Fundamentals of Investor Relations - Boston 2017 Speakers


Howard E. Berkenblit

Partner and Leader - Sullivan & Worcester’s Capital Markets Group

Howard E. Berkenblit  

Howard E. Berkenblit is a partner and leader of Sullivan & Worcester’s Capital Markets Group. He specializes in counseling both public and private companies involved in equity and debt financings and ongoing corporate governance and disclosure matters, stock exchange listing standards and Sarbanes-Oxley Act and Dodd-Frank Act compliance. He also advises Israeli and other international companies that seek to have their securities traded in the United States, as well as real estate investment trusts that engage in securities offerings and governance initiatives. In addition, Mr. Berkenblit works with clients on mergers and acquisitions, capital raising and general corporate matters. He has written articles and spoken on many topics including Sarbanes-Oxley, Dodd-Frank, the JOBS Act and a range of securities law issues impacting U.S. and foreign companies. Mr. Berkenblit’s experience has been recognized in recent publications such as Best Lawyers in America, the Client Choice Guide and Legal 500. He is a cum laude graduate of the University of Pennsylvania, and he received his law degree, summa cum laude, from Boston College Law School.

Rob Bradley, IRC

Vice President of Investor Relations - LogMeIn

Rob Bradley  

Rob Bradley, IRC, is the Vice President of Investor Relations at LogMeIn, a Boston headquartered technology company where he helped develop the investor relations program beginning in 2011.  Prior to LogMeIn, Rob was employed at Thermo Fisher Scientific where he completed a two year management training program and then joined the  investor relations team.  He received his MBA at the Carroll School of Management at Boston College.  Rob started his career in finance with roles at State Street and Columbia Management, after serving in the Peace Corps for two years in Ukraine. When not in the office, Rob spends his time with his wife and three children and is involved in his local community and church in Needham, Massachusetts.

Matthew D. Brusch, CAE

Chief Programs Officer - National Investor Relations Institute

Matt Brusch is Chief Programs Officer for the National Investor Relations Institute, leading NIRI’s professional development, certification and other programming. Appointed in 2007 to manage communications and publications, he created NIRI’s research program, and working with volunteers, launched the first professional investor relations certification program in the U.S. His previous experience includes leading investor relations and corporate communications departments for several public companies, as well as serving in regulatory and marketing roles with the NASDAQ Stock Market. Brusch began his career as a Surface Warfare Officer in the United States Navy, and received the Navy Achievement Medal for superior performance. He holds an M.B.A. from the University of Maryland, a B.S. from the Pennsylvania State University, and is a Certified Association Executive.

Jason Fredette, IRC

Senior Director of Investor Relations and Corporate Communications - Selecta Biosciences, Inc.

Jason Fredette, IRC, is an award-winning investor relations professional with more than 15 years of experience raising and enhancing the profile of public companies. Jason currently serves as Senior Director of Investor Relations and Corporate Communications at Selecta Biosciences, Inc. (NASDAQ: SELB), a clinical-stage biopharmaceutical company. Before joining Selecta, he led investor relations, public relations and corporate marketing for Chiasma, Inc., Select Income REIT, Government Properties Income Trust and American Superconductor Corporation. Jason began his career in investor relations serving clients in a broad range of industries at Sharon Merrill Associates (SMA), a nationally recognized investor relations and corporate communications strategic advisory firm. He has been recognized by Institutional Investor Magazine in its Best Investor Relations Professional listings, and his work was integral to SMA’s attainment of three Publicity Club of New England Bell Ringer Awards during his agency tenure.

Gerry Gould

Vice President of Investor Relations - Haemonetics Corporation

Gerry Gould  

Gerry Gould is Vice President of Investor Relations at Haemonetics Corporation, a medical equipment and software services company in the blood management business. Gerry is an executive level Investor Relations professional. He brings twenty years of experience in investor relations and corporate communications, having previously held the VP-IR role at RSC Equipment Rental, The Stanley Works (now Stanley Black & Decker) and Wyman-Gordon Company. Gerry has been a member of NIRI for more than 20 years. He has served as a member of the Senior Roundtable Steering Committee, the annual conference committee, NIRI's "Standards of Practice"/IR Certification program development committee and currently NIRI’s Advocacy Ambassador program. He is a member of the Board of Directors and Treasurer of NIRI’s Boston Chapter. Gerry serves on the Board of Directors of DOVE (“Domestic Violence Ended”) Inc. and chairs on its Finance / Audit Committee. Gerry holds an MS in Accountancy degree from the Leonard N. Stern Graduate Business School at New York University and a BS in Business Administration from St. Michael's College.

Kelly Hernandez, IRC

Senior Vice President of Investor Relations - Leidos

Kelly Hernandez serves as Strategic Advisor on Investor Relations with Leidos. Kelly brings nearly two decades of technology and investment experience to her role.  Prior to this role, Kelly lead all Investor Relations activities for Leidos as Senior Vice President, and Head of Investor Relations.  She previously served as the Head of the Middle East and North Africa for Deutsche Bank’s Institutional Asset Management business.  Prior to her role in the Middle East, Kelly was the lead portfolio manager for Deutsche Bank’s ~$1 billion DWS Technology mutual fund as well as Global Head of Technology Equity Research for Deutsche Asset Management.  Prior to her 7 years at Deutsche Bank, Kelly held varied roles at Credit Suisse and Advanced Micro Devices, as well as other technology companies in Silicon Valley.  Kelly serves on the board of MPower Finance. Kelly received a master’s degree in business administration from University of California at Berkeley and a bachelor’s degree in computer & electrical engineering from Purdue University.

Amy W. Junker

Head of Global Corporate Access, Associate Director of Research - Baird

Amy W. Junker  

Amy Junker is Baird’s Head of Global Corporate Access and Associate Director of Research. Amy previously served as the Senior Analyst covering Education Services. Prior to joining Baird in 2003, Amy was a junior analyst at Lehman Brothers, a research associate at William Blair & Company and an associate instructor of mathematics at Indiana University. In 2007, StarMine ranked her among the top three for stock picking skills in Diversified Consumer Services. Amy received a BA in mathematics from Kalamazoo College and an MA in mathematics from Indiana University.

Gary LaBranche, FASAE, CAE

President & Chief Executive Officer - National Investor Relations Institute

Gary LaBranche, FASAE, CAE, is the President & CEO of the National Investor Relations Institute. Before joining NIRI in March 2017, he was CEO of the Association for Corporate Growth (ACG).  An association professional for 36+ years, LaBranche has served as CEO for three organizations and as a senior executive at the American Society of Association Executives (ASAE) and the U.S. Chamber of Commerce. Prior to joining ACG, LaBranche was CEO for the Association Forum of Chicagoland. At the Forum and ASAE he was responsible for identifying, developing and sharing best practices, models and innovation in association management, professional development and meeting planning. At ASAE he was responsible for the “Super Bowl of Conventions,” launch of e-learning and modernization of the Certified Association Executive (CAE) program. He was named an ASAE Fellow (FASAE) in 1995. He was the ASAE Key Award winner for 2007, the highest award in the profession.  ASSOCIATION TRENDS named him the 2012 Association Executive of the Year. He is a member of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce’s Association Committee of 100 and is past chairman of the Chamber’s Institute of Organization Management. LaBranche has served on ASAE’s 4 governing boards and continues to serve on the board of ASAE’s for-profit subsidiary, ASAE Business Services, Inc. of which he is past chairman. He serves on the Advisory Board of the Kogod Cybersecurity Governance Center at American University. He is the author of 300+ articles, podcasts and columns, including “Managing the Complex Association Enterprise” in ASAE’s Handbook on Professional Practices in Association Management, 3rd ed. He has consulted/presented to 300+ associations. LaBranche was profiled as an innovative leader in the book, Hope: How Triumphant Leaders Create the Future, by Andrew Razeghi. He has also been featured in Strategic Transformation: How Boards Achieve Extraordinary Change.

Ross Levanto

Senior Vice President - Highwire Public Relations


Since 1997, Ross Levanto has driven PR and marketing programs for numerous technology companies, raising their valuations, generating sales leads and increasing revenues. His experience spans several technology categories, including IT security (Watchfire, CipherTrust) cloud computing (Virtustream), virtualization (Surgient, Desktone), application development (SpringSource), storage (Emulex) and enterprise software (webMethods). His PR teams have coordinated internal and external communications related to more than a dozen acquisitions (with his clients both the acquired and the acquirer) as well as through IPO processes. A recipient of the PR Week “40 under 40” award in 2014, Ross previously led the Boston technology practice at MSLGROUP and the IT security practice at Schwartz Communications. Along the way, he has innovated new services at the intersection of media relations, content creation and marketing automation. Ross graduated with a bachelor’s degree in Communications from Boston University.

Sam Levenson (NIRI Fellow)

Chief Executive Officer - Arbor Advisory Group

Sam Levenson  

Sam Levenson is the Founder and Chief Executive Officer of Arbor Advisory Group, an investor relations and corporate communications advisory firm composed of senior level advisors whose experience includes decades as corporate executives driving communications programs. Mr. Levenson has served as a trusted advisor to CEOs, CFOs and Boards of Directors for over 25 years in the Investor Relations, Corporate Communications, Public Affairs and Global Security functions. His extensive experience includes designing and implementing strategic communications plans, crisis management, mergers and acquisitions as well as other strategic and financial transactions for global companies including Sony Corporation, Cendant Corporation and Staples, Inc. Mr. Levenson has served on the National Investor Relations Institute (NIRI) Board of Directors, as chair of its external affairs committee, as chair of its Senior Roundtable, as co-chair of its Annual Conference and as an officer and director of its Boston and CT Chapters. For the Investor Relations Association, he served in each of the officer roles, including president, and subsequently as a director. In addition, Mr. Levenson co-chaired the CFAI/NIRI Joint Task force on Issuer and Analyst Relations which published Best Practice Guidelines subsequently endorsed by both the NYSE and NASDAQ. Mr. Levenson previously served on the FASB’s Financial Accounting Standards Advisory Committee as well as the Client Advisory Board of IPREO LLC. He is also the recipient of numerous awards from IR Magazine and Institutional Investor Magazine, a guest lecturer at universities and a frequent speaker at professional conferences. He holds a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration degree from Boston University with a concentration in Accounting.

John Longobardi

Listings - IEX Group


John Longobardi has nearly 30 years of experience in the trading and the exchange industry. After spending 14 years working for an NYSE designated market maker, in October 2015, he joined IEX, the Investors Exchange: a fair simple, and transparent stock exchange that believes every investor is entitled to the same right to trade on equal terms, on every single trade. Longobardi has spent most of his career working with public companies, educating executives on market structure and corporate governance. Prior to his responsibilities at one of the largest NYSE DMMs, KCG which was formed from the mergers and acquisitions by GETCO of a piece of LaBranche & Co. and Bank of America Merrill Lynch’s NYSE DMM Operations, he worked at the NYSE in their Global Corporate Services group managing the relationships with key accounts and providing an understanding of trading dynamics. IEX (, as the first new US exchange in more than six years, is on a mission to level the playing field by eliminating unfair advantages from the markets. IEX is an exchange that believes markets should reward smarter, not faster.  As of September 2, 2016, IEX has been fully operational as a national securities exchange trading all US National Market System stock and ETFs. IEX matches over 100 million shares daily with a notional value of over $5 billion and set a new market share record in July 2017. IEX expects to list companies in its Exchange starting in October 2017.

Tim Quast

President and Founder - Modern IR

Tim Quast is an Investor-Relations veteran and founder and President of Modern IR. Launched in 2005, ModernIR is a financial technology company that uses Big Data analytics to translate complex market data into trading and investment behaviors for public companies. ModernIR pioneered the application of data-analytics to IR market intelligence and invented Market Structure Analytics™ for issuers and is now the largest provider of next-generation market intelligence to public companies. A NIRI member since 1995, Tim is a frequent speaker and commentator on modern equity trading.  His quotes on trading have appeared in leading media including the Wall Street Journal, Bloomberg, Financial Times of London, Reuters, Dow Jones, the Denver Post and the New York Times.  His editorials on market structure run in trading publications including Traders Magazine, Dow Jones MarketWatch, CNBC Online and TABB Forum. Tim also appears regularly on CNBC’s Squawk on the Street. Before starting ModernIR, Tim served as the first investor relations officer at SureWest Communications (Nasdaq:SURW). Before that, Tim was co-founder, President and Chief Operating Officer of global retail investor-relations services company Informed Investors, Inc., from 1995 until its merger with Wilink Plc (PrecisionIR) in 2001. Tim began his capital-markets career in boutique investment banking at QBF Management Co., a private-banking British Virgin Islands firm, after earning a BA at Ambassador University in 1991. 

Anthony Takazawa

Vice President, Investor Relations and Corporate Communications - Acushnet Holdings

Anthony Takazawa is the Vice President of Investor Relations and Corporate Communication at Acushnet Holdings Corp. (NYSE: GOLF) where he helped the company go public in 2016.  Prior to GOLF, Anthony was Vice President of Investor Relations at EMC Corp (now DELL Technologies) where the IR team won several awards for excellence in investor relations, including top IR rankings in 4 Institutional Investor Magazine annual surveys.  Previously, Mr. Takazawa was on the buy-side with various roles as equity portfolio manager, equity analyst and director of research; he was a Vice President at Bankers Trust (now part of Deutsche Bank) and an Investment Officer at Phoenix Investment Counsel.  Anthony has also served as Treasurer and Director of NIRI Boston; he is a 2016 inductee in the NIRI Boston Hall of Fame.  Anthony has earned a Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA) designation from the CFA Institute, an MBA from the University of Wisconsin (where he is a graduate of the Applied Security Analysis Program), and a BBA from the University of Notre Dame.

Douglas R. Wilburne, CFA (NIRI Fellow)

Douglas Wilburne is a retired investor relations executive with a long record of accomplishments in, and service to, the investor relations industry. Wilburne was a corporate officer and vice president of investor relations at Textron from 2000 until his retirement at the end of 2016. At Textron, Wilburne was a member of the company’s Executive Leadership Team, Corporate Strategy Review Team and the Enterprise Finance Council. He was consistently rated as the number one investor relations officer by Institutional Investor Magazine in the aerospace and defense sector. Wilburne was on the national board of NIRI from 2007 through 2011, serving as chairperson in 2011, leading formulation and adoption of the organization’s OneNIRI strategy. He is a NIRI Fellow and member of NIRI’s Senior Roundtable and served as its chair in 2013. He has been a perennial speaker and panelist at NIRI’s annual conferences, Senior Roundtable events, Chapter Meetings and NIRI Professional Development events and co-chaired the 1998 Annual Conference.  Wilburne is currently a member of the Boston NIRI Chapter and was recently inducted as a Boston Hall of Fame member.  Prior to joining Textron, he headed Rite Aid Corporation’s first formal investor relations program as the company managed its way through a financial reporting and management credibility crisis. From 1997 to 1999, Wilburne headed investor relations for AMP Incorporated, where he modernized the company's global investor relations program and guided the company through its merger with Tyco International. The first 20 years of his career were spent at Bell Atlantic Corporation, with positions in engineering, operations, regulatory and finance, culminating with an assignment in investor relations in 1996. Wilburne completed the Leadership at the Peak program at the Center for Creative Leadership and the Global Leadership Forum at the University of Pennsylvania's Wharton School. He is a Chartered Financial Analyst and a member of the Providence Society of Financial Analysts. Wilburne earned a B.S. degree in electrical engineering from Pennsylvania State University and an M.B.A. in finance from Drexel University. He is a Life Member of the Fame Volunteer Fire Company and serves in the Bugles Across America organization, playing Taps at military funerals. Doug is currently enjoying the bounties of retirement, which include much more time for downhill skiing, golf, playing his trumpet and loving his eight grandchildren.

Maureen T. Wolff (NIRI Fellow)

Chief Executive Officer - Sharon Merrill Associates, Inc.

Maureen Wolff  

Maureen is a national thought leader in strategic communications, and leads Sharon Merrill Associates’ strategic vision and provides high-level counsel to clients. Maureen is a trusted advisor to CEOs, CFOs and boards of directors on critical communications issues, including those related to reputation management, corporate governance, shareholder activism and proxy contests. She is a frequent speaker on crisis and reputation management issues and has delivered speeches and participated on panel discussions at conferences sponsored by the New York Stock Exchange, the National Association of Corporate Directors (NACD), NIRI, the Publicity Club of New England, Deloitte, Business Wire and other professional development organizations. She has lectured at universities in the Boston area and has appeared on CNBC, and her comments have been featured in national newspapers and magazines. In addition, Maureen has received numerous awards from the Public Relations Society of America, the Publicity Club of New England and Women’s Business magazine. Maureen is a past chairman and board member of the National Investor Relations Institute (NIRI), a NIRI Fellow, vice chairman of the NIRI IR Certification committee, and current member of NIRI’s Senior IR Roundtable steering committee. Prior to joining Sharon Merrill Associates in 1985, Maureen held positions in the investor relations and corporate communications departments at Lotus Development Corporation. She received a B.A. degree in Communications from Montclair State University. Her specialized training includes completion of prescribed studies in “Financial and IR” at the Simmons College Graduate Program in Communications.