Linda Groah, RN, MSN, CNOR, CNAA, FAAN
Linda Groah has been the CEO/executive director of AORN since March 2007. A veteran perioperative nursing executive, Linda has devoted her career to perioperative nursing practice, education, and executive management. Her previous professional positions include international healthcare consultation, chief operating officer of Kaiser Foundation Hospital in San Francisco, CA, nurse executive for Kaiser Foundation Hospital-San Francisco and Kaiser Foundation Hospital-South San Francisco, CA; director of nursing OR-PACU-Surgery Center at the University of California San Francisco Hospitals and Clinics; and OR director at the Medical Center of Central Georgia in Macon, GA.
Awarded AORN’s Award for Excellence in Perioperative Nursing in 1989, Linda was inducted in 2000 as a fellow of the American Academy of Nursing. In 2005, she received Nursing Spectrum magazine’s California and US Nursing Excellence Award for Leadership. In 2006, she was named one of San Francisco’s 100 most influential women in business. In 2012, Becker’s name Linda as one of the Ten Leaders in Clinical Quality and, in 2013, Becker’s named her among the Top 50 Experts Leading the Field of Patient Safety.
Deb Cooksey, MBA, MS, RN, CNOR
Deb Cooksey joined AORN in 2013 as Vice President of Nursing reporting to Linda Groah. Deb manages the team of perioperative nursing specialists that writes the Perioperative Standards and Recommended Practices and is responsible for the development of education resources for perioperative nursing practice.
Deb’s perioperative nursing leadership experience includes progressive responsibility for operations, quality and systems improvement, as well as financial performance of clinical and support services for outpatient and acute-care facilities. Most recently, Cooksey served as director, perioperative services at Jackson Hospital & Clinics in Montgomery, AL, where she managed more than 140 employees and was accountable for a $25,000,000 budget across all departments.
Deb holds an MS and MBA from the University of Maryland University College and a BS in Nursing from Emory University. She is certified as a perioperative registered nurse.
James Cousin, MBA, CPA
James Cousin is AORN’s CFO and Vice President of Business Strategy reporting to Linda Groah. He’s been with the association since 2001. In this capacity, James oversees accounting, the AORN Surgical Conference & Expo, business opportunities, membership and facilities management.
Under James’s leadership, AORN has achieved positive earnings due to improved processes including policies on spending, effective sales forecasting, management of risk and staff management.
He has more than 18 years of experience in financial operations and management in the health care sector, including Colorado Access where he was Director of Finance managing accounting, medical claims processing, and facilities; the CFO for Mountain Medical Affiliates; and a consultant for Great West Life.
James earned an MBA from the University of Colorado (executive MBA program) and a Bachelor of Science degree in Accounting and Finance from California State University, Long Beach. He holds an active CPA license from the state of California.
Matt Stone is Vice President of Marketing and Sales, reporting to Linda Groah. He joined AORN as Director of Industry Partnerships in 2010 and was named Vice President in 2014. In his current role, Matt leads the association’s team of marketing and sales professionals responsible for promoting AORN’s products and services to Perioperative Nurses, Healthcare Organizations and Industry.
Prior to joining AORN, Matt was Director of Area Sales for The Coca-Cola Company, and with GE Aviation as Marketing General Manager, New Product Development. As a Certified GE Six Sigma Black Belt, he managed an international team of Six Sigma Black Belts.
While serving in the US Air Force from 1984 to 1991, Matt earned a Master of Science in Operations Research from The Air Force Institute of Technology and a Bachelor of Science in Engineering from the Air Force Academy.