In 2018, she served as a Commissioner for the NACD’s Blue Ribbon Commission initiative focused on adaptive governance: to better assess and respond to complex, difficult-to-identify risks that would have a profound economic, operational, and/or reputational effect. In 2019, Blythe earned the CERT Certificate in Cybersecurity Oversight and presented Corporate Governance topics to various audiences, including PCAOB and Board Member conferences. She is a financial expert after years as a CFO at public companies and ran LIF Group, offering a global perspective for clients seeking profitable growth. She taught full-time in the accounting and management unit at Harvard Business School (HBS) for two years.
In 2018, Women Inc. named her as a 2018 Most Influential Director. In 2012, 2010, and 2008, NACD/Directorship selected Blythe as one of the Top 100 “Most Renowned and Influentials” in corporate governance.
Prior to leading LIF Group, Blythe served as Chief Financial Officer based in Paris and transformed the global technology capabilities of BIC Group, a French company traded on the Euronext. She was a pioneering Chief Financial Officer at Hannaford Bros. Co. as one of only ten female CFOs in the Fortune 500 in 1995 for 5 years until selling the company. She has also served as chief administrative officer – Pacific Rim for Sara Lee Corporation where she had responsibility for growing the business through acquisitions, improving the information technology and finance processes, and hiring leaders in the region.
Blythe is a certified public accountant (CPA). She earned an MBA from Northwestern University’s J.L. Kellogg Graduate School of Management, which selected her for the Schaffner Award, presented annually to an alumnus who is preeminent in his or her field and who provided outstanding service to Kellogg.
Her bestselling book, Shaking the Globe, subtitled Courageous Decision-Making in a Changing World (published by John Wiley & Sons in 2009) provides entrepreneurs and executives with research and action ideas to overcome obstacles in a competitive and interconnected world. She is the author of Fit In Stand Out, subtitled Mastering the FISO Factor: The Key to Leadership Effectiveness in Business and Life (published by McGraw-Hill in 2005).
- Courageous Decision-Making
Many Americans fear that the global economy will cost them their jobs and purchasing power and that, in turn, will force a reconsideration of American values. It is one thing to lose jobs to Indochina because employers located there can hire 14-year old children and women cheaply, provide no health care, avoid safe workplace standards, hire and fire at will, and face no liability for environmental depredation. Yet, it is another to consider a twenty-first century America that must scale back its labor practices and deregulate to make America competitive once again. These fears are based on legitimate concerns but McGarvie's goal is to lessen them and the reactionary protectionist policies they engender, by demonstrating that global business changes offers opportunities to Americans. At this seminar, McGarvie shows the six stops to connect the globe in a changing world; illustrates how business can redefine success in an interconnected world; and how to make better decisions by using untapped resources and fostering the entrepreneurial spirit in organizations of any size.
- Financial Accuity Matters
Finance is the language of business, in any industry. You can turn opportunity into strategic insight if you have financial acuity. Clearly, this is an under-developed skill given the financial scandals and disruptions of recent times. Keying into Google the phrase "financial scandals" yields 175,000 hits; the word "bankruptcies" yields 500,000 hits; and "accounting fraud" yields nearly 1 million hits. You must know what attributes define a company that will sustain profitable growth and be a great place to invest your time or your money. You must develop your own financial acuity even if your job is in marketing, operations, sales, or human resources if you want to thrive in business today.
- Global Citizenship: Succeeding in a New Culture
Two-thirds of the world's purchasing power and 95% of the world's consumers reside outside US national borders. The top 25 US companies made 43% of their revenues abroad in 2004. Leaders must learn how to take advantage of this increasing globalization. Understanding the truth about American jobs and who are the business winners and losers will allow executives to navigate their careers and their company.