Kerstin (Valdés) Benden is an accomplished multi-lingual executive with over 25 years of diverse experience driving success in highly complex global and national business environments. She is known for strategic vision combined with practical execution, and highly regarded for her integrity and leadership. Over the course of her career, she has proven success as a leader who is able to forge and nurture relationships while building alignment around innovative and dynamic business initiatives and strategies.
Mrs. (Valdés) Benden is the CFO for Georgia-Pacific’s Consumer Business, one of the world’s leading manufacturers and marketers of paper products and makers of such well-known brands as Dixie® cups and plates and Quilted Northern bathroom tissue. In this role, she guides the largest division of Georgia-Pacific in all financial areas, including organic and inorganic global strategic investments. Prior to this role, she was the VP and Commercial Compliance Officer for Georgia-Pacific’s Consumer Products Group. She established the enterprise risk management vision and strategy for this business and led a diverse and geographically dispersed team serving over 13,000 employees across all functional areas in Canada, the U.S., and Mexico in identifying, assessing, and managing risk.
Previously, Mrs. (Valdés) Benden held the Consumer Business CFO role at EarthLink, Inc., at the time a $1B communications provider serving over 2M customers. In this role, she led a team located throughout the U.S. partnering with and financially guiding the Consumer organization, the business unit providing internet and voice services to consumers that generated over 85% of the company’s revenue and 100% of its $300M EBITDA during her tenure. Preceding her CFO role, Mrs. (Valdés) Benden served as Chief Internal Auditor reporting to the Audit Committee of the Board of Directors and to the CFO. In this capacity, she established a nationwide, diverse internal audit team, created the audit strategy for the company, and provided independent, objective, risk-based assurance and advisory services to Management and the Board.
Prior to EarthLink, Mrs. (Valdés) Benden was the Executive Director, Global Ethics and Compliance, for BellSouth International, Inc. (BSI). In this role, Mrs. (Valdés) Benden critically contributed to the success of the international business by designing and implementing an ethics and compliance program for this multi-billion-dollar Fortune 100 Company, covering 12M customers and 20,000 employees in 13 highly diverse countries in Latin America, Europe, and the Middle East. Before transferring to BSI, Mrs. (Valdés) Benden developed, negotiated, and implemented the strategy to create a BellSouth Internal Audit Latin America Group, while managing her ongoing Internal Audit responsibilities for financial and operational audits of the international operating companies at BellSouth Corporation.
Previously, Mrs. (Valdés) Benden held various positions with increasing responsibility in Public Accounting at Price Waterhouse LLP and KPMG LLP. A certified tax advisor in the field of International Tax Consulting, she provided tax planning and consulting services to international companies with global and mobile workforces.
Mrs. (Valdés) Benden holds an Executive MBA from Kennesaw State University’s Coles College of Business and a Bachelor of Art’s Degree in Government & International Studies and French from the University of South Carolina. She serves as Past Chair and Executive Member of the Advisory Board to the Coles College of Business, Kennesaw State University, Past Chair and Executive Member of the Board of Hillside, one of Atlanta's oldest organized charities, German Church Council Member, and Treasurer for Boy Scout Troop 1.
Check out the incredible speaker line-up to see who will be joining Kerstin .