Achieve’s Management Team
Chief Executive Officer
As Chief Executive Officer, Mr. Orantes provides strategic direction and leadership to Accel Research Sites. Bringing 20 years of experience within contract research and life sciences, his background includes operational management, process re-engineering, regulatory compliance and business development.
Prior to joining Accel Clinical Services in May 2015, Mr. Orantes was Chief Operating Officer of Frontage Labs, where he led efforts to expand the company’s clinical services portfolio, overseeing development of a 36,000 square foot clinical research facility and supporting service development.
Mr. Orantes previously served as President and CEO of AVANZA Laboratories LLC. There, he developed the company’s business strategy, and led activities related to the company’s asset purchase in 2012 by the Smithers Group.
Prior to AVANZA, Mr. Orantes was General Manager and Vice President for Bridge Laboratories, a toxicology and immunology testing laboratory where he held management responsibility for US operations. Earlier career positions included 10 years of operational, quality assurance, process improvement and management roles of increasing responsibility at Covance.
Mr. Orantes earned a master’s of business administration degree from Old Dominion University, and a bachelor of science degree in biology from George Washington University. He is Six Sigma Black Belt certified from the Six Sigma Academy.
In this role, Ben directs the strategic direction and operational development of the company. Ben joined Accel at the start of 2006 and brought extensive senior management experience in a number of service industries to our company. Ben earned his MBA with Honors from the University of Chicago and his BA in Economics with Honors from Northwestern University and is a CCRC.
Vice President, Finance
Andrea is Director Finance and Administration for Accel Clinical Services. She holds responsibility for all aspects of the company’s financial reporting activities, and oversees the company’s information technology, human resources and contracting functions.
Since joining the company in 2008 as a financial analyst, Andrea has held positions of increasing responsibility, Previously, she served as a staff accountant at a private accounting firm in Florida.
Andrea began her career in the medical field as a certified nursing assistant. Andrea is a graduate of the University of North Florida with a bachelor of science degree in accounting.
Vice President Clinical Operations and Compliance
Melissa Hodges is Vice President Clinical Operations and Compliance. In this role, she oversees strategic planning and management of the company’s clinical conduct, and is responsible for ensuring harmonized working practices across Accel sites. She also provides scientific and technical expertise to clients and operational teams.
Melissa brings nearly 25 years of clinical experience in research, as well as primary and acute care settings. During her nearly 15-year tenure at Accel sites, she has held multiple roles in business development and positions of increasing responsibility in clinical operations.
Prior to joining Accel, Melissa served as Medical Supervisor for West Volusia Medical Associates, where she managed day-to-day operations and patient scheduling. She began her career as an emergency room technician at Florida Hospital Deland.
Melissa earned certification as a clinical research coordinator (CCRC) from the Association of Clinical Research Professionals and certificated clinical research professional (CCRP) credentials from the Society of Clinical Research Associates.
Melanie VanDemark, MD
Vice President of Medical Affairs
Dr. Melanie VanDemark is Vice President of Medical Affairs for Accel Clinical Research, providing medical oversight and supervision of the research teams for to Phase I – IV studies. Prior to joining Accel full-time in 2016, Dr. VanDemark served as a principal investigator for studies involving a diverse range of therapeutic areas since 2010. Most recently, she worked as a family physician for Florida Hospital Deland. Previously, she was a family physician and owner of Deland Family Medicine.
Earlier in her career, Dr. VanDemark served as Women’s Health Physician and subsequently as Medical Director for Stetson University Student Health Services.
Since 2008, Dr. VanDemark has held the position of Clinical Assistant Professor at Florida State University College of Medicine. She is board-certified by the American Board of Obesity Medicine and the American Board of Family Medicine.
Dr. VanDemark earned her doctor of medicine degree from Loyola University Stritch School of Medicine. She received a bachelor of science degree in biological sciences and a minor degree in chemistry from Illinois State University. Dr. VanDemark completed her residency at Halifax Medicine Residency Program in Florida where she was elected and served as Chief Resident.
Director of Clinical Operations
Director of Clinical Operations for Achieve Clinical Research, LLC. Mrs. Nichols is responsible for all clinical operations including site management and all aspects of clinical trial management, pre-study planning, contract proposal and development, investigator development and relations through successful study completion. Mrs. Nichols has been with the company since 2002. She is a Certified Clinical Research Coordinator and been an active member of ACRP since 2004. She attended Virginia College in Birmingham, Alabama and obtained her certification as a Medical Assistant. Ms. Nichols’ previous roles within the company include Data Entry Manager, Outpatient Regulatory Manager, and Quality Assurance.
Business Development Team
Field Business Development
Teresa joined the Business Development team at Accel in 2015. As the executive director of business development, she’s responsible for interacting with corporate sponsors, CRO’s and clinical teams to ensure both the growth of Accel’s investigative sites, as well as the success and satisfaction of our clients. Teresa is a Certified Clinical Research Professional, with memberships in ACRP and DIA. She joined the team with 20 years of experience in the fields of healthcare and clinical research. Teresa has expertise in everything from protocol development to execution of Phase I-IV clinical trials.
Director, Business Development
Kelly joined Accel in 2005 and leads the efforts in identifying and obtaining new clinical research contracts by establishing, maintaining and enhancing relationships with industry sources for clinical trial information. She is the key facilitator for acquiring new clinical study opportunities and maintaining business relations for Accel Research sites. Kelly joined Accel with over 8 years of prior business and financial experience in negotiating and marketing to large corporations.
Angela is responsible for managing the recruiting call center for all Accel Research Sites. Her team markets currently enrolling trials to potentially interested subjects and then respectively sets appointments for qualified subjects. Angela comes to Accel with over 12 years of clinical and operational experience in the medical industry. Angela brings first-hand knowledge of patient care and medical staffing that enables the recruiting team to consistently apply our strict processes and procedures while providing a great subject experience.