President & CEO
Curt Bailey, MBA joined Bloodworks Northwest after 20 years in management consulting. Curt was a partner at McKinsey & Company, where he was a leader in the firm’s healthcare practice and based in Seattle. Curt has advised a variety of healthcare companies across the United States with an emphasis on serving non-profit, community-based, and academic healthcare institutions. Curt’s work spanned strategy, operational improvement, and organizational health, and he has published in leading journals, such as the Harvard Business Review. Prior to joining McKinsey, Curt served as a Captain and helicopter pilot in the U.S. Marine Corps. He earned his MBA from Yale University and his BA from Tufts University. Curt has lived with his family in the Seattle area since 2002. He is active in the community and has served on the Board of Trustees for a local Montessori school, chaired Yale School of Management’s West Coast Advisory Board, and currently serves on the Board of the Washington Health Alliance.
Co-Chief Medical Officer
Kirsten Alcorn, MD joined Bloodworks Northwest in 2013, and in 2021, she was appointed to Bloodworks’ Executive Team in the role of co-Chief Medical Officer. Kirsten is a board certified anatomic and clinical pathologist with over 20 years’ experience in Blood Bank/Transfusion Medicine and laboratory management. Her work is focused on education, collaboration and systems to support current evidence-based transfusion practice and a reliable blood supply. As an interim CMO during the early COVID pandemic, Kirsten helped guide Bloodworks’ initiatives across many disciplines in support of COVID convalescent plasma collection for clinical and research use. Kirsten received her Bachelor of Science degree from the Catholic University of America and her medical degree from the Medical College of Virginia (Virginia Commonwealth University), where she also completed her post-graduate training.
Vita Conforti, JD Vita joined the Executive Team of Bloodworks Northwest in 2020 after practicing law for more than 20 years. Ms. Conforti brings years of experience in intellectual property law, contracting, and other legal affairs. Before joining Bloodworks, Ms. Conforti was Of Counsel at the legal firm Davis Wright Tremaine in Seattle. She also founded and led the in-house intellectual property department of a local, publicly traded, biotechnology company, where she was instrumental in obtaining key antibody and drug patents. She has held director level positions in the legal group at other Seattle biotechnology companies, where she was key in negotiating commercial manufacturing agreements and obtaining venture financing.
Executive Vice President, Laboratories
Mark Destree, MT, MS, MBA joined Bloodworks Northwest in 2005. With over 35 years of experience in the Blood Bank industry, spanning 20 years with two Midwest blood centers and a stint in sales for Roche Diagnostics, Mark has brought his depth of experience and expertise to a number of roles at Bloodworks. These include Director of Blood Processing Labs, Director of Donor Testing & Transfusion Services, and since 2017, Vice President of Laboratory Services. Mark was instrumental in the design and transition to Bloodworks’ Renton Lab facility. He also orchestrated the transformation of the Donor Testing Lab and Transfusion Services in recent years, expanding all of the labs into vendor-sponsored clinical trials as part of their revenue streams. He earned his BS, MS and MBA degrees at the University of Wisconsin. Mark’s unique combination of analytical, entrepreneurial and business-minded focus will continue to grow and evolve the exciting future of Bloodworks.
Chief Quality Officer/ Corporate Compliance Officer
Christie Donatelli came to Bloodworks in 2014. A highly skilled senior executive with 20 years of GXP experience in pharma, biotech and contract research, she previously served as Corporate Compliance Director at Dendreon Corporation. Her expertise spans corporate-wide quality and compliance programs (domestic and international facilities) in alignment with FDA regulations, ICH guidelines, corporate SOPs and relevant regulatory standards. She has also held senior management roles in U.S./Global Regulatory Affairs and Quality oversight with PathoGenesis and Chiron Corporations.
Executive Vice President, Blood Services
Vicki Finson, a respected leader within the blood banking community, Vicki joined Bloodworks in 2019 to lead the organization’s Blood Services operation. Vicki’s practical expertise, enthusiasm, and collaborative style has inspired diverse work teams across the country to accomplish outcome-driven successes. She is a seasoned change leader having led and influenced complex, innovative projects. Under her leadership as the Executive Director of United Blood Services (UBS) California, operations thrived and grew with center mergers and customer expansions. In 2013, her UBS center achieved the prestigious California Award for Performance Excellence (State Baldrige) on their first attempt. Most recently, she led integration efforts for Vitalant as Vice President of Integration. Vicki served as President of the California Blood Bank Society and Blood Centers of California; she has presented at national and state industry meetings about organizational/management philosophies and performance excellence. Vicki passionately advocates for employees, donors, and customers, and ultimately, for the well-being of the Pacific Northwest community.
Chief Financial Officer
Robert J. Gleason, CPA, has 35 years of experience in senior financial management positions. He has overall responsibility for finance, accounting, fiscal planning, materials management and facilities. Prior to joining Bloodworks, he served as Regional CFO at Omnicare in Ohio, along with roles at Voca Corp and Price Waterhouse. In 2016, Puget Sound Business Journal named Bob “CFO of the Year” for the non-profit sector. He is currently on the board of the Northwest Healthcare Response Network and has served as a board member of GSABC, the group purchasing organization servicing community blood centers, and is on AABB financial committees.
Chief Scientific Officer
Scientific Director, Bloodworks Research Institute
José López, MD is a native of New Mexico, where he attended college and medical school before moving to Seattle for residency, specialty training in hematology, and laboratory training in biochemistry at the University of Washington. Dr. López’ first faculty position was with the Gladstone Institute for Cardiovascular Disease and the University of California, San Francisco, after which he moved to the Baylor College of Medicine, where he rose in the academic ranks to Professor of Medicine and Vice-Chair of Medicine for Research. In 2006, he was recruited back to Seattle to head the research program at Puget Sound Blood Center, now Bloodworks. He served as Executive Vice President for Research/CSO for ten years, stepping down in 2016. Throughout his career, Dr. López’ research has focused on the mechanisms of platelet attachment to injured and normal blood vessels and the diseases that involve this process, which include bleeding diseases such as von Willebrand disease and clotting diseases such as thrombotic thrombocytopenic purpura, heart attack, and stroke. His research program has received continuous NIH funding since he established his laboratory. Dr. López currently serves as Associate Editor for the journal Blood and just finished a term on the Council (governing body) of the International Society on Thrombosis and Haemostasis. He also currently serves on the Council for the Center of Scientific Review of the National Institutes of Health (NIH) and on the Board of Scientific Counselors, also at NIH. He is Professor of Medicine at the University of Washington and is Adjunct Professor in the Departments of Biochemistry, Mechanical Engineering, and Pathology.
Co-Chief Medical Officer
Theresa Nester, MD joined Bloodworks Northwest in 2001. In 2021, she was appointed co-Chief Medical Officer. Theresa is certified by the American Board of Pathology in Anatomic and Clinical Pathology and also in Transfusion Medicine. Her primary focus is on medical direction of the clinical laboratories at Bloodworks, with specific direction of the Integrated Transfusion service, Immunohematology Reference, Donor Testing, and blood component Quality Control Laboratories. Theresa is also heavily involved in the education of medical trainees as Program Director of the transfusion medicine fellowship (supported by Bloodworks, UW Medical Center, and Seattle Children’s Hospital) and as director of medical education at Bloodworks. During her time on staff at Bloodworks, Dr. Nester obtained academic promotion to full professor (clinician-educator track) within the Departments of Laboratory Medicine and Pathology at the University of Washington. She received her BA from Bowdoin College and her MD from the University of Rochester. She completed her post-graduate training at the University of Utah and the Institute for Transfusion Medicine in Pittsburgh, PA.
Chief Marketing & Engagement Officer
Sue Nixon joined Bloodworks in 2016 as chief marketing officer, backed by more than 25 years of leadership and consulting experience in marketing, branding and communications that spans the private, public and non-profit sectors. In 2007, Sue founded her own agency to guide clients in the use of customer insight to align brands, messaging and business strategies to build business and grow revenue. She has also served as chief executive officer of Fitch global design studio in Seattle – part of a worldwide network of retail and brand experts.
Chief Operating Officer, Research Institute
Sumi Paranjape Sumi PhD, MPH joined Bloodworks in 2020 and manages the company’s research programs, working with faculty and staff to expand the Research Institute’s scientific leadership in the areas of hematology and thrombosis. Sumi leads financial and technical operations and oversees strategic planning and policy development. Prior to joining Bloodworks, Sumi served as the Director for Biotechnology/Health & Science at Vulcan/Paul G. Allen Foundation. She led innovation and product development in the areas of global health, biomedical science, and technology to tackle pressing problems in infectious diseases, medicine, and conservation. While at Vulcan, Sumi oversaw development of pandemic surveillance and prediction solutions and worked with international researchers to pilot a comprehensive genetic analysis to identify factors responsible for coral heat resilience and survival. From 2014-2017, Sumi served as a Senior Advisor at MRIGlobal where she developed programs in infectious disease surveillance and diagnostics. Prior to this, she worked as an American Association for the Advancement of Sciences (AAAS) Fellow at the U.S. Department of State/Cooperative Threat Reduction program and as a Regional Lead at the U.S. Department of Defense/DTRA. Sumi spent her early career in academic research where she investigated the biochemical and molecular mechanisms of atherosclerosis, cancer, and dengue fever. Sumi holds a Ph.D. in Biomedical Sciences from UC San Diego, an MPH from UC Berkeley, and a B.A. from Washington University in St. Louis. She serves as a President of the Board at Interconnection, a Seattle organization that strives to make information and communication technology accessible to under-served communities around the world.
Executive Vice President, Bloodworks Bio
Aaron Posey, MBA joined Bloodworks Northwest in 2017 and became the Executive Vice President of Bloodworks Bio in 2020. His role is dedicated to supporting the rapidly advancing fields of stem cell therapy and immunotherapy in the Pacific Northwest and beyond, by leveraging Bloodworks’ advanced manufacturing of blood products derived from human whole blood and cord blood. Aaron has nearly 20 years of experience in healthcare and has worked throughout the Seattle area in biotechnology, academic research, and hospital administration. He received his Bachelor of Science degree in Biology from Whitworth University, an Executive Leadership Certification from Seattle University, and a Health Executive Leadership Master of Business Administration from Seattle University.
Chief Workforce Resources Officer
Anne Sauget has been with Bloodworks since 2000 and has been directly involved in operational and human resources management for the past 30 years. Graduating from the University of Washington with a Bachelor of Science degree in chemistry, she began her career in retail management and served in several frontline management roles for ten years. She transitioned into Human Resources management in 1995. Since that time, Anne has served in both individual contributor and management roles in Human Resources. She was directly involved in human resource management related to Bloodworks’ sale, partnership and merger activities with LifeNet Health, Blood Systems, Inc. and Lane Blood Center. In 2016, she partnered with Bloodworks Operations to formally recognize Bloodworks’ volunteer corps as a key segment of our workforce, resulting in the creation of the Workforce Resources group to include Human Resources and Volunteer Services.
Chief Information Officer
Joe Vetto joined Bloodworks as Chief Information Officer in 2014. He brings over 25 years of information technology and business experience from start-ups to mature organizations across multiple industries, including biotechnology, pharmaceuticals, financial services and printing. An entrepreneurial leader with international experience, Joe brings a unique blend of business and technical acumen to deliver technical solutions to solve business challenges. Prior to joining Bloodworks, Joe served as the Director of Enterprise Data Management and Commercial Systems at Dendreon.