2017 Speaker Lineup

2017 APIA Conference Speaker Lineup

Hariet Gold


Harriet is a native of Miami, Florida and currently lives in Atlanta, Ga. She operates Gold Investigations, Inc. in both Florida and Georgia. Harriet has over 30 years of investigative experience. She started her career investigating insurance claims for Equifax, and then spent several more years working for various  firms doing criminal defense and plaintiff  investigations. She opened Gold Investigations in 1989 and then from 2000-2004 took a break and went to work for Progressive Insurance Company as an investigator in their special investigations unit. Since June of 2004 she has operated her agency which specializes in insurance and personal injury investigations and all types of litigation investigation. She has taught many classes on researching court records and how these records can assist in investigations. Harriet is a member of many different PI Associations in which she has held various Board positions. Currently, she serves as the Southeastern Director for the National Association of Legal Investigators (NALI).

Brent Nevison

Brent Nevison

By the time he had graduated college he'd gone to 13 schools, and lived in 19 different places in 9 states (because of his father’s job as a Corporate “Fixer”). Brent started programming at the age of 14, before the internet or home computers really existed. During high school he programmed in Assembler, Basic, Pascal, C, and Dbase. After getting a degree in Personnel, with almost a double major in computer science, Brent found himself working with computers and programming. In 1992 he was regularly dealing with computer viruses and software conflicts. Among his early jobs he was a DOD programmer for the Army, programming on missile computers and Army Corps of Engineer computers to prep them for Y2K. It was at this job that he first started consulting with the FBI (before they had a dedicated 'Cyber' team here in Mobile, AL). After which, he accepted a position providing network design and support for an international chemical company. Starting up his own business, he was contracted to run 2 separate sites for a Fortune 100 international chemical company (one locally and one in WV). Shortly after 9-11, he joined the FBI Infragard – a professional organization dedicated to protecting our country's infrastructure. Currently he is the Vice-President of the local chapter of the Infragard.  He also taught at a local technical college in both the areas of IT and Criminal Justice (cyber crime). This pushed him to change his 12 year old company into Wolverine Investigations, a new company that more accurately reflects his business focus. Consulting in both cyber and physical security he designs and installs CCTV systems and consults on personal security, physical security, and firearms.  He specializes in forensic evidence, private investigations from a technical point of view, bot-nets, ransom-ware, and computer security. His wide client base (International and local -including a local talent agency) has given the opportunity to appear in 9 movies and possibly more in the future.   As a trained Armed Federal Guard(contract FPS) he qualifies on the range twice a year. His hobbies are firearms, weight lifting, cooking, reading, motorcycles, and photographic surveillance.

Tripp Mitchell



  1. “Tripp” Mitchell’s career spans over many years of experience in public law enforcement, security consulting and investigation.

After years as a police officer and detective, he became  a  criminal investigator with the State Court  Prosecutor’s  Office and was eventually retired as Chief Investigator. Mr. Mitchell is licensed private detective (for over 20 years), and also a licensed security practitioner and strategist.

He holds the designation of Certified Protection Professional (CPP) which  is  the highest credentialing certificate  awarded  by

the American Society for Industrial Security (ASIS International) for demonstrable knowledge in the security field. He is a state certified trainer, firearms instructor and an adjunct criminal justice instructor at various colleges and technical schools as well as a  senior certified instructor at many regional police  academies.

In 2003, Georgia’s Governor Sonny Purdue appointed him to serve as a member of the Georgia State Board of Private Detective and Security Agencies. He was the youngest member ever to be appointed to the board at 33  years old.  He has since been re-appointed  by Governor Nathan Deal for his third consecutive term and  has been  recently re-elected  this year as Chairman of the Board. He is among one of the longest serving board members  of that regulatory body in the State of Georgia.

He served as past president of the Georgia Association of Professional Private Investigators and held positions as training coordinator and board member. In addition to his professional association memberships and affiliations, he serves on many advisory boards and leadership panels within the criminal justice community.

He holds a Master’s Degree in Public Administration from Columbus State University and has had extensive training in such areas as investigation, security management, stalking, investigations, threat assessment, workplace violence, behavioral analysis, deadly force confrontations, risk management and is certified in active shooter response training.

His investigative and security management firm, GUARDSTAR, consults, trains, advises  and performs investigations in numerous areas of threatening behavior, targeted violence, stalking and harassment as well as premises liability and negligent security.



 Steven Rambam

Steven Rambam is the founder and CEO of Pallorium, Inc., a licensed Investigative Agency with offices and affiliates worldwide
Since 1981, Pallorium's investigators have successfully closed more than 10,500 cases, ranging from homicide and death claim investigations to missing persons cases to the investigation of various types of sophisticated financial and insurance frauds.  Pallorium's online subsidiary, PallTech (www.palltech.us), offers access to nearly eight hundred (800) data sources, and to seven (7) major proprietary databases, and provides online investigative support services to 2,800 investigative and law enforcement agencies. DataVerification.Net, a custom web portal owned and operated by PallTech, provides specialized identity verification and underwriting solutions to the insurance and bail bond industries.
Steven is also the host of "Nowhere To Hide" reality television show, which has just been renewed for a second season on the Discovery ID Network.
Foreign Investigation:
Mr. Rambam has coordinated investigations in more than fifty (50) countries, and in nearly every U.S. State and Canadian province. Steven specializes in international and multi-jurisdictional investigations, investigations of sophisticated frauds and missing person investigations. Steven Rambam and Pallorium have conducted or coordinated numerous foreign insurance-related investigations, including hundreds of homicide and "death claim" investigations, and a significant number of these cases have resulted in confessions, arrest and prosecution.
Many of Mr. Rambam's investigations involve coordination with national authorities, and Steven has received commendations and awards in a number of foreign locations. Steven has also received a number of foreign military decorations, and his activities have been mentioned in sessions of the Canadian and Israeli Parliaments. 
Steven Rambam was one of the first investigators to expose USA and international "prime bank note", "prime bank guarantee", "credit enhancement" and "trading program" frauds, and his investigations in conjunction with U.S. federal law enforcement agencies resulted in some of the first convictions and imprisonment of P.B.N. and other "advance fee" fraudsters and the exposure of other sophisticated financial frauds and investment scams. 
Investigations In The Public Interest:
Steven Rambam is perhaps best publicly known for his pro bono activities, which have included the location and investigation of nearly 200 Nazi collaborators and war criminals in the USA, Canada, Europe and Australia. Steven has also coordinated efforts to expose terrorist groups' fundraising activities in the United States and has conducted investigations which resulted in the tightening of airport security in 8 U.S. cities.
Media Coverage:
During the past thirty years more than one thousand (1,000) newspapers and magazines have reported on Steven's activities, and Steven has been interviewed by numerous local television broadcasts, and by national and international news broadcasts such as "Sixty Minutes", "48 Hours", "BBC", "CBC", "NPR", "IBA News" (Israel), NBC's "Dateline", "The National", "ARD Report Mainz", "Discovery Channel", "Geraldo", "Inside Man", ABC 20/20" and "America's Most Wanted". Steven is currently the host of a network television show, "Nowhere To Hide".
Steven is currently coauthoring a non-fiction book, "Stealing Your Own Identity" and he is the subject of a second non-fiction book, "Rambam, P.I.".  Steven is the basis for the "Rambam" character in the series of murder mysteries written by novelist Richard "Kinky" Friedman, and he was the technical advisor for those books. Steven also serves as the Editor and coordinator of PBP's "Investigation and Intelligence Library".
Steven Rambam has lectured on topics ranging from "the location of missing persons", to "the criminal use of false identification", to "foreign investigations", to "war crimes and the pursuit of war criminals". Steven's keynote lectures, "Privacy Is Dead - Get Over It" and "International Investigations", have received worldwide recognition including a "Speaker of the Year" award. 
Steven is a court-recognized expert witness on matters including "investigative techniques", "foreign investigation", "international fugitive recovery", "sophisticated financial frauds", among other topics.
Steven holds the "CFE" board certification from the Association of Certified Fraud Examiner, the "CPP", "PSP" and "PCI" board certifications from ASIS International, the "CSAR" certification from the International Association of Asset Recovery Specialists and the "CFCS" certification from the Association of Certified Financial Crime Specialists. It is believed that Steven is the only person to hold all six board certifications.  
Steven is a member of FOI (Founding Member and Vice President), WAD, NAIS (Life Member), ION, AIIP, NCISS, BOMP (Founding Member), COIN, IJI, IOA, TALI, FALI, ACFE, ASIS, ACFCS, IWWA, ALDONYS, SPI (former VP and Board Member) and other investigative associations. 

Richard Brooks

Richard A. Brooks is the owner and lead Investigator of Richard Brooks Investigations, LLC (www.JacksonPI.com). RBI is based in the Jackson, Mississippi metro area and serves portions of the Southern United States. Richard is the Immediate Past President of the Mississippi Professional Investigators Association, the Mississippi Chapter Director of the Association of Christian Investigators and a Regional Director and the Legislative Chairman of the National Association of Missing & Exploited Children. Richard is also a member of other international, national and state PI associations, most notably the Council of (PI) Association Leaders, the National Council of Investigation and Security Services and the International Intelligence Network. Richard is a former active duty military and full time civilian law enforcement officer. Richard maintains his law enforcement certification by working part time as a police officer. He is a certified forensic interviewer. Richard has been designated and testified as an expert in general police procedures, use of force and forensic interviewing. Richard has also appeared on a network reality show as a PI.

Jeff Hammock

Jeff Hammock is the owner of Comprehensive Investigative Group, Spy4Rent, and Alternative Drug Testing Solutions. With over 30 years experience in the Birmingham area as both a Private investigator and process server, Jeff has focused his career in helping families who are going through domestic litigation by providing investigative services that bring the truth to light for them.  He serves as the Director of Investigations and Process Service for Freedom Litigation Support.  Jeff served in the United States Marine Corps from 1983-1993.  Jeff is a licensed investigator in the state of Alabama.  He serves on the Board of Directors for APIA and he also serves on the Board of Directors for NCISS.  Jeff is married to Vicki, they have 5 children and 3 grandchildren and they attend Church of the Highlands. 

Rick Root


Richard “Rick” Root is the Owner and President of Richard Root Investigations.  He is a judicially recognized expert and has more than 35 years’ experience in law enforcement and security. 

Rick began his law enforcement career in 1982, as a Security Police Officer in the United States Air Force.  In 1988, he transitioned from military to civilian law enforcement.  Rick joined the Boynton Beach Police Department.

During his tenure with the Boynton Beach Police Department, Rick became a use of force instructor and subsequently designated the agency’s use of force expert.

Rick experienced many lethal force encounters and served as the department’s expert witness on cases involving the use of force by police officers.

After retiring, Rick joined the largest American-owned security company in the United States.  He progressively excelled because of his work ethic and expertise.  Rick functioned as the organization's Regional Operations Manager, in the State of Florida.  Rick was later promoted to District Manager, he was responsible for district operations with a $19 million-dollar budget, servicing the needs of 58 clients and a workforce of over 650 employees, including managers, supervisors and security officers.  Rick oversaw investigations both internally and externally for operational and employee issues.

Rick graduated from the Southern Police Institutes 33rd Command Officer Development Course at the University of Louisville.

He is the current FALI President.


Mark Gilespie


Bio of Mark Gillespie

With more than 28 years of law enforcement and forensic science experience and a master's degree in forensic science from George Washington University, Mark Gillespie combines extensive investigative field experience with cutting-edge technical expertise. In 2004, he founded Gillespie Investigations as a full-service investigative agency specializing in both criminal and civil investigations, background investigations, surveillance, missing persons, forensic consultation, crime scene reconstruction, insurance fraud and infidelity investigations.

Gillespie spent a career as a special agent for the Air Force Office of Special Investigations (AFOSI) and achieved the rank of Lieutenant Colonel before taking an early retirement from the Air Force. Gillespie commanded many investigative units both in the U.S. and overseas. He personally investigated and managed major felony investigations such as capital murder, sexual assault, white collar crime, child abuse, theft, computer crime, sexual exploitation of children on the internet, narcotics and aggravated assault. He also has extensive experience with technical services countermeasures, protective service operations, counterintelligence and counterespionage operations.

Upon his retirement from the Air Force Mark became the Director of Forensic Science for the Austin (Texas) Police Department where he was responsible for directing and managing the department’s crime laboratory. Mark was directly responsible for creating the department’s DNA Lab and a key architect of Texas Senate Bill 638, which allows the collection of DNA samples from persons upon indictment and conviction for certain offenses. Gillespie has extensive experience in crime laboratory management, crime scene investigation and forensic photography.

Between 2002- 2008, Gillespie served on the faculty at St. Edward's University (SEU) where he was an Instructor of Forensic Science, crime scene investigation and criminal investigation. Gillespie has the distinction of bringing forensic science courses to St. Edwards University and establishing their forensic science undergraduate degree program.