USO West Leadership

Bob Kurkjian

USO West Regional President

Bob Kurkjian is the President of USO West and responsible for USO operations and fund development in Alaska, Arizona, California, Idaho, Oregon, Montana, Nevada, Utah, and Washington. Joining the USO family in 2012 as President of Bob Hope USO in Southern California, Bob led a meteoric rise in programing 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 and resulted in a nearly ten-fold increase in corporate and major gift revenue. In his current role, he has led the establishment of USO centers in the previously unserved states of Montana, Idaho, and Utah, where a soon-to-be-opened premier USO airport center is on tap at Salt Lake City International. 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 around the country 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 Goodwlll 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 Commonwealth of Virginia and an avid traveler, Bob has spent at least one night in 68 countries and counting. He is an Eagle Scout, and back in uniform as a Cub Scout Leader, where he has quickly discovered that wrangling eight third-graders share many similarities with logistics operations in war zones.

Carla Garcia

USO West Sr. Development & Board Relations Officer

After six years serving as Executive Director for USO Arizona, Carla Garcia is now charged with the USO West regional leadership of development, regional and local board relations, as well as regional marketing and communications efforts serving the 9-state region. The Senior Development and Board Relations Officer will focus on cultivating awareness and connection to the mission for both the local and regional board members.

Carla joined USO in 2015, having served as Regional Chief Operating Officer for the American Red Cross for the Arizona, New Mexico, and El Paso Region. Since joining the USO, Carla led Arizona’s staff and volunteers as well as an Advisory Board of community leaders toward the expansion of programs and services to all major military base installations in Arizona. Under Carla’s stewardship, USO expanded the board’s reach and impact in developing and implementing a broad base of fundraising and community engagement strategies.

Drawing from experience in both corporate and nonprofit organizations, Carla has accumulated a comprehensive background in fund development, board development, P&L management, talent acquisition, grants management, external relations, and strategic planning.

Ms. Garcia served as Honorary Commander for the 56th Fighter Wing at Luke Air Force Base. She is a member of ASU President Community Council of nonprofit leaders, Valley of the Sun United Way - Women United, as well as a host of committees and military affairs organizations. She is holds a BASc in Organizational Leadership from the University of Arizona.

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
Special Events and Programs Manager, USO West Region

Monique August
USO Northern California Executive Director

Brett Banks
USO Alaska Executive Director

Gabriella Coyle
Development & Communications Manager, USO West Region

Ginger Csizmadi
Accounting Manager, USO West Region

Charlene Downey
Bob Hope USO Executive Director

William Fenick
USO San Diego Executive Director

Cliff Gibson
Communications Manager, USO West Region

Don Leingang
USO Northwest Executive Director

Jeff Mich
Operations Manager, USO West Region

Tim Mullin
USO Nevada Executive Director

Kelly Nastos
USO Arizona Executive Director

Mary VanDerwalker
Executive Assistant, USO West Region