SMI People

SMI Our People
 
Did You Know... When most large consulting firms bid on a security project, they claim to have Subject Matter Experts (SMEs) on their staff. However, the reality is more likely that the consulting firm will post an advertisement for independent contractors (ICs) to fill those SME positions, only after the project is won – usually billing the client double of what they pay the IC!

An Experienced Team Matters

At SMI, our team of professionals has worked together for several years – previously responding on behalf of the US Government to terrorist attacks both domestically and abroad, including such places as Iraq, Afghanistan, Bosnia, Colombia, the continent of Africa, and numerous other countries across the globe. Our people come from the intelligence community (IC), Military Special Operations, law enforcement (FBI, US Secret Service and SWAT), emergency management and academia.

Our security professionals combined speak over a dozen languages and have worked in over 120 countries, while several associates are recognized experts in the fields of terrorist investigations, explosives (post blast/ordnance disposal) and chemical/biological response.

At Security Management International our people are experienced security professionals…not over-priced consultants

We Earned Our Reputation in the Field!


Our people at SMI

SMI Board of Advisors

PT Mikolashek
PT Mikolashek Board of Advisors
PT Mikolashek served in the U.S. Army for more than 35 years. He held the rank of Lieutenant General and was The Inspector General, U.S. Army.

He also served as the Commanding General, Third United States Army/Army Forces Central Command and as Coalition Land Forces Component Commander he commanded all ground forces in Afghanistan and the Middle East during Operation Enduring Freedom. Following his distinguished military career, General Mikolashek joined Raytheon Company, where he was responsible for business development and achieving international growth goals.

He also served as Chairman of the Board of Raytheon Canada Limited. Previous assignments at Raytheon include: vice president of International Business Development for Network Centric Systems, vice president of Raytheon International Washington Office and regional executive for the Americas; regional executive for Raytheon Middle East, North Africa and Pakistan within Raytheon International and as the Army Account executive, to which he was appointed in April 2005.
Bill Esposito
Bill Esposito Board of Advisors
Bill Esposito was the former Deputy Director of the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI). In this capacity, he ran the day-to-day operations of the FBI, with a special focus in the area of Organized Crime and White Collar Crime.

His success in investigations led him to management positions in the FBI, which included Special Agent in Charge of the San Diego Office and Assistant Director in charge of the Criminal Investigative Division. Mr. Esposito was the FBI’s representative on the President’s Commission on Integrity and Efficiency (PCIE) in Washington, D.C. and chaired the Integrity Committee of the PCIE.

He was named as one of the top five Senior Executives in the Federal Government in 1997. He was also the recipient of the FBI’s Medal of Valor which is the highest medal awarded in the FBI for bravery. After Mr. Esposito retired from the FBI, he held several senior private sector positions within the credit card industry including Director of Corporate Security, Director of Facilities, Director of Human Resources and Education (training), and Executive in charge of all Administrative Services.
Edward Leacock
Edward Leacock Board of Advisors
Edward Leacock served in the U.S. Army for more than 41 years as an intelligence professional in the Active Duty, Army Reserve and National Guard components. He served both in the enlisted and officer ranks and retired as a Major General.

His final assignment was the Mobilization Assistant to the Director, Defense Intelligence Agency. He also served as the Deputy J2, U.S Africa Command; Deputy Commanding General, U.S. Army Intelligence Center and Fort Huachuca, Arizona; Assistant Adjutant General for the Maryland Army National Guard and Senior Intelligence Officer for the U.S. Army National Guard.

Coinciding with his distinguished military career, General Leacock joined TASC, Inc. where he was responsible for business development and achieving growth goals associated with the Intelligence Community. He has his Project Management Professional certification from the Project Management Institute, an Advance Master’s Certificate in Project Management from the George Washington University School of Business and an Information Technology Infrastructure Library v3 Foundation certification. Mr. Leacock earned his Bachelor’s Degree in Political Science from University of New York and a Master’s Degree in General Administration/Information Technology from University of Maryland.

SMI Senior Management

Luke Bencie
Luke Bencie Managing Director
Luke Bencie is the Managing Director for Security Management International, LLC.

In this capacity, Mr. Bencie has been a consultant to the US Department of State, US Department of Defense, Fortune 500 companies, as well as foreign governments. He specializes in conducting strategic and security management assessments, performing counterintelligence and due-diligence investigations, and also provides specialized intelligence advisory services. He is the author of "Among Enemies: Counter-Espionage for the Business Traveler" and "Global Security Consulting: How to Build a Thriving International Practice."

Mr. Bencie has worked in over 100 countries and has trained thousands of domestic and international students from police, military, and intelligence services on topics such as economic and industrial espionage, border security, intellectual property protection, counterfeiting/piracy, and recognizing/discouraging terrorist travel movement. Prior to establishing SMI, Mr. Bencie was a Senior Security Consultant for Raytheon Company in the Intelligence and Information Systems Division, and assigned to the emerging markets of Brazil, India and Lebanon.

Mr. Bencie previously served on the US Department of State’s Foreign Emergency Support Team. In this capacity, he was responsible for responding to terrorist attacks carried out against US targets overseas. As a result, he performed numerous trips to Iraq, Afghanistan, and other "hot spots" throughout the world.

Mr. Bencie holds graduate degrees in “National Security Studies” from The George Washington University’s Elliott School of International Affairs and The American Military University, as well as an MBA from the University of Sarasota. He received his BA from Michigan State University and completed further course work from the University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton School, the Federal Bureau of Investigation’s National Training Academy, and the United Nations Institute for Training and Research.
After a successful career spanning twenty years in public and private global security, Ms. Bencie is utilizing her unique experiences to provide SMI clients with one of the most under-looked, yet highly valuable, skillsets in business and in life – corporate etiquette, cross-cultural management and personal image. From the time when SMI opened its doors as a consultancy over five years ago, Ms. Bencie has performed a “behind-the scenes” job in ensuring our dealings met the highest standards of international business etiquette. As Ms. Bencie transitions from Vice President of Operations to Senior Advisor for Client Relations, this expertise is now employed to directly benefit our staff and clientele. Her specialty is educating diplomats, military personnel and businesspeople who operate domestically and internationally, or are relocating to a new country on the proper ways to dress, communicate, and understand foreign behaviors.

Prior to joining SMI, Ms. Bencie was the Director of International Security and Safety Operations at ESPN. She previously managed security operations for Motorola in the Southern Cone of Latin America. Ms. Bencie also served in the São Paulo (Brazil) Civil Police Department for 8 years, where she commanded a team of officers responsible for criminal investigations.

Ms. Bencie obtained her Law degree and an MBA from Brazilian universities, and a Master’s degree (LL.M.) in National Security and U.S. Foreign Relations Law from The George Washington University Law School. She also holds a Certificate in Teaching English as a Foreign Language from Georgetown University, and is a graduate of The Protocol School of Washington®. Ms. Bencie is fluent in English, Portuguese and Spanish, and has working knowledge of Italian.
Jon Monett
Jon Monett Consigliere
Jon N. Monett served as a senior executive with the US Government for almost three decades. In this capacity, he directed a worldwide network of facilities, engineers, and technical officers. Mr. Monett also negotiated with senior U.S. and foreign officials on matters related to the application of technology and management. He was the recipient of the numerous awards including the Intelligence Medal of Merit.

After his tenure with the USG, Mr. Monett became the Chief Executive Officer of Telemus Solutions. In that capacity, he founded and managed a firm which provided corporate and government clients consulting services in a variety of operational and industrial disciplines relating to the development and application of technology, including: strategy development, market expansion, technology assessment and program evaluation.

Following the sale of Telemus Solutions to Raytheon, Mr. Monett created “The Quality of Life Plus Program” which develops technologies to improve the quality of life for those wounded in the line of duty. Mr. Monett served as the technical and technology advisor for the movie "The Good Shepherd", from which he received many accolades from Director/Producer Robert De Niro, and he also made a cameo appearance in the movie. Mr. Monett earned a BS in Industrial Engineering (EE and Math Minors) from California Polytechnic State University and a Master’s Degree in International Transactions (MAIT) from George Mason University.

SMI Senior Associates

Curtis J. Powell, PMP, CHS, CBCP
Curtis J. Powell, PMP, CHS, CBCP Director of Operations
Curt Powell began his career in national security as a combat veteran of the United States Marine Corps where he served in many demanding assignments, including on the White House Staff. He developed and implemented emergency action plans specifically designed to ensure the continuity of operations for the Executive Branch of the Federal Government and conducted security/response planning missions worldwide in support of Presidential visits.

Upon retiring from the Marine Corps, Powell joined KMPG LLP’s New York City practice specializing in IT system security, physical security and emergency management, consulting for Wall Street and many other Fortune 100 businesses. Powell served as a first responder on September 11, 2001 and led the restoration of a World Trade Center major brokerage firm in its aftermath.

After 9/11, Powell joined the Transportation Security Administration as the Director for Crisis Management in May 2002, where he was responsible for the management and direction of programs that maintained a continuous assessment of terrorist threats against the Nation’s domestic and international transportation systems. Powell’s duties included the preparation and coordination for the mitigation of terrorist threats, as well as national emergencies, with a focus on the development of precise rapid-response counter measures and recovery plans. On July 25, 2003, Curt Powell, officially stood up the Transportation Security Operations Center (TSOC) after devoting the previous 12 months to its concept, design and build out.

Upon leaving government service, Powell joined Raytheon as the worldwide Director of Transportation and Border Security, covering many critical and diverse areas such as multi-modal cargo security and tracking, critical facilities, aviation, rail, transit, and port security, critical airspace protection, and border security and surveillance. His expertise in integrating security technologies efficiently and effectively with existing systems/procedures throughout the globe made him an internationally recognized Subject Matter Expert (SME) on complex security problems.

Powell is a certified Project Management Professional (PMP by the Project Management Institute, Certified in Homeland Security (CHS) by the American College of Forensic Examiners International and a Certified Business Continuity Planner (CBCP) by the Disaster Recovery Institute International. Mr. Powell is also CARVER and RAM Vulnerability Assessment Methodology certified and holds a current Top Secret security clearance.

With over 40 years of government and commercial experience, Mr. Labaj is a veteran of the U.S. Navy, the Air National Guard and the Central Intelligence Agency. He has managed research and development programs and applied science projects for the Department of Defense, the Department of Energy, the Intelligence Community, and federal, state and local law enforcement agencies.

While at the CIA, Mr. Labaj developed and implemented the Defense Against Terrorism Survey, a vulnerability assessment methodology used to assess security at borders, high threat residences and facilities and over 100 international airports. Mr. Labaj also served on the Federal Aviation Administration's Blue Ribbon Panel on Airport Security and Vulnerability Assessment, and implemented and managed the FAA's National Safe Skies Team Security Screening Test Bed.

He has also served as a member of the Nuclear Emergency Search Team (NEST) Access Working Group and participated in a number of professional and technical organizations, including the Defense Department’s Technical Support Working Group, the American Defense Preparedness Association, the International Association of Bomb Technicians and Investigators, and the Joint Service Small Arms Program.
Michael Pastirik has 40 years of experience in intelligence operations, counterintelligence, counterterrorism, law enforcement, paramilitary and tactical operations. After Army service as an airborne infantry officer and Military police officer in Europe and the United States, he joined the Central Intelligence Agency.

Mr. Pastirik’s assignments for the Agency included covert operational and senior managerial tours in Africa, the Middle East, Europe and the United States. He retired from the CIA as a Senior Intelligence Service (SIS) officer and has served in numerous war zones, hardship posts, hostile fire areas and other high threat operational environments.
Mr. Pastirik is currently a Senior Advisor on Global Intelligence Issues with Security Management International. In this role, he continues his involvement with international affairs and security consultations. He travels internationally on various projects and most recently focused on security and stability programs in emerging nations.

Mr. Pastirik graduated from Cornell University, Eastern Kentucky University, the Army War College and the Army Command and Staff College. He holds two Masters of Science degrees and a Bachelor of Science degree. He has conducted intelligence operations in four languages on four continents.
Jack L. Ferraro is a former US Department of State Senior Officer and Senior Advisor to the Commander of US Africa Command (AFRICOM). In this position he successfully advised and guided the four-star AFRICOM Commander during numerous security and diplomatic crises on the African continent. Additionally, he coordinated and deconflicted US military initiatives with country teams throughout the region.

He also assisted in the planning and execution of major US military training programs, providing emergency assistance to US personnel in danger, as well as the resolution of international legal issues. Throughout his career, Mr. Ferraro has successfully developed innovative approaches to coordinate with the Department of Defense on critical national security issues, to include counterterrorism, cyber security, and US military presence worldwide.
Ms. Van Loon is a former Australian Intelligence and Security Professional with vast international experience. Ms. Van Loon advised the Australian Government on matters relating to national security, specifically Counterterrorism, including ‘lone wolf’, online threats and radicalization, homegrown extremism and Sunni Islamic Extremist investigations in the Middle East and North Africa.

Ms. Van Loon has directed and supported operational and investigative teams in Counterterrorism efforts both in Australia and abroad. Throughout her career, she held responsibility for the management of complex national security investigations and conducted threat and risk assessments, liaison with foreign governments and coordinated security resources to protect Australian high office holders and visiting foreign dignitaries to ensure they safely carried out their duties in Australia.

Ms. Van Loon also served on two Australian State Joint Counter Terrorism Teams, worked with the community on Countering Violent Extremism and trained with various foreign and U.S. Departments in Counterterrorism. She brings a unique blend of investigative and operational experience and helps clients take an intelligence-led approach to ensure the security of their people and assets. Ms. Van Loon earned her Bachelor’s degree in Political Science and History from La Trobe University in Melbourne, Australia and her Graduate qualifications in Investigations Management from the Australian Graduate School of Policing and Security in Canberra, Australia. She is also a Member of the Australian Institute of Professional Intelligence Officers (AIPIO)..
Mr. Gonzalez was selected by both Oak Ridge National Laboratories and Pacific Northwest National Laboratories as their incumbent Subject Matter Expert for the "Pre-Hospital Emergency Medical Services," "Firefighting," and the "Urban Search and Rescue" components of Homeland Security's National Regional Technology Initiative planning team. In December 2005, Oak Ridge National Laboratories honored Mr. Gonzalez by presenting him with an "Excellence in Work" award for his work on Homeland Security's National Regional Technology Initiative. In just the past few years, Mr. Gonzalez has authored over thirty different emergency response plans.

Prior to his tenure in the private sector, Mr. Gonzalez was the former Manager for the Public Health Preparedness Office for Miami-Dade County, Director of the South Florida Regional Public Health Bioterrorism Preparedness Office and the Regional Public Health Co-Chair for Region 7 of the Governor's State Wide Domestic Security Task Force. He was the prime coordinator for all Department of Public Health WMD response plans in South Florida, co-chaired the South Florida Hospital Disaster Committee and chaired the State's planning committee for the Governor's State Working Group on Terrorism.

Mr. Gonzalez was a member of the incident command team sent to manage and mitigate the first recorded anthrax attacks against the United States. He retired as a Battalion Chief Paramedic after 22 years of service with the Coral Gables Fire Department in Miami. During his career he was a post-Hurricane Andrew Command Post Commander and the Fire Rescue Incident Command Post Coordinator for the Summit of the Americas.
Following Military service, Odair began his career in security as a police detective in São Paulo. After serving in the São Paulo State Police from 1969 to 1974, Odair left the public sector and developed a career in private security management, at both local and international companies. Since 2006, he has worked as an independent consultant on private security projects, with extensive experience in risk assessment, preventive security measures, and asset and personal protection within the Brazilian security scenario.

He is uniquely familiar with American business practices, having supported large-scale U.S. security operations throughout Brazil for several years. Odair was previously a member of the Brazilian Branch of the Overseas Security Advisory Council (OSAC), linked to the U.S. Department of State, from 1998 to 2008. He holds degrees in Business Administration and Private Security Management, as well as an extension degree in Defense Resources Management, obtained at the Superior School of War of the Brazilian Army in 2006. Odair speaks Portuguese and English.
John Michael Sullens
John Michael Sullens EOD and Counterterrorism Expert
For over 40 years, Mr. Sullens has worked in the fields of security and defense. In addition to spending significant time working with Law Enforcement and the Central Intelligence Agency, Mr. Sullens has extensive corporate business experience, specializing in utilizing the methods and techniques in countering terrorist attacks. Mr. Sullens has worked as a Manager and Senior Instructor for the application of explosives; has conducted risk assessments at the Federal, State, and Local levels; and has developed in excess of 150 classified training programs in response to findings.

Mr. Sullens tailors programs to serve individual needs of customers, and his work has led to training programs used in over 130 countries. His experience has led him to work in domestic, corporate, and overseas environments. He has studied in both the United States and Germany, and has numerous commendations from both the Baltimore City Police Department and the CIA.
Pedro “Pete” Quinones-Tavarez
Pedro “Pete” Quinones-Tavarez EOD and Counternarcotics Expert
With over 40 years of EOD and security training and service, Mr. Quinones-Tavarez is a veteran of the U.S. Marine Corps (21 years) and the Central Intelligence Agency (23 years). He has served as an explosive ordnance instructor for the Naval EOD School (two tours), the TSA, DHS and Oak Ridge National Laboratory. Recognized as a leading expert in the EOD field, Mr. Quinones-Tavarez was asked to design the explosives and demolition range for the Bureau of Diplomatic Security and has lectured extensively as part of the Foreign Military Assistance Program to both NATO and non-NATO personnel.

In addition to his civil service, Mr. Quinones-Tavarez has also spent the last several years as a Senior Security Specialist in the private sector. He has considerable experience in international travel, forging technical solutions to complex problems, using digital software programs and coordinating with foreign governments.
After working with members of SMI team for over a decade, Dr. Nicholas Krohley joins SMI as a Special Advisor on Middle East Affairs.  Dr. Krohley has worked widely across the MENA region on behalf of clients in the private and public sectors and is an expert in the design and execution of human terrain operations.  He has served with distinction as a Social Scientist in the US Army's Human Terrain System in Iraq.

Dr. Krohley has trained members of the British Military's Defence Cultural Specialist Unit and advised numerous multi-national audiences on the utility of the social sciences to Military and intelligence operations. Dr. Krohley is also a Visiting Research Fellow in the Department of Middle East & Mediterranean Studies at King's College of London and author of The Death of the Mehdi Army: Insurgency & Civil Society in Occupied Baghdad (Oxford University Press).  He holds a Ph.D. and M.A. degrees from King's College in London and a B.A. from Yale University.
Mr. Filyo has over 32 years of continuous and uninterrupted Military, law enforcement, and intelligence community experience, the last 24 of which were devoted to tactical operations, multi-agency contingency planning, homeland security initiatives, and counterintelligence and anti/counter-terrorism initiatives.

Mr. Filyo has performed operations in over 2 dozen countries on 5 continents. In addition to his extensive counter-terrorism and intelligence analysis experience, Mr. Filyo has served as Central SWAT Officer, as well as SME instructor in counter-intelligence, hostage rescue, counter-sniper operations, and high-risk raids and dynamic entries. He developed highly sought-after training courses in the aforementioned areas, and currently holds certifications as an instructor in the RAM-C methodology for cities and communities and the CARVER Target Analysis Methodology.

Mr. Filyo’s SWAT responsibilities included responding to hostage/barricade incidents, service of high-risk search and arrest warrants, vehicle takedowns, and participation in all manners of violent crime resolution. He was also responsible for assisting other agencies in developing their own SWAT programs, command post and staff training, as well as developing and maintaining the coordination of major SWAT teams. Mr. Filyo also supervised the development training of SWAT officers.
Harry Lapping is a Senior Security and Explosives Expert with over 40 years of experience in Military, government and commercial security and pyrotechnic operations from the White House to Hollywood. During his 20 year career as a U. S. Navy SEAL and Explosives Ordnance Disposal (EOD) technician, he participated in over 50 insurgency operations. For the past 20 years with the United States Secret Service (USSS), as a licensed Bomb Technician and Branch Chief, he conducted and coordinated security sweeps that ensured the safety of the President, the Vice-President, dignitaries, and the general public at national and international venues. Additionally, Mr. Lapping conducted vulnerability analysis of the White House and other high profile entertainment and government facilities. 

At the USSS, Mr. Lapping provided in-depth analysis of terrorist group weapons, explosives, hazardous materials and technical capabilities; he conceived, researched and developed a computerized database of diverse explosive and incendiary devices including foreign, domestic, Military and commercial. Mr. Lapping supported the U. S. government's forensics teams' investigations of the 1993 World Trade Center and the Oklahoma City bombings to identify the bombers' intent and strategy, and he provided evidence used in Terry Nichols' trial. In addition, Mr. Lapping has testified in Federal court as a subject matter expert on explosives. He served on the Sub-Committee of the Inter-Agency Intelligence Committee on Terrorism (TTC) under the National Security Council. 

Mr. Lapping has a Bachelor of Science degree from Southern Illinois University and he is president of Wizard Devices, Inc., where he has conducted advance research for, developed and currently mass produces 13 commercial products that are used by most special effects pyrotechnic technicians and EOD specialists. He holds one patent and five patentable technologies. His products range from a demolition circuit tester to an IED (Improvised Explosive Device) disruptor. He has provided pyrotechnic support for over 20 major movies and TV series including "The Mask of Zorro" and "X-Files".

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