About Joe

Building Companies that Keep their Promise

“Most of us have experience with luck, both given and earned. It is what you do with luck that determines your journey, your failures, and your successes.”

Joe Ferreira is the CEO and President of Nevada Donor Network, an organization dedicated to the recovery and allocation of organs, eyes and tissues for transplantation along with community education around the importance of donation and transplantation to humanity. Prior to starting his current position in 2012, Joe already had extensive experience in the field, having spent 14 years at Life Alliance Organ Recovery Agency in Miami, Florida where he served as the Director of Clinical Operations for several years.

As a boy, Joe spent his summers in a remote southeast region of Brazil, where his parents were born. He recognized the immense odds that his parents had to beat in order to thrive. This was a region with limited access to societal resources, with little educational support. Yet his father trained to be a doctor and his mother became a teacher. Their drive planted the seed of ambition to overcome obstacles that informed all of his later success stories. But it was not a characteristic that took root immediately. Joe floundered as a young student, graduating high school by the skin of his teeth. It was here that he started setting lofty goals for himself. With his parents’ example in his periphery, he decided to get a college degree. He set his sights on the University of Miami and was accepted after one year at a community college. After he earned his B.S. in Microbiology and Immunology and while working at the OPO in Miami, he graduated from the University of Miami with his MBA with a specialization in Healthcare Administration and Policy.

After college, Joe started working for the University of Miami’s Organ Procurement Organization (OPO), one of only 57 such organizations in the country. He spent 14 years at Miami’s OPO, the last seven of which he served as the Director of Clinical Operations. In 2012, he got his chance to lead an OPO in Nevada. “It was the worst performing OPO in history,” he remembers. “And the only one at the time to receive an imminent shutdown threat by the federal agency authority for OPOs.” Undaunted by the odds, and knowing there were only a handful of these positions in the entire country, he accepted. Since he took the job, his top-down reform of the Nevada Donor Network created one of the premier OPOs in the world.

Ferreira has served as the President of the Association of Organ Procurement Organizations (AOPO) in 2020-2021, Member-at-Large on the AOPO Executive Committee and Chairman of the Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Committee of AOPO. He is a Certified Member of the National Association of Healthcare Quality (NAHQ), a Certified Procurement Transplant Coordinator (CPTC) and a former Faculty Member of the North American Transplant Coordinators Organization (NATCO). Joe is a member of the International Society for Organ Donation & Procurement (ISODP), he is a former Board Member of the American Society of Transplantation (AST) and a past Board Member of the Nevada Chapter of the American College of Healthcare Executives (ACHE). He has also served as an At-Large Representative on four separate committees of the Organ Procurement and Transplantation Network/United Network for Organ Sharing (OPTN/UNOS) and most recently served as a Board member of the OPTN/UNOS in 2020-2022.


Nevada Donor Network is a federally designated 501(c)(3) not-for-profit organ procurement organization (OPO) committed to maximizing the gift of life and health through organ and tissue donation. Established in 1987, Nevada Donor Network is one of only 58 OPOs in the U.S. serving more than 3 million people in the state of Nevada and 113,000 potential transplant recipients across the country. We work collaboratively with hospital staff and community partners to promote research and provide a strong support network to courageous donor families who’ve turned loss into hope. At Nevada Donor Network, we encourage Nevadans to help individuals in need of life-saving transplants through education, research and action. Nevada Donor Network is a member of Donate Life Nevada, an affiliate of Donate Life America, whose state-wide efforts encourage Nevadans to register as organ, eye and tissue donors.


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