I'm excited to be asked to lead the National Investor Relations Institute's Central Ohio Chapter this year!

Central Ohio is headquarters to 20 Fortune 1000 companies and close to 30 public companies, spanning a wide range of industries from consumer goods, financial services, healthcare, industrials, housing, retail, restaurants, transportation, utilities - and an aggregate market capitalization of $125 billion today.

The size of Central Ohio's public sector creates a meaningful pool of investor relations, corporate governance and legal talent and expertise in the region, and we're committed to providing new opportunities for professional development for current practitioners, corporate executives, general counsel and board of directors.

We hosted Ken Bertsch, Executive Director of the Council of Institutional Investors last May for a discussion on how corporate governance has gained greater influence over investment decision-making at both active and passive asset managers today. Clearly, there are significant opportunities for IROs to facilitate good governance practices and communicate alignment to governance effectively. I'm an avid learner who's keen on understanding the evolving shareholder landscape, and watch this space for events and resources for a carefully curated library of resources.

Investor relations plans an important role in aligning management and shareholder interests and creating the bridges between finance, strategy, operations and marketing. We recognize the demands and challenges faced by IRO teams and NIRICO provides a unique community where IR specialists, management teams and board members will find a shared commitment to corporate governance, ethics and best practices in the investment management industry.

Please join our chapter meeting or upcoming professional development events. These events will rotate through several neighborhoods within Central Ohio. It will be good way to blow off steam and connect with your counterparts within and outside the industry! We also welcome any visiting IROs and your corporate partners.

Lastly, our long time Board member Carol Merry of Fahlgren Mortine, received NIRI's 2018 chapter leadership award. Carol was instrumental in the creation of NIRI Central Ohio and has been key in activating members like myself to support NIRICO's mission. We're in the process of planning for Board succession next year and I encourage you to get involved by serving as a chapter officer or a member of NIRICO's Board for the 2019-2020 term.

Thank you for your support and look forward to meeting you in person in the near future!

Christina Cheng, CFA
President, Central Ohio Chapter