Earlier this month, LaVoieHealthScience (LHS) announced the addition of Sharon Choe to our team. Sharon, who joined us from The Ruth Group in New York City, now serves as Senior Vice President, Investor Relations & Business Development with LHS. Sharon’s hiring marks a step forward for LHS into the NYC financial market. As an agency, we can now say that we have a firm presence on Wall Street, thanks to Sharon’s expertise and familiarity with the NYC market.
While Sharon offers a wealth of experience and financial knowledge, she is also a fascinating person with a vibrant, charismatic personality. To celebrate Sharon joining LHS, we reached out to her with questions about her career story, passions and more.
Get to know Sharon as a Manhattan native, Northeastern University grad, and innovative IR professional by reading our Q&A with her below.
LHS Pulse: What’s your favorite thing about working and living in New York City?
Sharon Choe: I would have to say that it’s the vibrancy and fast-paced energy of the city or as my fellow New Yorkers would say, “Welcome to NYC. Get out of the way!” Being born and raised in the hardcore projects of Manhattan until I went off to college at Northeastern University, my childhood was fast-forwarded to learning how to appreciate my meals with a plastic spoon vs. a silver spoon. To this day, I credit my humble beginnings for molding me into the tough city chick who realized at an early age, thanks to my very wise mom, that I had to rely on just one person to get ahead in the world – myself.
I wholeheartedly credit the competitive spirit of NYC for instilling in me the drive and motivation to forge ahead in the Old Boys Club of Wall Street. Step by step, I climbed the corporate ladder in my Jimmy Choo stilettos (which I had to work an entire week to afford so I could add 4 more inches to my teeny 5-foot frame). From a sales assistant 30 years ago to a Senior Vice-President and proud member of the award-winning team at LaVoieHealthScience today, Jay-Z and Alicia Keys sang it best: “Concrete jungle where dreams are made of / There’s nothin’ you can’t do / Now you’re in New York…”
At the end of the day, as a native born and bred Manhattanite, my heart truly belongs to NYC. As my caption goes for one of my favorite photos, “I love you Big Apple, so put a ring on it!”
LHS: And, since it’s only fair, what’s your favorite thing about Boston?
SC: That’s easy… Team LaVoieHealthScience! But, as a Northeastern alumna, I will always cherish my fondest memories of my five years in Boston so it’s impossible to name just one favorite thing about the city. My very long list goes on and on from the warm people with their “wicked” Bostonian accents, to my favorite neighborhood go-tos including the shops and oysters at Faneuil Hall, the historical walk along the Freedom Trail, the duck pond in the Boston Public Garden, top-rated restaurants on Newbury Street, amazing Italian meals in the North End, invigorating runs along the Charles River and the cultural fix at the Museum of Fine Arts.
LHS: What are your favorite things to do, outside of work?
SC: Running, running and… running. Yes, I am a crazy runner. As a member of the New York Road Runners Club, I thrive on getting my runner’s high on a regular basis and the best part? It’s free and legal! My biggest passion is running in support of charities near and dear to my heart including: the NYC Marathon for Team Up with Autism Speaks, the American Association for Cancer Research’s Rock n’ Roll Philadelphia Half Marathon, Memorial Sloan Kettering’s Fred Lebow Half Marathon, Grete’s Great Gallop Half Marathon for Cancer and many more.
Hiking is also a favorite of mine but sometimes, if I attempt a challenging trail, I have found myself out on a limb literally.
Aside from running, I am a fan of musicals so if I’m home on my sofa resting my legs from a shin splint (pun intended), you can find me on any given day as a Couch Choe-tato binge-watching any and every musical including “The Greatest Showman,” “Les Misérables,” “La La Land,” “Grease,” “Jersey Boys,” “The Sound Of Music,” “Mamma Mia,” etc.
I also love my friends aka “The Biotech Mafia” as most of us are closely tied within the same Wall Street/investor relations/biotech industry so I often coordinate “Times to Get Happy Hours” for catch-up cocktails.
LHS: How did you know you wanted to have a career in investor relations?
SC: I knew the day I made my entry into the wonderful world of biotech investor relations after the infamous 2008 Wall Street crash when half of my fellow Wall Streeters and I had to re-invent ourselves. The founders of LifeSci Advisors reached out to me then regarding a role for investor outreach. However, my passion for investor relations did not truly ignite until I joined The Ruth Group in a business development role. It was then that I embraced my networking skills and prior experience as a buyside investor to support and build my track record of bringing prospective client companies on board who needed IR and/or PR services.
I found it extremely rewarding to help fulfill the needs of companies seeking investor and/or public relations services. I enjoyed working to boost their visibility to both the investment and scientific communities in order to support development of their proprietary products.
LHS: As a former biotech analyst on Wall Street, what informs your approach to investor relations and business development?
SC: The biotech and pharmaceutical sectors are the hottest areas in investment right now, as there will always be a need for proprietary, therapeutic and curative drugs for so many untreated diseases.
I find biotech-focused daily online publications crucial to staying on top of companies in need of IR and/or PR support. These publications include Fierce Biotech, BioWorld Today, BioPharm Catalyst, BioSpace as well as others.
Sell-side analysts and bankers are also key to maintaining a valuable stream of communications on IPOs, M&A activities, investor outreach, etc.
LHS: What about your new role with LaVoieHealthScience is the most exciting to you?
SC: To me, the most exciting part of my new role is taking the initiative to combine the best of both worlds by expanding the award-winning IR/PR platform of Team LHS, based in the biotech hub of Boston, and building and expanding a dedicated IR team in NYC, the financial capital of the world. It is a perfect equation for a win-win.
Finally, I would like to express that I feel extremely blessed to have been given this opportunity of a lifetime by our remarkable and highly respected President & CEO Donna LaVoie who embodies the essence of intelligence, success, grace and elegance. I could not ask for a better role model.