Our Lead Advisors

We bring real-world experience working with public and private companies in the USA, Europe and Asia. With your audience in mind, we help to clarify your message, communicate it simply and deliver results.

Dierdre Zackery-Qualls

Creative Strategist

Dierdre Zackery-Qualls has ten years of experience working at marketing and communication agencies in creative and project management roles across various industries. Dierdre focuses on impactful ESG content disseminated across reports and other stakeholder communications prepared by Argyle. With her experience in corporate communications and marketing, Dierdre brings a thoughtful and holistic approach to merging design and content. 

Dierdre is GRI-certified and has familiarity with SASB the UN SDGs. She earned a Master of Science in Environmental Sustainability and Business from the University of Leeds.

Donna Allegra

Creative Strategist

Working for award-winning design firms throughout her career, Donna has developed a deep understanding of shareholder communications, focusing primarily on annual reports and proxy statements for Fortune 500 companies.

Known for her client advocacy, Donna is adept at accessing the appropriate resources to keep projects moving smoothly and to resolve situations as they occur from concept through to completion.

Donna’s hands-on experiences allow her to skillfully respond to the needs of her clients and provide custom solutions to help corporations explain their strategic messaging in a clear and concise manner to their audiences.

Iain Poole

Managing Director

Throughout his fifteen-year career, Iain has focused on improving how corporations communicate internally and externally, across all stakeholder groups.

Iain has worked with Global Fortune 500 clients in Europe, the United States and Asia. His international experience allows him to understand the communications challenges that corporations face, and to propose and implement innovative approaches that have resulted in enhanced outcomes.

Iain specializes in high-stakes communications and has acquired practical knowledge supporting corporations through significant challenges. His experience spans a wide variety of industries including food & beverage, financial services, insurance, oil & gas, pharmaceuticals, hospitality, media & communications, and technology.

Iain has lived and worked in seven countries and is fluent in French.

Jennifer Cooney

Advisory Director

Jennifer Cooney has dedicated over 20 years to helping public companies report effectively to their shareholders and other key stakeholders. Her areas of expertise as an attorney include securities law compliance, corporate governance, executive compensation, and general corporate matters.

Jennifer previously served as in-house counsel at Staples. During her tenure, she advised on SEC reporting and governance best practices, led the disclosure committee, acted as primary internal counsel and secretary to the compensation committee, and actively participated in investor outreach programs.

Prior to Staples, Jennifer was a Partner at Choate, Hall & Stewart in Boston and an Associate at Jones Day in New York.

Judy Mayo

Advisory Director

Judy Mayo is an experienced corporate governance and communications professional and attorney with law firm and in-house experience. She understands what information stakeholders are seeking – and how to effectively deliver it.

Judy served as Corporate Secretary and led the corporate governance function at Piedmont Natural Gas, serving as the focal point for communications with the Board of Directors, senior management and the company’s shareholders and ensuring that the Board received the proper advice and resources for discharging its fiduciary duties. As Piedmont’s securities and finance attorney, Judy strategically advised the company on SEC and stock exchange regulations and led the implementation of compliance practices.

Prior to Piedmont Natural Gas, Judy served in a similar function at Duke Energy, and advised a variety of clients in real estate, bankruptcy and related areas while at the law firm Fried, Frank, Harris, Shriver & Jacobson in New York.

Judy brings a range of experience to her engagements, including counseling the Board and management through mergers and acquisitions, advising Directors on corporate governance best practices, managing relationships with regulators and shareholders, and collaborating with executive compensation, tax, accounting, public relations and other corporate departments on shareholder and other public communications.

Laura Ann Smith

Advisory Director

Laura Ann Smith works with companies to develop and elevate their reporting and stakeholder communications. She combines 25-years of experience in corporate governance, executive compensation and securities law with a passion for proxy statements and ESG to provide advice on how to make stakeholder disclosure and messaging more meaningful and impactful.

Laura Ann previously served as in-house counsel at Tailored Brands and MultiPlan where she advised executive management teams and boards of directors on SEC reporting, executive compensation, and governance best practices. She collaborated closely with financial reporting, investor relations and corporate communications teams to effectively present the company’s messages to external and internal stakeholders. While at Tailored Brands, Laura Ann established the company’s cross-functional sustainability working group and was responsible for its ESG reporting initiatives.

Prior to Tailored Brands, Laura Ann was a Senior Associate at Fulbright & Jaworski in Houston, where she counseled public companies and their boards of directors with respect to securities law, corporate governance and disclosure filings as well as all aspects of M&A and financing transactions.

Mariann Yattaw

Creative Strategist

Mariann Yattaw has over 15 years’ experience in creative direction, strategy, and working with executive management. Combined with an enthusiasm for purposeful aesthetics, she creates compelling user experiences across print and digital media. Prior to joining Argyle, Mariann lent her skills to a broad range of profit and non-profit organizations — notably XPRIZE Foundation, Church & Dwight, and Conagra. Additionally, she has supported small and medium businesses and startups within the lifestyle, fashion, and technology industries. Mariann holds a BA in Fine Art, Graphic Design, and Marketing from California State University of Long Beach. 

Meredith Shaughnessy

Advisory Director

Meredith has enjoyed a varied legal career, with a focus on corporate governance, investor communications, mergers & acquisitions and corporate social responsibility. Most recently, she was Associate General Counsel – Corporate and Securities at The Home Depot, Inc. During her seven years with Home Depot, Meredith served a key role in drafting the company’s SEC filings and advising on corporate governance matters, Board & Committee meetings, investor and public relations, and corporate compliance. She was also heavily involved in the development and review of Home Depot’s annual CSR report.

While at Home Depot, Meredith also served as lead M&A attorney on the company’s nine acquisitions, ranging in size from under $50 million to over $1.6 billion. In this role, Meredith advised on all aspects of a deal, from diligence and negotiation to stakeholder communications and integration, collaborating with teams across Home Depot and the target company.

Meredith started her legal career as a Corporate Associate at Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher LLP in Los Angeles, where she worked on a variety of corporate and executive compensation matters for public and private companies. Prior to obtaining her JD/MBA at UCLA, Meredith worked in the music industry, serving various roles in the Legal and Business Affairs departments of a New York-based and Los Angeles-based record company.

Nancy Mentesana

ESG Director

Nancy is an accomplished communications professional with over fifteen year’s experience defining editorial strategies and designing clear and persuasive materials for internal and external corporate audiences.

As the ESG Practice Lead, Nancy guides companies seeking to present their sustainability strategy and progress to stakeholders. Nancy leverages her governance background to advise companies on the best approach to communicating with investor stakeholders while considering the guidelines of ESG Frameworks.

In addition to being GRI certified, with fluency in SASB, TCFD and the UN SDGs, Nancy has an in-depth knowledge of report generation from document conception and design through to the effective dissemination of information through in-person presentations, video, printed and online materials.

Pierre Saddi

Senior Creative Strategist

Focusing on proxy statements and annual reports, Pierre has nine years of experience creating thoughtful and impactful shareholder communications for the Fortune 250. With a thorough understanding of clients’ content and strategy, he helps simplify complex information to improve clarity and advance key messaging.

Previously, Pierre worked at the Harvard Law School Program on Corporate Governance researching the role of corporations in the social, regulatory and market environment. He enjoys the rigors of academic work and loves digging into the details to help clients communicate with stakeholders in more effective and meaningful ways.

Sara McKinstry

Senior ESG Advisor

With over 20 years of experience in sustainability planning and reporting, program and project management, and communications, Sara has been a writer and ESG specialist at Argyle since 2021. She is fluent in a variety of ESG topics, including carbon neutrality, energy and resilience; biodiversity, ecosystems and water; food systems; zero waste (TRUE); green buildings (LEEDLBCWELL); alternative transportation; sustainable procurement and supply chain; diversity/equity/inclusion (DEI); employee and stakeholder engagement; and governance. Level II certified in the Fundamentals of Sustainability Accounting (FSA)), Sara is fluent in corporate ESG reporting frameworks, standards and ratings, including GRI, VRF (<IR> Framework and SASB), TCDF, CDP, UN SDG’S, UNGC and more. In addition, she is a writer with experience in drafting and copy editing ESG and marketing content. A certified Sustainability Excellence Professional (ISSP SEP) since 2015, Sara has worked for or with a variety of organizations and institutions, including Fovea LLC (now part of Brailsford & Dunlavey), ESG Evolution, the University of California (San Diego), the University of New Hampshire, the U.S. Department of Transportation, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, the Smithsonian Institution, and The Southbridge Evening News. Sara holds a Master’s of Environmental Management from Duke University, a Master’s of Education (natural resources focus) from the University of New Hampshire, and a Bachelor’s of English from Dartmouth College.

Siobhan Harper

Creative Strategist

Siobhan has a personal and professional passion for diversity, equity and inclusion and brings her enthusiasm to every ESG project. She has career experience in creative, writing and sustainability and is GRI certified. Siobhan works closely with clients and the Argyle advisory and design team to ensure that our clients accurately and transparently communicate the important ESG progress they are making.