The USCAP Team
The success of your academy could not be achieved without our hardworking staff. Leadership has assembled a team of highly skilled, energetic, and forward-thinking individuals that are focused on executing the mission and goals of USCAP.
This is your academy and we are always here to help.
Executive Vice President and Chief Executive Officer
Patrick Flaherty grew up in Colorado. With a Juris Doctorate, he practiced law for nine years and became a partner at the Lewis, Roca, Rothergerber, Christie, a large regional firm. He left the active practice of law to pursue a calling by accepting a fellowship including a Masters of Nonprofit Management from Regis University. Patrick brings almost three decades of successful nonprofit and association management experience to USCAP. He was recognized as “Outstanding Director” of the all-volunteer Colorado chapter of a youth leadership program. As Executive Director, he led a nutrition provider for people with life-threatening illnesses from insolvency, through a capital campaign, and on to be officially named the “Most Outstanding Nonprofit Organization in Colorado.” As Director of Policy Advocacy Programs for the privately-endowed Gill Foundation, he helped craft the most successful civil rights movement in modern history. Most recently, as Executive Director of the jointly managed Denver and Colorado Bar Associations, he led them through their first-ever strategic plans and reversed a 30-year decline in membership. Patrick’s interests include home improvement, travel, architecture, making beer, and re-learning gardening in the desert.
Krista M. Cairns
Krista Cairns joined the USCAP family in July 2015. She has 20 plus years of experience working in public, private and government education systems. Krista holds a B.S. in Social Psychology and a M.A. in Education, Curriculum and Instruction. Krista prides herself on being a lifelong learner and passionate educator of learners of all ages. Outside of work, Krista enjoys spending time with her husband of 22 years and their three children. The Cairns family are animal lovers and currently have four rescue dogs.
Robin Costello, CMP
Director of Conferences and Events
Robin is a Certified Meeting Professional (CMP) and has more than 20 years of experience in hospitality management. Prior to joining USCAP, she worked as an Event Planner for the nation’s largest non-profit addiction treatment organization, Hazelden Betty Ford Foundation. Robin has been on sales and marketing teams supporting convention services and event management for the Palm Springs Desert Resorts Communities Convention and Visitors Authority. She is responsible for the site selections and logistics of all the USCAP meetings.
Robin has been married for 20 years and has two children. She enjoys hiking, watching soccer, traveling and spending time with her family.
Tim Fest, CAE
Director of Membership
Tim is a Certified Association Executive (CAE) and has more than 15 years of experience in nonprofit and association management. Prior to joining the USCAP team in September 2022, he worked with several associations and nonprofits, including the Society for Industrial and Applied Mathematics (SIAM) and The Electrochemical Society (ECS). Tim is passionate about using data-driven decision-making to deliver membership benefits to those who need them most, particularly students and those in the early part of their career. Outside of work, Tim lives in the Philadelphia area and enjoys travel, reading, and spending time with friends and family, especially his wife and two children
Executive Administrative Assistant
Candice Forsythe brings a wealth of administrative experience to her role at USCAP, having served as an Executive Administrative Assistant in several international companies and non-profits over the course of her career. She assists our EVP and CFAO as well as managing USCAP’s facilities and keeping the office running smoothly.
Candice has a BA in English with a minor in Literature from Cal State Fullerton and spent time in the UK studying art at Cambridge. She enjoys reading, crocheting, getting together with friends, and spending time with her husband and two sons.
Director of Information Technology
Christian Giangreco received his Bachelor’s degree in Biochemistry and Cellular Biology from the University of California San Diego (UCSD) and his Master’s degree in Public Health from UCLA. After working as an Epidemiologist for the LA County Department of Health Services, he began working for a number of Internet eCommerce companies as a developer, project manager, and director of technology. In 2001, he started a Web hosting company (RIS Technology) that supported such clients as Nissan, Sanyo, The Recording Academy (GRAMMY.com), and Gatorade. After the successful sale of his hosting company, he was hired to build out the Managed Services practice at Guidance Solutions. Most recently, he worked for the County of San Bernardino, Department of Behavioral Health implementing a replacement to their legacy Finance system and a new Electronic Health Records system. Christian will be focusing his talents with the Information Technology and Digital Development projects. Feel free to challenge him on his 80’s music and film trivia.
Foundation & Membership Facilitator
With a strong academic background, and a commitment to excellence in customer service, Daniela joined USCAP in 2018. As a team-member, Daniela is deeply involved in supporting the efforts of USCAP Foundation and Membership. She serves as staff liaison to USCAP’s Foundation Committee.
Daniela grew up in Palm Springs, California, and loves its warm weather and palm trees. She is a part-time student pursuing her Bachelor’s in Business Administration. When not busy with work and school, Daniela enjoys spending time with her friends and family. Her interests include reading, traveling, and hiking. She is an animal lover and has a rescue cat of her own.
Stacie Hargett, CMP
Stacie Hargett originally joined the USCAP in November of 2012. Stacie supports Robin Costello, the Director of Conferences and Events, in the logistical planning of the Annual Meeting and USCAP’s stand-alone meetings. With a B.A. in Communications from Augusta University, she enjoys the opportunity to work with talented people from around the globe and is honored to work for such an internationally renowned organization. Stacie enjoys spending time with her husband, traveling, exploring new restaurants, exercising, and volunteering to help stray animals.
Karli Kai Hess, MS
Assistant Managing Editor, the USCAP journals
Karli Kai Hess received her Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees in Biological Sciences at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee. During her Master’s degree, she loved being a Teaching Assistant, where she taught Biological Science laboratories and discussions. She presented her research at conferences in the state of Wisconsin, and her research won an award at UW-Milwaukee’s Graduate Research Symposium. After earning her Master’s degree, Karli worked as a Research Associate at Indiana University School of Medicine, where she studied Borrelia burgdorferi (Lyme disease). This led her to become a Microbiologist for the Indiana Department of Health, where she was a part of the BioWatch program funded by the Department of Homeland Security. Karli has been dedicated to scientific research throughout her academic career.
In her free time, Karli loves to read books, lift weights, and eat donuts from different donut shops all over the country. Karli left Wisconsin for the state of Indiana, but travels all over the country to visit her parents who RV full-time.
Catherine M. Ketcham, PhD
Managing Editor, the USCAP journals
Dr. Ketcham has been the Managing Editor of Laboratory Investigation since 2003 and of Modern Pathology since 2009. She earned her PhD in Biochemistry and Molecular Biology from the University of Florida and was a postdoctoral fellow at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis. She then spent seven years in the San Diego biotechnology community focusing on manufacturing issues and business development. Upon returning to the University of Florida, she held research and development positions at the Interdisciplinary Center for Biotechnology Research, and then joined the Pathology department to manage Laboratory Investigation. After relocating to Atlanta, Catherine founded Ketcham Solutions, which was contracted to edit both journals. She has traveled extensively throughout China and Japan, speaking about scientific publishing and promoting the journals. She is now based at USCAP in Palm Springs.
Chief Programs and Education Officer
Claire Kilfoyle joined USCAP in 2017 as Director of Education. She has over ten years of experience in medical education. With a background that includes working with neuroscientists, microbiologists, and endocrinologists, she is well versed in providing top notch education to physicians and scientists. Claire truly enjoys working with members to develop and execute educational activities. She has also worked on many strategic initiatives throughout her career including the development of regional and international programs and fostering relationships with global partners.
Andrea joined the USCAP team in 2022 as an Education Coordinator, focusing on the Palm Springs Live Interactive Microscopy Courses. She holds a B.S. in Hospitality and Tourism Management and an A.S. in Administrative Management. Andrea has worked in various positions within the hospitality field, including front office, group reservations, accounting, and has extensive experience in office management. Andrea was born and raised in Budapest, Hungary and moved to the United States in her late teens. She is passionate about continuous education, health and wellness, hiking, and traveling.
Education and Programs Coordinator
Susanna Martinez joined USCAP in July 2017. As Education and Programs Coordinator, she is responsible for the creation and management of educational content in USCAP’s eLearning center, she serves as staff liaison to the American Board of Pathology’s Test Development Advisory Committee, and provides faculty support for USCAP’s Interactive Center and Destination Courses.
Susanna attended music school in Los Angeles, where she was certified in Audio Engineering and Production. She became a signed artist and opened her own music studio in Palm Springs. Through this, she developed a strong business sense and learned the importance of growth, both personally and professionally. She strives to assist in the success of the Academy and her team members.
On her time off, Susanna enjoys spending time with her husband and their two children, doing home renovation projects, or training her two Australian Cattle Dogs.
Director of Marketing
Lisa Olson brings more than 20 years of marketing experience to her role at USCAP. She spent more than 12 of those years in non-profit marketing arena, developing strong project management and production skills. With B.A.s in both Economics and Psychology from UC Santa Barbara, she loves nothing more than taking an idea and making it a reality. She spent much of her professional life founding and running an eco-friendly school fundraising company. In her free time, Lisa enjoys reading, travel, and rooting for her incredibly frustrating but still beloved Los Angeles Dodgers.
Senior Staff Accountant
Bethany Phillips, a Palm Springs native, holds an M.S. in Accountancy from CSU Sacramento and a B.A. in Business Administration from CSU San Bernardino. Her prior professional experience includes accounting in the distribution and hospitality industries, with expertise in financial reporting, communications, and analysis. She is a proactive CPA candidate with a strong knowledge of business processes, exceling in the development of policies and procedures that encourage efficiency. Her strengths will offer a new perspective to USCAP and further advance the Finance Department. Bethany’s interests include travel, family time, and being outdoors.
Information Technology Coordinator
Dillon Phillips, a Palm Springs native with an inherent passion for all things tech, has cultivated his love for innovation into a self-coded mobile app designed for language learning. With a background in supporting small businesses through impactful IT solutions, Dillon brings a unique blend of technical expertise and commitment to driving efficient operations and embracing the many possibilities of technology. Beyond all things tech he finds solace in motorcycling and the artistry of photography.
Membership Services Coordinator
Teresa Powers has been a member of the USCAP team since August of 2012, and supports activities associated with member acquisition and retention. Teresa also provides seamless constituent satisfaction with USCAP meetings related to pre- and post-registration efforts. Teresa previously worked with other nonprofit organizations and has years of experience dedicated to a member-centered approach to service. Teresa lives in South Carolina. She is married and has one daughter who is attending Georgia Southern University. Teresa is an animal lover who enjoys traveling, trying new restaurants, spending time outdoors, and cheering on the Clemson Tigers.
Information Technology Manager
Cindy Pugh joined the USCAP team in August of 2014. She has over 30 years of experience in Information Technology and has spent most of her career in software training and development. She earned her B.S. in Business Education from the State University of New York College at Oswego. She and her husband are from Chattanooga, Tennessee, and have two adult sons. Cindy enjoys spending time with family and friends and watching Tennessee Volunteers football.
Melissa A. Russo
Chief Finance and Administration Officer
Melissa joined the team in 2022 as Chief Finance and Administration Officer. She received a B.A. in economics from UCLA, and an M.A. in Art History from the University of Illinois, and holds the credential of Certified Fundraising Executive (CFRE). She has over 30 years in nonprofit and government agency leadership, specializing in administration, fundraising, program development, event management, and public and government relations. She was previously Director of the San Bernardino County Museum, garnering a record number of National Association of Counties (NACo) excellence awards during her tenure. She also served as Director of Institutional Advancement at Chabot Space & Science Center, Executive Director of the Western Museums Association, and Corporate Treasury Officer for National Westminster Bank, PLC. She has extensive experience serving on nonprofit boards including those that promote education, business, cultural arts, and social justice that serve at-risk and exploited youth. Melissa is an avid photographer, with goals to capture images on every continent of the world traveling with her husband from their home base in Rancho Mirage. Between them they have four grown children.