Executive Board

Council President

Melissa Gutierrez
I graduated with a B.S. in Biochemistry from New Mexico State University in 2009. The first seven years of my career I worked at The Center of Personalized Diagnostics, located at the Bio-design Institute – Arizona State University. I initially started at the lab bench producing high-throughput microarrays, as well as high throughput blood processing. A couple of years in, I jumped into laboratory management- which I have been a part of since.

In 2016, I moved to San Diego and happily joined the local biotech community- getting involved with Biocom, IFMA, SDEE, and CLSA. Since moving to San Diego, I’ve had the opportunity to be a part of a few local biotech’s in the area.

I enjoy traveling, networking, and volunteering. I’ve been a Sierra Club volunteer since 2015. I have volunteered for a non-profit music every year since 2010, called the McDowell Mountain Music Festival in Phoenix, AZ. I joined IFMA international and the San Diego chapter in April 2018- in combination, I became a part of the local board by co-chairing the ambassador committee, and volunteering on the membership committee.

Council Vice President

Rick Flanagan SFP, CFM, ProFM
Director of Facilities, Draper

Rick has served in a variety of management positions at Draper during the past thirty years. He has a BS from the University of Massachusetts and an MBA from Bentley University. As director of Facilities, he leads a strong team of professionals responsible for maintaining, managing, and modernizing a large campus in Cambridge, Ma. Two significant efforts recently completed include the Construction of a 30,000 sf Atrium which created great collaboration space for the 1,800 technical employees; A series of 25,000 sf core/shell floor renovations which transformed the space from hard-walled offices and closed labs to open office floor plans and labs with glass walls to improve collaboration and visibility into the exciting research being conducted.


Michael Cross
Company: XiltriX North America

Michael’s professional experience is in delivering software & services that make scientific research safer, smarter, and cheaper. He’s worked with life science companies to implement solutions that automate processes, improve compliance, reduce manual errors, safeguard investments, and provide data-driven insights that improve operations. Michael works for a laboratory and facility monitoring company and is a member of the San Diego IFMA chapter. In addition, Michael is an avid traveler, has backpacked over 25 countries, and performs volunteer work in developing countries.