Our leadership

This is our team: a lot of hard-working people reaching new heights in clinical research.

CenExel Clinical Research

Tom Wardle

Tom Wardle

Chief Executive Officer

Tom has a diverse background with 30+ years of progressive responsibility in pharmaceutical R&D and healthcare. He is the CEO and member of the Board of Directors of CenExel Clinical Research, the premier network of clinical research sites with expertise in Analgesia, Psychiatry, Neurology, Early Phase patient populations and Japanese bridging studies. Tom was previously the CEO of eStudySite, a leading network of clinical research sites in Infectious Disease pharmaceutical drug development.

Tom was the Chief Operating Officer of Worldwide Clinical Trials (WCT), a full service, phase I-IV global contract research organization with operations in more than 40 countries. At its founding, Tom was instrumental in identifying and evaluating acquisition targets, leading to five CRO acquisitions, followed by aggressive and successful integration in to a single platform. Subsequently, the company grew organically from 400 employees to more 1,400 employees.

From 1997 to 2007, Tom held executive management positions at two other global contract research organizations, which are now part of Syneos Health.

From 1988 to 1997 Tom was the Operations Manager at California Clinical Trials, one of the largest Phase I–III investigational sites which specialized in sophisticated clinical pharmacology studies of CNS medications. He also had management oversight of International Clinical Trials in London, England. Tom has an undergraduate degree in Exercise Physiology from BYU, a Master of Science in Kinesiology from UCLA and a Master of Business Administration (Finance) from Rutgers University.

Rob Marohn

Rob Marohn

Chief Information Officer

Rob has worked in the pharmaceutical and clinical research industry for over 25 years in a variety of positions. From 2018 to 2021, he was the Director of Quality Engineering at KitePharma, a Gilead company and a front-runner in cell and gene therapy. He was QE lead on the implementation of the organization’s major quality business applications. In addition, he was the QE lead in the implementation of the organization’s research manufacturing facility and served as point contact for IT system compliance at numerous health authority inspections for Kite’s commercial and clinical divisions.

Prior to this, he was the Chief Information Officer of Worldwide Clinical Trials, a premier global clinical research organization, for eight years where he was responsible for building the company’s information systems platform at all levels. In addition, he has worked in Clarkston Consulting’s Life Science Group as a Senior Consultant for a wide variety of pharmaceutical and life science companies. Before this, Rob was the Vice President of a clinical research division of United Healthcare and Director of IT for a clinical research organization based in Atlanta. Rob has a Master’s of Science in the Management of Technology from Georgia Institute of Technology and a Master’s of Science in Information Systems & Technology from Claremont Graduate University. He has expertise on the matter of data integrity in the pharmaceutical industry and has spoken on the subject at industry conferences including publishing several articles on the topic.

Todd Orullian

Todd Orullian

Chief Financial Officer

Todd Orullian serves as the Cenexel Chief Financial Officer. He is a strong senior executive with many years of finance, accounting, and operational experience. Todd is a highly self-motivated individual with a proven track record of success and exceptional performance in corporate strategy and execution. He is a results-oriented professional with a strong work ethic.

Todd has spent the last 20+ years as a CFO primarily with companies providing services to the healthcare industry. These companies include Nelson Laboratories, AAPC, The MGIS Companies, and Professional Staff Management, Inc. His problem-solving abilities have helped companies overcome growth challenges, improve business operations, and enhance profitability. He has an extensive background in mergers & acquisitions and in leading all aspects of finance for many organizations. Before joining the corporate world, Todd was an audit manager for the international public accounting firm of Ernst & Young where he worked with many pre-eminent clients of the firm.

Born in Salt Lake City, Todd attended the University of Utah, where he earned his Bachelor of Science degree in Accounting, graduated Summa cum laude and was selected as the Outstanding Scholar of the School of Accounting. He then obtained his MBA from the University of Utah where he was the Dean’s Scholar and recipient of the UACPA Outstanding Graduate Student award. He is a member of the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants.

Casey Orvin

Casey Orvin

Chief Commercial Officer

Casey has a long and exemplary career history in pharmaceutical research services. Most recently, he was serving as the Senior VP of Pharmaceutical Relationships at StudyKik, a full-service patient recruitment and retention technology company. Casey is also serving as the Honorary President of the Society for Clinical Research Sites (SCRS), a global organization representing nearly 10,000 clinical research sites in 47 countries within the pharmaceutical industry.

Casey began his career leading a large pharmaceutical research site network, Research Solutions. In 2007, he was recruited to join Clinical Research Advantage/Radiant as Executive Vice President of Business Development and successfully led a network of over 75 research sites conducting clinical trials for pharmaceuticals, vaccines, and medical devices. Under Casey’s leadership, several crucial partnerships were formed with major pharmaceutical companies which fueled the company’s rapid growth both geographically and within the medical community. Casey facilitated the acquisition of two competitors securing the company’s spot as what was at the time the largest clinical research site network in the US. In 2015, Casey and the executive team at Radiant merged with Synexus, a division of PPD. With Casey’s guidance, Synexus continued to expand to 215 global clinical sites in 4 continents and over 15 countries.

Casey is passionate about representing the site voice within the industry while ensuring every research patient’s journey is a positive one. As a thought leader in the industry, Casey is regularly invited to be a keynote speaker and panelist and is often quoted by the leading publications covering the clinical research landscape. In 2020, he was recognized in PharmaVoice as one of the 100 Most Inspiring People in the industry.

Casey leads the business development efforts for CenExel, now the U.S. leader of independent clinical research sites.

Tom Zoda, PhD

Tom Zoda, PhD

Chief Operating Officer

Bringing almost 30 years of experience in the pharmaceutical and clinical trials industry, Dr. Zoda joined CenExel in 2022. In his role as COO, he works with the executive team to develop and implement strategies to grow CenExel as a market leader in the clinical trials space. He is responsible for oversight of all operations and business development activities.

Prior to joining CenExel, Dr. Zoda served as the head of Syneos Health’s CNS Business Unit, overseeing all central nervous system trials globally. Responsible for full P&L activity for the business unit, he led a global executive team of over 25 professionals and a full business unit of almost 1,500 individuals.

From 2009 to 2015, Dr. Zoda was the head of global neurology and psychiatry clinical development for INC Research, later known as Syneos Health. He provided senior-level oversight of all psychiatry and neurology projects on a global basis, including business development support. He was responsible for overseeing large multi-center global trials evaluating drugs in development for schizophrenia, depression, Parkinson’s, Alzheimer’s, and many other diseases. His strong business acumen and exemplary clinical trial management skills were instrumental in the overall growth of the division.

Before INC Research, Dr. Zoda worked for PPD for more than a decade in roles of increasing responsibility, finishing his time with the company as executive director for global strategic development, CNS. During his time with PPD, he helped plan and direct many studies in areas including psychiatry, neurology, pain, sleep, and gastrointestinal disorders.

A trained immunologist, Dr. Zoda previously also worked for Tanox Biosystems, overseeing the development of therapeutic antibodies and vaccines for the treatment of allergy.

Dr. Zoda received his PhD in Microbiology, specializing in immunology, from the University of Texas Health Science Center in San Antonio and completed his post-doctoral work at the Geisel School of Medicine at Dartmouth. He obtained his BA in Microbiology from the University of Texas.

Eric Gildenhuys

Eric Gildenhuys

VP, Patient Recruitment & Marketing Services

Eric is a dynamic, strategic, visionary leader and coach. He comes to CenExel with a wide-range of international experience in sales, marketing, operations, and professional services. Eric has worked in an extensive variety of industries including AI, healthcare, clinical trials, pharmaceutical, SaaS software, professional services, and project management.

Eric is both an entrepreneur and an “intrapreneur.” Eric launched his career as the founder of a Canadian software start-up which got acquired by a US private company. He worked there for 10 years, including a stint as Director of Operations for Europe, Middle East, and Africa, while based in Paris, France. That company went public. Eric recently served as Vice President of Business Development at Deep 6 AI, an artificial intelligence solution that precision matches patients for clinical trials. Eric was tapped to start the company’s sales organization from the ground up, setting up the team that sells to key academic hospitals, and then created the life science division.

Eric has demonstrated the ability to create new organizations, organize, recruit, manage, and lead teams to achieve lofty goals. Eric is a strategic and creative thinker who can identify new business opportunities, leverage key business alliances, and drive all facets of sales, marketing, distribution, software development, and customer service operations.

Mark Trimble, SPHR

Brandy Isaacks

VP, Project Management & Scientific Affairs

Brandy has a lengthy and admirable career history of more than 20 years in clinical research project management and operations. Most recently, she was serving as the lead for all Psychiatry in the Neuroscience Division at Syneos Health. Her background also highlights working with small to mid-size pharma and biotech clients, providing strategic guidance for clinical development planning, holistic team management, and ongoing client and program support. Brandy’s training and career began with conducting structured clinical interviews, clinical ratings, and electrophysiological (ERP) assessments at clinical research sites. Her work developing and sustaining client relationships has led her project teams to positive completion of numerous Phase I – IV clinical trials, resulting in approved products for psychiatry and neurology indications.

By focusing on early engagement, clinical team support, data quality, and project delivery, Brandy has found success in her CRO and client collaborations. She was recognized by the Healthcare Businesswomen’s Association (HBA) as a Luminary for being a role model for women in the healthcare industry and for mentoring and building industry leaders.

Mark Trimble, SPHR

Mark Trimble, SPHR

VP, Human Resources & Administration

Mark is a Human Resources Executive with 20+ years of experience in HR operations and management. Throughout his career he has provided leadership and guidance in the conceptualization, implementation, and management of HR strategies, organizations, programs, and policies. Mark has held several corporate HR leadership positions within the HR outsourcing, life sciences, and healthcare industries.

In his most recent role, prior to joining CenExel, Mark held the position of Regional Vice President of HR Operations for Oasis Outsourcing, a global leader in the Professional Employer Organization industry. In this position, Mark drove positive change through day-to-day operational and financial leadership and competitively evolved HR service offerings for clients in the healthcare and manufacturing industries.

As an HR executive with a strong business acumen, Mark has successfully implemented people-based solutions and the HR function to ensure achievement of corporate business goals. As both an HR strategist and hands-on practitioner, Mark’s areas of expertise include culture alignment and change management, employment law and regulatory compliance, compensation planning, team building, business process and policy formation, talent engagement, and HR consulting.

Mark holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Psychology from BYU and is also certified as a Senior Professional in Human Resources (SPHR).

Jim Volpe

Jim Volpe

VP, Operations

Jim is an entrepreneurial, innovative business leader with 20+ years of multifaceted and progressively responsible expertise in driving large-scale, visionary business transformations and integrations within pharmaceutical, financial services, and manufacturing industries. As a global project manager, he offers a blended background in operations and continuous improvement. In addition, he has a demonstrated track record of success in leveraging his MBA and GE leadership training with skills in engineering, Six Sigma, and data analytics to drive strategic cost containment, informed decision making, measurable process improvements, positive organizational change, and operational excellence.

Andrew Birschbach

Andrew Birschbach

Director, Corporate Development

Andrew is a strategic finance professional with experience spanning Fortune 10 public companies to growth-stage, private-equity-backed businesses. His experience includes mergers and acquisitions, business development, operational financial modeling, budgeting, and analysis. Most recently, he was a manager of finance at Alignment Healthcare, an innovative, information-enabled Medicare Advantage company where he provided detailed operational modeling, forecast scenario analysis, analysis for new market expansion, and M&A opportunity evaluation. Prior to Alignment, he was a mergers and acquisitions Senior Associate at UnitedHealth Group’s Corporate Development & Strategy Team.

Dave Blackmer

Dave Blackmer

Director, Marketing

Dave has over a decade of experience in healthcare marketing and operations. His professional expertise includes website development, email campaigns, digital and traditional advertising, copywriting and editing, public relations, statistical analysis, demographic research, graphic design, events management, internal communication, SEO, and social media. He is driven by data and results, optimizing efforts based on input from all available tools and unified endeavors from the team he leads.

Dave has published and collaborated on dozens of industry articles and is a frequent speaker at healthcare, marketing, and tech conferences around the country. He earned a master’s degree in strategic communication from Westminster College.

Hollie DeSmet

Hollie DeSmet

Director, Regulatory & Quality

Hollie began her clinical research career more than 10 years ago as a Study Coordinator working on analgesic clinical trials. She joined the CenExel JBR team in 2014 and has held many positions including Quality Assurance / Regulatory Manager and Director of Quality and Compliance.

In June 2019, Hollie joined the CenExel Standard Operating Procedure Committee working closely with representatives from each Center of Excellence to successfully develop and implement CenExel Standard Operating Procedures and Working Practices. Hollie continues to oversee CenExel site integration of Standard Operating Procedures and Working Practices, including consistent training practices, and best regulatory practices as CenExel Director of Regulatory and Quality.

Faye Mitchell

Faye Mitchell

Director, Patient Recruitment

Faye is an experienced customer service and operations leader with over 15 years of experience in pharmaceutical and biotech contact center operations. Innovative and results-driven, Faye’s passion is designing, implementing, and continually enhancing best-in-class contact center programs while being passionate about healthcare and the patient experience.

Prior to joining CenExel, Faye gained extensive experience implementing HCP and patient support initiatives in the medical information, commercial, and clinical divisions within Ashfield Healthcare. Most recently, Faye has successfully standardized and centralized global contact center operations to support clinical trials at a global recruitment company with over 50 therapeutic indications and 160 sites.

As the Corporate Director of Patient Recruitment at CenExel, Faye’s leadership blends industry best practices, subject matter expertise, technological innovation, and a sense of relentless determination to design and enact the ultimate patient recruitment experience.

Faye has a bachelor’s degree in Organizational Studies from Temple University. She is an active Project Management Professional.

Judy Montero, PsyD

Judy Montero, PsyD

Director, Clinical Assessments

Dr. Montero has a doctorate degree in clinical psychology with concentration in neuropsychology. Prior to entering the pharmaceutical industry in 2002, she worked in a multidisciplinary clinical setting providing psychological services and conducting neuropsychological assessments to heterogeneous populations, including assisting with the diagnosis, development, and implementation of behavioral interventions for children and adults with various disorders.

Judy started in this industry working as a rater and sub-investigator for a large South Florida network of research sites. Over nearly a decade, she participated in numerous clinical trials, developed inter-rater reliability programs and supervised the rater team. This on-site experience was invaluable in her role as a Lead Clinical Scientist with Syneos Health’s Clinical Surveillance & Training group.

During the 10 years working for this large Contract Research Organization, Judy developed rater training and data monitoring programs to ensure quality efficacy outcomes for psychiatric and neurologic studies in multiple indications, including Parkinson’s disease, Spinal muscular atrophy (SMA), Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD), Alzheimer’s disease, schizophrenia and mood disorders. Dr. Montero is fully bilingual in English and Spanish with extensive experience administering clinical assessments and conducting training presentations in both languages.

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