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NIRI-NY Calls Special Summer Session to Address Proxy Reform

July 21, 2009

NEW YORK--(BUSINESS WIRE)--The New York Chapter of the National Investor Relations Institute (NIRI-NY) will hold a special summer program on Monday, July 27, 2009 on recent, as well as proposed, proxy reform by the SEC. In addition to the new Rule 452 (Broker Discretionary Vote being eliminated for 2010 Proxy Season) passed this month, the SEC is also proposing additional reform to be voted on later this year (access by dissident shareholders to the management ballot that is mailed to shareholders), for which the comments deadline has been set for August 17, 2009.

The July 27th program will be comprised of a panel of leaders from several industry associations and will cover both recent reform and the proposed changes. Discussion will include how these changes will impact the role of the Investor Relations professional and what steps IROs should consider to plan for the future. The panel will also share their insights as to the position that each organization is taking with regard to reform, and the concept of piecemeal change versus a complete review and overhaul of the proxy system.

The panel will include Jeffrey Morgan, President and CEO of NIRI National, Niels Holch, Executive Director of the Shareholder Communications Coalition, and Douglas Chia, Senior Counsel & Assistant Corporate Secretary at Johnson & Johnson. The moderator will be Professor Michael Goodman, Director of Corporate Communication International at Baruch College. This program is sponsored by Computershare and is being organized in cooperation with Robert Zicklin Center for Corporate Integrity at Baruch College.

Felise Glantz Kissell, President of NIRI-NY and Senior Vice President, Investor Relations and Strategy for HSN, Inc., said, "Due to the significance and the timing of these reforms, we felt it was important to hold a special program this summer to reflect the urgency of change that is confronting corporate issuers. We are pleased to be able to assemble this panel of senior-level experts to provide members with timely information on this important issue."

NIRI-NY's May 27 program will take place at the Baruch College Conference Center, 151 E. 25th St, room 750. Registration and networking will begin at 5:30 pm, with the program beginning promptly at 6:00 pm. A networking reception will follow at 7:00 pm. There is no cost for this event, which will be open to all NIRI members (from NY and other chapters), as well as Baruch students, members of the Society of Corporate Secretaries and the Shareholder Communications Coalition. To register, email

About the Panelists
Mr. Morgan is currently President and CEO of the National Investor Relations Institute, based in Vienna, Virginia. Prior to becoming NIRI CEO, Mr. Morgan served as executive vice president for the Futures Industry Association (FIA), a trade association based in Washington, D.C., and chief staff executive of the Institute for Financial Markets (IFM). He has more than 18 years of experience with trade associations, including a solid financial background, regulatory experience and high level organizational contacts within the financial services and futures industry.

Mr. Holch is a founding partner of Holch & Erickson LLP. He has more than twenty-five years experience in both private practice and government service in Washington. In his private practice, he has represented clients on a wide range of issues before the United States Congress and various Federal administrative agencies. He has also worked closely with a host of government organizations, including the Federal Communications Commission, the Securities and Exchange Commission, the Smithsonian Institution, and the White House. In addition to his role Executive Director of the Shareholder Communications Coalition (, Mr. Holch is active in a variety of nonprofit activities, also serving as President of the Board of Trustees for The Key School (Annapolis, Maryland), Secretary of the Board of Directors for the Retirement Investing Institute (Lakewood, Colorado), and Executive Director of the Coalition of Mutual Fund Investors (Washington, D.C.).

Mr. Chia is senior counsel & assistant corporate secretary at Johnson & Johnson. His responsibilities include providing legal counsel to the corporation on matters of corporate governance, securities regulation, public company disclosure, and Sarbanes-Oxley Act compliance. Prior to joining Johnson & Johnson, he was assistant general counsel, corporate at Tyco International. In private practice, he was an associate at the law firms of Simpson Thacher & Bartlett and Clifford Chance, practicing in the NY and Hong Kong offices of each firm, providing legal counsel to issuers and underwriters on securities offerings and cross-border transactions. Douglas is a member of the board of directors and the corporate practices committee of the Society of Corporate Secretaries & Governance Professionals and a member of the corporate & securities law committee of the Association of Corporate Counsel.

NIRI-NY, the founding chapter of the National Investor Relations Institute (NIRI), is also the largest chapter with over 650 members. Founded in 1969, NIRI is a professional association of corporate officers and investor relations consultants responsible for communication among corporate management, the investing public and the financial community. NIRI members represent the majority of the largest publicly held corporations in the U.S. as well as many small and mid-sized companies. With over 4,300 members in 35 chapters around the country, NIRI sets the highest standards in education to advance the practice of investor relations and meet the growing professional development needs of those engaged in the field. For more information, visit

Kate McKay, VP - Communications of NIRI-NY
Director, Global Marketing and Communications

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