Hall of Fame
NIRI Boston Establishes its Hall of Fame
NIRI Boston is proud to recognize the following professionals who have earned their way into the Chapter’s Hall of Fame. Each year, one current or former NIRI Boston member will be inducted. The Hall of Fame will recognize those within our chapter who have:
- Earned broad respect from others within the IR community,
- Raised the profile of IR within the broader business community,
- Demonstrated strong moral character, and
- Served as enduring models of IR excellence for fellow – and future – members.
In order to be considered for the Hall of Fame, the nominee must also be or have been an IR practitioner (within a corporation and/or agency) for at least 15 years and must be or have been a member of NIRI Boston for at least five years.
To make a nomination for the chapter’s 2017 inductee, simply send an email to email@example.com that includes the nominee’s name and a brief biography/rationale by May 1, 2017. The 2017 Hall of Fame inductee will be announced at NIRI Boston’s year end event in June.
John G. Demeritt
John G. Demeritt has been Chief Financial Officer of Franklin Street Properties Corp. since 2004. Previously, Mr. Demeritt was an Officer at four other publicly traded entities, including Cabot Industrial Trust, The Meditrust Companies, CMG Information Services and Salem Sportswear Corp. During his career, he has led or been involved with Investor Relations responsibilities and worked with a number of merger and financing transactions. Mr. Demeritt is a Certified Public Accountant and was associated with Laventhol & Horwath and Vitale, Caturano & Company. He holds a Bachelor of Science degree from Babson College and resides in Newburyport, Massachusetts with his family.
Susan E. Hardy
Susan E. Hardy joined Charles River Laboratories in September 2002 as Director, Investor Relations, and was promoted to the position of Corporate Vice President, Investor Relations, in October 2005. In this role, Ms. Hardy is responsible for providing strategic planning and execution of the Company’s investor relations function. Prior to joining Charles River, Ms. Hardy was employed by Houghton Mifflin Company from 1990 to 2001, beginning her tenure as Assistant Controller before becoming Vice President, Investor Relations. Ms. Hardy began her career in 1979 at Deloitte & Touche, initially as an auditor, followed by five years as a systems consultant and five years as Director of Operations for the Boston region. Ms. Hardy received an A.B. degree from Wellesley College, an M.S.A. degree from Bentley College, and is a Certified Public Accountant.
In 1984, Sherry Lang embarked on a major career change by receiving her MBA from the Simmons College Graduate School of Management. Having received her BA in Art History from George Washington University, she had previously had a successful career at the DeCordova Museum as a curator. Her first position in Investor Relations began in 1985 as Director of IR at The Cooperative Bank of Concord. It was during this time that she became an active member of the Boston Chapter of NIRI where she met other IR professionals and deepened her knowledge of IR. In 1988, she joined The TJX Companies as an Asst. VP, Investor Relations. Sherry retired from TJX in 2014 as Senior Vice President, Global Communications. During her 26-year tenure at TJX, Sherry was the senior spokesperson of the Company and led all investor and corporate communications on a worldwide basis. She also managed all communications through the Company’s two greatest crises, the loss of 7 Associates on 9/11 and the well-publicized 2007 computer breach. In her retirement, Sherry has become an Overseer of The Huntington Theatre and a Trustee of Hebrew Senior Life, a Harvard Medical School Affiliate.
Elizabeth Hunter Lavallee
Elizabeth Hunter Lavallee began her career in investor relations at Boston Edison Company in 1983. Subsequently, she was Manager of Financial and Employee Communications for Public Service Company of New Hampshire through its bankruptcy, Director of Investor Relations for Corporate Software Inc., and Director of Investor Relations for The Timberland Company. She is now an investor relations consultant and financial writer providing counsel, writing, and other assistance to companies across a broad range of industries. Ms. Lavallee was on the board of the Boston Chapter of NIRI as an officer from 1991 to 1996, serving as President in her final year. She received an MBA degree from the Whittemore School at the University of New Hampshire and her undergraduate degree from Bates College.
S. Kelley MacDonald
S. Kelley MacDonald’s career in Investor Relations began when she joined Unitrode, a semiconductor company in 1984—the same year she joined NIRI. In 1999, when Unitrode was acquired by Texas Instruments, she joined Brodeur Worldwide, a global communications consultancy firm, where she launched its investor relations practice. In 2001, she joined State Street Corporation, a worldwide financial services holding company, from which she retired in 2013 as a Senior Vice President. In her nearly 30 years in investor relations, she participated in a variety of corporate acquisitions and divestitures, capital offerings, and warrant issuances. Her experience includes: crisis communication, press release preparation and issuance, regulatory compliance, executive speech writing, and corporate governance. She is a trustee of Watertown Savings Bank and past chairman of the Board and president of the Watertown Boys and Girls Club. She was a director and past President of the Boston Chapter of NIRI, a member and past Chairperson of the NIRI Senior Investor Relations Steering Committee, and a member of the Senior Investor Relations Roundtable, sponsored by the Conference Board. She holds a B.A. and an M.A. from Boston College.
Jane W. McCahon
Jane W. McCahon is Senior Vice President of Corporate Relations and Corporate Secretary for Telephone and Data Systems, Inc., a diversified telecommunications services corporation headquartered in Chicago. McCahon oversees the investor relations and corporate governance activities of TDS and its majority-owned, publicly traded subsidiary, U.S. Cellular. McCahon joined TDS in 2009 as Vice President of Corporate Relations, and became Corporate Secretary in 2013. Before joining TDS, McCahon was a principal with Massachusetts-based Conway Communications, which developed investor relations programs for a diverse range of companies. Prior to that, she was Vice President of Corporate Relations for Eastern Enterprises in Weston, MA, and served as Manager of Investor Relations for Waban, Inc. (now BJ’s Wholesale Club). McCahon is a member of the Society of Corporate Secretaries & Governance Professionals, and a member and former chair of the National Investor Relations Institute (NIRI). She is a co-founder and former chair of the NIRI Ethics Council, and has also served on the NIRI Senior Roundtable Steering Committee. McCahon holds a BA in economics and finance from Bentley College, and a JD from Suffolk University Law School.
Sharon F. Merrill
Sharon F. Merrill is Chairman and Chief Executive Officer at Sharon Merrill, a strategic investor relations and critical communications advisory firm. As the founder of the firm that bears her name, Sharon formulates the agency’s business strategy and serves as its ambassador to financial and professional organizations across New England. She started the firm in 1985 after establishing and managing the investor relations function at Lotus Development Corporation. Prior to that, Sharon served as vice president and managed the investor relations practice at what was then New England’s largest full-service public relations agency. Earlier in her career, she was a securities analyst with The Boston Company, Inc. and also held positions with State Street Research & Management Co. Sharon has received many national awards in investor relations and corporate communications and was twice named a finalist in the New England Entrepreneur of the Year competition. Sharon holds an MBA from the Simmons College Graduate School of Management and an AS degree from Colby Sawyer College. She is a past President and Director of the Boston Chapter of the National Investor Relations Institute (NIRI) and a past Charter Member of NIRI’s Senior IR Roundtable and its national steering committee.
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.
Karen Warren retired from her role as Senior Vice President of Investor Relations at Hasbro, Inc. in 2010, after 25 years in investor relations. Prior to joining Hasbro, Karen was Senior Vice President of IR at State Street Corporation in Boston. Before that, she held senior level IR positions at Shiva Corp, FTP Software, and was SVP of Corporate Communications and Strategic Planning at Sterling Bancshares Corporation and Sterling Bank. She is a member of the National Investor Relations Institute (NIRI). She is former Chairman of the Board of Directors of NIRI National and past President of the Boston Chapter of NIRI, where she currently serves as an Honorary Director. In 2013, NIRI National inducted her into the inaugural class of NIRI Fellows and in 2010, they recognized her for Individual Chapter Leadership. Additionally, she is past President of the Investor Relations Association and a founding member of the NIRI National Ethics Council. Previously, she taught Investor Relations at the Graduate School of Communications Management at Simmons College and has been a guest lecturer at Bentley College and the University of Rhode Island. Karen received her Bachelor of Science in Business Administration from Boston College, Masters in Communications Management from Simmons College and her Associates Degree from Middlesex Community College.
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 and Corporate 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 NIRI Boston chapter, but “sprouted his I.R. wings” serving in various chapter officer position in the NIRI Philidelphia chapter. 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
Maureen T. Wolff is President and Partner at Sharon Merrill, a strategic investor relations and critical communications advisory firm. Maureen is a former chair and board member of NIRI, a member of NIRI’s Senior IR Roundtable steering committee and vice chairman of NIRI’s certification committee. She also is an honorary director of NIRI’s Boston Chapter. Maureen is a trusted advisor to CEOs, CFOs and boards of directors on critical communications issues related to corporate governance, shareholder activism and proxy contests. She is a frequent speaker on IR issues and has delivered speeches and participated on panel discussions sponsored by the NYSE, NACD and the Society of Corporate Secretaries & Governance Professionals. 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. Prior to joining Sharon Merrill 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.