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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 serving 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 more than 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.”
Over the past eight years, Carin has expanded her team from a handful of life science communications experts to nearly 25. Even with this rapid growth, she remains highly accessible to her team and clients. During her tenure in the biotech 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 the Best Places to Work Award from the San Diego Business Journal, and has won dozens of Edward L. Bernays Awards, granted by the Public Relations Society of America’s San Diego chapter. 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 and was named to the “San Diego 500” list of influential business leaders in the life sciences.
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 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.
As senior 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.
Amanda Guisbond is a vice president at CanaleComm, where she counsels life science and digital health partners on corporate communications and media relations strategy, as well as content marketing and analyst relations.
With more than a decade of corporate communications and public relations experience, Amanda has worked closely with CEOs of companies across the healthcare spectrum and has shaped communications strategy for a number of high-growth startups. Her work has landed healthcare companies on the front pages of top-tier publications such as The New York Times, Fortune and The Wall Street Journal.
Amanda’s passion lies at the intersection of healthcare and technology — a sweet spot that led her to two in-house roles at digital health leaders Athenahealth and American Well, a Boston-based telehealth company. Most recently, as director of communications at American Well, she managed corporate communications, PR, content and social media strategy.
Amanda also brings experience from global public relations firms including Waggener Edstrom Worldwide and Feinstein Kean Healthcare, an Ogilvy company, where she spearheaded communications programs for notable organizations such as HIMSS, Moderna Therapeutics and Spark Therapeutics.
Amanda holds a bachelor’s degree in English and master’s degree in Communications from Clark University. The Southern California transplant was born and raised in Boston — and while she doesn’t have “the accent,” she joins with thousands of other Bostonians in counting “Good Will Hunting” as her all-time favorite movie.
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.
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.
Kelly Quigley is content director at CanaleComm, where she works closely with client teams to develop precise and compelling science-driven 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 has won numerous San Diego Press Club awards for health and medicine reporting, profile articles and science-focused magazine features. Her 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 developing content for print media, Kelly 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 holds an M.A. in science writing from Johns Hopkins University and bachelor’s degrees in journalism and history from 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.
Also known as the finance guru, Brian leads the agency’s finance and accounting operations.
Brian started his career at Genentech and has been working in finance for high-tech and biotech companies for more than a decade. He has also spent time at Thermo Fisher Scientific as a member of its Global Commercial Financial Planning & Analysis team, following several years with United Technologies Corporation and its Financial Leadership Program. In 2010, he had the opportunity to lend his talents to aircraft company Sikorksy, now part of Lockheed Martin, which makes everything from the Presidential Helicopter to the Black Hawk.
Brian graduated from the University of Massachusetts at Amherst’s Isenberg School of Management with a major in finance. While in college, he was on the fencing team and served as a member of the investment club.
While Brian is most definitely a numbers guy, he has an undeniable flair for art and language. He practices photography in his spare time and is learning Italian on the weekends for his eventual retirement in Southern Italy.
As Canale Communications’ senior project manager, Sophia plays a central role on the agency’s creative team. Clients will attest to her ability to ensure that every creative project — from logo development to website designs — runs on schedule and on budget.
Born and raised in the quaint seaside town of Wicklow, Ireland, Sophia’s creative and artistic flare first presented itself in the form of dance. Since the age of three, she practiced ballet, modern, jazz and hip-hop. Sophia’s love of the arts merged with her capitalistic side at the Institute of Art, Design and Technology in Dublin. After earning a degree in Business Studies and Arts Management, she set her sights on a career in marketing. And there was no better place to make that dream come true than California.
Over the past decade in the Golden State, Sophia has provided creative marketing guidance to an entertainment talent firm, worked in operations for a prominent dance studio and ultimately jumped into agency life. Prior to joining CanaleComm, she held project management roles at Alternative Strategies and Jacob Tyler Digital + Branding Agency.
When she’s not guiding creative projects from inception to execution, you can find Sophia dreaming up her next vacation or binge watching comic book-themed TV shows with her pug, Harvey.
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.
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.
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.
Tiffany Jackson is the administrative assistant and receptionist at Canale Communications, where her remarkable organizational skills come into play every day as she orchestrates staff events and agency meetings without missing even the tiniest detail.
Tiffany is often the first person to welcome visitors to the agency’s office in Mission Hills, where she lights up the lobby with her client-first attitude.
Unsurprisingly, Tiffany’s career has been centered in customer service and administration. Most recently, she worked for a major automotive dealer, Poway Honda, where she assisted the sales and finance teams and managed shipments, paperwork other core aspects of office administration.
Tiffany is passionate about spending quality time with her family. When she’s not working, she’s often exploring town with her two daughters, visiting theme parks, the zoo, libraries and anywhere else they can laugh and learn together.
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.
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.
Cambria Fuqua is an Account Associate at CanaleComm, where she supports life science companies of all sizes with public relations strategy, media outreach, conference planning and internal communications. She also brings a special focus on social media, which she infuses into the communications approach for many of the region’s top biotech and pharma companies.
Prior to joining CanaleComm, Cambria provided public relations and event planning support to a variety of iconic San Diego restaurants and hotels. She made the switch to life science communications to fuel her passions for both health and innovation.
Cambria holds a Bachelor of Arts in Journalism, Public Relations and a minor in Italian from San Diego State University.
As an active member of numerous San Diego community and service organizations, the native Texan thoroughly enjoys giving back to this incredible city that she now calls home.
In her spare time, Cambria can be found binge-watching Grey’s Anatomy re-runs with a glass of cabernet in one hand and a pint of Ben & Jerry’s in the other.
Sumitra Gupta is an Account Associate at CanaleComm, where she collaborates with a vast array of clients who are thinking outside the box to build a better future for people and patients around the world. She focuses on media relations, conference planning, project management and client relations.
An entrepreneur-at-heart, Sumitra has a special zeal for working with early-stage clients, as it provides her with a front-row seat to the creative underpinnings that support a successful life science venture.
Sumitra holds a B.S. in biopsychology from University of California, Santa Barbara, and has earned two public relations certificates from the National University of Singapore.
During her studies, Sumitra taught English to impoverished women in India and worked as a volunteer at an eye clinic near the west-central Indian city of Indore. An avid world explorer, Sumitra has spent time in France, Turkey, Greece, Italy, Croatia, Alaska and many other interesting places. She is trilingual, speaking fluent English, Hindi and Persian, and she is creator of one of the most popular Middle Eastern playlists on Spotify.
Sumitra joined CanaleComm in March 2017.
As an Account Associate at CanaleComm, Jordann Phillips combines her passions for science and business to effectively communicate complex scientific stories to key audiences. She brings an emphasis on investor relations and content development to support CanaleComm’s broad scope of life science clients.
Prior to joining CanaleComm, Jordann served as Investor Relations and Corporate Communications Associate at a microcap specialty pharmaceutical company, Imprimis Pharmaceuticals. There, refined her skills in crafting compelling corporate stories, while also establishing valuable relationships with the media and investor community. During her time at Imprimis, she helped coordinate news coverage in prominent publications including Forbes, Fortune, The New York Times and CNBC.
Jordann holds a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration with a focus in International Development and a minor in Cell and Molecular Biology from Point Loma Nazarene University. In addition to her work at CanaleComm, she is co-founder of B-Present Foundation, which seeks to create a strong peer-support network for young adults with cancer. Jordann also is an active member of Women in Bio, promoting leadership and entrepreneurship for women in the life sciences.
A San Diego local, Jordann spends her off time hiking, backpacking or soaking up the rays at the beach. The self-proclaimed “healthy foodie” and comedy lover is never ashamed to pay extra for avocado and finds life to be much more enjoyable when eating or laughing.
Kristine Balicoco is a creative associate at Canale Communications, blending her passions for health, media and project management to support the bustling creative department.
In addition to lending her expertise to budgeting, traffic control and administration, Kristine contributes to graphic design projects — with a special talent for creating beautiful social media cards and crisp PowerPoint designs. A jack of all (creative) trades, Kristine jumps in wherever she can to keep projects moving and ensuring the best-possible results for CanaleComm’s clients.
Kristine holds a Bachelor of Science in health communication with a minor in health science from San Diego State University. Always an over-achiever, she also earned an honors minor in interdisciplinary studies. While at SDSU, Kristine served on the Weber Honors College Executive Board as marketing officer, handling all PR-related tasks, including designing and deploying weekly e-newsletters.
When she’s not making things happen in the creative department, Kristine can be found cuddled next to her little terrier-mix rescue pup reading her favorite sci-fi novel “Jurassic Park” for the seventy-fourth time.
Jen is the creative intern at Canale Communications, where she focuses chiefly on digital design and development but also plays a key role in projects involving photo editing, search engine optimization and website analytics.
Prior to joining CanaleComm, Jen served as a web production associate for a B2B media company, where she created customized digital ads and e-newsletters, and ensured clients’ press releases bubbled to the top of Google. She also previously worked in social media, evaluating ROI metrics and tweaking social campaigns for maximum impact.
Notably, Jen is also an accomplished professional outside of the communications world, as she serves as a basketball referee for the National Federation of State High School Association since 2011 and National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics since 2017.
Jen earned a B.A. in public relations and communications disorders from Baldwin Wallace University and is now attending Origin Code Academy to pursue her love of software engineering and front-end web development.
A self-professed “future cat lady,” Jen also is a fitness fanatic. By the time she arrives to work on most mornings, she’s already snuck in an intense workout at Orange Theory.