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The Boston Chapter of the National Investor Relations Institute Announces its Board of Directors

The Boston Chapter of the National Investor Relations Institute, NIRI Boston, has announced its Board of Directors for the 2009-2010 term as follows:

President – Justine Koenigsberg, Concert Pharmaceuticals
President-Elect – Alexia Taxiarchos, Sharon Merrill Associates
Treasurer – Anthony Takazawa, EMC Corporation
Secretary – Catherine Cloft, LaVoie Group
Committee chairs:
Programming - Jennifer Heizer, athenahealth and Rob Bennett, BioCryst Pharmaceuticals
Communications - Patrick Flanigan, Genzyme Corporation
Membership - Michelle Vidoli, Cubist Pharmaceuticals
Sponsorship - Brooke Wagner, Corporate Financial Group
New Board Members:
Martha Schaefer, SeaChange International
Jeremiah Sisitsky, Constant Contact
Kristian Talvitie, PTC

NIRI Boston president Justine Koenigsberg said, “NIRI Boston continues to attract best-in-class members and offer its members the highest quality programs and services. I am honored that NIRI Boston was recognized last year with both the Chairman’s award as well as the award for best programming from NIRI National. I look forward to working with the recently elected Board of Directors to continue this longstanding tradition of excellence as NIRI Boston celebrates its 40th year of educating, coaching and supporting investor relations professionals in Boston and the surrounding area.”

About NIRI Boston Officers & Directors:

Justine Koenigsberg (President) has over fourteen years corporate communications experience within the biotechnology industry. She currently serves as Senior Director, Corporate Communications and Investor Relations at Concert Pharmaceuticals, Inc., a privately held biotechnology company in Lexington, MA. Prior to joining Concert Pharmaceuticals she served as Senior Director, Corporate Communications at ViaCell, Inc., which was acquired by PerkinElmer in November 2007. She joined ViaCell in September 2005 to establish the company's first internal corporate communications program. In this role she had overall responsibility for directing its external communications activities, including investor relations and public relations.

Before joining ViaCell, Justine spent six years at Transkaryotic Therapies, Inc. (TKT), where she most recently served as Senior Director, Corporate Communications. During her tenure at TKT, she developed and implemented a variety of communication strategies to support high profile events and expand its investor relations program and was involved in bringing closure to the company's $1.6 billion acquisition by Shire Pharmaceuticals. Prior to TKT, she worked in Corporate Communications at Vertex Pharmaceuticals Incorporated.

Justine holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Business Administration from Northeastern University.

Alexia Taxiarchos (President Elect) is a Senior Associate at Sharon Merrill Associates, a nationally recognized investor relations and corporate communications strategic advisory firm. With more than seven years of experience in investor relations, Alexia works directly with Sharon Merrill Associates clients across a variety of industries to conceptualize and execute successful IR programs.

Prior to joining Sharon Merrill Associates, Alexia was research and reporting manager at TIM Hellas Telecommunications S.A., in Athens, Greece. In this position, Alexia was primarily responsible for developing and implementing the company’s investor relations program and managing the company’s interaction with the investment community.

Alexia holds a bachelor of arts degree in English and International Relations from Boston College and a master of arts degree in International Relations from Boston University.

Anthony Takazawa (Treasurer) serves as the Vice President of Global Investor Relations at EMC Corporation (NYSE: EMC). EMC is the world's leading developer and provider of information infrastructure technology and solutions that enable organizations of all sizes to transform the way they compete and create value from their information. EMC Investor Relations is responsible for all communication and relationships with investors from around the world regarding EMC’s strategy, operations, markets and products. The EMC IR team is also responsible for the business analysis of EMC and the company’s markets and peers. Under Tony’s direction, EMC has won several awards for excellence in IR including a #1 rating in Institutional Investor Magazine’s IR rankings.

Prior to joining EMC, he was Vice President at Bankers Trust Company serving as the head of Mid-Cap Equity and Equity Portfolio Manager. Previously, he was an Investment Officer at Phoenix Investment Counsel serving various roles including Equity Portfolio Manager and Director of Equity Research.

Tony earned a BBA in Finance from the University of Notre Dame and a MBA from the University of Wisconsin-Madison where he was a graduate of the Applied Securities Analysis Program. He has earned his Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA) designation from the CFA Institute.

Catherine Cloft (Secretary) is Vice President of LaVoie Group, an award winning small, creative life science focused investor relations/public relations agency. She has more than 20 years of life sciences and healthcare focused communications. She is well recognized for her broad business experience and her understanding of numerous therapeutic specialties. Her business background spans corporate communications, business development, finance, sales and marketing. She brings IPO experience and has managed scientific communications to a variety of audiences, including medical, scientific, investor and media.

Catherine’s therapeutic knowledge base includes business development, marketing and/or communications in dermatology, rheumatology, neurology, psychiatry, urology, cardiology, gastroenterology, pulmonology, and wound care. Most recently, she has been involved in product development, marketing and communications for dermatology products, particularly related to inflammatory skin diseases.

Catherine earned a Bachelor of Science from Eastern Michigan University where she majored in English. She holds a Master of Business Administration (MBA) from North Texas State University (now known as the University of North Texas) where she majored in Finance.

Jennifer Heizer (Co-chair, Programming) is Senior Manager of Investor Relations at athenahealth, Inc. (NASDAQ: ATHN), the leading provider of Internet-based business services for physician practices. Jennifer is responsible for building athena’s first investor relations program since the company’s IPO in September of 2007. Prior to joining athenahealth, Jennifer was Senior Investor Relations Analyst at Akamai Technologies, Inc., a managed service provider for Internet content delivery and application acceleration. Formerly, Jennifer coordinated investor relations and launched cash management initiatives at Mercury Computer Systems, Inc.

Jennifer holds an MBA degree from Babson College with a concentration in global management. She also earned a BS degree in Information Design and Corporate Communication with minors in Finance and International Studies from Bentley College.

Rob Bennett (Co Chair, Programming) joined BioCryst Pharmaceuticals (NASDAQ: BCRX) as Executive Director, Business Development & Investor Relations in April 2009. For the previous four years, he was Executive Director, Investor relations at Merck KGaA, a large cap German pharmaceutical and chemical company and at Serono S.A. until it was acquired by Merck in January 2007. He led the company's North American investor relations activities, and makes important contributions to the company’s global IR program. Important accomplishments following the Serono acquisition include a successful €2 billion equity offering, Merck's first analyst day in London and stepped up targeting activity in North America.

From 2001 to 2005, Rob was Senior Director, Investor Relations & Corporate Communications for Celera, where he worked on successfully communicating the company's strategy shift from genomic data generation to drug discovery and diagnostics. Rob's prior IR experience included a supply chain start up, suppyFORCE and the specialty chemical company Witco prior to its acquisition in 1999.

In addition to nine years of IR and communications experience, Rob spent 13 years in various commercial roles in the specialty chemicals industry, including international marketing, product management, sales and business development. Rob received his B.S. Degree in Chemical Engineering from Virginia Tech and his MBA in finance and marketing from the University of Michigan.

Patrick Flanigan (Chair, Communications) is Director of Investor Relations at Genzyme Corporation (NASDAQ: GENZ), a leading global biopharmaceutical company with products and services focused on rare inherited disorders, kidney disease, orthopaedics, transplant, cancer, and diagnostic testing. He manages a five-member team that is responsible for all communication and relationships with the investment community, in addition to participating in over 40 investor events annually. Prior to joining Genzyme, Patrick was a senior biotechnology analyst for 10 years at Cowen & Company, Canaccord Adams, and WR Hambrecht.

Patrick graduated with a B.A. in economics and political science from Boston College.

Michelle M. Vidoli (Chair, Membership) is Senior Manager, Corporate Communications at Cubist Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (NASDAQ: CBST), a biopharmaceutical company focused on the research, development, and commercialization of pharmaceutical products that address unmet medical needs in the acute care environment.

Her responsibilities include managing strategic corporate communications, messaging, department budget planning, and Cubist’s IR vendor relationships. She is responsible for designing and managing the company’s corporate website, as well as the corporate presentation template used for Investor meetings and conferences, and was instrumental in managing the company’s rebranding of these communication vehicles.

Michelle joined Cubist in 2002 after spending more than five years at North American Funds, where she was a Marketing Manager responsible for the management and execution of their communication projects and coordination of the North American fund launches, lead generation programs, and multi-media platforms.

Michelle graduated with a B.S. degree from Salem State College in 1991.

Brooke Wagner (Sponsorship Chair) brings broad expertise in investor relations and corporate finance and has led a wide range of organizations in multiple industries over the course of his 20+ year career. He currently serves as Managing Director, Corporate Finance Group, Inc., a Boston-based finance and accounting consultancy where he leads the firm’s investor relations practice.

Previously he was Vice President, Corporate Communications for Indevus Pharmaceuticals. Before joining Indevus, he was Managing Director for CapitalBridge and was Vice President, Investor Relations and Government Affairs for Aspect Communications. He was also Chief Financial Officer at Managemark, Inc. and held a variety of finance and marketing positions with CKS Group, Software Publishing Corporation and Applied Materials.

Brooke received a B.S. in Finance and a B.S. in Economics from the University of Maine and an MBA from the University of Santa Clara.

Martha Schaefer (Director) an industry veteran for over 30 years, Martha Schaefer has served as the Director of Investor Relations at SeaChange Intl. (NASDAQ: SEAC) for the past 12 years. The 1,000+-employee company is the premiere provider of digital video systems and software for the world's largest media companies including Disney ABC, Comcast and Liberty Global. Martha is responsible for all aspects of strategic investor communication including a successful secondary offering, testifying on behalf of the company in litigation regarding defamation, securing invitations to open and close the NASDAQ and overseeing all aspects of the Company’s financial reporting.

Prior to joining SeaChange, Martha was a principal in Stone Croft Communications for 6 years, specializing in Public and Investor Relations. She advised clients such as ON Technology, Student Advantage, Sapient Corporation, Wellfleet/Bay Networks, and Xylogics. Previously, she held several senior positions in Corporate Communications with private software and networking companies.

Jeremiah Sisitsky (Director) is Director of Investor Relations at Constant Contact (NASDAQ: CTCT), a leading provider of email marketing and online surveys for small organizations. He joined Constant Contact in February 2008, shortly after its IPO, and established the first in-house investor relations function for the company. In this role he leads all aspects of investor relations for the company including developing strategy, shareholder targeting and managing all financial and investor communications.

Prior to joining Constant Contact, he managed the investor relations efforts for RSA Security, a software security company, until its acquisition by EMC for $2.3 billion. During his tenure at RSA Security, Jeremiah directed all aspects of the company’s investor relations efforts and successfully helped lead the company’s investor communications through two acquisitions, a stock option investigation and ultimately, the sale of the company. He started his career on an equity capital markets desk, where he helped originate and execute equity and equity hybrid offerings. He has also worked for several public small-cap and micro-cap software companies in various strategic planning, financial planning and analysis and investor relations roles.

Jeremiah received his undergraduate degree in business, with an emphasis on finance and a minor in economics, from the University of Massachusetts at Amherst and a master’s degree in business administration from Boston University.

Kristian Talvitie (Director) is vice president, corporate communications at PTC (NASDAQ: PMTC). In this role, he is responsible for the company’s global investor relations, public relations and industry analyst relations. He also has significant agency and in-house investor and corporate communications experience in addition to senior marketing and business development positions in the tech industry.

Kristian Talvitie attended Boston University (Brussels) where he earned his master of science in management. He received his bachelor’s in social psychology with minors in economics and philosophy from Allegheny College.

Bob Joyce (Past President, Director) is an accomplished communications professional with 18 years of experience in the communications and securities industries. He is an investor relations and corporate communication consultant, and currently provides services to a leading global supply chain management services company as Director, Investor Relations.

Bob has held senior positions at market leading communications consultancies driving communications strategy and providing counsel in the areas of investor relations, financial and corporate communications, internal communications, corporate messaging, corporate restructuring and issues management. He has worked with US and multinational companies across multiple sectors including business services, technology, industrials and healthcare. Client engagements have included BioVex, Checkpoint Systems, EMCOR Group, FTI Consulting, ModusLink Global Solutions, MSC Industrial Direct, NEI and PDL BioPharma.

Previously, Bob was a Senior Vice President at FD (formerly Financial Dynamics), joining the firm in 2004 and becoming head of the firm’s Boston office in 2005. Prior to joining FD, Bob was Vice President at FitzGerald Communications, a technology and healthcare PR specialist. Bob was head of FitzGerald’s investor relations practice, leading the firm’s capabilities in all aspects of financial communications and investor relations including M&A, fundraising activities including IPO preparation and special situations such as management changes and corporate restructuring.

Before becoming a communications professional, Bob worked in the securities industry as an investment advisor for Cantella & Company as well as a division of American Express, holding series 7 and 63 licenses.

Bob is a member of the Board of Directors for the Boston Chapter of the National Investor Relations Institute and was President of the Chapter during the 2008/2009 program year.

About NIRI Boston

Established in 1970, the Boston Chapter of the National Investor Relations Institute, NIRI Boston, is one of the largest and oldest chapters of NIRI, a professional association of investor relations practitioners, corporate officers and consultants responsible for strategic communication among corporate management, the investing public and the financial community. The hundreds of members of NIRI Boston represent public and private companies throughout the Boston area and across New England in all major industrial markets and on all major stock exchanges.

Celebrating its 40th year in 2010, NIRI Boston has a long and distinguished history, setting the standard for other NIRI chapters nationwide. NIRI Boston has been the recipient of numerous Chapter Awards from NIRI National recognizing NIRI Boston’s programming and membership initiatives. Most recently, for the 2008-2009 program year, NIRI Boston received awards for Best Annual Programming of a large chapter and the Chairman’s Award. A significant number of NIRI National Board Members, as well as several previous NIRI National Chairpersons, have been elected from the ranks of NIRI Boston membership.

To learn more, please visit


Constant Contact
Jeremiah Sisitsky, 339-222-5740

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