JB Ashtin is a thriving collection of impassioned scientists, creatives, communicators, strategizers, and scientific storytellers, driven to enhance the way science and the patient condition is communicated to healthcare providers.

Our Team

Science Nerds | Service Freaks | Creative Gurus

Our carefully curated team works tirelessly to define solutions that connect healthcare providers with their patients,
improving care and enhancing treatment options through HCP education.

Joan K. Bradley, PharmD

CEO | President and Founder

Joni founded JB Ashtin in 1999 as a healthcare communications agency that focuses on building strong relationships with employees, clients, researchers, and healthcare providers. She knows the industry and has spent nearly 30 years pouring her heart into medical communications, with the goal of bridging the communication gap between healthcare providers and patients. Joni believes that actions speak louder, and that’s evident in all she does. So much so that she’s been twice recognized as a PharmaVOICE Top 100 Most Inspirational People honoree, a recognition that acknowledges the most influential and inspirational people from all sectors of the pharmaceutical industry.

Joni is JB Ashtin’s mentor, cheerleader, foundation, and all-around biggest fan who continually pushes her team to new heights. With a breadth of scientific knowledge and a commitment to white-glove service, Joni and the JB Ashtin team strive to exceed client and industry standards, operating under the mindset of “Let’s be the Voice, not the Echo.”

Jeanne Nickoloff

Chief Operating Officer

Remember the scene at the end of The Wizard of Oz, “Pay no attention to the (hu)man behind the curtain.”? That’s Jeanne…except unlike that terrible wizard, she’s amazing at what she does. As COO, Jeanne is the person behind the scenes making sure the tech, finances, and everything else at JB Ashtin run smoothly. With vast experience in business, training, and communications, her keen insight has played an instrumental role in making JB Ashtin the company it is today. Fun fact – Jeanne is one of the first ever team members of JB Ashtin and has done everything from building publication databases and running countless advisory boards to leading the client service team and growing our speaker bureau business. While her official title is COO, we think she’s pretty C-O-O-L.

Lamara D. Shrode, PhD, CMPP

Vice President | Scientific Strategy and Education

What do you get when you combine the brain of Albert Einstein with the wisdom of Yoda? Answer: you get Lamara. As our Vice President of Scientific Strategy and Education, Lamara consults on the development and execution of publication plans and trains, develops, and nurtures scientific minds. From leading JB Ashtin’s fellowship program, coordinating pharmacy student interns, and offering expertise on team and project work, Lamara wears many hats! She has a doctorate in biomedical sciences, 10 years’ experience as a research scientist, 20 years’ medical communications experience, and a razor-sharp understanding of the medcomms industry. Lamara’s proclivity for science is only exceeded by her undying devotion to her alma mater, West Virginia University.

Peter Luongo, MD

Vice President | Account Services

Once upon a time, there was a Vice President of Account Services who dreamed of making science captivating and engaging to the masses. Spoilers: He and his fantastic team of scientific storytelling experts succeeded, and they (along with science) lived happily ever after. The end! Sorry, we’re getting ahead of ourselves. Let’s talk a little more about Pete! For more than 15 years, Pete has been translating basic science and extensive clinical data into successful marketing and educational initiatives to bridge the communication gap between patients, healthcare providers, and the pharmaceutical industry. According to Pete, “While the story of medicine can be complicated, telling it doesn’t have to be.” Pete enjoys spending time with his family and performing with his barbershop harmony ensemble, the Southern Gateway Chorus. He also enjoys science and scientific storytelling. That’s right, he loves them so much, they’re also included in his hobby list!

Rod Julian

Senior Director | Business Development

There are people who like to go for runs while on vacation, and then there are people who use their vacation days to go on runs. Rod is the latter, and we couldn’t love him more for it. All passion, heart, and hustle, Rod brings to the team more than 15 years of biopharma expertise, with experience in strategic marketing and medical communications across many disease states. A natural motivator, Rod’s enthusiasm for building up and developing others is prevalent both in and outside of the office. When he’s not leading medical education and marketing initiatives, you can find Rod training for his next Spartan race, running said races (on vacation!), coaching and mentoring athletes, and keeping up with his 2 sons, Austin and Tyler.

Melissa Kraft, SHRM-CP

Director | Operations

Not to brag, but we think that JB Ashtin is full of some stellar people, and Melissa, stellar person and people-finding extraordinaire, plays a vital role in compiling our Rockstar collection. Melissa is our HR and talent acquisition expert. She brings more than 20 years of finance experience to our team and has a gift for finding what we like to refer to as our RPRS’s – right people in the right seat. Melissa is a kayaking and hiking enthusiast, which makes sense because she’s always going the distance for every employee.

Kersten Reich, MPH, CMPP

Senior Scientific Director

As a Senior Scientific Director, Kersten is a Rockstar at leading our teams! Kersten has a master’s in public health practice, a concentration in epidemiological biostatistics, and is committed to global public health. With 17 years’ medical communications experience and a broad fund of knowledge across multiple therapeutic areas, Kersten’s passion for her work and for others is evident in all she does. She goes above and beyond to customize evidence-based solutions for our clients’ medical affairs and publication needs. When she’s not wowing clients with her strategic planning skills, you can find Kersten taking on the great outdoors. From kayaking to rock climbing, Kersten is always ready for her next adventure!

Jennifer C. Jaworski, MS

Senior Scientific Director

Scientific whiz, witty, analytic, and PowerPoint level: Expert. She wrote the book on PowerPoint. Not really. But her hypothetical PowerPoint book would be way better than any actual PowerPoint book out there. It’s going to be a best seller and will likely make Oprah’s booklist. Jennifer received a BS in Chemistry from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and an MS in Biological Chemistry from the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center. She has 15+ years of experience in the pharmaceutical industry, and has worked in many therapeutic areas including dermatology, respiratory, rheumatology, gastroenterology, women’s health, and toxicology. With a passion for analyzing complex data sets and presenting them in creative, meaningful ways, Jennifer strives to cultivate and nurture strong working relationships with colleagues, clients, and subject matter experts. And, if we have any say in the matter, she’s about to write a book!

Caroline W. Cazares, PhD

Senior Scientific Writer

Caroline is a key player in our scientific services team, so much so that we lovingly refer to her as our “swiss army knife” - she does it all. Hailing from the University of Michigan, Caroline earned her PhD in neuroscience. Following graduation, she completed a postdoctoral fellowship in the university’s Science, Technology, and Public Policy Program. When not working, Caroline enjoys basically anything outdoors (we can’t blame her, we'd rather be kayaking too).

Alicia Salinero, PhD

Senior Scientific Writer

When it comes to making science look good, Alicia is a pro! She completed her PhD in Biomedical Science, concentrating in Molecular Genetics at the University of Albany School of Public Health, and has worked in medical communications for over 3 years. Alicia has a true passion for communicating data, and it’s reflected in all aspects of her work. But science isn’t all Alicia does! You can also find her hitting the ski slopes and exploring new and exciting places!

Lisa M. Pitchford, PhD

Senior Scientific Writer

What do you do when you love both science and exercise equally? You meld these passions together and earn a PhD in exercise physiology, like Lisa! And with 10+ years of experience as a physiology researcher, Lisa is smart! Be like Lisa! She loves learning new things and translating complicated scientific information into actionable information for healthcare providers and patients. She also enjoys running, yoga, and being bad at golf.

Callie Corsa, PhD

Scientific Writer

There are scientists, there are creatives, and there are unicorn humans that are a glorious mashup of both! Callie is our unicorn, made up of atoms and acrylic paint. Callie joined JB Ashtin in May 2020, after receiving a PhD in Molecular Cell Biology from Washington University in St. Louis and completing a postdoc at the University of Michigan. She has a passion for communicating medical and scientific advances that improve patient care. In her spare time, Callie enjoys playing outdoors with her family, traveling, painting, and calli(e)graphy. See what we did there?

Marion France, PhD

Scientific Writer

Meet Marion Inquisitive and Passionate France. Okay, inquisitive and passionate aren’t her real middle names, but they may as well be. As a Scientific Writer, Marion’s amazing at her job because she enjoys learning as much as she can, tackling challenges head-on, and helping others. Marion earned her PhD in neuroscience at Michigan State University (go green!) studying the enteric nervous system. She then completed a postdoctoral fellowship at Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston and worked as a research scientist at a biotech startup company at MIT’s The Engine focused on ultrasound delivery to the gastrointestinal tract. When not in the office, you can find Marion running with teammates in rain or shine. She also likes to exercise her creative side through art!

Richard T. Porter

Senior Manuscript Editor

Rich is JB Ashtin’s grammatical Gandolf. He’s a language wizard and our content gate keeper, which means he’s not afraid to throw out a “You shall not pass” when something doesn’t meet his standards. And with 25 years’ experience in manuscript editing—16 years’ experience in medical communications—he definitely knows his stuff. As senior editor, Rich helps make our clients’ projects sparkle.

Justin Loughrey

Data Technology Lead

Veeva Vault Vegas! Justin is the “King” of uploads at JB Ashtin and is also known for keeping the project deliverables for both the publications and HCP engagement teams accurate and error-free. When he’s not hitting the gym, he’s hitting the books in his never-ending quest for editorial knowledge. Justin graduated from Central Michigan University with his bachelor’s degree in biomedical science.

Ashley Minear

Visual Content Lead

You know those magical people who are somehow able to do just about anything? Ashley is one of those magicians. After graduating from Columbia College Chicago with a degree in architectural design, Ashley joined the JB Ashtin team full-time. She’s been amazing at everything from operations to client services, but her work as our Visual Content Lead is where she shines brightest. Ashley manages all things design for JB Ashtin, both internally and externally. Her background in interior architecture, design, and photography allows her to view technical problems in a different light, offering creative insight and a new perspective to work’s challenges. When she’s not dazzling the team with her sweet Illustrator skills, you can find Ashley doing all the other artsy things that exist, and hanging with her husband, Bryan, adorable son, Miles, and 2 kitties, Charlie and Linus.

Miranda Ferris

Marketing Manager

With a love for all things strategic and analytical, Miranda spends her days putting plans into place. As JB Ashtin’s Marketing Manager, Miranda is responsible for creating and delivering marketing tactics, assisting with the development of marketing and business development strategic planning, ensuring brand alignment between internal and external marketing, and market and consumer research. In her free time, you can find her skiing, kayaking, or binge watching Netflix!

Autumn Lesniak

Operations Manager

Autumn has been with JB Ashtin for years and has worn many different hats. She has experience in client services, compliance, and speaker bureau support as well as operations and project financials. She is often reminded she is the lone Michigan State Spartan (go green) in a company full of Michigan Wolverines! In her free time, she enjoys experimenting with new recipes in the kitchen, ‘attempting’ to ski and spending time with her husband and son.

Sue Baydoun, MA, HMCC

Executive Account Director

Disneyland has imagineers, Isaac Newton had the apple, and JB Ashtin has Sue. Sue’s not your ordinary Executive Account Director. She’s JB Ashtin’s visionary, who is always on the hunt for groundbreaking technologies that will optimize thought leader engagement, speaker bureaus, education solutions, advisory boards, virtual services, and more. When not pioneering a new service offering, you can find her tackling a new recipe, perfecting her barista skills, on the water, or listening to her son as he launches his sports broadcasting career. Favorite job? Hands down – being a mom.

Lauren Rautiola, CMPP

Account Director

Sure, wizards are great. But have you ever seen Lauren flawlessly manage an incredibly complicated publication plan? Because that’s where the real magic is. Lauren is JB Ashtin’s publication queen and only oversees 17…accounts. Not really, but as an account director, Lauren does have complete oversight of multiple publication plans across many different client accounts. She flawlessly handles every last-minute request, timeline hiccup, or author change with ease, and works to develop a personal relationship with each client. It is not an exaggeration to say that nobody can do what Lauren does, which is why MM+M recognized her as a 2020 “Woman to Watch.” Is there anything she can’t do?!

Melanie “Mel” Apsey, HMCC

Associate Account Director

Around the office, she’s known as “Money Mel” because she makes every interaction feel like a million bucks. Mel’s a team player who brings organization, efficiency, and exceptional service to our clients and the Account Services team. She works to understand each project down to the smallest of details, to ensure quality and accuracy. Mel joined JB Ashtin after graduating from Western Michigan University with a bachelor’s in communication. She prefers being outside to being inside, and the water is her happy place.

Alexa Clark, HMCC

Account Manager

Amazon has their Alexa, and JB Ashtin has ours. And all bias aside, ours is way better. Sure, Amazon’s Alexa can tell you your schedule, but can she manage multiple projects, coordinate timelines, delight clients, work with advisors, and make every person she interacts with feel like a top priority? No? Better step it up, Amazon! Our Alexa comes with a strong background in client and customer service, plus she’s not a robot, so that’s a bonus. She graduated from the University of Michigan with a bachelors in English. In her free time, you can find Alexa sipping tea, hanging with her husband and kitties, educating others on the Royal Family, or reading a good book.

Anna Visintainer

Account Manager

Anna came to JB Ashtin with an extensive background in client services, creative problem solving, and design. In her role as account manager, Anna’s passion to build relationships and foster a collaborative atmosphere helps deliver top-tier results to her clients. When she is not wowing clients, Anna likes to spend her free time reading comic books, working on home improvement projects, and chasing after her three kids – two human, one canine.”

Samara Attalla, MS

Account Manager

Samara is our account manager/superhuman. No, she doesn’t wear an “S” on her shirt, but we’re working on talking her into it. As an account manager, she diligently manages the day-to-day coordination and execution of multiple publications and other project deliverables, and she does so spectacularly. Prior to joining the JB Ashtin team, Samara worked as a research associate in the University of Michigan’s Pediatric Nephrology Clinical Translational Research Program where she assisted in the establishment of a clinical care and clinical trials network, patient quality initiatives, and clinical trial design. Samara earned a Master’s in Pharmacology from the University of Michigan. Fun fact! Samara is originally from the “Great White North” ie: Canada. We’re stoked that she decided to put down professional roots in the good old US of A.

Katherine Fitzpatrick

Account Manager

If we had a dollar for every time Katherine went above and beyond to ensure a client received nothing short of an exceptional experience with JB Ashtin, well, we would have A LOT of dollars. Katherine prioritizes organization, collaboration, creative problem solving, and interpersonal skills in everything she does, which makes for fantastic deliverables and happy clients. She lives in the Metro Detroit area with her dog, Tigger, and is a Disney enthusiast. Outside of the office, she enjoys exercising, reading, and exploring new restaurants!

Megan Schaper

Account Manager

Megan joined JB Ashtin with over a decade of experience in customer service, account management, and marketing. Why is Megan so great? Probably because she has a passion for communication, loves organizing, and is always up for learning new things! When she is not managing accounts, Megan loves to spend time with her family, listen to every playlist on Spotify, and be outside as much as humanly possible considering Michigan weather.

Rachel Smith

Office Coordinator

Every office needs a Rachel! Kind, organized, and a genius with a spreadsheet, Rachel is the glue that keeps our office together. With a focus on strategy and creative problem solving, she works behind the scenes to ensure JB Ashtin is equipped with everything we need. From expenses, to brainstorming new ideas for enhancing health and wellness in the workplace, she does it all! Yes, she’s an operations expert by day, but outside of the office Rachel is a novelist! She’s frequently spotted at her local coffee shop, cinnamon roll and latte in hand, working on the next Great American Novel.

Ashlee Hartger

Marketing Consultant

Ashlee is our marketing consultant and copywriting guru. She’s got a knack for taking simple text and adding an Emeril-sized dash of creativity. Do people make Emeril references anymore? Who cares, we’re going for it. Bam! Ashlee started at JB Ashtin with our speaker bureau team but made the switch to marketing after taking over our social media channels. After starting a family, she moved into a consultant role to spend more time with her husband, Ben, and their little guy, Jack.

Sarah Love

Meeting Management and Planning Consultant

What’s not to love about Sarah?! Patience, expediency, and client commitment describes Sarah to a “T”. She effectively manages daily operations of our meeting planning activities and has proven expertise in overseeing all aspects of venue selection, registration, lodging, meals, A/V, and travel. Sarah is amazing at what she does because she prioritizes people. She takes the time to establish, develop, and maintain relationships with meeting industry suppliers at a national and global level, ensuring quality support, cost competitiveness, and responsiveness. When Sarah’s not working, she enjoys traveling and hanging out with family.

Our Blogs

Holiday Cookbook – Quarantine Edition 2020

Okay, be honest. How many times in the last 8 months have you heard or said the following…

Making Client Experiences Better Every Day

Contributed by Joni Bradley  Providing a high-quality, relevant deliverable isn’t enough when it comes to building strong and lasting agency-client partnerships. Top-notch work…

Medical Communications: Blending Art and Science to Tell a Patient-Centered Story

Contributed by Pete Luongo, MD   People often ask me what’s an MD doing in medical communications. The…

The Evolution of HCP Connections

  Contributed by Rod Julian   Have you ever thought to yourself, “Man, if I could just connect…

Rare Disease Day: What the World Needs Now

Contributed by Ashlee Hartger, Marketing Manager Compassion It’s difficult to comprehend what living with a rare disease feels…

Scientists…Who Happen to be Women

Mae Jemison, engineer, physician, former NASA astronaut, and the first African American woman to travel into space said,…

Limitless

 What does it mean to be LIMITLESS? Our society is full of dreamers—people who choose to ignore limits…

Saving Grace: A Lesson in Storytelling from Peloton

Contributed by Ashlee Hartger, Marketing Manager   Twas the Night Before Christmas… The year is 2019 and a…

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Rooted in Science. Driven to Inspire.