SOURCE: NIRI Orange County

NIRI Orange County

July 08, 2011 10:00 ET

NIRI Orange County Announces Results of Its 2011 Investor Relations Achievement Awards Program

Newly Expanded Program Draws 62 Entries from 25 Public Companies; Best Overall Winners Include: Cheesecake Factory -- Printed Annual Report, Ingram Micro -- Printed Annual Report 10-K Wrap, Southwest Airlines -- Online Annual Report, Ryder System -- IR Website, Life Technologies -- IR Presentation, Leap Wireless -- Earnings Release, Cheesecake Factory -- Shareholder Letter

IRVINE, CA--(Marketwire - Jul 8, 2011) - The Orange County Chapter of the National Investor Relations Institute (NIRI OC) announced the winners of the 2011 Investor Relations Achievement Awards. The IR Achievement Awards is an annual event that recognizes excellence in investor communications among public companies located primarily in Southern California. After 17 years of focus mainly on the traditional annual report, this year's competition was substantially expanded to include a broader range of investor relations communication mediums including online annual reports, company investor relations websites, investor presentations, earnings releases, and annual CEO/shareholder letters. This year's award winners were announced at a special dinner event held on June 30, 2011.

"For many years, NIRI's Orange County Chapter has recognized Southern California's best annual reports, and our new program builds on that legacy while adapting to reflect today's trends in investor communication," said David K. Erickson, Vice President of Investor Relations for Irvine, California-based Edwards Lifesciences and Co-Chair of the 2011 IR Achievement Awards.

"Each entrant received constructive feedback from an expert panel of judges which should be helpful to their ongoing efforts to effectively communicate with shareholders," added Tammy Perry, Sr. Manager of Investor Relations at Edwards Lifesciences and Co-Chair of the 2011 IR Achievement Awards.

According to Connie Chandler, principal of IR Strategies and president of the NIRI OC Chapter during the past year, the organization serves as a source of education and information aimed at enhancing its members' knowledge as well as providing them with opportunities for professional development. Its goal is to anticipate and communicate new directions in the investor relations profession to Orange County IR professionals. "We are pleased to recognize the companies that were our 2011 winners for achieving excellence in their IR communications as demonstrated in their award-winning entries," she said.

Top award winners for each entry category were as follows:

Printed Annual Report
Cheesecake Factory -- Best Overall (Full)
Ingram Micro -- Best Overall (Wrap)
Cheesecake Factory -- Best First Impression
Quiksilver -- Best Narrative
BJ's Restaurant -- Best Creative
Edwards Lifesciences -- Best Innovative Idea or Concept
Edwards Lifesciences -- People's Choice

Online Annual Report
Southwest Airlines -- Best Overall
Southwest Airlines -- Best First Impression
Southwest Airlines -- Best Narrative
Edwards Lifesciences -- Best Creative
Southwest Airlines -- Best Online Adaptation
BioMed Realty Trust -- Best Innovative Idea or Concept

IR Website
Ryder System -- Best Overall
Ryder System -- Best First Impression
CoreLogic -- Best Design
First American Financial -- Best Usability
Edwards Lifesciences -- Best Disclosure
Ryder System -- Best Innovative Idea or Concept

Investor Presentation
Life Technologies -- Best Overall
DTS -- Best Creative
First American Financial -- Best Messaging
Life Technologies -- Best Disclosure

Earnings Release
Leap Wireless -- Best Overall
First American Financial -- Best Messaging
Douglas Emmett -- Best Structure
Ista Pharmaceuticals -- Best Disclosure

Shareholder Letter
Cheesecake Factory -- Best Overall

The response to the new program was encouraging with a strong turnout of 62 award category entries submitted by 25 different companies. The Chapter and the IR Achievement Awards Committee thanks and recognizes the panel of judges, as well as this year's sponsors for their generosity and support, all of which are listed below:

Panel of Judges
Abernathy MacGregor RAMP Creative
B. Riley Registered Investment Advisors
C.K. Cooper & Co. Retail Investors
CMg Design ROTH Capital
Fine Communications Stephens, Inc.
Leedom Asset Management Stoyan Design
Mar Vista Investment Partners Wedbush Morgan Securities
PINT Zu
Diamond Sponsor: Curran & Connors
Emerald Sponsor: Hunter Graphix
Sapphire Sponsor: Business Wire
Refreshment Sponsor: Computershare, Georgeson
Supporting Sponsors:
Abernathy MacGregor Merrill Corporation
DF King Nasdaq OMX
IPREO Wells Fargo Shareholder Services
Marketwire

About NIRI Orange County
The Orange County Chapter of NIRI was established in 1990, and has approximately 60 members currently, including corporate officers and investor relations consultants whose strategic management responsibilities integrate finance, communication, marketing and securities law compliance to enable the most effective two-way communication between a company and the financial community and other constituencies. The chapter hosts regular and special meetings and networking events throughout the year which feature topics of relevance to investor relations professionals such as capital markets, social media, economic trends, and the securities regulations. For more information, visit www.nirioc.org.

About The National Investor Relations Institute (NIRI)
Founded in 1969, NIRI is the professional association of corporate officers and investor relations consultants responsible for communication among corporate management, shareholders, securities analysts and other financial community constituents. NIRI is the largest professional investor relations association in the world with over 3,500 members representing more than 2,000 public companies in 32 chapters around the country.

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