Meet the Management Team
Compass Point Research, Inc. has been a leading provider of turn-key clinical trial solutions for more than 15 years. From founder and CEO Dr. Lori A. Nesbitt to our newest clinical research professional, all Compass Point Research staff share a commitment to:
- Entrepreneurial Spirit
- Customer Service
Instilling these values into our culture requires continuous and intentional focus, open communication, and accountability to one another. Compass Point Research maintains the highest ethical standards and work practices. Our customers′ satisfaction is our top priority.
Lori A. Nesbitt, PharmD, MBA, Founder and CEO
Achiever, Relator, Individualization, Learner, Activator
Lori Nesbitt, PharmD, MBA has an extensive background in University-based research and knows how important access to quality care can be for patients. Dr. Nesbitt′s research career first began in Academic Medical Centers as Assistant Professor at the Medical University of South Carolina, and then as Assistant Professor in Internal Medicine and Pharmacology at the University of South Alabama. Dr. Nesbitt founded Compass Point Research in 1996 after witnessing the frustration that comes along with limited access to clinical trials in a patient′s community.
Dr. Nesbitt received her Bachelor of Science and Doctor of Pharmacy degrees from Purdue University and later completed a post-doctoral psychopharmacology residency at the Medical University of South Carolina. Dr. Nesbitt received her MBA from Tulane University.
Contact:  418-8987
David B. Russell, CRCP, Executive Vice President and General Manager
Responsibility, Individualization, Strategic, Achiever, Learner
David B. Russell has over sixteen years of healthcare experience. His prior responsibilities include reimbursement, budgeting, HR/payroll oversight, cost reporting, divestures, allocation of staffing and complete corporate restructuring. Mr. Russell has an extensive history of corporate planning, process improvement and progress communication. He has been instrumental in several significant corporate turnarounds.
Mr. Russell most recently served as Corporate Controller and Director of Finance for HomeCare Solutions, a large regional home healthcare corporation. He has been with Compass Point Research for over 8 years.
Contact:  522-5424
Sondra G. Wacker, CIM, Vice President of Ethics and Compliance
Adaptability, Harmony, Developer, Empathy, Deliberative
Sondra Wacker has held numerous positions within the company including regulatory affairs management, employee training supervisor, director of project management and compliance officer. Prior to her current role, Ms. Wacker served as the Director of IRB Operations for Patient Advocacy Council, a wholly owned subsidiary of Compass Point Research. In addition to managing the IRB, she worked in a consulting capacity with numerous hospitals to audit IRB operations and develop standard operating procedures that meet regulatory requirements. Her expertise was vital to the development of the electronic IRB system (eIRB) now used by several hospitals.
Ms. Wacker attended the University of South Alabama earned her IRB Manager certification from the National Association of IRB Managers. She has been with Compass Point Research for over 14 years.
Contact:  522-5400
Traci McCoy, RN, MBA, Vice President of Clinical Operations
Responsibility, Arranger, Relator, Communication, Woo
Traci McCoy, RN, MBA is the Vice President of Clinical Operations for Compass Point Research. Ms. McCoy is responsible for client relations and all clinical accountabilities of contract deliverables. Ms. McCoy has a background in physician-based clinical initiatives, performance improvement, care management and critical care nursing. Her professional experience includes the development and implementation of standardized evidence based physician orders and interdisciplinary care plans across multiple facilities. In addition, Ms. McCoy’s experience includes the development and implementation of numerous projects to improve quality and reduce variations in treatment of specific diseases, with focus on a substantial amount of UM/QI activity and evidence-based standards.
Ms. McCoy has an Associate of Science in Nursing from College of Saint Mary and a Bachelor of Science in Healthcare Management from Bellevue University, and a Masters in Business Administration from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln.She joined Compass Point Research in July of 2010.
Contact:  216-1809
Michael Wells, PhD, Vice President of Development
Restorative, Achiever, Developer, Input, Activator
Dr. Wells is a highly accomplished and solutions-oriented professional with an extensive background in medical research and occupational health coupled with proven experience in health program development, crisis management, risk assessment, and relationship management. Dr. Wells excels at working with physicians, researchers, executives, media, and government officials to forward organizational objectives.[amp]nbsp; He has a solid multinational track record with expertise in clinical and translational research, employee health and safety, process safety, environmental issues, emergency response, medical management and security.[amp]nbsp; Dr. Wells has strong capabilities in epidemiology and toxicology with clinical and core research experience at University based institutions.
Dr. Wells received his Bachelor of Science degree in chemistry from Hampden-Sydney College in Virginia and Doctor of Philosophy degree in toxicology from the University of Louisville School of Medicine in Kentucky.[amp]nbsp; He completed a post-doctoral fellowship at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine in Baltimore, Maryland.
Contact:  500-5266
Catherine Gregor, MA, CCRP, Regional Operations Manager
Achiever, Context, Deliberative. Significance, Intellection
Catherine Gregor serves as a Regional Operations Manager for Compass Point Research. She is responsible for managing site activities to ensure timely delivery of service and is an external liaison to federal, industry and academic agencies. Prior to joining Compass Point Research, Ms. Gregor worked as a contract and regulatory manager for several Amputation Prevention research groups. In addition, Ms. Gregor has worked in a multitude of clinical settings and has published and consulted on clinical research operations in private and academic practice nationwide. She has frontline clinical experience having worked as a clinical coordinator on a number of industry-sponsored and investigator-initiated trials throughout her tenure.
Ms. Gregor graduated Cum Laude with Departmental Honors and a Masters degree from Loyola University Chicago in 2004. She is currently an MBA candidate specializing in Healthcare Management at Belmont University in Nashville.She joined Compass Point Research in May of 2010.
Melinda S. Poe, BS, CCRP, Regional Operations Manager
Communication, Developer, Empathy, Responsibility, Woo
Melinda S. Poe, CCRP, has over 12 years of experience in the clinical research industry. Ms. Poe began her career with a top-5 Contract Research Organization (CRO) as a clinical research assistant. Having had the opportunity to start at the assistant level, Ms. Poe was able to learn from the ground up. After many years working with the CRO as a Clinical Research Associate, Ms. Poe moved on with her career and became a Lead/Senior CRA with a small bio-technology company. Thus, Ms. Poe brings deep industry expertise to the Compass Point Research Team. In addition, Ms. Poe is working on her certification as a medical writer.
Ms. Poe received her Bachelor of Science degree in Biology from Towson State University.
Contact:  202-0699
Elizabeth (Beth) Higdon, MS,CRCP, Site Finance Manager
Futuristic, Analytical, Individualization, Learner, Focus
Beth Higdon is the Site Finance Manager for Compass Point Research. Ms. Higdon oversees all contract and budget negotiations for clinical trials for client sites. Ms. Higdon’s certification as Clinical Research Contract Professional and previous experience as a Clinical Research Coordinator and Technology Coordinator for Compass Point Research provides unique expertise in successfully negotiating research agreements on behalf of our clients.
In addition, Ms. Higdon also adjudicates the collections and accounts payable for ongoing trials. Lastly, Ms. Higdon remains instrumental in the ongoing development of our web-based patient and financial tracking program, cTOPS, that is currently in use and integral to our daily operations at all sites.
Ms. Higdon received her Bachelor of Science degree from Spring Hill College and her Master of Science degree from the University of Memphis. She has been with Compass Point Research for over eleven years.
Contact:  522-5400
Kellie Andrews, Director of Institutional Review Board Operations
Restorative, Individualization, Developer, Harmony, Connectedness
Kellie Andrews currently serves as the Director of Institutional Review Board (IRB) Operations for Patient Advocacy Council, Inc. Patient Advocacy Council, Inc., an IRB management company, is a wholly owned subsidiary of Compass Point Research. For the past 10 years, Ms. Andrews has been involved with every aspect of the IRB, including regulatory affairs management, streamlining and implementing IRB operations, employee training, consultation with hospital facilities and public relations.
Prior to her current role, Ms. Andrews has served as a Regulatory Specialist and IRB Manager for Patient Advocacy Council. Her comprehensive knowledge base and excellent customer service skills have been instrumental in the company’s continuous improvement in internal processes for ethical review as well as our paperless submission software, eIRB.
Contact:  479-5472