Hosted by the
NIRI Houston and DFW Chapters


Houston and DFW Chapters are once again delivering Texas-sized NIRI programming and networking at the Annual NIRI Southwest Regional Conference.

Join us in Austin to collaborate and share best practices through a two-day agenda inspired by the six sides of a Rubik’s Cube®.

Investor Relations has evolved over the years and now IR practitioners are often responsible for a number of different functions including corporate communications, financial reporting, treasury, strategic planning, and more. The IR profession is complex and one must carefully move all the pieces into place to be successful. Get ready to solve The Rubik’s Cube® of IR.

In addition, valuable career development sessions will set you apart and enhance your career advancement goals.  CLE credits are being offered for the conference - more details on how to sign up for that will be available shortly.

The agenda will be updated regularly so check back for exciting developments!

For a complete biography of each speaker or to see our sponsors' websites, click on their names highlighted in blue. 

Wednesday, August 23


Welcome Reception

6:00 pm - 7:30 pm      

JW Marriott Austin, Brazos Room

Let's meet and kick off the conference in style at the Welcome Reception.


Sponsored by IPREO





Thursday, August 24


Breakfast / Vendor Showcase

7:00 am - 8:00 am

JW Grand Salon 1-3 

Breakfast Buffett. Mingle with conference attendees, and visit the vendor showcase area to see the latest tools that can strengthen your IR program.


Game On!  - Introduction to the Rubik's Cube of IR

8:00 am - 8:15 am

JW Grand Salon 1-3


Steve Stepinoff, Partner & President, Stepinoff + Crossier


IR has changed over the last generation and is now a multi-disciplinary function.  Many IROs are also handling public relations, corporate and internal communications, financial reporting, strategy, etc. and doing it all with fewer people.


This year's program s inspired by the many individual moving pieces that make up each side of the Rubik's Cube® of IR. 




Our Turn - A Look at Investor Relations Future

8:15 am - 9:00 am


Gary Labranche, NIRI Chief Exeutive Officer


Join us as we hear from Gary Labranche on his plans for the NIRI organization and the future he sees for the investor relations profession.









Rules of the Game - Key Issues Facing Public Companies, New SEC Enforcement, Corporate Governance and Public Disclosure Initiatives

9:00 am - 9:45 am






Shamoil Shipchandler, Regional Director (Texas) U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission

David A. Kern, Partner, Jones Day

Mark Rasmussen, Partner, Jones Day


Session Description:  New leadership at the SEC often means new areas of focus and new priorities.  Learn from this panel which SEC regulations are of primary concern to this administration.  Gain insight into potential rule changes, additions, or clarifications.  This panel will share insight into key issues facing public companies and boards of directors and new SEC enforcement priorities and initiatives aimed at ensuring public companies adhere to proper disclosure requirements. The panel will also address internal corporate investigations, whistleblowers, insider trading, the role of the audit committee, disclosures to regulators, and protecting against personal liability of Directors & Officers.


Sponsored by IEX







Vendor Showcase

9:45 am - 10:15 am 


Mingle with conference attendees, and visit the vendor showcase area to see the latest tools that can strengthen your IR program.





Unlocking the Mystery of Cyber Security - Why We Can't Get It Right

10:15 am - 11:00 am


Casey Fleming, Chief Executive Officer, Black Ops


Session Description: This session takes a deeper look at investor relations' key role in cyber security.  What is the true big picture of cybersecurity and how is everyone impacted by it?  What types of proactive efforts should be made and what does an IRO need to be aware of when dealing with cyber attacks?






Ready to Pivot - Preparing for the Unexpected

11:00 am - 11:45 am 

Moderator: Ray Thompson, Principal, WPNT Communications




John Byron, Senior Associate, Norton Fulbright 

Sydney Isaacs, Managing Director, Abernathy MacGregor Group


Session Description:  Some crises don’t have financial or investor implications, but others directly affect the IR team and require significant IR involvement. The panel will share specific examples of IR-centric crises from the perspective of two IROs, a crisis consultant, and an attorney.


Sponsored by WPNT Commmunications






Three Dimensions - An Inside Look at IEX, NASDAQ, and NYSE

11:45 am - 1:00 pm


Lunch Session: Stock exchanges now provide more services than ever to their listed companies. How do you decide which exchange best suits your company's needs? Representatives from the NYSE, NASDAQ and latest newcomer IEX will discuss what sets their exchange apart from the rest in this session. 


Twists and Turns - Alternative Paths for an IRO

1:00 pm - 2:00 pm






Kathrine "Katy" Herr, Founder and Chief Executive Officer, Audacia Strategies

Al Petrie, Senior Partner, Al Petrie Advisors

Peter McDermott, Princiapl, Korn Ferry


Session Description: How do you reinvent yourself if you need or desire to move away from IR?  How do you identify an alternative career path and how do you add scope to your current responsibilities in order to escape the trap of being pigeon-holed?  This panel will dive into the alternative paths available to IROs. 









A Different Side of IR - Investor Relations for Private Equity

2:00 pm - 2:45 pm






Session Description: Private equity IR and corporate IR may share many similarities, but reporting, engagement and salesmanship separate the skill sets of the two roles. This session takes a look at the role of IR in private equity and answers questions such as how does a PE IRO effectively attract and keep investors?






Vendor Showcase Break

2:45 pm - 3:15 pm 


Mingle with conference attendees, and visit the vendor showcase area to see the latest tools that can strengthen your IR program.  




What's Your Next Move? - Choose a Deep Dive Topic

3:15 pm - 4:00 pm


Session Description: Take a deeper dive into topics that interest you during our breakout session.  Attendees will have the chance to visit two special topics of their choice led by industry subject matter experts.  


Sponsored by .


IR Puzzle - The Multiple Dimensions of Our Role

4:00 pm - 5:00 pm


Moderator: Gene Rubin, Senior Vice President, Rivel Research Group




Session Description: This IRO panel will discuss the many tacit functions of investor relations.  C-Suite management, travel, preparing non-finance guys for meetings, benchmarking, and analyst days are just some of the topics to be discussed.


Sponsored by Rivel Research Group






Network / Vendor Showcase 

5:00 pm - 6:00 pm


Mingle with conference attendees, and visit the vendor showcase area to see the latest tools that can strengthen your IR program.    




Reception & Dinner

6:00 pm - 9:00 pm

Malverde at La Condesa


After a day of speakers, panel discussions and collaboration, we will gather at Malverde an indoor & outdoor private event space at La Condesa.


Malverde is perched above 2nd Street, offers skyline views of downtown Austin and looks directly into Austin City Limits. Malverde features craft cocktails, an artisanal beer and wine selection and is catered exclusively by La Condesa.


Sponsored by IEX




Friday, August 25


Breakfast / Vendor Showcase

8:00 am - 8:45 am

JW Grand Salon 1-3 

Grab a bite to eat and visit with our vendors in the showcase area.




Morning Announcements

8:45 am - 9:00 am      

JW Grand Salon 1-3

Steve Stepinoff, Partner & President, Stepinoff + Crossier  





Living for the Game!

9:00 am - 9:45 am









A Strategic Combination - Working with the Buyside/Corporate Access

9:45 am - 10:30 am

Moderator: Dan Romito, Head – Strategic Capital Intelligence, NASDAQ




Session Description:


Sponsored by NASDAQ




Play to Your Strengths - Choose a Deep Dive Topic

10:30 am - 11:15 am

Thought Leaders: 



Roundtable Topics:  





Closing Remarks & Prize Drawings

11:45 am - Noon


NIRI Southwest Regional Conference continues to offer outstanding value to attendees and sponsors.


Conference Registration Rates

Early Bird

Before May 15

Member: $400

Early Bird

Before May 15

Non-Member: $500


After May 15

Member: $450


After May 15

Non-Member: $550

All cancellations must be in writing and refunds will be less $100 administration fee. NO REFUNDS will be given for cancellations made after NOON, Friday, July 21, 2017.

Send written cancellations to Brook Wootton at and call 214-855-6748 (office) or 713-828-0369 (cell).

This cancellation policy does NOT apply to hotel rooms.

Conference Registration Information

The registration website has been created for both attendees and sponsors. Just click the appropriate button below and follow the prompts.  

ATTENDEE, click here.

SPONSOR, click here.

If you have any difficulty or questions, please contact Ann Tanabe, or 713-979-9105.

Hotel Photo


In a city known for having an endless list of around-the-clock entertainment possibilities, you may not want to spend a lot of time in your guest room. But when it’s finally time to recharge and refresh, you’ll find no better place than the JW Marriott Austin, the leader among luxury hotels in Austin, and a 2016 Conde Nast Traveler Reader’s Choice Award Winner as a Top 50 Hotel in the World. Situated in the heart of the downtown area, this Austin luxury hotel is just a 15-minute drive from Austin International Airport. The hotel is located on Congress Avenue between 2nd and 3rd Streets and within walking distance of enticing restaurants and bars, the Capitol, and exciting attractions.

Room Rates

We have negotiated a group rate of $209 plus applicable state and local taxes (currently 6% city and 9% sales tax) in effect at the time of check-out.


Google Map

Location + Contact

JW Marriott Austin
110 East 2nd Street
Austin, Texas 78701



Reservations can be made via telephone by calling Marriott Reservations at 888-236-2427; reference our group name NIRI in order to make reservations within the block.


For questions, please contact Ann Tanabe, or 713-979-9105.


In grand Texas-style, Austin is known for being the Live Music Capital of the World. It not only is the fastest growing of the largest 50 U.S. cities, it's the second largest state capital.

Join us as we 'keep Austin weird' and usher in a high-powered SWR conference experience.

Getting to Austin/Transportation by Air

Austin is easy to get to by flying into Austin-Bergstrom International Airporat (ABIA). The Austin airport is approximately 15 minutes from the JW Marriott. The following major airlines fly into Austin:

  1. American Airlines
  2. Delta Airlines
  3. Frontier Airlines
  4. jetBlue Airways
  5. Southwest Airlines
  6. United Airlines
  7. Virgin America


There are several options available. Call in advance to get an approximate cost. Some options:

Carpitality Transportation Services     512-985-7933

Thomas     512-662-2040

Joseph Beers, Austin Cab 12     512-587-6654



Airport Super Shuttle provides transportation to and from the hotel and the Austin-Bergstrom International Airport, 24-hours a day, every day. At the airport, follow the signs from the baggage claim area to the Super Shuttle ticket counter located near baggage carousel one. You can purchase your shuttle ticket there. Advance reservations via Super Shuttle are also available. You may also schedule your return shuttle reservation at the Super Shuttle ticket counter.

  1. Super Shuttle: 1-800-BLUE VAN (258-3826)
  2. On-Line Reservations:
  3. 24-hour advance notice is recommended for trips from the hotel to the airport.


  1. Self Parking: $30 per day plus applicable tax
  2. Valet Parking: $43 per day plus applicable tax


NIRI Chapters could not offer the educational opportunities to members and guests, if not for the continuing support from our service providers.  On behalf of all NIRI members in the Southwest - THANK YOU!

Sponsorship Opportunities

The Southwest Regional Conference has proven to attract IR practitioners from all areas of the region. Through the combined efforts of both Houston and DFW chapters, we expect sold out attendance at this year’s conference. Several sponsorship and vendor showcase opportunities have been developed so you can maximize the return on your promotion budget while supporting the conference.

Sponsorship Inquiries, contact Sanjay Lad at

Information on 2017 NIRI Southwest Regional Conference Sponsorship opportunities, click here.

Sponsorship Registration, click here.



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Activity Photo

Texas State Capitol

The Texas State Capitol in Austin is hailed as one of the most remarkable capitol buildings in the nation. Not only is it known for its rich history, but it is also noted for its architecture. The State Capitol and surrounding area is a common tourist destination for those visiting the Austin area. The State Capitol is literally minutes away from the JW Marriott giving you more time to enjoy all that the Texas State Capitol has to offer.

Activity Photo

Lady Bird Lake

Lady Bird Lake’s 416 acres are perfect for soaking up the sun while leisurely paddling around in a kayak or canoe. Although swimming isn’t permitted in the lake, Deep Eddy Pool, the oldest swimming pool in Texas, is nearby, as is Barton Springs Pool, a natural pool situated near Barton Creek. Don't miss the 10 mile hike and bike trail bordering the lake and serving as a social hub for runners, walkers and cyclists.

Activity Photo

Zilker Park

The hotel's distinct central location provides easy access to iconic things to do in Austin, such as exploring Zilker Park. Recreation options there include:

  • Barton Springs: Located in Zilker Park near Barton Springs Road, is one of the best places to spend a hot summer day in Austin. At nearly 900 feet long and just over three acres, it’s one of Austin’s most popular landmarks and easily the city’s most famous spring-fed swimming hole. The water temperature averages a chilly 70-degrees year round, and there are varying depths, stairs, ladders, and diving boards.
  • Zilker Botanical Gardens: The Zilker Botanical Garden is in the heart of Austin. The garden is filled with natural grottoes, aquatic features, and trees, all integrated into a spectacularly beautiful and tranquil design.
  • Austin Nature and Science Center: On the western side of Zilker Park is the Austin Nature and Science Center. Hands-on exhibits for children, teachers, and visitors of all ages increase appreciation and awareness of the natural environment on topics ranging from paleontology to astronomy, biology, and more.
  • Zilker Hillside Theatre: Zilker Hillside Theater has hosted entertaining concerts, shows, and events for over half a century. Some of the annual events include Shakespeare in the Park, the South Asian New Year, and Zilker Theatre Production’s Summer Musical.
Activity Photo

Historic Sixth Street

Sixth Street is a historic street and entertainment district in Austin, Texas located within the city's urban core in downtown Austin. The nine-block area of East Sixth Street roughly between Lavaca Street to the west and Interstate 35 to the east is recognized as the Sixth Street Historic District and was listed in the National Register of Historic Places on December 30, 1975. Developed as one of Austin's trade and commercial districts in the late 1800s, the predominant building style are two- or three-story masonry Victorian commercial architecture. Most structures in the area had already been built by the 1880s, though a few notable exceptions include the Driskill Hotel (1886), the Scarbrough Building (1910), and the Littlefield Building. The area around nearby 4th Street and 6th Street has been a major entertainment district since the 1970s. Many bars, clubs, music venues, and shopping destinations are located on East 6th Street between Congress Avenue and Interstate 35, and many offer live music at one time or another during the week.


Click on the session topics below to view the presentations from the NIRI 2017 Southwest Regional Conference.​​​​​​ ​​​​Adobe Reader is required to view the documents. Attribution must be properly maintained in the use of any of the documents.

Check back after the conference for downloadable documents from the conference sessions.

Document Title: Super Descriptive Name Goes Here

Author Info: Name, Title, Company

Event Contacts 

Steve Stepinoff, Conference Chair

Autumn Hugo, Conference Co-Chair

Kim Pinyopusarerk, Program Lead

Sanjay Lad, Sponsorship Lead

Hala Elsherbini, DFW Chapter Lead

Event Logistics

Ann Tanabe, Hotel & Conference Registration

Brook Wootton, Conference Cancellations
214-855-6748 (office) or 713-828-0369 (cell) 


NIRI Chapters




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