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 Porter 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 is also 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 more than 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.