Forgetting whose back they should be patting (and boring us to death in the process)

The Dresser-Rand Group issued a criminally boring press release today: 

The National Association of Corporate Directors has chosen Rita V. Foley as the Not-for-Profit Director of the Year for 2007.

The award is bestowed by NACD’s independent review panel on a board member who has demonstrated outstanding leadership, service and integrity in corporate governance. Ms. Foley serves as a director on Dresser-Rand Group Inc.’s board. Foley was honored at a special award presentation at the J.W. Marriott Hotel in Washington, D.C. on October 15, 2007.

The event honors outstanding directors from boards of public, private and nonprofit organizations. Dresser-Rand’s President & Chief Executive Officer Vincent R. Volpe, Jr., remarked, “We are extremely proud of Rita and her recognition as Not-for- Profit Director of the Year. We are both honored and fortunate to have the benefit of Rita’s experience, diligence, reputation and business counsel on our Board.”

Does this guy know what Foley does and why she won? She’s chairman of Pro Mujer International, which provides Latin America’s poorest women with microfinance loans, business training and health care. Working with individual donors and poor women, her organization is undeniably changing lives and futures in some of the world’s poorest countries. 

This press release could have framed Dresser-Rand as a company with its finger on the pulse of Latin American poverty. Instead, it put us all to sleep – and undoubtedly resulted in the smallest blips in the media. Even more sadly, Pro Mujer International chose simply to reproduce this press release on its own site, rather than write and send its own. I’m certain they could have told a story of Foley’s personal visit with one of its clients, demonstrating in a compelling way why she deserved this award above everyone else.   


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