Santa Fe Group Board Risk Committee

The Santa Fe Group Board Risk Committee is a peer community that provides a thought leadership focal point for CROs and Board Risk Committee members who are contending with a highly charged, rapidly shifting operational risk environment. Risk Committee strives to educate its members functioning as an idea exchange in a group culture of trust in a non-competitive environment.


Our benchmarking research shows the more the board is engaged, the more mature the TPRM organization and management. We help our members with a top-down/bottom-up approach to third party risk management by examining emerging risks and best mitigation practices while offering solutions to common board risk committee governance challenges and risk personnel resource challenges.

About Us

Catherine A. Allen

Founder and Chairman of the Board, The Santa Fe Group

Catherine Allen is the Founder and Chairman of the Board of The Santa Fe Group. The Santa Fe Group is a strategic consulting company specializing in briefings to C-level executives and boards of directors at financial institutions and other critical infrastructure companies in the areas of risk management, cybersecurity, emerging technologies and third party risk, and provides management for strategic industry and institutional projects, including the Shared Assessments Program, made up of 350 corporations focused on third party risk management best practices.


Catherine was named one of the 2018 NACD 100 Most Influential Corporate Directors. She has set up, chaired or been a member of numerous Risk Committees of Boards. She was honored in 2007 by U.S. Banker Magazine with the Lifetime Achievement Award for her outstanding contributions to financial services and technology. In 2013, she was honored with the Lifetime Achievement Award for her contributions to technology by the Executive Women’s Forum. She was honored with the 2015 Leadership Award by the Griffith’s Society and received the highest honor from the University of Missouri for alumnae service in 2018. She is the recipient of an Honorary Doctorate of Humane Letters from the University of Missouri, recognizing her professional achievements in financial services and technology.

Charlotte Whitmore

Co-Founder and CEO, Wisdomist

Charlotte Whitmore is the co-founder and CEO of Wisdomist, a startup on a mission to create a better future by connecting people who have wisdom with people who want wisdom through a proprietary, AI-enhanced digital marketplace…anywhere…anytime. The platform is focused on connecting people who have retired from a C-suite career with entrepreneurs who seek to augment their knowledge with the experience of those who have gone before as they work to grow their businesses. Previously, Whitmore was chair of the board of Analytics Pros, a leading digital analytics consultancy and top global partner for the Google Marketing Platform, which she co-founded in 2009 and sold in 2018. Whitmore also serves on the boards of Cancer Pathways and La Pointe Foundation. She lives in Bellevue, Wash., with her four children and husband.

Joe Prochaska

Board Member, The Santa Fe Group

Joseph (“Joe”) J. Prochaska Jr is an experienced board member and strategic financial executive with over 30 years helping some of the world’s largest insurance related companies improve profits, navigate transformation activities including mergers and acquisitions and enhance financial systems. Joe has an extensive background in accounting, financial reporting, financial systems, and risk evaluation.  He also brings deep information technology experience including enterprise-wide financial and operating systems and cyber security. Joe is designated as a Qualified Financial Expert under Sarbanes-Oxley and serves as an independent director and Qualified Risk Expert on the Synovus Financial Corp. Board.

Joe has served on the Synovus Financial Corp. Board since 2011. In 2011 he stood up the Company’s first Board Risk Committee and he chaired the committee for several years. He is still a member while now chairing the Audit Committee. His board experience includes participation on private company boards in the real estate, technology, and data analytics arenas as well as various charitable boards. He also has extensive experience participating as a member of internal regulatory boards for statutory insurance companies.

Joe was the Executive Vice President, Chief Accounting Officer and Principal Accounting Officer for MetLife, Inc. from 2003 until his retirement in 2009. Before joining MetLife, he served as Senior Vice President, Controller, and Principal Accounting Officer of Aon Corporation from 1998 to 2003. Joe was actively involved in all financial activities for both entities worldwide including the filing of all SEC reports as well as many compulsory regulatory reports to state insurance departments, the US government, and the Federal Reserve Bank. He also participated actively on numerous merger and acquisition activities at both firms in due diligence, integration activities, and valuation. He has a thorough understanding of the capital markets and valuations. Joe oversaw financial reporting systems during his tenure at MetLife and Aon and was active in designing and implementing operational IT systems.

At MetLife and Aon and, his previous employer, Shand Morahan, which all had extensive overseas operations, Joe developed broad international experience across Europe and Asia and he personally transacted business in over 25 countries.  He is well-versed in dealing with multiple currencies and different financial norms and was recognized for his ability to motivate and manage diverse staffs located in multiple offices around the globe.

Mr. Prochaska started his business career at a Big 4 CPA firm before moving to the corporate world. He has worked as a CEO, President, and Treasurer of smaller organizations before moving back to the financial arena. Through these experiences, he acquired deep operational, profit & loss responsibility, and financial expertise.

As a Board Director, he has continued his education attaining the designation of a Governance Fellow from the National Association of Corporate Directors. He is a CPA and has maintained his property & casualty insurance broker license for over 30 years. Recently he has focused his education on cyber security and third party risk management both as a participant and presenter in seminars and meetings.

He graduated from the University of Notre Dame with a BBA in Accounting and is a CPA. He has volunteered his time to several charitable organizations over the years especially the University of Notre Dame and Elmhurst University, where he serves on the Endowment Investment Committee. Joe and his wife, Gina, have three grown children and six grandchildren. They still travel extensively when not working and have been to over 80 countries.