Executive Team

Joseph A. McCormack

Managing Partner

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


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 produces 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 CenterLink, the national association of LGBT community centers. She is a member of the advisory board of Quorum, an organization working to increase LGBT presence on corporate boards, and a member of the steering committee of the Publishing Triangle, an association of authors, readers and publishing professionals.

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

Catie DiFelice

Senior Associate

Catie DiFelice – WBB+McCormackCatie DiFelice joined McCormack+Kristel in January 2016 as Senior Associate, bringing more than five years of retained executive search experience. Catie’s search career includes work in the Technology, Healthcare, and Consumer markets in addition to her primary focus in Nonprofit and Higher Education.

Although she has helped recruit C-suite and other senior executives in many markets and sectors, Catie has always felt most connected to her work on behalf of mission-driven, not-for-profit organizations. Her broad nonprofit search experience cuts across the healthcare, civil rights/social justice, education, and arts & culture sectors. Functionally, Catie’s professional expertise includes CEO/ED and general management roles, senior development/fundraising/advancement leadership, chief programmatic and financial officers, and both academic and administrative leadership in higher education.

Among her recent, notable successes are the recruitment of Executive Directors for JDRF, Komen for the Cure, More Light Presbyterians, and Equality North Carolina; CDO/Directors of Development for the Smithsonian, Harvard University, Baltimore Symphony Orchestra, and Penn State; Dean and Chancellor searches at University of Arizona and University of Washington, Tacoma; and CIO/VP Technology searches for Aurora Health Care and Catholic Health Initiatives.

Prior to joining McCormack+Kristel, Catie was an Associate – and previously Research Associate – in the Los Angeles office of Diversified Search, a “Top Ten” U.S. retained executive search firm. During her tenure at Diversified, Catie played an integral role in more than 200 successfully completed executive searches across multiple industries. In addition to candidate identification and development work, Catie provided market assessment, search strategy, talent mapping, and relationship management support on dozens of senior-level searches.

Catie grew up in South Carolina and now lives in Pasadena, CA, with her daughter. She is a strong supporter of Point Foundation and enjoys volunteering with local organizations such as Union Station Homeless Services and Five Acres.