– USA, TN – Forward Air Corporation (NASDAQ: FWRD), today announced the appointments of George Mayes, Chitra Nayak, Scott Niswonger, Javier Polit, and Richard Roberts to its Board as independent directors, effective immediately.
These appointments follow an agreement with a significant shareholder, Ancora Holdings, Inc.
Both appointees are highly qualified and bring substantial experience across operations, finance and technology to a meaningfully refreshed Board. They will stand for election at the 2021 Annual Meeting of Shareholders.
In connection with the appointments of Ancora’s designees, Mr. Niswonger and Mr. Roberts, Ancora also endorsed the new directors identified by Forward Air.
The Company also announced that John Langley Jr. and Gil West will not stand for re-election at the Annual Meeting.
Following the Annual Meeting, the Board will comprise 13 directors, 12 of whom are independent and nine of whom will have joined the Board in the last four years.
“We are pleased to welcome this group of outstanding directors to the Forward Air Board at this important time for the Company,” said Chairman, President and CEO, Tom Schmitt. “With these appointments, our Board reflects our strong commitment to refreshment and best-in-class governance. We are eager to benefit from the diverse insights and significant expertise of our new directors as we work to build on our momentum. In determining the skill sets that would be most additive to our Board, we strove to reflect operations, disruptive technology and commercial acumen. Our new directors are a bullseye match at a world-class level.”
Mr. Schmitt continued, “The constructive engagement between the Company and Ancora during the last few months will benefit the long-term interests of our shareholders. As we emerge from the pandemic a stronger company with enhanced offerings and service, we are confident in our ability to deliver long-term shareholder value. Finally, I would also like to thank John and Gil for their years of dedicated service on the Board. Without their tremendous contributions, we would not be in a strong position that we are today.”
“On behalf of the entire Board, I would like to express our gratitude to distinguished directors John and Gil for their commitment and positive impact on Forward Air,” said Craig Carlock, Lead Independent Director.
Fred DiSanto, Chairman, and CEO of Ancora said, “We are pleased to have worked constructively with the Board and management team to reach this agreement to strengthen the Board, which we believe will help enhance value for shareholders. We appreciate the thoughtful dialogue with Tom and the Board as we worked together to ensure Forward Air is best positioned for the future.”
About George Mayes
George S. Mayes currently serves as Founder and CEO for LeanVue, LLC, which provides strategic analysis for global supply chain design and strategy development for managing complex global supply webs. From 2013 – 2015, Mr. Mayes was COO for Diebold, Inc., a global leader in automated teller machine manufacturing and service. He was selected to serve as interim CEO in 2013. From 2005 – 2012, Mr. Mayes held leadership roles in global operations and supply chain management at Diebold. Before that role, he was COO for Tinnerman Palnut Engineered Products, LLC. He also served as VP, Manufacturing for Stanley Fastening Systems.
Mr. Mayes is currently a board member for Stoneridge, Inc. Mr. Mayes served in the United States Army from 1980 – 1985.
He holds a bachelor’s degree in Engineering from the United States Military Academy at West Point.
About Chitra Nayak
Chitra Nayak has more than 25 years of professional experience in Go-To-Market, general management, and operations leadership roles at various companies. She currently serves as a board member at Invitae, a public high-growth genetics testing company, at Morneau Shepell, a tech-enabled HR services company, and Intercom, a messaging platform company. She also advises startups on Go-To-Market. Most recently, Ms. Nayak was COO running Go-To-Market at Comfy, a real-estate tech startup. Before that role, she was COO at Funding Circle, an online SMB lending marketplace. From 2007 – 2015, she served as COO, Platform and SVP, Global Sales Development at Salesforce.com. Ms. Nayak has also held leadership roles at AAA, Charles Schwab, and the Boston Consulting Group. Ms. Nayak has a passion for empowering women in the workplace. She is the co-founder of Neythri.org, which supports South Asian professional women. She was the co-founder of the Salesforce Women’s Network initiative and she co-created and taught an MBA class, “Women in Leadership”, at California State University, East Bay. She writes extensively about leadership, how to grow companies, and about women in the workplace on LinkedIn.
Ms. Nayak holds an MBA in General Management from Harvard Business School, an MS in Environmental Engineering from Cornell University, and a BS in Engineering from the Indian Institute of Technology.
About Scott Niswonger
Scott M. Niswonger has a storied career in supply chain management and logistics. Mr. Niswonger founded Forward Air Corporation in 1990, which operated as the sister company of Landair Transport, Inc., trucking, warehousing, and supply chain management company that he founded in 1981. The companies were separated into two public entities in 1998. Mr. Niswonger retired as Chairman of Landair when it was acquired by Covenant Transportation Group, Inc. in 2018, a role he held since 1981. Mr. Niswonger served as CEO of Landair, from 1981 – 2003. He also served as Chairman and CEO of Forward Air, from 1990 – 2003 and 2005. Before that, Mr. Niswonger served as VP of Flying Tiger Lines Inc., a global cargo airline, from 1984 – 1986. Mr. Niswonger has served as an independent director and member of the Nominating & Corporate Governance and Executive & Risk Committees of First Horizon National Corp. from 2011 – 2020. Mr. Niswonger also served on the Board of Directors of People’s Community Bank from 2003 – 2005. Mr. Niswonger is President and Founder of the Niswonger Foundation, a non-profit organization providing educational programs, scholarships, and other charitable activities, and is the lead benefactor for the Niswonger Children’s Hospital.
Mr. Niswonger holds a BSBA from Tusculum University, and an AD in Aviation Technology, and an Honorary Doctorate in Technology from Purdue University. He is a certified airline transport pilot.
About Javier Polit
Javier Polit is an experienced Fortune 100 Chief Information Officer, with extensive experience across consumer goods, retail and financial services. Mr. Polit currently serves as Chief Information and Integrated Services Officer for Mondelez International. From 2017 – 2020, he was Chief Information Officer for Procter & Gamble Company. Before that role, he served as Group Chief Information Officer for Coca-Cola Bottling from 2007 – 2017 and as Global Director Customer Solutions, Business Intelligence and Distributions for the Coca-Cola Company from 2003 – 2007. Mr. Polit was also VP, Global Corporate Systems for Office Depot and Vice President Information Technology for NationsBank NA. He is currently a board member for Vista Equity Partners – QuickBase, Girls Who Code, and Virtustream. He is also a member of the Board of Trustees at Quinnipiac University. Mr. Polit is a graduate of the Advanced Management Program at Harvard Business School.
He holds a Master of Science from Barry University, a Masters of International Management from Budapest University of Technology and Economics, and a Masters in International Business Management from TiasNimbas Business School. He also holds an MBA from Purdue University and a bachelor’s degree in Business Administration from the University of Miami.
About Richard Roberts
Richard H. Roberts has served as a director of Miller Industries, Inc., since April 1994. In January 2011, Mr. Roberts was appointed to the position of Commissioner of the Department of Revenue of the State of Tennessee and served as Commissioner until December 2016. As Commissioner, Mr. Roberts streamlined the department’s operations, and initiated and oversaw the selection and implementation of a new comprehensive tax collection system. Mr. Roberts served as SVP and Secretary of Landair Transport, Inc. from July 1994 to April 2003, while serving as SVP, General Counsel, and Secretary of Forward Air Corporation during the same time period. From May 1995 until May 2002, Mr. Roberts served as a director of Forward Air Corporation. Mr. Roberts also was a director of Landair Corporation from September 1998 until February 2003. Mr. Roberts entered the private practice of law in 1985 with Baker, Worthington, Crossley, and Stansberry, Washington, D.C., and Nashville, Tennessee. Mr. Roberts brings a thorough and insightful perspective to a wide range of financial, regulatory, and risk management issues.
About Forward Air Corporation
Forward Air is a leading asset-light freight and logistics company that provides services across the United States and Canada. We provide expedited less-than-truckload services, including local pick-up and delivery, shipment consolidation/deconsolidation, warehousing, and customs brokerage by utilizing a comprehensive national network of terminals; final mile services, including the delivery of heavy-bulky freight; truckload brokerage services, including dedicated fleet services, high-security, and temperature-controlled logistics services; and intermodal first-and last-mile high-value drayage services both to and from seaports and railheads, dedicated contract and Container Freight Station warehouse and handling services.
For more information: https://www.forwardair.com
About Ancora Holdings, Inc.
Ancora Holdings, Inc. is an employee-owned, Cleveland, Ohio-based holding company which wholly owns four separate and distinct SEC Registered Investment Advisers and a broker-dealer. Ancora Advisors LLC specializes in customized portfolio management for individual investors, high net worth investors, investment companies, and institutions such as pension/profit-sharing plans, corporations, charitable & “Not-for-Profit” organizations, and unions. Ancora Family Wealth Advisors, LLC is a leading, regional investment and wealth advisor managing assets on behalf of families and high net-worth individuals. Ancora Alternatives LLC specializes in pooled investments. Ancora Retirement Plan Advisors, Inc. specializes in providing non-discretionary investment guidance for small and midsize employer-sponsored retirement plans. Inverness Securities, LLC is a FINRA registered Broker-Dealer.
For more information: https://ancora.net
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