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NorCal - LEAD Panel | Take Calculated Risks and Move Out of the Comfort Zone
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NorCal - LEAD Panel | Take Calculated Risks and Move Out of the Comfort Zone

When: March 14, 2012 (Wednesday)
From 6:00pm to 9:00pm
Where: 1st Floor Conference Center (London/Sydney Rooms)
Charles Schwab, 215 Fremont Street
San Francisco, California  94105
United States

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Ascend LEAD Series
Take Calculated Risks and Move Out of the Comfort Zone

Date: March 14, 2012 (Wednesday)

6:00 - 9:00pm
          1 hour of Panel
          15 minutes of Q&A
          1 hour of Mentoring Circles

Venue: 1st Floor, Conference Center,
             Charles Schwab
             215 Fremont Street, San Francisco
             CA 94105

Fees: Ascend members $15
          Non-members       $25

Moderator: Jerry Iwata, Senior VP, Head of Life Science Practice, Wells Fargo

Jerry is the Head of Life Science Practice for Wells Fargo Bank. He recently joined Wells Fargo Bank to build Life Science Practice and create a leadership position nationally in Life Sciences.

Previously, Jerry was at Comerica Bank/Imperial Bank for 10 years in their Venture Capital Group and head of the Life Science practice in Northern California for past 5 years. Prior to Comerica, he worked 9 years at Union Bank in various relationship management roles working with traditional businesses, Asian multinational companies, and various verticals in the high tech industry.

Jerry is active on a number of non-profit boards and committees and currently includes American Diabetes Association, Bay Bio Institute, and Ascend. He also co-founded Camp Entrepreneur at UCSF’s Mission Bay Campus, which helps students, doctors, and researchers to becoming entrepreneurs. Jerry holds a B.A in Economics from San Francisco State and M.B.A from San Diego State University. 


Helen Loh, Vice President, Digital Marketing, Charles Schwab

As Vice President of Digital Marketing at Charles Schwab, Helen Loh is responsible for digital content and marketing strategy across Schwab’s proprietary websites. Under Helen’s leadership, Schwab has introduced innovations to personalize the web experience, deepen client relationships and bring to life Schwab’s brand value of advocacy.

Helen has over 20 years of marketing experience across diverse industries, including consumer brand management at Clorox and a successful track record of building new brands at technology startups.

Helen earned a bachelor’s degree and a MBA degree from Stanford University.

Mai Klaassen, Vice President, Associate General Counsel, Charles Schwab

Mai joined Schwab in May 2007 as a Director in the Office of Corporate Counsel’s litigation, arbitration and regulatory enforcement group. She was appointed Vice President, Associate General Counsel in June 2011, and currently handles civil and complex litigation.

Her responsibilities include implementing effective litigation and dispute resolution strategies when prosecuting or defending matters before federal and state courts, FINRA, and other dispute resolution tribunals. Mai also provides guidance to business partners with respect to federal and state securities laws, FINRA and SEC rules, and applicable regulations as they relate to risk management or business initiatives. She has handled numerous arbitrations and regulatory enforcement matters and has significant experience enforcing employment agreements, including non-solicitation and non-disclosure agreements.

Mai is admitted to practice in California State and all federal courts, as well as the Ninth Circuit. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in Communications and Japanese Studies from the University of California, San Diego, and obtained her JD from the University of San Diego School of Law. Mai is an active volunteer with the Bay Area Chapter of the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society.

Wei-Tai Kwok, Vice President of Marketing, SunTech Power

Based in San Francisco, Wei-Tai is Suntech America’s Vice President of Marketing, with regional responsibility for the United States, Canada and Latin America. He served two years as head of global marketing with responsibility for corporate marketing, product marketing, advertising, public relations and brand development. He was also the US executive in charge of setting up Suntech’s 50MW solar module manufacturing facility in Goodyear, Arizona.

Previously he spent 20 years in advertising and internet marketing, most recently at Isobar, a digital consultancy and wholly-owned subsidiary of Aegis Group PLC. Prior to Isobar, Wei-Tai was a Managing Director at Ion Global, a Chinadotcom ebusiness consultancy, and was also CEO of DAE Advertising, a full service Asian American advertising agency which he helped start in 1990.

Wei-Tai has been interested in energy and environmental issues ever since early in his career when he worked for MHB Technical Associates, the Silicon Valley nuclear power consulting firm founded by three whistle-blowing engineers whose defection from GE Nuclear in 1976 galvanized anti-nuclear groups across the country. Recently, he helped to establish the nonprofit US-China Green Energy Council. Wei-Tai is also currently chairman of The 1990 Institute, a US-based, action oriented non-profit focused on poverty alleviation and environmental sustainability in China.

Originally from the Washington DC area, Wei-Tai lives in Lafayette, California, with his wife and two children. He received his B.A. in Economics and Political Science from Yale University, and also studied at Fudan University in Shanghai.

Sandra N. Pan, Managing Director - Client Services, Mt. Eden Investment Advisor

Sandra currently is the Executive Director at Mt. Eden Investment Advisor, a premier independent investment advisory firm headquartered in San Francisco. As Head of Client Services, Sandra is in charge of ensuring the quality and consistency of the Mt. Eden client’s service and reporting experience. She also runs the Marketing Communications efforts of the firm. Additionally, she serves on the Executive Committee and as Director of the San Francisco office. Sandra acts as a Senior Investment Advisor on certain account relationships as well.

Sandra joined Mt. Eden in 2010 with 32 years of banking, investment and wealth advisory experience. She was previously the Senior Managing Director at First Republic Wealth Advisors working in the Family Wealth group. Before that Sandra was Senior Vice President, a member of the inaugural team that started U.S. Trust in San Francisco. Sandra started her career in the financial industry as an analyst at Wells Fargo Bank. Before that, she was an Assistant Buyer at Bullock Northern California.

Sandra holds a Bachelor of Science degree from UCLA as well as the CTFA (Certified Trust and Financial Advisor) and CIMA (Certified Investment Management Analyst) designations.


Event Summary:

Life is risky. Every action holds the potential for success or failure. Unfortunately, many people are scared of taking any kind of risk because we have been conditioned our whole lives to stay in our comfort zone, to follow everyone else’s lead.

Many of us grew up hearing messages such as "play it safe,” "that’s not realistic,” or "why would you want to risk that?” That route may give you a false sense of security but it will never lead to true success. Sitting back and doing nothing is the greatest risk of all. Risks do make us feel weary and on the edge, but they can yield large rewards when they are calculated and well executed.

In this panel, you will learn the keys to taking calculated risks, how to do it well, and avoid risk-taking faux pas.

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