Corporate Directors Forum’s 20th Annual Director of the Year Awards

Corporate Directors Forum’s 20th Annual Director of the Year Awards

Join Us in Celebrating These Fantastic Directors. At the Corporate Directors Forum, we believe good governance is worth celebrating. The ripple effect it creates in the community benefits us all. Don’t miss your opportunity to celebrate the significant achievements of seven of San Diego’s greatest business talents. To join us and be a part of this memorable evening, purchase your individual tickets or a table for the event at We hope to see you there!

Seven of San Diego’s top boardroom directors will be honored on September 12, 2019 at the Corporate Directors Forum’s 20th annual Director of the Year awards. Each honoree, nominated by their peers for outstanding work in the boardroom and behind the scenes, will be recognized in distinct categories. While several nominees serve on more than one organization’s board, they are being recognized for their work on a specific board, as highlighted below.


Mark Foletta

Mark Foletta, Corporate Governance

For his work at Dexcom, Inc. as the Audit Committee Chair, Mark Foletta is this year’s nominee for the category of Corporate Governance. Known as a “sage, practiced and thoughtful voice in the boardroom,” his contributions and financial expertise have helped Dexcom tremendously in their ability to navigate complex structures and grow their revenues. In 2018, company revenues grew by more than 40% and the market capitalization of the company doubled. His holistic, pragmatic approach to arriving at decisions, factoring in all financial and governance challenges, has earned him the reputation of an invaluable advisor and resource to the leadership team.


Dr. Jay B. Lichter

Dr. Jay B. Lichter, Enhancement of Economic Value

Dr. Jay B. Lichter is this year’s honoree for Enhancement of Economic Value for his service on the board of Synthorx, Inc. The company was co-founded by Avalon Ventures and incubated at COI Pharma, where Dr. Lichter serves as President & CEO. Beginning with $6.25M in Series A in 2014, just four years later (in December 2018), the company’s $137.5M IPO successfully launched. A true entrepreneur, investor, and inventor with over 25 years in management, scientific research and business development in the biotechnology and pharmaceutical industries, he’s the seasoned package boardrooms seek. His expertise lends itself perfectly to Synthorx’s focus on “prolonging and improving the lives of people with cancer and autoimmune disorders.”


Sabrina Martucci Johnson

Sabrina Martucci Johnson, Emerging Board Leader

“Delivering Innovation by Daring to be Different” is not just the motto for Daré Biosciences, but is also the reason it’s Founder, President, CEO and Director is this year’s Emerging Board Leader honoree. With Sabrina Martucci Johnson’s daring leadership at the helm, Daré was formed out of a reverse merger in July 2017, which required blending two boards quickly and seamlessly. Ms. Johnson’s ability to secure smart and innovative financing structures allowed the board to move swiftly in their goal toward meeting unmet women’s health needs. With three later-stage products and five early-stage and pre-clinical programs, Daré’s portfolio is as impressive as its leader.


Daniel J. Wolterman

Daniel J. Wolterman, Companies in Transition

NuVasive’s Compensation Committee Chair, Daniel J. Wolterman, is this year’s honoree for Companies in Transition. Regarded as a seasoned healthcare professional and visionary, Mr. Wolterman was instrumental in recruiting a new CEO for NuVasive in 2018. This competitive and challenging process required countless hours of collaboration with outside advisors and the board. Mr. Wolterman was able to successfully carry out the robust succession planning process while maintaining a high standard of good governance and keeping the various stakeholder needs in mind. While NuVasive develops “minimally disruptive solutions” for the spine and beyond, many could argue that Mr. Wolterman’s ability to help navigate a time of immense transition was also done with minimal disruption.


Lori Moore

Lori Moore, Corporate Governance: Not-for-Profit

Lori Moore, this year’s honoree for Corporate Governance: Not-for-Profit, has a life-long relationship with Sharp Healthcare. Not only does she serve as Sharp Healthcare’s Board Chair, she was also born in a Sharp hospital, was a Sharp Candy Striper, and later became a Sharp nurse. She is their first nurse to hold the Board Chair position. Ms. Moore is the force behind the organization’s system-wide philanthropy initiative for board members, with more than 160 individuals serving on boards across the system. The Board recently awarded Ms. Moore the prestigious "Guardian Angel" pin for her significant impact on the organization. It is safe to say the importance she places on giving back to the community has benefitted the Sharp community and constituents tremendously.


Mike Grey

Mike Grey, Lifetime Achievement

With over four decades of experience in the pharmaceutical and biotechnology industries, Mike Grey’s impressive career makes him this year’s honoree for Lifetime Achievement. His leadership capabilities and extensive knowledge have made him a much sought-after board member. While this award is for his cumulative career successes, he currently serves as Executive Chairman for Mirum Pharmaceuticals, Inc., Amplyx Pharmaceuticals, Inc., Reneo Pharmaceuticals, Inc. and Spruce Biosciences, Inc. Additionally, he is on the boards of BioMarin Pharmaceutical, Inc., Horizon Pharma plc. and Mirati Therapeutics, Inc. To further multiply his innumerable contributions to the pharma and biotech industries, Mr. Grey is also a venture partner at Pappas Capital, where he helps to evaluate and fund companies seeking to address unmet medical needs.


Robert S. Sullivan

Robert S. Sullivan, Lifetime Legacy

Since 2003, this year’s honoree for Lifetime Legacy, Robert S. Sullivan, has served as founding Dean of the Rady School of Management at UC San Diego. Retiring this year, Mr. Sullivan’s 16 years in this role have yielded impressive results. At its inception, the school was promised no philanthropic, campus or state resources, yet with his tenacious dedication and leadership, he managed to secure nearly one quarter of a billion dollars, assemble a world class faculty, achieve accreditation at almost a record speed, and establish consistently highly-ranked programs. His contributions to the school have created a domino effect in the San Diego community and beyond, contributing greatly to intellectual capital, in general, and innovation, in particular. His legacy will live on for generations to come.

To join us and be a part of this memorable evening, purchase your individual tickets or a table for the event at We hope to see you there!