USO West Leadership

Bob Kurkjian

USO West Regional President

Bob Kurkjian is the Regional President of USO West and responsible for USO operations and fund development in California, Oregon, Washington, Idaho, Nevada, Arizona, Alaska, Utah and Montana. Joining the USO family in 2012 as President of Bob Hope USO in Southern California, Bob led a meteoric rise in programming and fund development in the eight counties served by Bob Hope USO. He championed the effort to fundraise, design and build four new centers, including a $10M relocation and expansion of the flagship USO center at LAX. The expanded services both on-base, in airports and in the community more than tripled the number of service interactions, as well as increasing donations by nearly ten-fold. In the past, Bob has worked for the Mayor of Los Angeles, the PricewaterhouseCoopers Non-Profit practice, CRDF Global, Conservation International and the National Governors Association.

A Navy Reserve officer, Bob was mobilized for most of 2019 serving as the commander of Defense Logistics Agency Afghanistan where he led a team of both military and civilians who managed strategic logistics for U.S. and coalition troops. Three previous deployments have included tours in Iraq, Bahrain and afloat, aboard the flagship of the international counter-piracy task force. He is currently the commanding officer of a Pacific Fleet reserve logistics unit and qualified as both a Seabee Combat Warfare Specialist and Navy Expeditionary Supply Corps Officer.

Bob is a two-time graduate of the University of Southern California, and graduated, with distinction, from the master’s program at the United States Naval War College, where he focused on East Asia. In addition, he spent a summer at Sichuan Union University in Chengdu, China, where he studied Chinese history and language. Bob recently completed a four-year term as a board member for Goodwill Orange County, one of the largest Goodwill operations in the world, and has previously served on the board of Academy of Hope, an adult education and charter school organization in Washington, DC. He is a current member of the Board of Counselors for USC’s Marshall School of Business Masters in Business for Veterans program and an emeritus member of the USC Alumni Association Board of Governors. A licensed CPA in the state of Virginia and an avid traveler, Bob has spent at least one night in 68 countries and counting.

Charissa Gonzales

USO West Regional Vice President of Development

Charissa Gonzales serves as the Regional Vice President of Development, West. She oversees fundraising for nine Western states and a regional revenue budget of nearly $10M. Charissa joined the USO in June 2017 as the Vice President of Development and Communications for Bob Hope USO, the greater Los Angeles area USO, where she successfully completed a $5M capital campaign for the Bob Hope USO at Los Angeles International Airport. Prior to joining the USO, Charissa headed a consulting firm for nearly a decade directly raising funds, managing Boards of Directors and advising dozens of nonprofits, associations and political campaigns throughout California. Over the last twenty years, she has also served as Director of Development for United Friends of the Children, and the International Republican Institute, and Associate Director of Development for The George Washington University School of Business.

Ms. Gonzales holds a Bachelor of Science in International Relations from the School of Foreign Service and a master’s degree from The George Washington University in Political Management.

David Thorson

USO West Regional Director of Operations

David serves as the Director of Operations for the West Region at USO overseeing military support services in 9 western states, assisting over 1 million service members and their families in 2020. Previously he managed the Nevada operations for the USO as Executive Director where he was responsible for operations and fundraising activities. Prior to joining the USO he was the CFO and CMO for Nevada Trust Company. Previously he held executive and management roles at Hewlett-Packard and Ford Motor Company, respectively, as well as executive roles at three technology start-up companies in operations, finance, marketing and sales. Throughout his career he has lived or worked in 7 different countries.

MBA from Escuela Superior de Administración y Dirección de Empresas (Barcelona, Spain); Master of International Management from the Thunderbird School of Global Management (Glendale, AZ); Bachelor of Science in Finance and Economics, University of Arizona (Tucson, AZ).

He continues to serve on the Board of Directors for Nevada Trust Company and Trustar Corporation. He has also served as President of the Las Vegas Rotary Club, Assistant District Governor for Rotary District 5300 and Trustee of Verde Valley School in Sedona, AZ.

USO West Staff

Allison Anderson
Programs Manager, USO West Region

Kyle Aube
Development Specialist, USO West Region

Monique August
USO Northern California Executive Director

Brett Banks
USO Alaska Executive Director

Tim Bogle
Regional Development Manager, USO Northwest

Angela Collins
USO Transitions Manager, USO West Region

Gabriella Coyle
Development & Communications Manager, USO West Region

Ginger Csizmadi
Regional Accounting Manager, USO West Region

Eric Engwall
Regional Development Director, Greater Los Angeles Area, USO West Region

Carla Garcia
USO Arizona Senior Executive Director

Cliff Gibson
Regional Communications Manager, USO West Region

Lynne Groom
Regional Development Manager, USO Northwest

Yvette Kelley
Bob Hope USO Executive Director

Don Leingang
USO Northwest Executive Director

Willie McHargue
Regional Development Director, Northern California, USO West Region

Jeff Mich
Operations Manager, USO West Region

DJ Stanhope
USO Nevada Executive Director

Paul Tobin
Regional Development Director, Alaska-Idaho-Montana-Oregon-Washington, USO West Region

Mary VanDerwalker
Executive Assistant, USO West Region