boardsi, AdvisoryCloud, and ExecRanks are all the same company under different names. To clear things up, Boardsi is totally separate from AdvisoryCloud and does its own thing. Both organizations had separate founding groups, as even the most cursory research would show. You can learn more about the people behind Boardsi at https://www.crunchbase.com/organization/boardsi, including CEO Martin Rowinski, COO Daniel Henry, and co-founders Cameron Henry and Richard Teal. In contrast, Jonathan Aspatore (https://www.crunchbase.com/person/jonathan-aspatore-2) and Chris Beaver (https://www.crunchbase.com/person/chris-beaver) founded and run AdvisoryCloud. ParentFile, The ExecRanks, WonderDads, and Aspatore Ventures are all companies that Jonathan started. (https://www.crunchbase.com/search/organizations/field/people/num_founded_organizations/jonathan-aspatore-2) Funny thing is, he owns the companies listed in the emails I received from Advisory cloud looking for Board Members and Advisors, ParentFile and WonderDads. That is odd to me, but what is more important is that I could not find any connection between that and Boardsi. Executives who are earnestly seeking board placements are hurt by the attempt to smear Boardsi’s reputation by drawing false associations.
In Retrospect: My Boardsi Experience
For the most part, the eight months I have spent working with Boardsi have been rewarding experiences. I have had two interviews with different companies during this time. The time required was longer than I had anticipated. Boardsi’s customer service was helpful in explaining the complication that caused the delay after I contacted them. They explained that companies often take their time to gather executive profiles before diving into the research phase and selecting candidates for interviews. After learning this, I realized that Boardsi’s timeliness is sometimes at the mercy of events outside of their control. I am looking forward to my upcoming second interview with one of those companies and am hopeful that it will lead to a board position as I eagerly await the platform’s enhancements. The few hiccups and longer than expected wait times have been outweighed by Boardsi’s genuine dedication to connecting executives with desirable board opportunities.
In this day and age of abundant false information, it is more important than ever to form judgments based on personal encounters rather than hearsay. Boardsi has proven itself reliable and effective over the course of its seven years in business, earning recognition such as the Inc5000 Award along the way.
To Boardsi, I extend my gratitude for the opportunities and insights provided. Here’s to many more years of success and growth!