International Advisory Board

Michele Volpi

Chairman

Michele Volpi

Michele has been the Chief Executive Officer of Præsidiad since 2011. Præsidiad is a world market leader of force protection solutions, integrated perimeter security systems, and industrial mesh production and fencing products.

He was appointed as the Chairman of Hesco Ltd. in 2016 and has served as Board Member and Chairman of the Compensation Committee of Piper Jaffray (NYSE: PJC) since 2010.

Prior to his current role at Præsidiad, Michele was the Chief Executive Officer and President of H.B. Fuller (NYSE: FUL), where he also served as Global Adhesives Business President and Global Strategic Business Unit Manager for the assembly business. During his tenure at General Electric (NYSE: GE), he held various positions, including General Manager of Marketing for the polymershapes business unit and European Marketing Director for the structured products business unit. He also served on the Board of Directors of Saipem Sp.A. (BIT: SPM) from 2011 to 2014.

In his early career Michele worked as a Management Consultant for The Boston Consulting Group, and as General Manager for Habasit Hispanica and Habasit Italiana.

Michele holds a Bachelor’s degree in Business Administration and Management from Bocconi University and is a certified Six Sigma Green Belt.

Paul Skertchly

Director

Paul Skertchly

Paul was appointed the Chief Financial Officer of Præsidiad in 2016. As CFO, Paul oversees all financial planning and analysis, accounting, IT, treasury and tax functions for the Group.

Before joining Præsidiad Paul was the CFO for Britax Childcare Group (2006-2016). Prior to this he was Group Finance Director for EPR Group, and the Group Commercial & Finance Director for Vehicle Solutions NV. During his time at Hays Paul served concurrently as the Commercial Director for Hays Business Process Outsourcing and as the Controller, Group Financial Services for Hays plc (LON: HAS). He was also Financial Controller for BOC Distribution Services Ltd, a part of the BOC Group.

Paul started his career at PricewaterhouseCoopers as a Senior Manager in the Corporate Finance & Recovery department, from where he was seconded to Barclays plc (LON: BARC) in 1994.

He holds a BSc degree in Civil Engineering from King’s College London, and an ACA from the Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales.

Julian Browne

Senior Advisor

Julian Browne

Julian is a Senior Advisor for The Carlyle Group (NASDAQ: CG). He is focused on the defence, aerospace and government industries in Europe.

As a Carlyle representative, Julian serves as Deputy Chairman of Exensor Technology Ltd. and as Non-Executive Director of Clarion Defence Ltd. He is also a Senior Advisor to the Boards of Morgan Advanced Materials Plc (LON: MGAM), Exensor AB, DSM Ltd., Hacking Team srl, Blueway Ltd. and Greenmantle Ltd.

Prior to joining Carlyle in 2001, he served on the Boards of Racal Defence Electronics Ltd, Racal-Thompson Networks Ltd and Thales International. During his time with Westland Helicopters Ltd., he led the successful APACHE campaign to win the UK MoD Attack Helicopter programme.

Julian served in the British Army from 1968 to 1993. He was commissioned into the Royal Anglican Regiment and commanded his Regiment on operations in Northern Ireland. He also commanded the 33 Armoured Brigade and was Chief of Staff of the 2nd Division prior to a career in the aerospace and defense industry.

Julian graduated from Trinity College, Dublin University and later attended the United Kingdom Higher Command and Staff College. He was appointed an MBE in 1980 for work in connection with US/UK special operations.

Leadership

Michael Rodenburg

Michael Rodenburg

Michael leads the Guardiar business globally and has over 22 years’ experience in the security industry. He is an Executive member of Præsidiad and a Board Member of Hesco Ltd, a leading developer of earth-filled barrier technologies. He is the Chairman of Vulcan Properties and Real Estate, South Africa.

Michael started his career as Group Accountant for a German banker’s African assets, after which he was Group Management Accountant for Everite Ltd., a South African listed leader in manufacturing building products. Following this role, he became a Partner at one of the leading below-the-line marketing companies in South Africa.

In 1993 he started his own accounting firm, which was successfully sold. In 1999 Michael founded a manufacturing business in South Africa together with Bekaert which became Betafence High Security and has now transformed into Guardiar globally.

He holds a Business Administration degree from the University of Cape Town and is a Qualified Chartered Administrator ACIS.

 

Chris Vaughn

Chief Financial Officer

Chris Vaughn

Chris began his finance career in the Aerospace & Defense industry, gaining valuable experience in the areas of government contracts and managing complex projects. With over 15 years of experience in the financial management field, he has established himself as a respected finance professional.  Leading the Guardiar finance team as Chief Financial Officer, Chris excels at creating stability in processes and optimizing business environments in which operations can thrive. He is a Certified Management Accountant with a Bachelor’s Degree in Economics and a Master’s Degree in Business Administration.

Michael James

Managing Director Imea & APAC

Michael James

Michael joined the company in 2006 as an Account Manager in the South African sales department, where he established himself as a key figure in the Southern African market. In this role he was continuously driving growth and delivering results, and was ultimately appointed as Managing Director for the IMEA region. Michael has more than 20 years’ experience in marketing & sales management as well as Business Development. He holds qualifications in Executive Leadership and Sales & Marketing.

Chad Scott

Managing Director Americas

Chad Scott

Chad is a veteran of the security industry, with more than 18 years’ experience in perimeter protection. He started his career in the Seattle area where he worked for a regional manufacturer and a larger national manufacturer, before starting his own wholesale company. Chad joined Guardiar as Director of Sales in 2010 and currently serves as Managing Director AME.

Timothy Messelis

Director Security Solutions and R&D

Timothy Messelis

Timothy is recognized as an expert in perimeter security technology and solutions. He has more than 14 years of experience in both hardware and software product development and management, and holds a Master of Science degree in Electronics & ICT. As Director of Security Solutions and R&D, Timothy is responsible for leading Guardiar’s global team of engineers and IT experts to provide innovative custom solutions to customers.

Ockie Swanepoel

Projects Director

Ockie Swanepoel

Ockie started his career in the security industry in 2005 as a group consultant for a major security upgrade project for 47 correctional facilities. After the completion of the project, Ockie joined Guardiar in a permanent capacity as Projects Director. In addition to overseeing global project execution, he is also responsible for the Group’s integrated management system. Ockie is passionate about advancing project precision and quality to the smallest detail.  

Michèle James

Director Corporate Development

Michèle James

Michele develops the Guardiar Global Brand Strategy and leads the marketing implementation. She heads up Business Intelligence & Research Analysis for the organization. Prior to this, Michele headed up legal advisory services for the Betafence Projects division – this included assessing contractual risks and ensuring compliance with regards to both legal & regulatory obligations for projects from Papua New Guinea, Burundi, Morocco, Peru and Singapore.

Gustav Bothma

Director HR

Gustav Bothma

With more than 10 years’ experience in the manufacturing & engineering industries, Gustav is a seasoned Human Resource professional leading the Guardiar HR team. With a passion for working with diverse cultures he focuses on building relationships to connect the group globally and to act as trusted business partner. He holds a Bachelor’s degree in Psychology, an Honors degree in Human Resource Management and completed his MBA in 2012.

Chi Lam

General Counsel

Chi Lam

Chi has extensive experience providing legal and risk management advice on large international construction and commercial projects in the United States, Europe, North Africa, and the Middle East. Prior to joining Guardiar he served in various in-house legal positions for a leading Fortune 500 technology and engineering company, as well as for a multinational construction company. Chi is responsible for managing all of Guardiar’s legal matters and is licensed to practice law in various jurisdictions in the United States.

Global Team

Alex Atala

Team Lead: Mechanical Engineering, USA

Alex Atala

Alex is the team leader of Guardiar’s Mechanical Engineering division based in the USA. He is a Mechanical Design Engineer with more than 25 years of experience in product development and manufacturing. His career spans multiple sectors including defense, firearms and medical industries. Alex holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Mechanical Engineering and a Master’s Degree in Business Administration.

Amanda Venter

Regulatory and Compliance Manager

Amanda Venter

Amanda has over 25 years’ experience in the development, implementation and evaluation of quality, health and safety improvement tools and training programs. She is highly experienced in construction environments and has a proven track record of assisting organizations to transform and streamline existing systems and processes in order to continuously improve outcomes.

Andrew Gartman

Program Finance Director

Andrew Gartman

Andrew brings over 12 years’ experience to the Guardiar Finance team.  Prior to this he was the High Security Finance Program Manager at Betafence Group. In his early career Andrew worked in the aerospace and defense sectors, gaining valuable experience in managing projects, corporate financial planning and IT systems development.  Andrew holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Financial Economics and a Master’s Degree in Investor Relations.

Dacian Zainea

Team Lead: Controls Engineering, USA

Dacian Zainea

Dacian has more than 7 years’ experience in industrial and OEM automation and controls systems. In his current role he is responsible for leading the electrical and controls team for Guardiar’s high security active vehicular line of equipment, based in the USA. Previously he was a Controls Engineer at Betafence. Dacian has a PhD in Electrical Engineering.

Donnie Keilers

Plant Manager: USA

Donnie Keilers

Donnie has 19 years’ experience in manufacturing and production management. His roles have included Production Manager, Senior Buyer, Engineering Manager and Plant Manager.  Donnie has deep experience in high security and baseline fencing products and manufacturing and holds certifications for the operation of the majority of the equipment in Guardiar’s assembly plants. He is credited with many of the process upgrades in use at the plants today, which have resulted in vast increases in production capacity.  

Emad Baghdadi

Regional Sales Manager: IMEA

Emad Baghdadi

Emad is the Regional Sales Manager for the Middle East, based in Dubai. He joined Guardiar in 2017 and has over 5 years’ experience in providing high security solutions to various sectors including  oil and gas, airports, borders and various governmental entities. Emad has an MBA in the Science of Security Studies.

Fred Reich

Manager of Information Technology

Fred Reich

Fred has over 20 years’ experience in information technology, including networks, server infrastructure, software, and telecommunications. He holds a Master’s of Business degree in Technology Management.  Fred joined Guardiar in 2018.

Gabrielle Brown

Operations Manager: IMEA

Gabrielle Brown

Gabrielle is the IMEA regional High-Security Project Operations Manager based in South Africa. She has over 20 years’ experience as a product and estimation specialist for high-security perimeter protection projects. She is responsible for leading the Bid Management team in the IMEA region. Previously she was a Logistics Manager at Betafence, where she was responsible for managing the systems, processes and structures within the Betafence supply chain.

Gareth Dewey

Director of Business Development: Technology

Gareth Dewey

Gareth is a business development specialist with a wealth of experience in the perimeter security industry. He joined Guardiar in 2015 and is responsible for the total perimeter turnkey solutions. Gareth holds qualifications in sales and marketing as well as business management through various tertiary institutes, he was one of the first registered and certified sales professionals through the United Professional Selling Association (UPSA).

Gene Wegener

Plant Manager: South Africa

Gene Wegener

Gene has 40 years’ experience in manufacturing and production management. He started his career in the mining industry before moving onto works, quality and process management roles in the manufacturing industry.  His role also includes overseeing operations and supply chain for the IMEA region, as well as engineering, quality, health, and safety. Gene holds a Mechanical Engineering qualification

Glenn Schluter

Director of Business Development: Perimeter Protection

Glenn Schluter

Glenn is a professional security consultant with over 27 years’ experience. He specializes in perimeter security solutions and has a special interest in lifestyle estates and sports facility security.  He has considerable experience in infrastructure development across multiple sectors including education and health. He has also been involved in projects in the national intelligence space and conservation.

Koen Vandecasteele

Team Lead, R&D: Belgium

Koen Vandecasteele

Koen is the R&D team leader based in Belgium. He joined Betafence (now Guardiar) in in 2006 as project engineer for the European market; in 2008 his role was expanded to include the export market. Koen has a solid track record of designing and installing high-security fences.

Melisa Eaton

Operations Manager: USA

Melisa Eaton

Melisa joined Betafence (now Guardiar) in 2014 following the acquisition of SecureUSA, Inc. She runs the pre-construction bid center located in Florida, USA. Melisa is responsible for estimating CAD operations, project administration and contract negotiations. She has 15 years’ experience as a project manager with deep knowledge of the pre-bid contract process. Melisa has a degree in Construction Management.

Philippe Antossevitch

Commercial Director: IMEA

Philippe Antossevitch

Philippe is an experienced sales and projects director. After graduating with a Master’s degree in Global Marketing from the United Kingdom, he held several key sales positions in various industrial sectors. He has deep experience in managing complex perimeter security projects; and has an in-depth understanding of the key constraints of high-risk sectors and projects including defense, critical infrastructure protection, transport infrastructure, energy and utilities.

Paul Morales

Security Engineer

Paul Morales

Paul has over 10 years’ experience in the electronic security industry. He has an extensive track record of global rollouts and design in IP-based unified security solutions. He also holds advanced technical certifications with most leading manufacturers and vendors in the physical/electronic security space. Prior to joining Guardiar in 2017, he worked in various engineering roles for Northeast based technology integration firms before relocating to South Florida.

Paul StJean

Director of Sales: Americas

Paul StJean

As Director of Sales for the Americas, Paul brings 15 years of experience in security perimeter solutions. He has managed multiple large-scale security projects, including airports, borders and utilities.  Paul understands shareholder value and directs his team to meet the needs of high security customers.

Rachelle Smith

Regional Financial Manager

Rachelle Smith

Rachelle is a chartered accountant and is responsible for leading Guardiar South Africa’s finance team. Before joining Guardiar in 2018, she worked in the mobile payments and manufacturing industries. Rachelle is committed to creating a control environment that is both efficient and effective.

Shaun Turner

Business Development Manager: Africa

Shaun Turner

Shaun is an ex-military security specialist; he spent 20 years in the armed forces before specializing in security solutions in the private sector. For the past 15 years he has been involved in a variety of high-security projects in the defense and maritime sectors in the Middle East and Africa. Shaun holds the equivalent of a BSc Nautical Sciences and has project management qualifications.

Stefanos Synodinos

Electromechanical Engineer

Stefanos Synodinos

Stefanos has 10 years’ experience and has held various technical and management positions in this time. He is based in Belgium and works in Guardiar’s R&D division, where he specializes in hostile vehicle mitigation products and customized crash rated products. Stefanos holds a Bachelor’s degree in Automation Engineering and a Master of Science degree in Energy.

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