Executive Team

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Joseph A. McCormack


joe Joe McCormack is founder and Managing Partner of McCormack+Kristel. He is also a founding partner of McCormack & Farrow, the largest retained search practice in Orange County, California. As a partner in this practice, he specialized in financial services and healthcare recruiting.

His over 30 years of search experience include positions in New York and Los Angeles as partner with Ward Howell International, vice president with Ray & Berndtson and with Billington, Fox & Ellis, and manager with Ernst & Young.

He has served clients in nearly every sector of American business, filling senior management and board positions in higher education, health care, public policy, financial services, and not-for-profit organizations. Clients have included Southern Methodist University, Washington State University, the University of California at Los Angeles, the American College of Physician Executives, the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health, PacifiCare, Fluor Corporation, Sea-Land Corporation, U.S. Borax, The Walt Disney Company, Hollywood Presbyterian Hospital and Group Health Cooperative of Puget Sound.

Earlier, Joe McCormack was a program director with the Young Presidents’ Organization, an 8,000 member international educational association of corporate chief executives. As a staff executive with the Young Presidents’ Organization in the 1970’s, Mr. McCormack recruited corporate CEO’s to the Boards of hospitals, colleges and museums. He managed community relations and special events for Rockefeller Center in New York and promotion for American Heritage Publishing Co., Inc.

A graduate of the University of California at Berkeley, Joe McCormack served in the U.S. Navy and, following training in the Department of Defense Information School, was a Naval public affairs officer on the staff of Commander, U.S. SECOND Fleet. He served for eight years as a Director of Epilogics, Inc., a technology licensing company in northern California, and four years on the national Board of the Gay, Lesbian, & Straight Education Network (GLSEN), which advocates for respect for all in our nation’s schools. He served on the Board of Regents for The Point Foundation, the first national LGBT scholarship fund, for six years and was the first Chairman of its Board of Trustees. Previously, he served as Vice Chairman of the Board of PHFE (Public Health Foundation Enterprises) in Los Angeles. Recently, Joe served on the Board of Servicemembers Legal Defense Network (SLDN) in Washington, DC and is a former member of the Capital Campaign Committee for the LGBT Center of the Desert in Palm Springs, CA.

Michelle Kristel

Managing Partner

Michelle Kristel is a former nonprofit executive who understands the impact a great hire has on an organization. She believes placing the right leader in the right position builds stronger and more effective teams. Michelle has a keen eye for matching talent to opportunity, and is driven by a fierce commitment to advance her client’s missions. Through her experience in both executive search and nonprofit leadership, she has seen firsthand the impact great hires have on programs, fundraising, governance and fiscal health. She is proud to bring her clients the essential talent to meet their goals and realize their vision.

Michelle is the former executive director of In The Life Media (ITLM), a nonprofit organization producing social change media to raise awareness of issues related to gender, HIV/AIDS and LGBT rights. Michelle joined ITLM in 2002 in the position of production manager. In 2006, following a succession of promotions, she was appointed executive director. ITLM’s signature series, IN THE LIFE, was broadcast nationally on PBS from 1992 through 2012.

Michelle serves on the Board of Directors of CenterLink, the national association of LGBT community centers. She is actively engaged with OUT Leadership’s Quorum and OutWOMEN initiatives, and is a proud member of the Network of Nonprofit Search Consultants.

Michelle earned a Bachelor of Science from the University of Massachusetts at Amherst and a Master of Arts from New York University.