2020-2021 President’s Letter

Dear fellow NIRI Silicon Valley and NIRI NorCal members,

You don't need me to tell you that we are all living through unprecedented times. We've never entered a year knowing that Zoom would replace travel, and previously foreign concepts like PPE and social distancing would become front of mind. In times like these, we must avoid isolating ourselves, even though it feels like the path of least resistance. Instead, we can all benefit from fostering existing relationships, making new connections, and learning from one another. Yes, this will have to be done via virtual platforms for the time being, but eventually, it will translate to the real-world, and we will all be grateful for making the most of these unusual times. When it comes to IR, nobody has all the answers, but together we can all be better, and find the best solutions and make our careers more successful and fulfilling.

That's precisely where I believe our NIRI Silicon Valley Chapter comes in – helping bring us together in a world where we are forced to be apart. Before the Board gathered to discuss planning for this upcoming year, I re-examined our Mission to see if any significant updates were required to reflect today's reality. There weren't any. Instead, I've worked with our Board to more tightly align our plans and objectives for this upcoming year around our Mission. We have simplified our board structure around three committees, each focused on driving action and activities aligned with our Mission to help ensure the ongoing vibrancy and value of our Chapter.

Mission: The NIRI Silicon Valley Chapter was formed to advance the practice of investor relations within the local business environment. In keeping with this mission, the Chapter focuses on IR education, mentoring, and networking with the broad professional community. Our goal is to further the skills of our members, to expand their business opportunities, to increase Chapter membership, and to foster an environment that promotes IR learning for all.

Personally, this marks my sixth year on the NIRI Silicon Valley Board and my first as President. I'm grateful to those Board members who have come before me as I inherit a very healthy chapter. Between NIRI Silicon Valley and NIRI NorCal, we have over 150 members and growing. Our theme for the last few years was "Cutting Through The Noise". We've decided to keep this theme for the upcoming year with a minor modification. Our Chapter will now be focused on "Cutting Through The Virtual Noise".

There is more high-quality IR content produced in today's virtual world than one IR professional or IR team can consume. As a result, our Board has decided not to focus on creating even more content. Instead, we will direct our energy towards curating and driving discussion and engagement around the excellent content that is already out there. More than ever, we are focused on collaborating with other chapters and IR organizations. All of this supports our core value of communicating and fostering discussions and engagement amongst chapter members. This is where we believe the NIRI Silicon Valley Chapter can provide unique value to our members. It begins this Friday with our first event (details below).

10/16 – Friday – 12pm: Lunch Break with NIRI Silicon Valley – Virtual Investor Days – Learn What Works and What Doesn't. A Zoom Conversation with IROs That Have Recently Been Through It.

The bolded words above represent our Board's three overarching goals this year:

  • Curating. Calling your attention to the best IR educational content from partners and sponsors via direct emails, social media, and our NIRISV.org website.
  • Collaborating. Providing informal zoom chats and events (like the one above) where members have the opportunity to speak and meet new people in a low-key setting. In addition, we are envisioning a mentoring/NextGen program and providing opportunities to work with other NIRI chapters. For instance, NIRI San Francisco and NIRI Silicon Valley started this season by collaborating around the calendar of events, working closely with each other to ensure we don't overlap, and we cross-promote each other's programs.
  • Communicating. Focus efforts on informing and sharing ideas within our IR community and driving more dialogue via surveys, social media, and our website. We hope to dive deeper into topics like diversity and inclusion and further our efforts to make positive, impactful strides

The NIRI Silicon Valley Board represents a diverse group of IR professionals across industries, market cap, and tenure (listed on the next page). We look forward to helping all our members cut through the virtual noise, focusing on curation, collaboration, and communication! Please email any thoughts or ideas to us at board@nirisv.org and we hope to see you all virtually this Friday!


Kevin Kessel

Kevin Kessel, CFA
President, NIRI Silicon Valley
Vice President, Investor Relations and Market Analytics at KLA

NIRI Silicon Valley 2020 – 2021 Board of Directors

  • Kevin Kessel, President, VP of IR and Market Analytics at KLA
  • Meghan O'Leary, Director at Large, Head of IR at Silicon Valley Bank
  • Kate Scolnick, Director at Large, VP of Finance at Anaplan
  • Kim Watkins, Treasurer, VP of IR at Intuit

Digital Content, Communications and Marketing Committee

  • Traci Tsuchiguchi, VP of IR at Citrix
  • Ben Lu, VP of Finance at Logitech
  • Tesh Dahya, Director IR at HP
  • Elaine Gaudioso, IR Manager at Box

Programs and Seminars Committee

  • Mary Turnbull, Managing Director and Head of Corporate Access at Raymond James
  • Vern Essi, Senior Director of IR and Corporate Development at Inphi
  • Susanna Chau, Director of IR at Atara
  • Jennifer Zibuda, Director of IR and Communications at Prothenas

Sponsorship and Membership Committee

  • Shelia Ennis, SVP at Abernathy MacGregor
  • Bill Choi, SVP of IR and Strategic Finance at Zscaler

Board Volunteers

  • Mary Lai, VP of IR at NortonLifeLock
  • Katherine Chen, Director of IR at Flex

If you are interested in the rewarding experience of getting more involved with the NIRI Silicon Valley Chapter please email us at board@nirisv.org or just reach out to any board members directly.