The Corporate Governance Committee is responsible for reviewing with the Board, on a periodic basis, the appropriate characteristics required of Board members in the context of the board's current composition. This includes review of the suitability for continued service of each Board member when his or her term expires and when he or she has a significant change in status. Overall, the assessment includes areas such as senior leadership positions; professional experience in areas relevant to the company's businesses, including aerospace, industrial distribution, international, government, regulatory, mergers and acquisitions, financial, accounting, human resources or information technology systems experience; other public company board service; diversity, age and evidence of the intangible characteristics that are vital to the successful operation of any board. Diversity in this context has traditionally referred to encouragement of the identification of candidates from so-called "minority" categories, including women and individuals of varied national origin. Consideration of diversity has been an element communicated to the third-party search firms in each of the director searches in the past several years.
The Board believes that intangible characteristics include a demonstrated understanding of a director's policy making role while constructively challenging management to seek and attain competitive targets and increase shareholder value; a demonstrated understanding of the company's values and strategic plan; capacity for critical thought; maintenance of objectivity in not being unreasonably influenced by personal experience or other Board members in situation analysis; and the independence required for participation on the Board and its committees. In addition, Board members are evaluated with respect to their active contributions, including regular attendance and preparation for/participation at meetings while maintaining an ongoing understanding of the issues and trends affecting the company.
In addition to these intangible characteristics, we have described specific experience, qualifications, attributes and skills that the Board believes qualify each current director for his or her position on the Board in the summary of biographical information described above, beginning at page 4. Those descriptions are not intended as comprehensive descriptions of the types of expertise or contributions provided by each director. At this time, the Board believes that each of these directors possesses the experience, qualifications, attributes and skills as well as the intangible characteristics described above, which, taken together, qualify them for their positions on the Board.