2017 APIA Conference Speaker Lineup
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).
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’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.
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 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.
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.
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.