Kay Branz to Retire From Benaroya Research Institute at Virginia Mason

Seattle, WA

Kay Branz, MBA, director of Marketing Communications and External Relations, has announced her retirement from BRI, effective April 2, 2021. In February, she will step down as director and serve in a part-time project manager role to support BRI’s new branding effort and website redesign during the department’s leadership transition.

Kay was named the first director of Communications for BRI in April 2011, which also included being executive director of Communications for the Immune Tolerance Network (ITN). This BRI position was newly created to provide leadership for branding, community outreach efforts, to build awareness about BRI’s research and autoimmune diseases and to support the Virginia Mason Foundation’s fundraising efforts. In January 2013, Branz stepped away from the ITN role and became the full-time director of an expanded Marketing Communications and External Relations function at BRI.

“In her ten years with BRI, Kay built a strong communications and marketing team, promoted BRI’s research and scientific success to local, regional and national audiences and served as a trusted advisor. BRI greatly benefitted from Kay’s extensive background across all areas of marketing, communications, PR and branding. She is a wonderful colleague and will be missed,” said Margaret McCormick, PhD, executive director and chief operating officer of BRI.

Prior to relocating to Seattle from Chicago for the BRI opportunity, Kay was vice president of Communications and Marketing for the professional association, the American College of Healthcare Executives. Before that, she provided marketing and advertising services to hospitals and other health care organizations and served in a variety of marketing roles with the Society of Actuaries and the American Dental Association. In addition to starting and building the marketing communications function at BRI, Kay has been a founder of three non-profit organizations: Society of Actuaries Foundation, Center for Independent Futures, dedicated to helping individuals with disabilities live full independent lives and The Talking Farm, an urban farm initiative.

She received her MBA from the Kellogg School of Management, Northwestern University and an AB in sociology from Smith College.

About Benaroya Research Institute at Virginia Mason

Benaroya Research Institute at Virginia Mason (BRI) works to advance the science that will predict, prevent, reverse and cure diseases of the immune system. BRI is committed to eliminating autoimmune diseases such as type 1 diabetes, rheumatoid arthritis, inflammatory bowel disease and multiple sclerosis, as well as immune system diseases such as allergies and asthma. An internationally recognized medical research institute, BRI accelerates discovery through laboratory breakthroughs in immunology that are then translated to clinical therapies. Visit BenaroyaResearch.org or follow BRI’s Autoimmune Life Blog, Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn or Twitter to learn more. For more information about biorepositories or to volunteer, please visit the Benaroya Research biorepositories web page

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Media Contact                                                                                                                      

Christi Nichols
Benaroya Research Institute at Virginia Mason
cnichols@benaroyaresearch.org 206-342-6519 / 206-713-2037

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