President

Kevin Kessel, CFA
, Vice President, Investor Relations, KLA

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Kevin Kessel currently leads KLA’s investor relations program. Previously he led Flex’s IR initiatives for 10 years. Before his career in Investor Relations, Kevin was a Senior Equity Research Analyst and Vice President for JPMorgan and a Managing Director for Bear Stearns, where he covered the Technology Supply Chain for nearly a decade and was ranked as part of the Institutional Investor’s All-America Research Team numerous times. Prior to working on Wall Street, Kevin was a consultant with Accenture in its Electronics and High Tech group with a focus on supply chain.

Kevin graduated summa cum laude from the University of California at Santa Barbara with a degree in Business Economics and an emphasis in Accounting. Kevin has been a CFA charterholder since 2003.

This is Kevin’s seventh term on the Board.

President-Elect

Vern Essi
, Former Sr. Director of Investor Relations and Corporate Development, Inphi Corporation

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Vern joined Inphi in 2019 to lead its investor relations efforts and execute on its corporate development strategy. Prior to joining Inphi, Vern was Director of IR and Strategic Finance at Quantenna Communications where he architected its investor relations effort and supported its strategic initiatives as a newly public company. Previously, Vern was Vice President of Business Development at Exar, where he worked on various corporate development aspects and managed the investor relations efforts. Vern started his career as a sell-side equity research analyst and brings to his corporate functions over 20 years of technology research experience at a host of investment banks, most recently at Needham & Company.

Vern graduated from Babson College with a degree in Finance & Investments and holds both the Investor Relations Charter (IRC) and Chartered Market Technician (CMT) designations.

This is Vern’s third term on the Board.

Treasurer

Kim Watkins
, CFA, Vice President and Head of Investor Relations, Intuit

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Kim Watkins is Vice President and Head of Investor Relations at Intuit, where she is the primary point of contact for the investment community. Prior to joining Intuit in September 2016, Kim led Investor Relations at Ruckus Wireless prior to Ruckus being acquired by Brocade. Before joining Ruckus, Kim spent 20 years in the financial services industry, including the last 18 years as a financial analyst. Most recently Kim worked at Citi where she was a Vice President and Analyst on the Communication Equipment & Data Networking equity research team, including lead coverage of Brocade, Polycom, and Riverbed. Prior to that she was a Vice President on the same team for 4 years at Morgan Stanley, where she worked on the Ruckus IPO in 2012, preceded by 9 years at JPMorgan, where Kim was also lead analyst on the RF/cabling Wireless Equipment names. Kim was a founding member of a team ranked #1 by Institutional Investor Magazine 12 times.

Kim holds an MBA from University of California Berkeley’s Haas School of Business, a BBA from University of Michigan’s Ross School of Business, and holds the Chartered Financial Analyst designation.

This is Kim’s fifth term on the Board.

Susanna Chau, Director, Investor Relations, Atara

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Susanna serves as Director, Investor Relations at Atara Biotherapeutics. Prior to this, she held IR roles at Compugen (immuno-oncology), Coherus (biosimilars), Astex Pharmaceuticals and Exelixis (oncology) and Affymetrix (genomic testing). She practices three main tenets in IR: transparency, addressing perceived corporate shortfalls head-on, and setting investor expectations. Her war chest of experiences include: an activist challenge from a protégé of Carl Icahn; year one post-IPO; post-merger company name change and rebranding.

For NIRI SF and SV, she leads the Life Sciences Subgroup and the Mentorship Program. In the pastSusanna served on the 2015 and 2016 NIRI Annual Conference Committees, co-organizing a panel on short attacks, as well as a crisis management panel. Prior to IR, she held roles in life sciences marketing and as a bench scientist in agricultural biotechnology.Susanna holds a Bachelor of Science in Genetics and Plant Biology from University of California, Berkeley, and a minor in Business Administration from the Haas School of Business.

This is Susanna’s fourth term on the Board.

Katherine Chen, Head of Investor Relations, Eventbrite

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Katherine has over 10 years of experience in investor relations, corporate communications, and corporate governance. She is currently Head of Investor Relations at Eventbrite, where she joined in 2021 to lead and remake its IR program in conjunction with the company's strategic pivot.

Prior to Eventbrite, Katherine worked on award-winning investor relations teams at Flex, a global manufacturing solutions company, and at Cepheid, a medical devices company which was acquired by Danaher in 2015. She began her career as a lead proxy research analyst at Glass Lewis, where she specialized in North America corporate governance and equity compensation analysis.

Katherine received Bachelor's degrees in Economics and History from the University of California, Santa Cruz, where she was a Regents Scholar, and holds the Investor Relations Charter (IRC) designation. This is Katherine’s first term on the Board.

Bill Choi, Senior Vice President of Investor Relations and Strategic Finance, Zscaler

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Bill is Senior Vice President of Investor Relations and Strategic Finance at Zscaler, a leading cloud security provider. Bill is responsible for IR, ESG, M&A Finance and long-term financial planning. Bill joined Zscaler in 2017 to prepare the company for its initial public offering and to establish its IR program. Prior to making the transition to investor relations, Bill spent over 20 years leading and building technology sector research practices at various investment banks including Jefferies, Janney, Merrill Lynch, and PaineWebber. Bill specialized in thought-leadership research across high-growth companies in networking, hardware, infrastructure software and cybersecurity industries.

Bill graduated with honors from the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania, with a concentration in finance and management. Bill is a CFA Charterholder.

This is Bill’s third term on the Board.

Sheila Ennis, Senior Vice President, Abernathy MacGregor

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Sheila Ennis joined Abernathy MacGregor in 2016 and is currently a Senior Vice President based in the firm's San Francisco office. Following more than 20 years of equity capital markets experience at technology-focused investment banks, Sheila spent three years focused on investor relations advisory assignments at ICR. She brings to Abernathy MacGregor extensive knowledge of corporate finance, reporting metrics selection, competitive positioning, fund targeting and strategic communications. Sheila began her two decades long capital markets career with Hambrecht & Quist, a pioneering tech-focused investment bank. During her fifteen years there and subsequently at boutique investment banks, she has participated in hundreds of IPOs and follow-on offerings and advised on dozens of M&A assignments both as the sell-side research analyst and as a senior banker.

Sheila received a B.A. in Law and Society from Brown University.

This is Sheila’s third term on the Board.

Chris Faralli, Managing Director, Russell Reynolds Associates

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Chris Faralli is a Managing Director at Russell Reynolds Associates and a core member of the Corporate Officers Sector, where he focuses on the Financial Officers Practice. He specializes in recruiting and assessing top talent for Chief Financial Officer and senior investor relations roles, working closely with clients across industries to build effective, forward-thinking financial leadership teams. Leveraging more than a decade of executive search experience, Chris brings a rigorous, process-oriented approach to engagements for both public and private companies, with a particular focus on leading strategic next-generation searches. He is based in San Francisco.

Chris joined Russell Reynolds Associates more than 10 years ago and has worked with clients across a range of industries, including technology, financial services, healthcare and nonprofit organizations. He also has extensive experience with global banking institutions, alternative investment firms and high-growth technology companies. Chris began his career in New York, focused on CFO searches, broad finance mandates and investor relations.

Chris received his BA in political science from the University of Pennsylvania. He is a member of the National Investor Relations Institute (NIRI), for which he has spoken at a number of industry events. This is Chris’s first term on the Board.

Elaine Gaudioso, Investor Relations Manager, Box

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Elaine is the Investor Relations Manager at Box. Prior to joining Box, she held IR roles at companies such as Nimble Storage, Cisco, and Juniper Networks. She began her career in recruiting at Business Objects (now SAP) before transitioning into investor relations.

Elaine has a Bachelor of Science degree in Human Development from California State University Hayward.

This is Elaine’s seventh term on the Board.

Mary Lai, Vice President, Investor Relations, NortonLifeLock

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Mary Lai is Vice President of Investor Relations for NortonLifeLock. Prior to NortonLifelock, Mary led and helped build award-winning investor relations teams at SYNNEX, Flex, and Salesforce.com. Mary brings in 15+ years of combined experience across investor relations and technology equity research, including areas in software, hardware, and services.

Mary holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Business Administration from the Haas School of Business, at UC Berkeley. This is Mary’s first term on the Board.

Ben Lu, Chief Financial Officer, Archer

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Ben was named CFO of Archer in August 2021. Prior to joining Logitech in May 2016, Ben spent nearly 20 years in both the buyside investment management and sell-side equity research industries.

Ben graduated from the Leonard N. Stern School of Business at NYU with a dual degree in Finance and Information Systems. Ben has been a CFA charterholder since 2000.

This is Ben’s fourth term on the Board.

Alex Porter, Managing Director, Nasdaq's Corporate Platforms

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Alex Porter is Managing Director of Nasdaq’s Corporate Platforms business. In this role, Alex oversees Nasdaq’s corporate client relationships and business development efforts in Silicon Valley, providing strategic guidance, mission critical resources, and networking opportunities to IROs, CFOs, CEOs, GCs, and Sustainability professionals both pre and post-IPO.

With over eight years’ experience at Nasdaq, Alex brings a unique perspective on the U.S. equity capital market environment, evolution of corporate priorities, and trends in investor relations.

Alex holds a Bachelors degree in economics from Hobart and William Smith Colleges. This is Alex’s first term on the Board.

Kate Scolnick, Chief Financial Officer, Owlet

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Kate is Chief Financial Officer at Owlet, a connected nursery ecosystem that delivers data-driven technology to modern parenting. With over 20 years of corporate financial experience, Kate’s career concentration has been in the information technology sector, including executive finance and senior investor relations roles at EMC Corporation, McAfee, Intel, Seagate Technology and Anaplan. Institutional Investor Magazine named Kate to their All America Executive Team rankings of best investor relations professionals in the IT Hardware sector for 2013-2015.

Kate received her B.A. from Michigan State University and Stanford University Executive Program certification. This is Kate’s seventh term on the Board.

Traci Tsuchiguchi, Vice President, Investor Relations and Corporate Sustainability, Citrix

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Traci Tsuchiguchi is Vice President of Investor Relations at Citrix Systems. Prior IR positions include Senior Vice President of Investor Relations and Strategic Finance at CA Technologies, Vice President of Investor Relations at Applied Micro Circuits Corporation, and Senior Vice President at Addo Communications, an investor relations agency.

Prior to making the transition into investor relations, Traci was an equity analyst at Seneca Capital Management in San Francisco for 8 years covering primarily Technology stocks as well as some Consumer and Health Care names. She started her career on the sell-side at Prudential Securities working in institutional equity sales and trading and in equity research.

She is a graduate of Cornell University.

This is Traci’s sixth term on the Board.

Mary Frances Turnbull, Managing Director and Head of Corporate Access, Raymond James

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Mary serves as Managing Director and Head of Corporate Access at Raymond James with an emphasis on collaborating with Investor Relations professionals to develop strategies for investor outreach and targeting. In this role, Mary is also responsible for partnering with Capital Markets, Investment Banking and Research professionals to develop and source content for Raymond James hosted general and sector-specific conferences, summits, symposiums, non-deal roadshows, bespoke and industry experts. Prior to joining Raymond James, Mary served in various research, sales and management roles at serval sell-side investment banks; including Lehman Brothers, Deutsche Bank and Salomon Smith Barney. An active NIRI member, she previously served on the Annual Conference Committee and President of the Central Florida chapter. She is founder and co-chair of The Women in Capital Markets Symposium (WICM), an annual event devoted to advancing the professional development of women at Raymond James.

Mary received a BA in economics from Mount Holyoke College, and an MBA in finance from Fordham University.

This is Mary’s third term on the Board.

Jennifer Zibuda, Director, Investor Relations and Communications, Prothena

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Jennifer Zibuda has been in investor relations and communications for over 10 years with experience on both the buy side and sell side. In 2020, she joined Prothena, a clinical-stage neuroscience company focused on the discovery and development of novel therapies in devastating neurological disorders, as the Director of Investor Relations and Communications. Prior to joining Prothena, Jennifer was the Associate Director of Investor Relations at Portola Pharmaceuticals until the acquisition of the company by Alexion. Jennifer has also held Investor Relations positions at publicly traded companies, Alkermes and The Navigators Group, as well as Scottwood Capital Management, a hedge fund.

Jennifer holds a Bachelor’s degree in Psychology from the University of Connecticut and a Master’s degree in Corporate Communications and Public Relations from Sacred Heart University.

This is Jennifer’s third term on the Board.

Board Administrator

Cassie Vargas

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Cassie Vargas is the NIRI Silicon Valley Board Administator and is also an acccomplished Senior Executive Assistant and Program Manager that thrives on bringing positive energy, collaboration, efficient communication, and outperforming expectations.