Board Observer

Centennial, Inc

Job Description

The Centennial team is seeking a Board Observer for a chemical company serving over 20,000 customers worldwide. This family-owned business serves five main markets including aerospace, automotive, energy, medical manufacturing, and general machine shops. They are located in the Toledo, OH area.


Board Observers for this organization are nominated annually to a term of one year and voted on by the Shareholders. The primary role of the Board Observer is to assist the Board in ensuring expected Shareholder returns are realized and maximized. The Board Observer will support the work of the organization and Board and provide mission-based leadership and strategic governance.

The Board Observer will be expected to serve on two standing committees (Audit, Compensation, Governance, Health/Safety/Environment and/or Strategy/Innovation/Technology). During this period of renewal and growth, the Director may be asked to also support joint Family+Board+Management initiatives, special projects, and/or serve on task force or ad hoc committee.

In addition to preparing for and regularly attending the Board and Committee meetings, the Board Observer will be available/accessible to consult with the CEO and with management on specific issues. This is a paid position.


• Unblemished reputation for maintaining the highest ethical standards

• Strategic, forward-thinking executive able to support an organization moving towards a shared vision aligning Board, Management, the Family and the Shareholders

• Effective communicator

• Strong interpersonal skills with a dedication to achieving and maintaining alignment between all Stakeholders

• Appreciation and respect for the unique dynamics of a family business

• Clear and persuasive speaker; respectful, thoughtful listener

• Ability to synthesize complex and diverse information

• High level of personal and professional energy


A bachelor’s degree is required. An advanced degree in business is preferred.

Job Requirements

The ideal candidate will possess many of the following professional experiences and skills:

• Experienced Board Member with current knowledge of governance best practices and procedures, and understanding of the Board’s role in strategic planning and innovation

• International business experience is significantly important

• Prior corporate Board service as Chair of the Board and/or Chair of the Audit Committee of for-profit corporations, either private or public

• Prior experience as Board member or senior executive of a family-owned business

• Extensive senior management experience in strategy, operations, technology, and/or finance, preferably as CEO, COO, and/or CFO

Strong understanding of operating considerations in a value-adding industry where go to market is often through distributorships

• Experience with value-driven, solutions-based sales in innovation-driven industries

• Prior experience at a global, middle-market specialty chemical company

• Successful experience with organic growth strategies as well as diversification through mergers/acquisition strategies including M&A integration

Strong operating experience, solid technical financial and accounting skills, and sound business judgment

• Experience with specialty chemical industry is preferred, experience in certain operating areas of aerospace industries also desirable