SOURCE: National Investor Relations Institute

National Investor Relations Institute

June 27, 2011 12:43 ET

NIRI-Chicago Names 2011-2012 Officers and Directors

CHICAGO, IL--(Marketwire - Jun 27, 2011) - The Chicago Chapter of the National Investor Relations Institute (NIRI-Chicago) has elected six officers and eight directors to its board for the 2011-2012 term.

"As one of the largest and most active NIRI chapters in the United States, NIRI-Chicago is committed to building and maintaining a spirit of community among our members. We work to be their first and best resource for investor relations education and contacts," said incoming president Steve Carr, managing director, Dresner Corporate Services. "In the past year, our membership has grown by double digits as we have undertaken many initiatives to meet the needs of investor relations officers and advisers dealing with increased regulation, greater market volatility and new demands of investors. The new program year kicks off with our annual golf outing on August 31 and the full-day 2011 Investor Relations Workshop -- Better, Faster, Harder: IR for the Next Decade, on September 22."

The NIRI-Chicago Chapter board for 2011-2012 is comprised of the following members:


President: Steven D. Carr, J.D., CCEP, managing director, Dresner Corporate Services Inc. Carr was previously chairman, president, executive vice president and a director of NIRI-Chicago. He holds a J.D. and is a Certified Compliance and Ethics Professional (CCEP).

Executive Vice President:Lisa I. Ciota, principal, Strategic & Investor Communications. This is Ciota's seventh year on the board. She previously served as vice president-programs, led the chapter's sponsorship and webcast programs and was vice-chair of the 2010 NIRI-Chicago IR Workshop.

Vice President-Programs: Patricia M. (Patty) Paul, principal, ButtonWood Associates. This is Paul's fifth year on the NIRI-Chicago board, where she has served as chairman, president, executive vice president and vice president-programs as well as co-chair of the IR Workshop, the chapter's largest event. Paul has co-chaired and presented at NIRI national conferences, and served on the board of NIRI's New York Chapter.

Vice President-Treasurer: William H. Pfund, vice president, investor relations, WMS Industries Inc. (NYSE: WMS). This is Pfund's fourth year on the NIRI-Chicago board and his third year as treasurer.

Vice President-Membership: Steven P. Eschbach, CFA, vice president, investor relations, Integrys Energy Group, Inc. (NYSE: TEG). This is Eschbach's fourth year serving as vice president-membership. He is the past president of the NIRI Rocky Mountain Chapter (2001) and past president of the NIRI Connecticut/Westchester Chapter (2006-2007).

Vice President-Communications: Janine Warell, executive and internal communication-Business Analytics, IBM. This is her second year on the NIRI-Chicago board.


Chairman: Maryellen T. Thielen, ABC, senior manager, financial communications, Allstate (NYSE: ALL). This is Thielen's sixth year serving NIRI-Chicago. She previously was president, executive vice president and vice president-communications. Thielen is an Accredited Business Communicator (ABC), a designation awarded by the International Association of Business Communicators (IABC) to practitioners who have met global standards for strategic communications management.

Director: Christine J. Hanneman, most recently vice president of investor relations at Pactiv Corporation. Hanneman previously served six years as vice president-treasurer for the chapter.

Director: Elizabeth M. Higashi, CFA, Principal, Sard Verbinnen & Co. This is Higashi's fourth year serving on the board. She previously served as vice president-programs for two years.

Director: Kevin P. Kelly, managing director, Morrow & Co., LLC. Kelly has served as chairman, president, executive vice president and vice president-programs and chaired the Chapter's IR workshop for three years.

Director: Lisa Meers, CFA, manager, investor relations, Walgreens Co. (NYSE: WAG). Meers leads the chapter's sponsorship program. This is her second year on the board.

Director: Michael A. Steele, CFA, senior director, investor relations, OfficeMax Inc. (NYSE: OMX). This is his second year on the board.

Director: Ruth E. Venning, director, investor relations, Hospira, Inc. (NYSE: HSP). Venning has served as chairman, president, executive vice president, vice president-programs and vice president-communications. She has chaired five NIRI-Chicago IR Workshop, including the most recent 2010 workshop.

Director: Victoria Sivrais, senior vice president, FD, the strategic communications division of FTI Consulting. This is her first year on the board. She is chairman of the annual IR Workshop for the first time.

About NIRI-Chicago
The Chicago chapter of the National Investor Relations Institute (NIRI-Chicago) works to advance the practice of investor relations and meet the professional development needs of those engaged in the field. The members of NIRI-Chicago include corporate officers, consultants, service providers, academics and others involved in the practice of investor relations -- a strategic management responsibility that integrates finance, communication, marketing and securities law compliance. NIRI-Chicago is one of the largest NIRI chapters in the United States and the recipient of several NIRI awards for large chapters, including Best Member Services Award and a Chairman's Award for our communications program. More information is available at

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