Aspirations Fling

An Aspirations Fling is a meeting for executives and stock plan staff from private companies preparing their stock plans for an IPO, rapid growth, or liquidity event. This meeting is a must-attend for any company facing the changes and challenges that come with an IPO. CEP and CPE credit will be offered for this session.

Upcoming Aspirations Fling

Aspirations Fling with Fidelity

Registration Fee: Issuers only-$40

Date: August 31, 2017

*NEW* Time: 3:00pm-6:30pm

 Session Location: 100 California Street, STE 1200 San Francisco, California 94111

*NEW* Reception Location: Schroeder's Restaurant, 240 Front Street, San Francisco, CA 94111 (walking distance from sessions)

Public Transit Map: Public map with transit stops nearby can be found here.

Parking lot recommendations:

101 California Street Garage

101 California St, San Francisco, CA 94111

Phone: (415) 956-1060

Two Embarcadero Center - Lot #75

2 Embarcadero Center, San Francisco, CA 94111

(415) 227-0114

Available continuing education credits:

Certified Public Accountants (CPA) are entitled to earn up to 2 hours of continuing education credits.  (Field of Study: Business Management & Organization, Program Level: Basic- No preparation needed, Instruction-Method: Group-Live)

Certified Equity Professionals (CEP) are entitled to earn up to 1.75 hours of continuing education credit.

Session I:

Priming to Be Public? Pitfalls to Avoid and Steps to Take for Pre-IPO Stock Plans

The transition from a private to a public company is felt profoundly in the stock administration department.  From Audit, to Regulators, to brokers, there is a whole new agenda for stock plan professionals.  This panel of seasoned experts will address key issues pre-IPO companies need to be aware of to make the path to public as painless as possible.           

Session II:

Planning Ahead: ESPP Considerations Pre-IPO

ESPPs are a popular way for public companies to offer equity on a broad basis… but for a private company, these plans may be mysterious and confusing.  A Radford study shows 78% of Technology and Life Sciences IPOs since 2014 filed an ESPP along with their prospectus, so demystifying ESPP is an important exercise for aspiring public companies. This panel addresses the prevalence and design of ESPPs launched with IPO, as well as a general industry overview of today's ESPP landscape.          

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Interested in Sponsoring an Aspirations Fling?

Speaker Biographies

Kartik Balaram, Director, Radford

Kartik Balaram is a director with 10 years of rewards compensation consulting experience. He provides support to Compensation Committees and senior HR leaders on matters relating to executive and board of director compensation design, equity program development, broad-based employee pay design and initial public offering transition strategies for companies in the technology and life sciences sectors. Prior to joining Radford, Kartik held senior positions at Equilar, a leading executive compensation and governance research firm, and played a critical role in developing the firm’s research capabilities and client service and sales operations groups. He earned a Bachelor of Arts in Economics-Mathematics from the University of California, Santa Barbara. He is based in San Francisco.

Emily Cervino, CEP, Vice President, Fidelity Stock Plan Services

Working in varying roles in the equity compensation industry since 1996, Emily has a unique understanding of the opportunities and challenges of equity compensation. At Fidelity Stock Plan Services, she focuses on strategic marketing initiatives, thought leadership, and building Fidelity’s strong industry presence. Emily is a frequent speaker at equity compensation events, a board member for the Certified Equity Professional Institute, member of the NASPP Executive Advisory Committee, recipient of the 2015 NASPP Individual Achievement Award, and a representative on GEO’s Partner Alliance Council. She is a Certified Equity Professional and holds Series 7 and 63 securities registrations.

Sorrell Johnson, CEP, Senior Equity Compensation Consultant, Stock & Option Solutions, Inc.

Sorrell began working in equity compensation in 1997 and has held equity management positions at NetApp, Redback Networks and Ariba, an SAP company. She currently works for Stock & Option Solutions as a Senior Equity Compensation Consultant.  Sorrell speaks at various events including industry webinars, the NASPP national conference, GEO and NASPP University.   Her areas of expertise include employee stock purchase plans, spin transactions, mergers and acquisitions and she also has experience in global equity compliance in over 50 countries. Sorrell received her Certified Equity Professional designation in 2003 and she is member of the professional services group at SOS.

Mike Mauro, Senior Consultant, Professional Services, Certent, Inc.

Michael Mauro is a Professional Services Consultant for Certent, Inc.  Michael consults with clients in the areas of administration, financial reporting, best practices and documentation.  He has extensive experience with FAS123R and IFRS reporting, and guides clients through all phrases of corporate actions and accounting events, including initial public offerings, mergers, divestitures, and stock splits.

Michael is a frequent speaker at industry conferences, including Certent’s Summit, Transcentive's Source, Solium's Synergy, GEO, and regional NASPP chapter events.  He joined Certent in 2013, and brings 17 years of experience in the equity compensation industry.  Michael studied at the University of Maine, and is a licensed paramedic and avid fisherman.

Carl J. Stegman, Senior Vice President, Partial Administration and Emerging Markets, Fidelity Stock Plan Services

Carl heads up the Fidelity Stock Plan Services (SPS) partial administration business, and is the business development lead for SPS' emerging products, such as pre-IPO and private company offerings. Carl also manages SPS vendor relationships, including those with equity administration software providers, pre-IPO cap-table providers, distribution alliances, and more.   Carl joined SPS in 2005 and recently served as head of product development, helping drive the success of Fidelity’s stock plan product offering, serving U.S. multinational public companies and their global participant base. 

Carl earned a bachelor’s degree from Northeastern University. He also has a master of business administration degreefrom Bentley University, with a minor in management information systems (MIS). Carl holds Series 7, 24, and 63 securitiesregistrations.


CPE & CEP Credit Policies

Certified Public Accountants (CPA)

Certified Public Accountants (CPA) are entitled to earn up to 2 CPE Credits. The Program level for this session is designated in the workshop description with the notation I for basic, II for intermediate, and III for advanced. Sessions designated as basic (I) have no prerequisites and are designed for individuals new to the topic or those with limited experience. Intermediate sessions (II) build upon topics discussed in the basic program and are suited for individuals with 3-5 years’ experience in the field or commensurate education. Advanced sessions (III) are most useful for individuals with more than 5 years’ experience or commensurate education in the designated topic. These sessions focus on the development of in-depth or specialized knowledge. The instructional method is group-live with no required pre-requisites or advanced preparation. Stock & Option Solutions is registered with the National Association of State Boards of Accountancy (NASBA) as a sponsor of continuing professional education on the National Registry of CPE Sponsors. State boards of accountancy have final authority on the acceptance of individual courses for CPE credit. Complaints regarding registered sponsors may be submitted to the National Registry of CPE Sponsors through its website: 

Certified Equity Professionals (CEP)

Certified Equity Professionals (CEP) are entitled to earn up to 1.75 hours of continuing education credit. CEP designees are required to complete and report 30 hours of industry-related continuing education (CE) every two years in order to continue using the CEP designation. No certification of attendance of this Aspirations Fling is required. Simply complete the Continuing Education Application and choose the Aspirations session(s) you attended from the drop down menu. For more information, visit the CEPI website.

Attendance and Record Retention Policy

All attendees requesting CPE credit are required to sign in and out of each workshop with a room monitor assigned to each workshop. Credit is provided only for the amount of time spent in the program. Records of attendee participation in an SOS conference and webinar program will be kept for 5 years. A list of all program attendees including attendee name, job title, company, phone number, email address, number of credits earned and date of attendance will be maintained for each session offered. Records will be updated at the conclusion of each session. Additionally, for each session offered, the program outline/materials, evaluation forms, and the names of all speakers or discussion leaders and their credentials will be retained for 5 years. All attendance and registration records are retained in a secure location to protect attendee’s personal information. 

Cancellation and Substitution Policy

Cancellations must be received by 5pm PT on 08/25/2017 to be eligible for a refund of any fees paid. To cancel your registration, please send an email to All registration fees are considered forfeited for cancellation requests made after this date.

Registration is transferable in the event that the original registrant cannot attend. Please send the name of the original registrant and the name of the person substituting to Written notification should include the name, job title, company and contact information of the person to whom the registration payment is transferred. Substitutions can also be made on-site at the conference registration desk with proof of payment for an original registrant. 

Complaint Resolution Policy

We welcome all opportunities to address any issues with the educational services provided by SOS. All questions and issues related to an SOS educational conference or webinar must be written and should be sent to Complaints will be reviewed and The SOS Management Team will decide how to address the complaint. The complaint must contain the name, address, phone number/e-mail address of the person submitting the complaint, as well as a full description of the issue/complaint. All complaints submitted will receive a written response.

Course Material Update Policy

SOS conference materials are based on the latest information available at the time the program is planned. Materials are developed by the speakers for each session and reviewed by a third-party subject matter expert. If the course is repeated, subsequent revisions are made to accommodate needs identified by registrants or to reflect emerging issues within the industry at least once per year to verify the currency of the content. All existing courses are reviewed regularly, and consider attendee evaluations, feedback, and changes in industry standards in implementing changes to program design.