ICR appoints two MDs to special situations practice group

Lee Pacchia will target bankruptcy, while Joan Vollero will target litigation support comms, expanding into two new focuses for the group.

(L-R) Lee Pacchia and Joan Vollero.

NEW YORK: Strategic communications and advisory firm ICR has appointed Lee Pacchia and Joan Vollero as managing directors in its special situations practice group, effective this month. 

Both will report to CCO and managing partner Michael Fox and co-head of the special situations group Phil Denning. Pacchia will focus on bankruptcy and corporate restructuring, while Vollero will focus on litigation support communications. 

The pair’s deep category expertise and proven advisory backgrounds will complement the existing special situations team, strengthening its ability to provide premier advisory services across ICR’s client base of more than 1,000 public and private companies, the firm said in a statement.  

“Everyone that does crisis and special situations is capable of doing anything under that umbrella, but they often will have dedicated expertise based on their specific backgrounds,” Fox said. “That's the case very much with [Vollero] in the area of litigation support and [Pacchia] in the area of bankruptcy and restructuring work.”

ICR’s special situations practice group provides comprehensive strategic communications around crises and other corporate events such as M&A, activist defense, proxy contests, and executive transitions that require teams of experts to help inform, educate and persuade stakeholders to achieve critical company objectives, according to the firm.

“It's really critical for organizations that are going through this process, either as a debtor or creditor, to establish clear and consistent lines of communication from day one,” Pacchia said. “That's exactly how we would see ourselves adding value in this space; making sure that communications best practices are followed in order to make sure that the organization can move through the process as quickly and as efficiently as possible.”

Pacchia most recently held the director position at Traxi, a consulting firm specializing in providing financial and operational advisory services to organizations in bankruptcy, restructuring, turnaround and crises.

Vollero and Pacchia are both former journalists. With this background, Vollero said she and Pacchia have earned credibility through understanding different editorial demands across a variety of audiences the roles require communication with, such as employees, shareholders and the public media. 

“Ideally, it's best to get involved at the outset of a matter: either pre-indictment, if it's a criminal matter; or preceding a civil filing, to the degree that people know that those are coming their way. That helps ensure that the company is not going to be caught flatfooted,” Vollero said. “It also enables us on the communication side to help tailor the messaging to whatever the allegations are and shore up support among internal and external stakeholders.”

Vollero previously served as SVP at communications firm Prosek Partners. She brings experience navigating clients through criminal and civil court matters, particularly relating to class and mass-action.  

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