President's Letter

August 27, 2019

Welcome to the 2019-2020 season of your NIRI San Francisco and co-Nor Cal Chapter!

It is an honor to be elected as this year’s chapter President. Your board has been hard at work, meeting in July and August for our traditional summer planning sessions. We begin each season by reflecting on our purpose and reviewing the prior year’s successes and lessons learned. With that in mind, I want to start this letter acknowledging the achievements and momentum the chapter gained over the past three years under the leadership of our outgoing president, Nicole Noutsios.

Between 2016 and 2019 our chapter membership grew over 30%, average event attendance more than doubled and we expanded our chapter programs to include evening networking and happy hour events as well as free member events plus member exclusive Senior Roundtables. We also developed a strong partnership with the Silicon Valley chapter launching the dual chapter membership “NorCal” and received multiple NIRI National Chapter and Individual Leadership Awards for programming, member services and leadership expansion. All of this was done while increasing sponsor support which allowed us to offer a robust calendar of events, decrease member ticket prices and expand our event locations to high caliber venues such as the Olympic Club, One Market restaurant, Spin and Oracle Park.

We ended the 2018-2019 NIRI season with 162 members consisting of 136 IR practitioners and 26 service providers. We are the 4th largest chapter and our longest tenured member will be celebrating 29 years with NIRI this December!

Recap of 2018-2019 Programs
Throughout the season we hosted 15 events focused on best practices, professional development and networking opportunities. We added more evening events to the calendar and different locations including the Olympic Club and member corporate offices in an effort to make our events accessible to more of our members as well as adding more fun and variety to the schedule. These 15 events included (4) Lunch and Learns, (2) evening Network and Learns, (2) Sr Roundtables – member exclusive, (1) Crisis Seminar – free to members, (3) primary evening Networking Events – Fall Kick-off, Holiday Party and Summer Send-off – and (3) happy hours.

Below are summaries from a few of last season’s featured events:

August (SF and Nor-Cal chapter member exclusive) Senior Roundtable featured Richard Marshall of Korn Ferry who provided insights into what CFOs value most in IR leaders and presented Korn Ferry’s most recent compensation survey.

October (free to SF and NorCal chapter members) Crisis Communications Seminar opened with a networking breakfast, followed by a crisis management workshop led by Andrew Brimmer, Vice Chairman and Founding Partner of Joele Frank Wilkinson Brimmer Katcher, and concluded with a panel discussion and Q&A highlighting real world experiences shared by senior IR leaders from Autodesk, BioMarin, Gap Inc., and Molsen Coors.

February ESG Fundaments featured proxy analysts from Parnassus and Capital Research who were joined by The Clorox Company’s Corporate Secretary & Deputy General Counsel in a moderated panel to discuss why ESG matters, how factors such as climate change, diversity and culture impact investors' evaluation of companies, as well as how the influence of the various third parties that monitor and report on ESG practices influence the buy-side and how IRO’s should prioritize disclosures.

April Insights into the Evolution of Investing from active to passive featured an all-star panel of key passive fund managers from BlackRockState Street and Invesco. Moderated by NYSE.

May Analyst Day Best Practices hosted a panel discussion and Q&A with Cyana Chilton of Capital Group and Ben Reitzes of Moelis & Company in which we discussed what the buyside values most in an Investor Day and creative ways to use non-traditional resources, such as bankers, to develop your story and create presentations.

In addition to our chapter programs, the board was actively engaged at the national level.

Last year, 5 Bay Area leadership members, including 3 San Francisco chapter board members, attended the NIRI Leadership Week in Washington D.C. This was our opportunity to participate in NIRI Advocacy and meet with members of the SEC to voice our support for Proxy Advisory reform and various hedge fund, short selling and long holder disclosure. We continue to be a voice for our membership and invite you to share your experience in any of these areas and join us in Washington in 2020.

Our board frequently influences content and agendas set at the NIRI National Conference. This year was particularly meaningful as one of our board members served on the NIRI National 50th Anniversary planning committee.

Looking Ahead – Fall Kick-Off September 18th
We are kicking off the 2019-2020 season with a Lobster Feed at the South Beach Yacht Club on Wednesday, September 18th! We hope you will join us for this opportunity to catch up with old friends and make some new ones while taking in the beautiful bay views from the deck. The evening will include an open bar and plated lobster dinner. Invitations will be sent out soon.

We are finalizing the calendar of events with a focus on networking and learning opportunities for members at all stages of their career. We are bringing back some favorites like the Crisis Communications Seminar and introducing a new workshop that will take ESG from disclosure theory to disclosure practice. We are also planning a Senior Roundtable in late fall and will be hosting breakfasts and happy hours for our newer members. Below is a preview of coming events.

2019 Calendar Preview

September 18 – Lobster Feed @ South Beach Yacht Club
October TBA – Crisis Communications Seminar – free to members
November 6 – ESG Workshop @ Olympic Club
December 12 – Holiday Party @ Olympic Club
More to be announced….

2019–2020 Board of Directors

I’ll close by introducing you to your 2019-2020 NIRI SF Board of Directors. Every year we evaluate the composition of the board to ensure we represent the composition of our member base. Some of the criteria we look at includes tenure in the IR profession, diversity in professional experience, and level of engagement with the chapter and with NIRI at large. I am excited to welcome several new board members to this year’s slate as well as many returning board members who have dedicated years of service to NIRI at the chapter and national levels. I believe we have a great mix of experience that will bring innovative ideas to the chapter and ensure we deliver best-in-class learning opportunities to our members.

Board Slate

  • President - Lisa Hartman, Senior Vice President, Head of IR at Redwood Trust
  • VP, Sponsorship - Victoria Hyde-Dunn, Head of IR at 8x8, Inc
  • VP, Treasurer - Derrick Nueman, Vice President, Head of IR at Opera Software
  • VP, Communications - Palmira Gerlach, Director, Head of IR at Upwork
  • VP, Communications - Maggie O’Donnell, Director of IR at Wix
  • VP, Programs - Linda Pazin, Head of Technology, Global Listings at NYSE
  • VP, Programs - Amy Feng, Managing Director at Joele Frank
  • VP, Programs - Anna Vu, Director of Investor Relations at Digital Realty
  • VP, Programs - Kelly McGeehan, VP/Head of Americas, Corporate Solutions at IHS Markit
  • VP, Membership - Ronald Clark, Head of IR at Yelp!
  • VP, Membership - Richard Gu, Senior Director of IR at VMware
  • VP, Advocacy Ambassador - Edelita Tichepco, Vice President, Head of IR at Anaplan
  • Director at Large - Nicole Noutsios, Founder of NMN Advisors
  • Director at Large - Hunter Landers, Founder of Grapeshoot

We look forward to another great season and hope to see you at one of our events soon!

Lisa Hartman,
President, NIRI SF