2021 IR Workshop

2021 IR Workshop – The Evolution of IR

2021 IR Banner

September 24, 2021
8 a.m. – 5:30 p.m.
The Metropolitan, Willis Tower
233 S. Wacker Drive, 66th Floor
Chicago, IL 60606


IR Workshop Brochure 


“IROs are becoming indispensable assets for the executive team and for the board.”

-- Harvard Business Review, May 2021

Investor relations is evolving into a strategic function from one that primarily focused on tactics. This evolution has accelerated during the COVID-19 pandemic, which created opportunities for investor relations officers to elevate their internal roles as key decision makers and thought leaders. Last year forced us to take risks, be agile and bold, and add value in new ways. This year’s IR Workshop will provide insights to inform our strategic journey and meet future challenges – as well as outstanding in-person networking and IR services information in the Exhibitor Showcase.

Keynote: The Changing Role of IR

Ram Charan

Business consultant and author Ram Charan will discuss insights derived from the Harvard Business Review article he co-authored in May, The Changing Role of the Investor Relations Officer, and the co-authors new book, Talent, Strategy, Risk: How Investors and Boards are Redefining TSR.

Panel Discussions

C-Suite and Board Perspectives

Every day, investor relations officers are being asked to do more outside the traditional bounds of IR – including environmental, social and governance (ESG) communications and corporate strategy. In taking on these broader roles, investor relations officers also need to evolve their leadership skills to ensure their companies effectively plan and communicate to investors and other stakeholders. Our panelists have influenced this IR evolution firsthand via their C-suite and board roles. They will offer perspectives on how IR officers can excel within and beyond IR’s traditional scope.

Sara A. Greenstein, President, Chief Executive Officer & Board Member Lydall, Inc.

Sara Greenstein joined Lydall (NYSE: LDL) in 2019 and currently serves as president, CEO and director. As a leading global manufacturer of value-added engineered materials and specialty filtration solutions, Lydall reacted quickly during the COVID-19 pandemic to maximize production of high-efficiency filtration media for respirators, surgical masks and air filtration systems. Earlier in her career, Greenstein was senior vice president of consumer solutions at U.S. Steel and held multiple executive positions at Underwriters Laboratories. Greenstein previously served on the boards of Hu-Friedy Manufacturing and Briggs & Stratton. She received an MBA from the University of Michigan’s Ross School of Business and a bachelor’s degree from the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign. 

William H. Schumann, III, Retired Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer, FMC Technologies, Inc.

Bill Schumann was CFO of FMC Technologies and predecessor company FMC Corp. (now owned by Technip FMC) from 1999 until his retirement in 2011. In 2010, sell-side analysts voted Schumann one of the top CFOs in oilfield service and equipment. Schumann joined the board of Avnet (Nasdaq: AVT) in 2010, was chairman from 2012 to 2018, currently chairs the finance committee and serves on the audit and executive committees. Previously, he served on the boards of McDermott International, Andeavor Corp., Great Lakes Advisors, AMCOL International and URS Corp. Schumann earned a master’s degree in management from the Marshall School of Business at the University of Southern California and a bachelor’s degree from the University of California at Los Angeles.

Moderator: Robert Cherry, Vice President, Investor Relations, Methode Electronics


Since 2020, Rob Cherry has headed investor relations at Methode Electronics (NYSE: MEI), a leading global supplier of custom-engineered mechatronic products for user interface, LED lighting system and power distribution applications in the transportation and industrial end markets. Previously, he joined Regal Beloit Corp. (NYSE: RBC) in 2015 as vice president of investor relations and took on corporate development responsibilities in 2017. Earlier in his career, he worked for FMC Technologies and United Conveyor Corp. Cherry earned an MBA from the University of Chicago’s Booth School of Business and bachelor’s degree from the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign.

Elevate Your ESG Game

ESG topics are here to stay as a focal point in IR officers’ daily conversations. As we look to the future, what do investors most want to know about your company’s ESG/sustainability initiatives and successes? How do you meet or exceed stakeholders’ rising ESG expectations? What should you do to better collaborate with your firm’s ESG experts and make ESG work better for you and your company? Our panelists will share insights from their successful ESG programs, including strategies to help IR officers navigate ESG complexities whether you are a team of one or many.

Jennifer Driscoll, Director of IR, Caterpillar Inc.

Jennifer Driscoll leads investor relations for Caterpillar (NYSE: CAT). Before joining the company in 2019, she was director of IR at DowDuPont (NYSE: DD), vice president of investor relations at Campbell Soup (NYSE: CPB) and vice president of investor relations at Best Buy Co. (NYSE: BBY). She currently serves on the NIRI national board and ethics committee, is a member of the NIRI Senior Roundtable and past president of NIRI’s Philadelphia and Twin Cities chapters. Driscoll received her MBA from the University of St. Thomas and bachelor’s degree from St. Catherine University, both of which are in St. Paul, Minn.

André Gevargiz, Director of IR, Mondelēz International

André Gevargiz joined predecessor company Cadbury in the U.K. in 2009 and after stints in category finance, sales finance, FP&A and internal audit, moved into investor relations in the U.S. with Mondelēz International (Nasdaq: MDLZ) in 2019. In his current role, Gevargiz takes the lead role in ESG engagement within the MDLZ IR team. He received his undergraduate degree from the University of Sheffield and is a member of the U.K.-based Chartered Institute of Management Accountants

Sarah Whitford, Director of IR, Ventas, Inc.

Sarah Whitford is the director of IR for Ventas (NYSE: VTR), an S&P 500 company and real estate investment trust that owns approximately 1,200 healthcare, life science and senior living properties in North America and the United Kingdom. She joined Ventas in 2015 and has served in a variety of roles in corporate finance and investments. Previously, Whitford worked as an investment analyst at GCM Grosvenor. She received her bachelor’s degree from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. 

Moderator: Brian Matt, CFA, Director - Head of ESG Advisory, New York Stock Exchange

Brian Matt is responsible for the NYSE’s relationships with its listed companies with respect to their progress on ESG. He has more than 20 years of experience in working with corporate investor relations teams to help them craft and deliver their investment stories. Before joining NYSE earlier this year, Matt was head of ESG for Americas for IHS Markit’s Issuer Solutions group, where he led the buildout of a product suite helping companies to evaluate their ESG disclosures and engage with stakeholders. Before joining IHS Markit, he was global head of strategy and innovation for Ipreo. He is a CFA charterholder.


A Broader Lens on Economic and Market Trends

The work of IR professionals is inextricably connected to market and economic forces. Join us for a conversation with Rick Santelli, who has a daily front row seat to these forces at work in his role at CNBC, and brings a perspective that is uniquely his. It promises to be a insightful, engaging and relevant discussion.


Rise of the Retail Investor

While GameStop, AMC and other “meme stocks” grabbed headlines during the pandemic, these are not the only companies with a meteoric rise in the number of individual shareholders. Retail investors account for roughly 20% of stock-market activity on average and nearly one-quarter of trades on peak days, according to Citadel Securities. Our panelists will discuss the rise of the retail investor, why it matters and how IROs are addressing this increasingly active and vocal shareholder base.

Dan Aldridge, Managing Partner, Asbury Investor Relations

Dan Aldridge is managing partner for Asbury Investor Relations, a strategic communications firm based in Atlanta that focuses on small and mid-cap public companies. Before joining Asbury in 2018, he was senior director of investor relations for Intercontinental Exchange (NYSE: ICE), head of IR for CF Industries (NYSE: CF) and held IR and other roles at Home Depot (NYSE: HD). Aldridge earned his bachelor’s and master’s degrees from the University of Georgia and is president of the NIRI Atlanta chapter. He is a certified public accountant (CPA) and certified internal auditor (CIA). 

Nicole Maselli, Head of Sales, Stockperks

Nicole Maselli heads sales for Stockperks, which developed an app to enable companies to connect and communicate with their retail shareholder bases. Previously, she held senior business development and sales roles at OpenExchange, Nasdaq, Ipreo and The Carson Group. Maselli earned a bachelor’s degree from Lehigh University. She currently serves as co-chair of the NIRI Virtual chapter’s membership committee and as a member of the NIRI Service Provider Council. 

Jason Rechel, CFA, Head of Investor Relations, Sprout Social, Inc

Jason Rechel leads the investor relations function for Sprout Social (Nasdaq: SPT), a provider of cloud-based social media management software. Previously, Rechel was a technology investment analyst at Columbia Wanger Asset Management and held investment and equity research roles at Advisory Research Investment Management, Oppenheimer & Co. and Needham and Co. Rechel earned his bachelor’s degree from Bucknell University and is a CFA charterholder.  

Moderator: Mike Coffey, Vice President, Head of Global Partnerships & Alliances, Q4 Inc

Mike Coffey is a capital markets professional with more than 25 years of experience in the fintech industry, including four successful startups. Before joining Q4 in 2015, Coffey was managing partner and executive vice president at Oxford Intelligence Partners, managing director of investment analytics in Nasdaq’s Global Corporate Services Group, founding partner at Bloom Partners and vice president of Thomson Reuters’ Corporate Client Group. Coffey received his bachelor’s degree from Illinois State University.

Networking Reception and Wine Tasting with Alpana Singh

Alpana Singh

We always close the IR Workshop with a networking reception, delicious appetizers and giveaways. This year, we have something extra-special – a wine tasting led by world-renowned sommelier Alpana Singh. At age 26, she became the youngest woman and only South Asian worldwide to become a master sommelier. You also may know her as a restaurateur and host of the Emmy Award-winning restaurant review show, Check, Please! on PBS (in Chicago, WTTW Channel 11).



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