Center to Celebrate the Top Pioneers and Thought Leaders in Physical Security
Retired U.S. Secret Service Agent Clint Hill, Emergent Risk International CEO Meredith Wilson and Hetherington Group CEO Cynthia Hetherington Highlight Inaugural Honorees
AUSTIN, March 18, 2021 — In recognition of the pioneers and thought leaders who have driven new shifts and novel practices, development of innovative solutions, and are contributing to, influencing and advancing the physical security and protection industry, the Ontic Center for Protective Intelligence today unveiled its “Protective Intelligence Honors” program.
The “Protective Intelligence Honors” will each month recognize groundbreaking professionals across two categories:
- Pioneers, recognizing those who developed and/or trailblazed the application of new physical protection models, methods or areas of protective knowledge; innovated a protection solution and/or drove new shifts in thinking or approaching protection and;
- Thought Leaders, celebrating veteran practitioners and established experts in the field who are actively contributing to and advancing protective intelligence industry knowledge and careers.
Protective Intelligence Honors recipients range from military, law enforcement and counterintelligence experts to global corporate security innovators at the forefront of protective intelligence. Physical security threats today are reaching unprecedented levels, spurred by extremism, COVID-19, racial justice and geopolitical issues, and protective intelligence powered by technology is being used to actively identify, investigate, assess, watch and manage physical threats to prevent major crises.
“Failure of imagination leads to most disasters, thinking that it’s impossible they might occur. We are honoring the men and women whose remarkable vision, insight, courage and leadership have kept countless lives safe and are influencing an industry shift to a proactive, always-on physical security approach in the public and private sectors,” said Fred Burton, Executive Director of the Ontic Center for Protective Intelligence. “The impact of these honorees on history, how we conduct our lives today and the future cannot be overstated, and we are indebted to them for all they have done and continue to do to keep us from harm.”
The inaugural Protective Intelligence Honors Pioneers include:
- Clint J. Hill, Retired U.S. Secret Service – A U.S. Secret Service Special Agent from 1958 – 1975, serving five presidents — Eisenhower, Kennedy, Johnson, Nixon, and Ford — Hill was in the motorcade in Dallas on November 22, 1963, assigned to protect First Lady Jacqueline Kennedy, when President John F. Kennedy was assassinated. Hill will forever be remembered for his brave and swift actions as he leapt onto the back of the presidential limousine in an effort to protect President and Mrs. Kennedy while shots were being fired. He is credited with saving Mrs. Kennedy’s life.Born January 4, 1932, Hill was adopted as an infant by Chris and Jennie Hill who raised him alongside his adopted sister Janice in the small town of Washburn, North Dakota. In 1954, he graduated from Concordia College in Moorhead, Minnesota, with a degree in History and Physical Education. He intended to be a history teacher and athletics coach, but was immediately drafted into the United States Army, where he served as a Special Agent in the Army Counter Intelligence Corps.In 1958, Hill applied and was accepted into the U.S. Secret Service as a Special Agent in the Denver field office. A year later he was assigned to the elite White House Detail protecting President Dwight D. Eisenhower. When John F. Kennedy was elected in 1960, Hill was assigned to First Lady Jacqueline Kennedy’s detail, and he remained with Mrs. Kennedy, Caroline, and John Jr. for one year after the assassination.Hill was reassigned to the White House in November 1964 and eventually became the Special Agent in Charge of Presidential Protection during Lyndon B. Johnson’s administration. When Richard M. Nixon became president in 1969, Hill was the Special Agent in Charge of Vice Presidential Protection with V.P. Spiro Agnew. When Hill retired from the Secret Service in 1975, he was the Assistant Director responsible for all protective forces.Hill’s career and actions have been recognized worldwide. He is a guest speaker at the Federal Law Enforcement Training Center and continues to participate with present day Secret Service personnel in discussing protective activities and procedures. In December 2013, the U.S. Secret Service honored him at the James J. Rowley Training Center with a permanent bronze plaque next to a street they named Clint Hill Way.
- Meredith Wilson, Founder and CEO, Emergent Risk International, LLC (ERI) – Wilson has over two decades of experience in international environments, the energy sector, Fortune 500 corporations and the U.S. intelligence community. Her firm ERI empowers companies to address the impact of geopolitical risk on their business through intelligence, consulting, training, data and analytics. Earlier in her career, Wilson served as a Defense Intelligence Officer in the Pentagon and then became one of the early innovators of private sector intelligence analysis. At ConocoPhillips she created the company’s first dedicated geo-political and security-focused risk intelligence function. Wilson went on to create a similar function for Kosmos Energy, before founding ERI in 2014. Wilson was a founding member of the Private Sector Intelligence Council (PSIC) and is a Founding Board Member of the Association of International Risk and Intelligence Professionals (AIRIP).
- Cynthia Hetherington, Founder and CEO, Hetherington Group – Cynthia Hetherington, MLS, MSM, CFE, CII is the founder and president of Hetherington Group, a cyber investigations consulting, publishing, and training firm. With over two decades of expertise, Hetherington is a leader in due diligence, corporate intelligence, and cyber investigations. She is the author of three books on conducting cyber investigations and annually trains over 7,200 investigators, security professionals, attorneys, accountants, auditors, military intelligence professionals, and federal, state, and local agencies on best practices. She shares her expertise in this increasingly data-intensive, cyber focused-world through the publication of an industry newsletter, an online blog, and by hosting the annual OSMOSIS Conference. Hetherington leads national and international investigations in corporate due diligence and fraud, personal asset recovery, and background checks. With a specialization in the financial, pharmaceutical, and telecommunications industries, her cyber investigations have recovered millions of dollars in high profile corruption cases, assisting on the investigations of the top two Ponzi cases in United States history.
Inaugural Protective Intelligence Honors Thought Leaders include:
- Jenni Randolph, Senior Manager, Corporate Security, Twitter – Randolph provides operational and strategic support to the Twitter Special Security Services team which is responsible for executive protection and global events. She also conducts cross-functional program review and strategy for the CorpSec intelligence team.
- Pete Dordal, Jr., President, GardaWorld Federal Services – An accomplished security management professional and business leader with over 35 years of experience gained in the U.S. military, private and public security, the intelligence community, and entrepreneurial commercial endeavor, Dordal is a senior executive at GardaWorld. He previously provided highly specialized risk management services supporting the Global War on Terror under a select U.S. government contract.
- Ami Toben, Director of Consulting, Training and Special Operations, HighCom Security – Toben has two decades of military (IDF) and private sector security experience, and a successful record of providing full spectrum, high-end services to Fortune 500 corporations, foreign governments, foundations, political organizations and wealthy individuals. He is the Director of consulting, training and special operations at HighCom Security Services and specializes in terrorist activity prevention, surveillance detection, and covert protective operations. The author of Surveillance Zone, Toben is also owner of Protection Circle.
- Richard Pittenger, Senior Intelligence Analyst, Threat Analysis Unit, NJ Regional Operations & Intelligence Center, New Jersey State Police – Pittenger has been supporting executive protection for the majority of his 16 years at the NJ Regional Operations & Intelligence Center, the state’s multi-agency fusion center. As a senior analyst, he has taken the lead on the NJ ROIC’s protective intelligence initiative, supporting dignitary protection in New Jersey and internationally. He produces an Executive Protection Issues compilation of threats to government and corporate protectees worldwide based on open sources and executive protection community reports. Pittenger routinely collaborates with federal, state, and local officials to distinguish idle threats of targeted violence from actual intentions and capabilities, identifying trends and patterns to support protective operations while safeguarding constitutional rights.
- Francis D’Addario, Security Executive Council Emeritus Faculty, Strategic Innovation – D’Addario co-leads global next-generation leader talent development, operational work groups, and solution innovation consulting services at SEC. The former Starbucks Coffee Partner and Asset Protection Head collaboratively helped operationalize people protection and enterprise all-hazard risk mitigation with over a decade of persuasive multi-million dollar returns on investment. Prior to Starbucks, D’Addario led cross-functional teams in the convenience store and quick service restaurant industry sectors where Crime Prevention Through Environmental Design (CPTED) implementations reduced average violence by 89% with hundreds of millions of dollars of cost avoidance. He co-founded Crime Prevention Associates, International; The All-Hazard Risk Leadership Laboratory (AR2L) and co-developed LossVision and RED, enterprise risk reporting, assessment and mitigation tools.
- Chris Story, Senior Protective Operations Leader, Consultant and Specialist Trainer – With over 25 years experience managing, conducting and consulting in protective security and intelligence operations, Story has an extensive operational background in domestic/international arenas. He has significant experience in standard and non-standard protective security and intelligence operations with tangible experience in permissive, semi-permissive and high-risk environments. Story has developed HNW, corporate and government protective and security operations programs using risk-based intelligence-driven protection strategies, techniques and technology. He also spent time in Iraq and Afghanistan in various protective roles, served 14 years in the U.S. Army as a Counterintelligence Agent, Ranger and Infantryman and is co-founder and co-host of the Conversations in Close Protection podcast.
The Protective Intelligence Honors is an ongoing program that recognizes Pioneers and Thought Leaders in physical security, selected by a committee of experts at the Ontic Center for Protective Intelligence. To learn more, nominate a Pioneer or Thought Leader, visit ProtectiveIntelligenceHonors.com.
About the Ontic Center for Protective Intelligence
The Ontic Center for Protective Intelligence provides strategic consulting, multidimensional services and resources for safety and security, legal, risk and compliance professionals at major corporations across multiple industry sectors including financial services, technology, retail, entertainment and consumer products. Through its initiatives, global industry experts and authorities in protective intelligence share best practices, insights on current and historical trends, and explore lessons learned from physical security peers. The Center is led by Fred Burton, one of the world’s foremost experts on security and counterterrorism. A former police officer, special agent and New York Times best-selling author, Burton has served on the front lines of high-profile investigations including the hunt for and arrest of Ramzi Yousef, the mastermind behind the first World Trade Center bombing. For more information please visit ontic.co/center-for-protective-intelligence/
Ontic is the first protective intelligence software company to digitally transform how Fortune 500 and emerging enterprises proactively address physical threat management to protect employees, customers and assets. Ontic’s SaaS-based platform collects and connects threat indicators to provide a comprehensive view of potential threats while surfacing critical knowledge so companies can assess and action more to maintain business continuity and reduce financial impact. Ontic also provides strategic consulting, multidimensional services, education and thought leadership for safety and security professionals at major corporations via its Center for Protective Intelligence. For more information please visit ontic.co