About us

Executive Team

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.

Vice President, Donor Services

Lisa Ballenger joined Bloodworks Northwest in 2000. Throughout her tenure, she has progressed through several management positions, most recently as Director of Blood Collection Operations. With a focus on integrating multiple facets of operations, Lisa was appointed Vice President of Donor Services in 2023. Lisa’s passion lies in improving the donor and workforce experience, while continuing to meet the community’s need for a safe and reliable blood supply. Her commitment to enhancing Donor Services and fostering a positive environment led to the creation of an innovative scheduling system, which provides both predictability for staff and the flexibility required for operations. Lisa earned her Bachelor of Arts in Biology from Washington University in St. Louis.

Executive Vice President, Laboratory Operations

Mike Charapata

Mike Charapata, MT(ASCP), SBB, MBA a seasoned professional with over 30 years of experience in laboratory medicine, has rejoined Bloodworks Northwest in 2024. His impressive career spans various roles and accomplishments, including previous employment at Bloodworks (2006-2013), with experience in Quality & Regulatory Affairs, Immunohematology Reference Laboratory, and Transfusion Medicine. Between terms at Bloodworks, Mike worked at MultiCare Health System where, as Regional Laboratory Director, he introduced several transformational changes including equipment standardization, information technology improvements, and a redeveloped infrastructure for 16 newly acquired laboratories in the Spokane area. Mike earned his BS degree at the University of Wisconsin and holds Medical Technologist and Specialist in Blood Bank certifications. He also has a Master’s degree in healthcare management (MBA-HCM). Mike’s unique blend of experience in regulatory compliance, industry knowledge, laboratory operations, transfusion medicine, and healthcare leadership makes him a valuable asset, in addition to his commitment to lifelong learning and dedication to improving healthcare services.

General Counsel

Vita Conforti, JD joined the Executive Team of Bloodworks Northwest in 2020 after practicing law for more than 20 years. She brings years of experience in intellectual property law, contracting, and other legal affairs. Before joining Bloodworks, Vita 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 (retiring 2024)

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.

Chief Financial Officer (retiring 2024)

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 became 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. 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 recently finished a term on the Council 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.

Executive Vice President, Community & Donor Engagement

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 Financial Officer

Jeff Perry, MBA, MS joined Bloodworks Northwest in 2024 with 20 years’ experience in finance and accounting.  Jeff brings deep knowledge of financial management, cultivated at some of the most well-known branded corporations in the US, such as Motorola, AT&T, and Kraft Foods. He has an entrepreneurial mindset honed at start-ups and not-for-profit organizations.

Prior to joining Bloodworks, Jeff served as Multnomah County’s Community Health Center CFO, where, during his tenure, he made substantial shifts in their financial strategies. The most important was the significant shift to re-design the financial and accounting structure of the health center to separate its funds away from the County General Fund into its own designated Enterprise Fund. Jeff’s leadership built the financial structure for long-term stability ranging from education on financial reporting to development of an entirely new accounting structure for the health center. He currently serves on the Board as Treasurer for two nonprofits in Portland, Maybelle Center for Community and Alliance for Equity in Montessori Education.

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.

Vice President, Marketing Operations & Planning

Harry Thomas is a results-driven marketing executive with a track record of success across a wide range of industries. As Director, Product Marketing at T-Mobile, he managed a portfolio of products that propelled T-Mobile to the fastest growing wireless carrier. And as Chief Marketing Officer for AAA Washington, Harry accelerated membership renewal and growth rates to the highest levels seen in over a decade by extending the brand to a younger, more diverse audience, optimizing digital channels, and decreasing acquisition cost per member. Harry brought his deep experience in market research, segmentation and planning to Bloodworks in 2023, to help align our end-to-end donor recruitment programs and collections activity, and manage day-to-day marketing funnel and channel activity, helping our donors find their donation opportunity.

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.

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