LORENA DE RODRIGUEZ
DIRECTOR, CLIENT SERVICES
MICHAEL J. TAYLOR
DIRECTOR OF SECURITY / TSA REGULATORY TRAINING EXPERT
JACK R. PLAXE
ASSOCIATE SAFETY & SECURITY FACILITATOR/CONSULTANT
LORENA DE RODRIGUEZ
Lorena de Rodriguez began in aviation working in airline ramp and customer service. Her unique focus on safety and security procedures, convey the premise that compliance with rules and customer service aren’t mutually exclusive processes.
In each training session, Lorena seeks to teach, motivate and encourage new-entrant, aviation employees as well as expand knowledge for the airport professional. She has completed the Airports Council International Executive Leadership program taught in conjunction Concordia University. She is an adjunct faculty member of Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University from which she holds a Master of aviation management. As a guest instructor, she has facilitated training to Airports Council International Global Training program, conducting classes in Korea, Panama, Dubai, and Switzerland.
Lorena has served on working groups with AzAA, a project review panel for RTCA and the TRB’s Airport Cooperative Research panel, and an FAA task force on training standards. She has participated in and evaluated several FAA emergency response drills and exercises in Arizona.
Since 1997, Lorena has created participatory workshops and programs for aviation companies and airports. Soon after, SSi began to develop engaging and interactive regulatory, computer-based training programs focusing on airport security and safety. Lorena’s consultancy skills include airport security manual writing and training to include safety program creation and airport certification manual writing.
Much of SSI’s growth comes through Lorena’s ability to create relationships with other similar-sized small businesses and creating valuable programs for clients.
DIRECTOR OF SAFETY
Mr. Simpson has been in the aviation industry for over 27 years and holds a Safety Management Certificate from Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University. He has a diverse background in aviation safety and security, project management, corporate training, quality assurance, sales and marketing, and airline front-line operation and management, as well as collaboration with industry associations and government agencies. In 2009 he completed the Airports Council International Executive Leadership program (ACI AELP) taught in conjunction with the John Molson School of Business at Concordia University in Montreal, Quebec, Canada. His experience in aviation safety and security and numerous roles in airline operations has been utilized on training projects with airports in the USA, South Africa, Trinidad and Tobago, Jamaica, St. Maarten, the United Arab Emirates, Hong Kong, and Korea.
Some of his duties and accomplishments include:
Client services coordination for sales, marketing, training, budget planning, project management, payment reconciliation, communication, and quality assurance.
Produced various training and compliance manuals for airlines and airports.
Project Management for the development and design of Computer Based training systems at airports in the US.
Development of training programs for Airports Council International’s Safety Certificate program and instruction of those courses at their Global Training Hub locations. Courses include: SMS Introduction, SMS Implementation, Airside Safety and Operations, Emergency Response and Crisis Management, Accident and Incident Investigations, Introduction to Annex 14, and Runway Incursion Awareness and Prevention.
Created specific audit programs for airline operations to facilitate regular inspections by the FAA and TSA.
Development of skills to train all levels of an airline, including front-line personnel, leadership, executives, and industry partners through continued education and coordination with industry associations, and the FAA, TSA, and other government agencies.
Designed, coordinated, trained, and implemented safety and security programs including Mishap Investigation, Emergency Response, Behavioral Based Safety, Risk Management, System Safety, Aircraft Search audits, SIDA audits, Internal Self Audit Programs, and Safety Compliance Audits.
MICHAEL J. TAYLOR
Mr. Taylor, a veteran of the US Armed forces and a veteran of corporate America, brings forth a unique aviation background, professionalism and education to SSi.
His expert tested ability to perform under pressure, with excellent leadership, management, communication, customer service, and problem-solving skills, makes Mr. Taylor the perfect Point of Contact for all of SSi’s Clients. Raising the bar for quality and focused on the process, Mr. Taylor provided Subject Matter Expertise and management to both foreign (Singapore Royal Air Force) and domestic government (Presidential Helicopter Program) contracts as a trusted liaison.
With 20 plus years of professional experience to draw on, Mr. Taylor is a focused project manager with an eye for detail. Having worked for large corporations like Sony, Hewlett-Packard and Sikorsky, Mr. Taylor has moved up the ranks from assembly and testing to leading, supervising and managing contracts.
Mr. Taylor holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Aeronautics from Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University and two certifications by the US Army in education: Systems Approach to Training and Group Instructional Training.
For over 5 years, in Mr. Taylor’s extensive career, he was a developer, courseware writer and instructor for aviation pilots in the US Army. All of Mr. Taylor’s works are published property of the US Army and are college accredited.
Crystal has a 6 year background in aviation, training, and instructional design. Her aviation experience began with her private pilot license, advanced through instrument and commercial ratings, both single- and multi-engine, and finishing with her flight instructor rating.
Crystal continued her experience in corporate training with General Dynamics Information Technology. At GDIT, she led classroom instruction and developed course materials. She was also instrumental in transitioning the company’s training programs to a virtual classroom environment and computer-based training.
At SSi, Crystal will work directly with clients to continue the company’s legacy of creating the best online training in the industry.
DIRECTOR OF SECURITY / TSA REGULATORY TRAINING EXPERT
Mr. Chris Pheasant has expertise in a variety of, law enforcement, aviation security, and course curriculum development and presentations. His assignments with the U.S. Department of Homeland Security TSA as a Lead Transportation Security Inspector (aviation) included the San Francisco International Airport, Sacramento International Airport, various Category IV airports and airports in Hawaii. He was also a certified regulatory OJT instructor.
He brings eight years of regulatory experience to the SSi team, working with aircraft operators, airports, airport security, cargo carriers, and other regulated aviation entities and has been instrumental in revising numerous Airport Security Programs.
Mr. Pheasant also brings experience as a Project Manager for web based security training to employees working at 129 Florida airports within the Florida Department of Transportation system, performing TSA regulatory inspection processes, including the Enforcement Investigative Reporting (EIR) processes, and aviation security vulnerability assessments. His past experience in developing communications equipment technical documents and Quality System Procedures additionally provides clients with diversified expertise for Security Management process improvement.
He has developed and taught classes to airport trusted agents as well as presenting fundamental Airport Law Enforcement courses to sworn LEOs in Kansas City as well as presenting a variety of AVSEC training courses to airport personnel.
He is currently serving as a Designated Level 1Deputy Sheriff On-call with the Sacramento County Sheriff’s Department on a highly trained team of law enforcement officers contracted by the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation (BOR) to protect Critical infrastructure as well as assignment to patrol duties at the Sacramento International Airport (SMF).
Chri is a California Peace Officer’s Standards of Training (P.O.S.T.) certified academy instructor for Emergency Vehicle Operations Course (EVOC) for both in-service law enforcement personnel and new Academy recruits.
JACK R. PLAXE
ASSOCIATE SAFETY & SECURITY FACILITATOR/CONSULTANT
Jack Plaxe is a security professional and subject matter expert with 25 years of diverse experience in various aspects of the protective industry. His work has focused on corporate security management, homeland security and critical infrastructure protection.
Mr. Plaxe began working in the security field in 1989, with a focus on antiterrorism consulting, research, training and exercises for government agencies. In the early 1990’s he worked as a lobbyist in Washington, DC focused on improving civil aviation security and the U.S. government’s response to international terrorism. In 1996 he began working as a security consultant focused on antiterrorism preparedness and regulatory compliance for some of the largest airports in the United States, including Chicago, Detroit, Seattle, San Diego, Washington National and Dulles, Houston, Phoenix, etc. From 2000 through 2004, he managed the Chicago office of a security consulting firm providing services to the Chicago Department of Aviation at O’Hare and Midway Airports, among others.
From 2004 through 2008, his work broadened to include security for private sector clients including corporations and non-profit organizations. From 2008 through 2013, he served as the Director of Corporate Security for Brown-Forman, a multinational based in Louisville, KY. In this role, his responsibility was broad and included the protection of people, properties and product as it moved through the supply chain.
Over the years, Mr. Plaxe has been active in various security professional organizations, including The Airports Council International, the American Association of Airport Executives and the Airport Law Enforcement Agency Network. He has also been actively involved in ASIS International since 1996, serving in various roles, including as a member of the Transportation Council from 2004 until 2013.
A published author and media commentator, Mr. Plaxe has appeared in the Wall Street Journal, New York Times, The Washington Post, USA Today, Newsday, Fox News, America’s Most Wanted Terrorism Special (October 2001), ABC Radio News and Voice America.
Mr. Plaxe has a BS in International Politics with a concentration in International Security Studies from the Edmund A. Walsh School of Foreign Service at Georgetown University. He also undertook graduate studies focused on terrorism and aviation security in the Department of International Relations at the University of St. Andrews in Scotland where he studied under terrorism expert Paul Wilkinson.
CHAD R. MAKOVSKY
C.M. / ASSOCIATE FACILITATOR – FAA REGULATORY / AIRPORT OPERATIONS EXPERT
Chad Makovsky has spent his career in the aviation field, beginning in 1992 when he served as an aircraft fueler in St. Cloud, Minnesota. He graduated from Saint Cloud State University with a degree in Aviation Operations and shortly after moved to Arizona to work for America West Airlines. He went on to hold positions in operations at both John F. Kennedy International Airport and Bob Hope Airport in Burbank, California.
Mr. Makovsky started his career with the City of Phoenix in 2002 as a Communications Dispatcher at Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport. Since then he has promoted to a variety of positions, including Deputy Aviation Director for Airport Operations.
As Assistant Aviation Director for the Phoenix Airport System, Mr. Makovsky is responsible for oversight of the Facilities and Services, Operations, and Technology divisions at Sky Harbor. He also oversees Aviation Police and Fire Operations as well as both Phoenix-owned general aviation airports: Phoenix Deer Valley and Phoenix Goodyear.
Mr. Makovsky is a Certified Member of the American Association of Airport Executives. He has served on Airport Cooperative Research Program panels and is active in several AAAE and ACI committees. He holds a Private Pilots License and is currently enrolled in the Arizona State University W.P. Carey MBA program.
As a facilitator he brings experience and knowledge to many classroom discussions.
Dennis Haworth is a graduate of Arizona State University where he earned a Bachelor of Science in Aeronautical Management Technology. Mr. Haworth also holds an Aviation Safety Management Certificate from Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University and has completed studies Accident Investigation from the National Transportation Safety Board. In 1990, Mr. Haworth began working for America West Airlines and now continues his airline career with American Airlines. He is currently a Flight Crew Training Instructor on Airbus Aircraft Systems. He is a Private Pilot and holds an Advanced Ground Instructor Certificate.
Mr. Haworth brings a diverse aviation resume to his role as a training facilitator. Some of his experiences include:
Instruction of aircraft systems and procedures utilizing fixed base and simulator trainers.
Development and presentation of classroom training materials for front-line airline pilots.
Facilitation of initial and recurrent scenario based Crew Resource Management, Threat and Error Management, and Aviation Security training with both pilots and flight attendants.
Investigating aircraft damage and employee injury mishaps and providing safety recommendations and solutions.
Managing logistical aspects of an emergency response Go Team and assisting in the investigation on actual deployments.
Auditing airline operations for safety compliance and awareness.
Conducting behavioral based safety awareness training with ground operations employees and contractors.
Providing assistance with safety preparations for new station openings to pass Federal Aviation Administration inspections.
Controlling airline aircraft departure and arrival movements as a Hub Operations Controller.
Acting as a Ground Security Coordinator and Aircraft Load Planner.
New to the aviation industry, Necole Hampton, brings an eclectic and myriad of experience to SSi, from education and law to administrative and sales and marketing. Necole is a graduate of The University of Arizona, with a degree in Psychology, with broad experience implementing a variety of programs contributing to team building, learning and development, and event coordination. Necole is also highly effective in partnering with managers to achieve organization goals, while also being a self-starter who is skillful at training and developing others. Necole is excited to bring to SSi, her strong sense of urgency, initiative and competitive drive to get things done, her natural ability to “sell”, and her skills as a team builder, motivator and mover, with emphasis on working with and through people in the process.
Gary Smedile is a respected aviation professional with extensive and significant experience in the transportation, aviation services and security industries. His wide-ranging career with airports and airlines, including twenty-nine years with TWA and fourteen years in homeland security, has included progressive and significant responsibilities in operations, customer services planning and management, business development, financial planning and controls and government affairs. He is an honors graduate of Princeton University with a degree in Public and International Affairs.
Gary is well regarded as a subject matter expert in transportation security issues including:
Airport passenger, baggage and employee screening operations
Procedures and programs including Standard Operating Procedures, compliance, incentives and metrics
Public policy and government relations
In his current and past tenure at FirstLine Transportation Security, he has provided nationwide oversight and direction of the full array FirstLine corporate and operational activities and contracts including multiple Transportation Security Administration (TSA) awards.
Gary’s expertise also includes SAFETY Act requirements, Government security studies, Facility Clearances, and security related government and congressional activities.
Current and past industry memberships include ACI-NA Public Safety and Security Steering Committee, American Association of Airport Executives (AAAE) Transportation Security Committee, National Association of Security Companies (NASCO) and Business Executives for National Security (BENS).