Sandra Helton

Former EVP & CFO, Telephone & Data Systems Inc.


Principal Financial Group
Covance, Inc.
OptiNose Inc.


Corporate Directorships

Member since:


Membership Type:


Sandra L. Helton serves on the Boards of Directors of Principal Financial Group, a leading financial institution, Covetrus Inc., an animal health services and technology company, and OptiNose, a specialty pharmaceutical company.  She chairs the Audit Committees of all three companies.  She serves on Principal’s  Finance Committee which was created under her leadership as Chair, as well as Principal’s Executive Committee.  She also serves on Covetrus’ Nominating and Governance Committee.

Ms. Helton serves on the Board and Executive Committee of Northwestern Memorial Foundation.  She previously served on the Board of Northwestern Memorial Health Care, a nationally recognized academic medical center, where she chaired the Audit Committee and served on the Executive, Finance and Investment Committees.

Ms. Helton serves on advisory boards of the University of Kentucky College of Arts and Sciences and the Board of the Chicago Architectural Center where she has chaired the Finance and Nominating/Governance Committees and served on the Executive Committee.

Ms. Helton was Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer, and a member of the Board of Directors of Telephone and Data Systems, Inc. from 1998 through 2006.  She was responsible for TDS’s finance, strategic planning, information systems, investor relations and Corporate Secretary functions.  Ms. Helton also served on the Board of U.S. Cellular, TDS’s publicly traded subsidiary.

Before joining TDS, Ms. Helton was Vice President and Corporate Controller of Compaq Computer Corporation.  Prior to joining Compaq, she held over a dozen increasingly responsible positions during her 26-year tenure with Corning Incorporated.  Ms. Helton began her career at Corning in an engineering capacity and progressed through a series of increasingly responsible engineering, finance, operating and strategy roles to become Senior Vice President and Treasurer.

Ms. Helton previously served on the Board of Lukens Inc., a steel manufacturing company, on the Board of Covance Inc., a comprehensive drug development company, and on the Board of Lexmark International Inc., a provider of imaging and information products, services and software.

Ms. Helton is a pianist and organist, and actively supports the arts.  She served on the Business Committee of the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York from 1995 through 2007, and she has served in leadership roles on the boards of numerous nonprofit organizations.

Ms. Helton holds an S.M. in Finance from Sloan School of Massachusetts Institute of Technology and graduated summa cum laude with a B.S. in Mathematics from the University of Kentucky.  In 2009 she was inducted into the University of Kentucky College of Arts and Sciences Hall of Fame.

She is a member of The Chicago Network, International Women’s Forum, Central Audit Committee Leadership Network, National Association of Corporate Directors and Women Corporate Directors.  Ms. Helton and her husband, Norman Edelson, live in Chicago and Tucson, Arizona.

The Chicago Network