Joan Oefner, Founder, Association Manager

Joan founded her association management company in San Francisco in 1993 to support international scientific and medical societies, growing the company to 4 full-time employees by 2005 before moving to a virtual office in Germany. With the advances to cloud technology and online association management systems, Joan returned to full service Association Management in 2017 and has been Managing Director of the International Cytokine & Interferon Society (ICIS) and the International Society for Developmental Psychobiology (ISDP) as well as managing a few related scientific meetings (Tularemia International Society, EBV Association and KSHV Workshop).

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. 

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

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, and awards applications. We are using for the Hybrid 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.



Networking Lounge trying to bring the in-person and virtual participants together (not so easy….)