Accomplished Association Executive driven to manage costs and establish strategic, mutually beneficial alliances with all stakeholders as well as other organizations with allied missions. High-energy, results-oriented leader with an entrepreneurial attitude and team spirit. 

Experience Managing a Virtual Society Office

We pivoted to virtual long before the COVID-19 pandemic struck because international medical and scientific societies have always had members, leaders and other stakeholders around the world. Today’s advances in information technology have transformed the way international societies communicate, network and disseminate their message. Currently we are managing two international societies and a few related conferences by referral.

CURRENT Managing Director clients:
Managing Director
  • Since December 2016 – International Cytokine & Interferon Society (formerly ISICR and ICS), Joan, and her Virtual Office, replaced the staff at the FASEB campus in Bethesda, MD which had managed the ISICR and then the merged society since 1996. With 1,120 international members across different research disciplines, ICIS is the premier organization promoting the field of cytokine biology, impacting all aspects of medicine and leading to new treatments in autoimmune diseases, cancer, infectious diseases and inflammation. Please visit the society’s websites designed and managed by Rhema Association Management:

Managing Director

Since December 2017 – International Society for Developmental Psychobiology (ISDP), Joan’ Virtual Office took over the management and Annual Meeting organization. Please visit the website we designed for more information: The first order of business was to set up a fully integrated, responsive online association management system using for membership, meeting registration, abstract submission, award applications, online programming as well as a Virtual Meeting Platform. The International Society for Developmental Psychobiology (ISDP) is an international non-profit organization which encourages research on the development of behavior in all organisms including man, with special attention to the effects of biological factors operating at any level of organization. The society holds annual meetings to facilitate communication of research results and theory in the area of Developmental Psychobiology. The ISDP strongly supports and encourages young scientists with travel awards, networking and meeting events designed specifically for the students.


2020 ICIS Distinguished Service Award goes to ICIS Managing Director, Joan Saluzzi-Oefner

Joan Oefner was honored with the 2020 ICIS Distinguished Service award in recognition for her extraordinary contributions and service to the ICIS and to the cytokine research community at large. Since she joined our Society as Managing Director in 2016, she has reached far beyond expectations to ensure the administrative, conference, and financial success of ICIS and has devoted significant time and energy to further the goals of the Society.

Joan founded her association management company in San Francisco in 1993 to support international scientific and medical societies. After moving to Germany in 2005, she found it surprisingly difficult to convince prospective new clients that a virtual business model is the most efficient and responsive way to support the missions and goals of international non-profit scientific and medical societies. Past-President Nancy Reich and the ICIS Council, however, had no issues with this concept and boldly hired Joan’s “Virtual Office”.

Joan received her Bachelor of Arts, Psychology, in 1982 from the University of Colorado, Boulder.  She obtained the CAE (certified association executive) designation in November 1998 from the American Society of Association Executives. She is not a scientist but loves working with scientists and even married her favorite one, Peter Oefner, who is Chair of the Department of Functional Genomics, Institute of Functional Genomics at the University of Regensburg (thus the move to Germany).