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Carin Canale-Theakston is CEO of Canale Communications Inc., where she also serves as the chief culture officer, principal strategist and resident sommelier.
Carin is involved at some level with every client, providing communications insights to life science executives and contributing to strategic planning. She founded CanaleComm in 2010 after her tenure as president of the life sciences division of international public relations firm Porter Novelli—and before that, as partner of boutique life sciences firm Atkins + Associates (acquired by Portner Novelli).
A sought-after speaker and moderator, Carin serves as vice-chair of the board of directors for San Diego-based Biocom, the largest regional life science association in the world, and co-chairs the Biocom Capital Development Committee. She also is a director of the San Diego Venture Group, where her efforts help bring additional investor capital to San Diego’s early-stage life science companies.
Given her prominence in Southern California’s biotech industry, few people realize Carin’s public relations career began in the technology world, working with companies making faster phones and first-generation tablets. But two decades ago, as the tech market was crashing, Carin leapt into the biotech sector, defining her role in an even-more exciting innovation industry. In no time, she was hooked. And it wasn’t just the benevolent biotech mission of saving lives that sparked her passion (although that certainly was part of it). It was the people.
“I love being around big thinkers,” Carin says. “You have to be pretty damn smart to be a biotech CEO, you just do. Our clients also tend to be risk-takers, which I love. They’re out there trying to solve these really big, really important problems.”
In the last five years, Carin has expanded her team from a handful of life science communications experts to nearly 20. Even with this rapid growth, she remains highly accessible to her team and clients. After more than 15 years in the industry, she has seen practically every possible biotech victory or crisis play out—providing a level of insight that’s uncanny in the communications agency landscape.
Under her leadership, CanaleComm received a 2016 Best Places to Work award from the San Diego Business Journal. Carin, an active member of the Mission Hills Town Council, also was named “Woman of the Year” in 2016 by California Assembly Speaker Emeritus Toni Atkins.
In addition to serving as a senior strategy lead, Heidi is CanaleComm’s unofficial chief scientific officer—always ready to “get her geek on” as she dives deep into the science that makes each client unique.
Since joining CanaleComm in 2011, Heidi has put to use her background in science, innate storytelling skills and strategic thinking for clients ranging from the smallest of venture-backed biotech startups to the largest healthcare company in the world. She’s passionate about simplifying scientifically complex stories into messages that are compelling for audiences important to life science companies, including investors, potential partners and patients.
“The best part of my job is being able to dig into some of the coolest science in the world without having to come home with Coomassie blue stains on my clothes.”
Heidi has planned and implemented award-winning public relations campaigns resulting in media coverage by outlets such as The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, Bloomberg News, IN VIVO, BioCentury, BioWorld Today and Biotech Nation. Prior to CanaleComm, Heidi served as account supervisor at Russo Partners, working primarily with early-stage biotech companies and research institutions.
She holds a Bachelor of Science in biochemistry with a minor in mathematics from Mount Saint Mary’s College in Los Angeles, and a Ph.D. in macromolecular and cellular structure and chemistry from The Scripps Research Institute in San Diego.
When not hosting elaborate dinner parties, Heidi likes to relax with a glass of cabernet while playing her antique piano.
Pam Lord joined CanaleComm as a senior vice president on Day One, back in 2010. Jumping from big, global Porter Novelli Life Sciences to a boutique firm was a no-brainer: She loves to be the trusted wingman to her client CEOs and CFOs, providing high-value counsel to drive their strategic communications and build their and their companies’ reputations.
Having focused on life sciences since joining IR/PR firm Atkins + Associates in 2001, Pam has navigated the highs (positive data! pharma acquisitions! investments!) and the lows (negative data, wind-downs) for therapeutics, diagnostics and tools companies. She’s equally adept in working with private and publicly traded clients; she and her teams have won Silver Bernays Awards from the PR Society of America for both PR and IR campaigns.
Before embracing antibodies and LTDs, Pam was a PR counselor at high-tech firm Eastwick Communications in Silicon Valley, working with Adobe, Sun Microsystems and “dot-com” B2B software makers with names like Blue Pumpkin. (Those were the days!)
When she reconnects with former classmates from University of California, Santa Barbara, they’re not surprised that she parlayed her double major in dance and communications to work in PR and marketing with San Francisco Ballet for the first decade of her professional career. Working with non-profit organizations taught her how to be creative and resourceful in order to maximize budgets and generate substantial ROI, skills that are highly valuable for her current clients in the life science industry.
Jason mixes a background in science with 15 years of experience in life science business communications.
His experience covers corporate communications, investor relations and public relations for early stage private startups, as well as for commercial-phase publicly held companies. He has led corporate brand communications, investor communications, M&A communications and crisis communications programs, and has spearheaded successful campaigns around FDA approvals and product launches. Due to his work developing award-winning investor and public relations programs, clients have received widespread recognition through top-tier placements in print, broadcast and online media.
Prior to joining CanaleComm in 2010, Jason was a vice president in the life sciences division of Porter Novelli’s health care practice. Jason was one of the original employees at Atkins + Associates, a life science communications agency that was later acquired by Porter Novelli. Previously, he served as a regional marketing representative for the Varsity Group, an agency deploying strategic marketing campaigns for organizations such as Ben & Jerry’s and Habitat for Humanity.
Jason holds a bachelor’s degree from the University of California, San Diego, where he earned a major in biology and a minor in economics.
Mark brings broad public relations and investor relations experience to his work helping life science clients develop a strong path to reach their key constituents and business goals.
As a strategist and writer, Mark advises clients on how to tell their company story through diverse communications platforms, offering a unique combination of big-picture thinking and tactical detail. The former corporate communications executive keenly understands clients’ perspectives and can “walk in their shoes” to anticipate needs throughout the communications program.
Mark specializes in executive coaching for media interviews and investor presentations, and often plays an integral role in creating engaging scripts for earnings calls. Prior to joining Canale Communications in 2014, he provided strategic communications and consulting services to healthcare companies including Millennium Laboratories, BioPharma Scientific, Cypress Bioscience, Fresenius Hemocare and Barr Laboratories. He’s the previous owner of a boutique marketing communications and has served as corporate relations director and public relations director, respectively, for Norwegian pharma company Nycomed and San Diego bioscience pioneer Advanced Tissue Sciences.
Mark holds a Bachelor of Arts in communications from William Paterson University in New Jersey and an investor relations certificate from the University of Bridgeport. Outside of the office, Mark is playing defense on his amateur hockey team or visiting one of his favorite golf courses. But most likely, he’s memorizing the lines of comedic idol Groucho Marx, whose movies will never get old.
As vice president, Ian provides leadership and strategic direction to numerous client accounts, with an emphasis on media relations and investor-facing communications. Ian’s work has led to client news coverage in national media outlets such as The New York Times and Associated Press, top business publications such as Fast Company and Bloomberg, and industry publications including BioCentury and BioWorld Today.
Prior to joining CanaleComm in 2013, Ian held communications roles both in-house and in an agency setting, including with Pfizer and New York-based Russo Partners, where he served as assistant vice president. He has created and implemented strategic communications platforms for life science companies at virtually every stage of development, with projects that range from launching an initial corporate identity, to announcing venture rounds and clinical data, and supporting major commercial product launches and acquisitions.
Ian received a Bachelor of Arts in communications from the University of California, San Diego.
An avid hiker, Ian frequents trails across Southern California. But when the weather doesn’t cooperate, he’ll likely be re-watching his favorite Marvel movies or catching up on Game of Thrones and Doctor Who.
With over 15 years of biotechnology industry experience, both in and out of the lab, Account Director Carolyn Hawley is a valued client contact and strategic lead for a range of life science companies in both public and investor relations.
Carolyn has deep experience serving clients across the industry spectrum, including therapeutic development, venture capital, research tools, diagnostics and hospitals. With a background in science, Carolyn is noted for her strength in understanding technical concepts and translating them into accessible communications that educate investors, journalists and the public.
Carolyn has long-standing relationships with key members of the life science and general business media and is adept at helping to shape influential press coverage. Her media relations efforts have secured placements for clients in top tier publications such as The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, The Economist, Reuters and TIME Magazine, and she regularly nets hits in well respected trade publications such as Genetic Engineering & Biotechnology News, BioWorld Today, BioCentury and Xconomy. She has worked with several clients to implement social media influencer mapping projects and social media monitoring.
Prior to joining CanaleComm, Carolyn served as a senior account executive at Porter Novelli Life Sciences. Before that, she held sales and marketing positions for life sciences tools companies Stratagene (now owned by Agilent) and Applied Biosystems (part of ThermoFisher Scientific). She started her career in manufacturing for Chiron Diagnostics (now Novartis).
Carolyn holds a bachelor of science in cell and developmental biology from University of California, Santa Barbara.
When she’s not thinking about science, science and science, she is exercising the right part of her brain with creative outlets such as whipping up the famous lemon cheesecake for the annual CanaleComm holiday potluck or trying to finish the baby quilt for her four-year old son.
Jeremiah Nellis leads digital strategy for Canale Communications, using his passion for user-centered design and helpful digital products to bolster the branding and communication efforts for life science companies.
Jeremiah previously served as manager of digital strategy at Millennium Health, a San Diego-based firm specializing in personalized medication intelligence. He led the design and implementation of several state-of-the-art websites and mobile tools, and developed a new product-ordering system that increased customer adoption by more than 25 percent in the first year.
At CanaleComm, Jeremiah creates highly functional websites and digital products that apply best practices for user experience and design. He also specializes in app development, project management and being hilarious.
Jeremiah earned a degree in web design and development from Platt College San Diego and studied graphic design at the Art Institute of California.
Ben oversees the growing creative department at CanaleComm, providing strategic and tactical direction to visual communications projects of all shapes and sizes.
From planning and directing photo shoots to developing logos and custom scientific illustrations, Ben is adept at differentiating life science brands through inspiring artwork and visual style.
Ben has worked with a wide range of companies throughout his career, with a specialty in the biotech and healthcare industries.
Previously, as brand manager at Millennium Health, he played a strategic role in creative design, direction and implementation for internal and external branding, collateral, advertising and media campaigns. Ben also has worked with leading branding and advertising firms, including Russell Branding and Arnold Worldwide.
Ben hails from Boston and attended Salem State University in Massachusetts, where he earned a degree in art and design and web design.
Kelly Quigley is content director at CanaleComm, where she works closely with client teams to develop precise and compelling content that builds thought leadership among target audiences. Her specialties include bylined articles, corporate messaging and website copy development.
Kelly brings more than 15 years of experience as an editor and staff journalist at award-winning business publications and magazines including Crain’s Chicago Business and the San Diego Business Journal. A member of the National Association of Science Writers, she won the San Diego Press Club’s first-place honor for health and medicine reporting in 2012 for an article about a glycobiology-based approach to treating genetic disorders, and has won twice since then for her client work in Biocom’s Lifelines magazine.
Kelly’s work also has appeared on behalf of clients in media outlets such as Forbes, The Hill, GEN, Xconomy and Chemical & Engineering News. In addition to ghostwriting for company executives, she draws from her days as magazine web editor and interactive reporter to create ultra-readable online content, and plays a key role in many of CanaleComm’s corporate messaging projects.
Kelly earned bachelor’s degrees in journalism and history at Marquette University. Raised in Chicago, she now embraces the beachy life of San Diego, pursuing photography, creative non-fiction writing and personal history in her spare time.
As administrative manager, Tina ensures that the bustling office of Canale Communications is running smoothly—from the intricacies of planning client meetings and scheduling travel, to ensuring that invoicing and billing is accurate and on time. She also serves as executive assistant to CEO Carin Canale-Theakston.
A graduate of University of San Francisco, Tina has been a Mission Hills resident since moving to San Diego more than 15 years ago. In that time, she has served in the vital role of executive assistant and administrative manager at many of San Diego’s best-known academic institutions, including University of San Diego and University of California, San Diego. But she also knows the life science industry very well, having spent several years as community relations manager and an executive assistant at Biocom—and most recently as a senior research associate at UCSD within the Department of Family Medicine and Public Health.
Tina has enjoyed travels to such far-off places as Senegal, Cambodia and Bosnia, to name just a few. She also spent two years living in Puerto Vallarta doing public relations for a high-end retailer. Today, she still loves to visit Mexico at any opportunity. But when life’s too busy to get away (having two young kids can do that), she’ll settle for a really good margarita.
Jessica Dyas is an account manager at CanaleComm, where she manages and executes public relations, investor relations and corporate communications programs.
A board member of the National Investor Relations Institute’s San Diego chapter, Jessica specializes in developing and implementing corporate messaging strategy for public and private companies in the life science space.
Prior to joining CanaleComm, Jessica conducted an array of corporate communications activities for the drug discovery and development company Arena Pharmaceuticals. There, she honed skills needed to effectively disseminate a compelling corporate story and create productive relationships with media, analysts and investors.
Jessica holds a Bachelor of Arts in Communication Studies from the University of San Diego, where she played Division I softball and interned for San Diego Magazine, working on event planning and social media.
Following graduation, she joined a boutique marketing agency, where she helped to build an effective online presence for various health and wellness brands.
Jessica is an outdoor enthusiast who enjoys an array of activities, from the beaches to the mountains. She admittedly has an unhealthy obsession with animals—including her pet, a floppy-eared rabbit named Snickers—and she’s been known to change her course in order to socialize with neighborhood dogs.
Kelsey is a project manager and production designer for Canale Communications, playing a key role on the agency’s creative team. Kelsey is focused on ensuring that every creative project, from visual rebranding to website design, runs smoothly and according to schedule. She coordinates client communication and also contributes her talents as a graphic designer—she’s known to work magic on PowerPoint and Prezi, infographics, brochures and beyond.
Since joining CanaleComm in 2013, Kelsey has worn many hats. She has handled public relations activities, social media campaigns and content projects before transitioning fully to the creative team earlier this year. Prior to CanaleComm, Kelsey served as a consultant and graphic designer for SVN Public Relations, and as a media and graphics coordinator for STRIDE, a science-based nonprofit organization seeking to advance obesity prevention and treatment.
Kelsey graduated with honors from California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo, with a bachelor’s degree in journalism, a concentration in public relations and a minor in graphic communications. She then ditched her cap and gown for a backpack and passport and indulged her passion for adventure, traveling through six countries in Europe and the U.K. before returning to her hometown of San Diego. Outside of the office, you can find Kelsey sipping craft beer, attending concerts and baking her famous sea-salt chocolate chip cookies.
Best CanaleComm memory: “Best memory at CanaleComm? No question: Wine tasting for two days straight in Valle de Guadalupe. Need I say more?!”
Monica May is an account manager at CanaleComm, specializing in media relations for clients across the life science industry.
This scientist-turned-communicator has secured coverage in a range of top-tier, industry, regional and international outlets, from CNN and The Economist to BioWorld Insight and the San Diego Union-Tribune.
While Monica is best known for her adept media outreach, she also has a niche for producing video and orchestrating educational panels for life science conferences and events. She has provided significant contributions to communications programs for clients in all stages of drug development and developing a wide range of technologies, including gene therapies, mouse avatars for cancer treatment, medical diagnostics and precision medicine.
Prior to joining the agency world, Monica worked at La Jolla Institute for Allergy and Immunology, where she conducted research to support the development of a dengue fever vaccine. She also previously worked in research for Santa Cruz Biotechnology, purifying antibody products and performing quality-control evaluations.
Monica holds a Master of Arts in education and a Bachelor of Science in molecular biology from the University of California, Santa Cruz.
David is an account manager at CanaleComm, managing and executing public relations, investor relations and corporate communications programs. He specializes in connecting medical device, diagnostic and therapeutic companies to targeted audiences, including investors and patients. David joined CanaleComm in May 2013.
Previously, David worked in university relations for San Diego State University, leading an array of media relations and public outreach activities. In addition, David has worked on consumer campaigns for clients such as Sony and Lacoste for the creative branding and advertising firm EFM Agency. He also served as a contributing writer for the Mission Times Courier, focusing on human interest stories.
David was awarded the 2013 Edward L. Bernays Silver Mark of Excellence by the San Diego/Imperial Counties Public Relations Society of America for his reputation management and awareness public relations proposal for Urban Corps of San Diego County.
He holds a bachelor’s degree in journalism and media studies with an emphasis in public relations and a minor in sociology. When David’s not working, he’s most likely rock climbing or bouldering local slabs of granite and sandstone, or cheering the San Francisco Giants.
Aren is a core member of the CanaleComm creative team, handling much of the production and print work for clients’ communications and collateral materials. Her passion for visual arts is expressed through the original and differentiated styles she develops for each project. But she also brings a much-valued knack for continuity, assuring that a client’s look and feel is reflected consistently in posters, brochures, packaging, business cards and more.
Aren holds a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Graphic and Interactive Design from the West Chester University of Pennsylvania. She has received honors for two consecutive years in the national design competition AIGA Flux Awards, and has played a key role in award-winning design and digital projects at CanaleComm.
When she’s not hard at work, Aren takes much joy in the art of video games and the Assassin’s Creed series, the thrill of amusement parks where the bigger the coasters the better, and the deliciousness of dark chocolate.
Emmy Gainey is a web designer and developer with a passion for creating beautiful and functional websites. She supports CanaleComm’s digital design and visual communications team with her skills in typography, layout, coding and digital illustration.
Emmy earned a Bachelor of Fine Arts Degree in Graphic Design from Auburn University of Montgomery in Alabama, where she was a National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics All-American Scholar. Following five years of service in the United States Navy, Emmy continued her education with degrees in web design and multimedia design from Platt College San Diego.
A dog lover and vinyl-record collector, Emmy has experimented with album cover redesigns in her spare time. She also is a capable outdoorswoman, with plans to one day hike the Appalachian Trail. For now, though, she’s enjoying the exciting yet unpredictable twists and turns of life science communications.
Lauren Fish is a CanaleComm account associate, combining her dual passions for science and communications to develop thoughtful media strategy and content for a range of clients in the life science industry.
Lauren, a Boston College graduate, joined CanaleComm as an intern in 2015. She quickly wowed her colleagues with impeccable organization skills and a love for refining the scientific stories that underlie client programs.
She joined CanaleComm as an associate in 2016, following her graduation from Boston College with a Bachelor of Science in Biology and Bachelor of Arts in English. During college, she also volunteered at Boston’s Samaritans Suicide Prevention Helpline.
Back in sunny San Diego, Lauren continues to enjoy learning about the newest innovations in the biotech sector and communicating stories of science and innovation to targeted audiences. She plays an integral role on numerous client teams as well as on the content development side.
When she’s not thinking about cells and genes and other microscopic things, Lauren spends her time writing fiction, in the yoga studio and baking anything that has large quantities of sugar.
Allison Lyons is an account associate at CanaleComm, where she conveys clients’ science and brand stories through a variety of public, media and investor relations vehicles.
Since joining the CanaleComm team in August 2015, Allison has supported strategic communications for therapeutic, medical device and diagnostics companies at various stages of development. She specializes in creating sharable social media content, writing compelling press releases, monitoring the news and working with local and national journalists.
Allison holds a Bachelor of Science in biochemistry and cell biology from the University of California, San Diego (UCSD). Between hitting the books in the biomedical library and surfing at Black’s Beach, she conducted research at UCSD and Stanford University in plant molecular biology and marine population genetics. During her time at UCSD, Allison also served on the review board of the Saltman Quarterly, a student-run science journal.
However, as much as she enjoyed making discoveries in the lab, she found her true calling in translating complex science for the public. Allison has a keen eye for a good investor story, as she’s a devoted reader of personal finance and investment blogs (yes, she realizes this is not everyone’s idea of a good time).
Favorite CanaleComm memory: “When my co-workers threw me a surprise wedding shower on the Friday before I got married, complete with really good champagne and an excessive amount of bundt cake!”
Gnome likes long walks through the park and when he isn’t pulling pranks on his office mates you can find him down at Lefty’s pub having a pint.
Favorite memory at Canale: Winning every game of hide and seek!