Cranford, NJ – October 7, 2014 – Paragon Solutions, Inc., an advisory consulting and systems integration firm, today announced several appointments to its Life Sciences Research and Development (R&D) practice team to better serve its growing client base.

As part of the announcement, Paragon named two current executives to new roles:  James O’Keefe will lead the Research and Development (R&D) practice as Vice President, and Christopher McSpiritt will head the Clinical Optimization practice, which falls under R&D, as Associate Director.  Two new hires were also announced for the R&D practice:  Rachel Belani-Barker will serve as a Principal Consultant, and Toni Lakin as Sales Lead for R&D sales.

“These domain experts bring a wealth of experience to Paragon and will enable us to better meet the demand for business and technology services that help life sciences companies maximize their R&D investment,” said Senior Vice President for Life Sciences Ravi Shankar. “I eagerly look forward to their leadership enabling us to further increase our market penetration in the R&D and clinical areas.”

James O’Keefe, Director Clinical & Regulatory Optimization, has been promoted to Vice President, Research and Development.  In this role, he will be assuming leadership responsibilities for the Life Sciences R&D domain to expand Paragon’s capabilities in providing solutions that assist R&D organizations with implementing the latest leading industry standards, technologies and process efficiencies to optimize R&D initiatives. O’Keefe joined Paragon in 2008, bringing with him significant experience in business and IT consulting, with a focus in recent years on enabling efficiencies in Clinical Site Monitoring, Protocol Optimization, and the implementation of electronic Trial Master Files (eTMF) and Clinical Investigator Portals.  O’Keefe has built a strong clinical and regulatory business for Paragon with an impressive team that has achieved revenue growth and improved the Paragon brand within the clinical/regulatory space.

Christopher McSpiritt, Principal Consultant with Paragon’s Clinical & Regulatory Optimization practice, will succeed O’Keefe as Clinical Optimization practice Lead.  McSpiritt began his tenure with Paragon in early 2012 after spending seven years at ePharmaSolutions, implementing critical projects and leading program teams in creating and validating clinical portals, websites, training, and software solutions.  While at Paragon, he has served as lead business architect on many critical projects with major pharmaceutical clients, and has acted as client engagement manager, building strong trusted advisor relationships while identifying and driving new opportunities. 

Toni Lakin joins Paragon Solutions as Practice Sales Lead for the R&D practice, where she will initially focus on expanding Paragon’s clinical and eTMF footprint with new and existing clients. Lakin began her career in the industry at The Institute of Clinical Research before moving to Phlexglobal in 2007.  At Phlexglobal, she began in resourcing operations and transitioned into business development to build and maintain excellent customer relationships with clients in the United Kingdom and Europe.  She later relocated to the US to serve as Business Development Manager, utilizing her resourcing background to help recruit a quality team and establish a new Philadelphia office for the company.

Rachel Belani-Barker joins Paragon Solutions as a Principal Consultant in the R&D Practice, where she will be involved in clinical business process optimization, strategy development and transformational initiatives for pharmaceutical sponsors and their partners.  Belani-Barker brings over 10 years of varied life sciences experience from the sponsor, vendor and consulting sides of the industry to the role.  She has focused expertise in designing requirements and processes for eClinical solution development, product roadmaps and strategies for pharmaceutical sponsors and CROs, and has driven multiple enterprise implementations (e.g., portal, CTMS, LMS, EDMS), process improvement initiatives, change management programs and analytics initiatives for clinical development teams in various countries.   

These appointments will strengthen Paragon’s consulting and delivery capabilities as the company continues to expand its offerings to major pharmaceutical, biotech and medical device clients in the North American market.

About Paragon Solutions

Paragon Solutions is an advisory consulting and systems integration firm that specializes in enterprise information management to help clients leverage information assets for better business results.  The company does this through its industry practices, solution accelerators and specialized technology competencies that help clients achieve operational efficiency, business scalability and regulatory compliance.

Paragon works with businesses that are focused in a few key industries − communications, financial services, healthcare, insurance, and life sciences.  The industry-focused practices work with Paragon’s competency groups to address today’s client concerns in Process Optimization, Information Management and Information Integration.

For more information, please visit the Paragon website at, or call 1.800.462.5582.

Erik Raper
Paragon Solutions 
(908) 653-3016