Academy for Venue Safety & Security 
March 10 - 14, 2019 / San Diego, CA

The 2019 program is being developed now. A sample of the 2018 program follows.

AVSS 2018 Faculty 


Peter Ashwin
Principal, Event Risk Management Solutions LLC

Peter Ashwin is the principal and founder of Event Risk Management Solutions (ERMS), a consulting practice committed to enhancing organizational resilience through practical and effective event security and risk management practices.  Peter is a former Australian Army special forces officer who has been delivering integrated security solutions within complex, multi-agency environments for over 25 years.  

An industry leader, Peter has led multi-national project teams in the development of innovative solutions to enhance operational integration between major event organizing committees with government security authorities, law enforcement and the private security sector across six Olympic Games, the ICC Cricket World Cup 2015 (Australia & NZ), the Baku 2015 European Games (Azerbaijan) and the 2010 Toronto G8/G20 Summits. He has also supported a wide range of festivals and events in the US, including the Memphis in May International Festival, the Pasadena Tournament of Roses and the Gratitude Migration Festival in Keansburg, NJ.

Peter is a director on the International Festivals and Events Association (IFEA) World Board and a guest lecturer on risk management and event security at the IFEA/NRPA Event Management School and the IAVM Academy of Safety and Security.

Peter is based in Boise, Idaho. 


Mark Camillo
Senior Vice President of Strategic Planning, Contemporary Services Corporation
president, Apex Security Group

Mark Camillo began his career in law enforcement as a Special Agent in the U.S. Secret Service where he completed a distinguished 21-year career that included three separate assignments at the White House. Specialized assignments at the White House required protecting four U.S. Presidents and family members. Mr. Camillo held several key positions during his career in major event planning, but the most notable was being appointed the Olympic Coordinator for the 2002 Salt Lake Winter Olympics. Under his direction, the Secret Service executed its mission through Presidential Executive Order to design, plan and implement the Federal operational security plan for the Games. This event was later used as a model for National Special Security Events in the United States.


Connor Fitzpatrick
Chief Operating Officer, CrowdRx

Connor Fitzpatrick couples his background in emergency medical services with his extensive experience in healthcare operations to build strategic partnerships with venues, sponsors, and clients.Connor has served as Medical Operations Director for some of the world’s largest events including Burning Man, the US Open, Madison Square Garden, and Yankee Stadium. Additionally, Connor is a nationally recognized speaker on event safety and medical services and has appeared on CNN’s “This is Life With Lisa Ling,” at the Event Safety Summit, Mass EMS World Conference, Gathering Medicine Summit, Live Design International, and is guest faculty for the International Association of Venue Managers.

Connor co-founded Echo Response Technologies LLC, which develops mobile applications that provide tactical tools to emergency first responders.

Connor graduated from Cornell University, earning a B.S. in Applied Economics and Management. He volunteers as an instrument-rated pilot for Patient Airlift Services and as an Advanced Emergency Medical Technician Instructor and ALS Supervisor.He is also certified by the Department of Homeland Security as an Incident Response to Terrorist Bombings instructor, by CONTOMS as a Tactical EMT, and as a Connecticut POSTC Police Instructor.


William F. Flynn
President, GARDA Risk Management, LLC

William Flynn is the president of GARDA Risk Management, LLC specializing is homeland and national security policy and operations with a focus on critical infrastructure security and resilience. Mr. Flynn also serves as a Senior Fellow at the George Washington University Center for Cyber & Homeland Security.

Mr. Flynn previously served as the Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security’s Office of Infrastructure Protection, where he led the coordinated national effort to reduce risk to our nation’s critical infrastructure posed by acts of terrorism. In November 2012, he was nominated by the Secretary of Homeland Security and selected to chair a North Atlantic Treaty Organization’s (NATO) committee responsible for coordinating and monitoring national and NATO arrangements for civil emergencies, crisis management and critical infrastructure protection.

Mr. Flynn joined the federal government after 24 years with the NYC Police Department. On September 11, 2001, he responded to the terrorist attacks on the World Trade Center where he oversaw the collection and custody of recovered evidence and property, the biometric identification of recovered victims and the deployment of emergency response equipment.

Mr. Flynn is also a retired Captain with over 35 years of active and reserve service in the United States Navy, with deployments to the Middle East, Southwest Asia, and the Philippines.  He holds a Baccalaureate degree in Criminal Justice from St. John’s University and a Master’s degree in Organizational Psychology from Columbia University. Among his numerous military and civilian awards are the Legion of Merit, the Director of National Intelligence Meritorious Unit Citation and the prestigious Senior Executive Service Presidential Meritorious Rank Award which honors career executives for sustained extraordinary accomplishments.


Mark Herrera
Director of Education, IAVM

Mark Herrera is the Director of Education for the International Association of Venue Managers. As part of his duties, Mark teaches Situational Awareness-Mindset training aimed at giving venues the tools to be safer and more secure. The training emphasizes on Exceptional Focus, Performance, and Control in Extreme Situations and Risk Mitigation through Guest Services Interjection.

In addition, as the Director of Education for IAVM, Mark represents the Department of Homeland Security Office of Infrastructure Protection through the Public Assembly Facility Sub-Sector Council. As a representative of the Public Assemblies Facilities Sub-Sector Council he works in collaboration with the Department of Homeland Security and the Protective Security Advisor to Identify capability gaps across soft target community, countering threats to the pattern of life and researching technology to mitigate risk that information is provided to protect our Public Facility Assemblies and all Critical Infrastructures. Mark is also on the National Fire Protection Association Technical Advisory Committee for Assembly Occupancies.

Herrera is also a seasoned law enforcement officer and trainer, having spent twenty years with the Hobbs, NM, Police Department in numerous roles including Patrol Officer, Detective for the Gang and Narcotics unit, Supervisor of the Crime Prevention Division, Field Training Officer, Honor Guard Commander, and Entry Team Leader and Tactical Sergeant for a Special Operations Unit known as S.W.A.T.

During this time, his responsibilities also included the development and implementation of security policies and procedures and security awareness programs for the Community of Hobbs.

Upon retiring from the police department, he leveraged his training background to implement security policies, procedures and training programs for the oil and gas industry and later worked as an instructor for the DHS, training 3,000 armed pilots to defend against acts of terrorism involving criminal violence or air piracy.

Andy Jabbour
Managing Director, The Gate 15 Company

Andy is co-founder and Managing Director of The Gate 15 Company, where he oversees team projects providing Gate 15’s threat-informed and risk based approach to analysis, preparedness and operations in support of private sector and government partners across the critical infrastructure environment, including support to the several information sharing and analysis centers. He also presently serves as a member of the International Association of Venue Managers Venue Safety & Security Committee and as faculty for IAVM’s Academy for Venue Safety & Security, as well as serving as on the InfraGardNCRBoard.

He has 20 years of project and personnel management experience, with extensive experience working in the fields of analysis, operations and preparedness with public and private organizations. In addition to current projects with a variety of information sharing and analysis organizations and government partners, he has previously supported the DHS Office of Infrastructure Protection’s incident response, serving in the IP Incident Management Cell / Crisis Action Team during several incidents. Prior to founding Gate 15, Andy was employed by the FS-ISAC, the Battelle Memorial Institute, and Cintas Corporation. He served 8 years in the U.S. Army assigned to bases in the United States, Germany, Kosovo, Iraq, and Afghanistan.

Andy graduated from George Mason University with a degree in Government and Politics and received his Masters degree in Management from Webster University. He skipped his college graduation to marry the former Michelle Wilson of Herndon, Virginia.  Andy and Michelle have two children, Thomas and Jackson Jabbour.  The family presently resides in Loudoun County, Virginia.

Sarah Karel
Community Engagement & Meteorology Coordinator, Hennepin County Emergency Management

Sarah Karel has been the Community Engagement and Meteorology Coordinator for Hennepin County Emergency Management since September, 2013. Sarah received her Bachelor of Science in Meteorology and Hydrology from St. Cloud State University in 2011. Sarah then received her Master of Education Psychology from the University of Oklahoma in 2013 where she designed and developed a training program for Oklahoma schools to help them prepare and train for severe weather. Sarah chaired the Weather Resource Group for Super Bowl LII which aided in preparedness, planning, and operational communication for potential weather impacts during Super Bowl LII. Sarah provides special event support while also leading the effort on a new Weather Initiative from Hennepin County Emergency Management called the Hennepin West Mesonet. The Hennepin West Mesonet is a build out of a network of weather stations to aid in real-time weather data gathering for decision making during hazardous weather, specifically during special events across Hennepin County.


Ed Klima, CEM
Managing Partner, EventC2, LLC

Ed Klima has over twenty years of experience in public safety as both a career and volunteer fire fighter.  He currently serves as the senior director of public safety and track operations for the Dover International Speedway and Dover Downs Hotel and Casino where he oversees emergency preparedness planning and operations at several motorsports facilities across the U.S. as well as a comprehensive safety and loss control program for a multi-faceted sporting and entertainment complex in Delaware.

Mr. Klima also serves as a principal Emergency Preparedness Consultant for Medical Sports Group, Inc. where he has been a lead coordinator in the emergency planning process for Super Bowls XL - XLVII. In addition, he specializes in emergency preparedness and capabilities assessments and the development of comprehensive public/private partnerships in emergency preparedness and response for large scale mass gathering events.

Mr. Klima has served as the External Affairs Director for the Congressional Fire Services Institute. He is an original member of the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) 610 Committee, Safety at Motorsports Venues and the NASCAR Security Council. A member of various state and local committees, Klima currently serves on the Governor’s Homeland Security Advisory Council for Delaware as well as the State Homeland Security Training and Exercise Committee.

Mr. Klima holds a B.A. in Political Science and a B.S. in Agriculture from the University of Delaware as well as a Masters in Public Safety Management form Saint Joseph’s University.


Billy Langenstein
Director, Event Services, U.S. Bank Stadium (SMG)

Billy is entering his second season with SMG at U.S. Bank Stadium as the Director of Event Services. He is specifically, responsible for security, public safetyand emergency preparedness, medical services, transportation, guest experience and event oversight. Working closely with the Minnesota Vikings, MSFA and the entire community; his goal is to deliver a safe, clean and family experience at each event.

He spent five seasons with the Washington Nationals as the Director of Event Operations. He was specifically responsible for the day-to-day Guest Experience, Parking and Transportation, Housekeeping and overall event set up and break down operations. Prior to joining the Nationals, Billy worked as an Operations Assistant with Live Nation assisting with the event operations and production at many of their music venues.

A native of Philadelphia, Pa, Billy graduated from the University of Maryland with a Bachelor’s degree inCommunication and Master’s degree in Sports Management from Georgetown University.Billy is an NCS4 Industry Leader Under 40 award winnerand achieved the Certified Sport Security Professional(CSSP)certification.  His commitment to the profession is vast as he is the Vice Chair of the Stadium Committee for the IAVM,Faculty Member for the Academy of Venue Safety and Security,Professional Sport Facilities Advisory Committee for the NCS4, member of the Event Safety Allianceand a Master Trainer for Team Coalition.His true passion is in the realm of professional development and leadership by taking continuing educational classes and sharing the knowledge with his colleagues and continuing to be a student in the industry.


Tamara Madensen
Associate Professor, Director of UNLV's Crowd Management Research Council

Dr. Tamara Madensen is an Associate Professor of Criminal Justice and Graduate Director at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas (UNLV). She is the Director of UNLV’s Crowd Management Research Council, and her research focuses on violent crowd dynamics. She provides crowd management research, evaluation, and training for police, security, and private industries. I have been a partner with IAVM since 2010. I was an AVSS instructor and GuestX keynote in 2015.


Kimberly Mahoney, Ph.D., CVP
Assistant Professor, University of New Haven College of Business

Dr. Mahoney is currently an Assistant Professor in the University of New Haven College of Business and teaches primarily in the areas of event and venue management.  She previously served on the faculty of the University of South Carolina and The Ohio State University.  Dr. Mahoney also has 20+ years of industry experience in NBA, NHL, NFL, and major college Division I facilities in various capacities including as a contractor, client, and as part of the venue management team.  She has been involved with the opening of three new venues including a convention center, football stadium, and an arena.  Her work with Show Pros Entertainment Services, Inc. provided opportunities to work in a variety of venues including stadiums, arenas, speedways, and amphitheaters.  Dr. Mahoney also previously served as an Assistant Commissioner with the Ohio High School Athletic Association (OHSAA) and Executive Director of the OHSAA Foundation.  Most recently, she served as the Director of Communications & Program Development with Columbus Arena Sports & Entertainment (CASE), which oversees the day-to-day operation of two 20,000-seat multi-purpose arenas: Nationwide Arena (home of the NHL Columbus Blue Jackets) and the Schottenstein Center (home of Ohio State Buckeyes basketball and ice hockey).  In 2017, she was presented the Stadium Business Unsung Hero award for her work in the industry and efforts to prepare the next generation of venue managers.  Kim continues to be active in the industry through consulting work and professional associations.


Kevin Mattingly, CFE
Deputy Convention Center Director, Phoenix Convention Center

Kevin Mattingly is Deputy Director at the Phoenix Convention Center and Venues, a complex of convention center and performing arts venues in downtown Phoenix, Arizona. He is responsible for life safety operations, event operations, venue operations, and theatrical production services and oversees contracted food and beverage operations. A former Deputy Police Chief, Kevin has experience managing large scale public safety emergencies as the incident commander and responded to two domestic terrorist incidents.

Kevin is active in the Arizona Chapter of the International Association of Venue Managers and is a former member of the IAVM Board of Directors representing Region 7 and is recognized as a Certified Facility Executive (CFE) by IAVM. Kevin has presented at the International Crowd Management Conference (now Guest X), the IAVM annual conference “VenueConnect” and has been a faculty member at the Academy for Venue Safety & Security since 2006. Kevin has trained crowd managers on behalf of IAVM for a major retailer, a professional baseball club and other large organizations. He holds a Master’s Degree in Educational Leadership, with Distinction.


Andrew McQuillan, FdA, GSP, MIIRSM
Guest Faculty

Andrew has worked in Crowd Management industry for the past 12 years. For ten years, Andrew ran a Crowd Management service provider for events and venues based in the United Kingdom. He holds various academic qualifications in Crowd Safety Management, Venue Security and Event Safety. His has significant experience at all levels of Crowd Management from conceptualization of events or venues through to planning, service delivery and monitoring. Andrew has delivered Crowd Management for a wide variety of events ranging from International Golf Tournaments in the Middle East to Athletic events, Stadia, City Centre events and Air Displays with over 300,000 attendances. Andrew also is a FAA and CAA licensed commercial drone pilot and assists festivals, events and venues with live down streaming of video or thermal imaging to assist in Crowd Management.


Dana Risinger
Senior Manager, Corporate Event Safety and Security Division, Walmart Inc.

Dana has over 15 years of professional venue management experience.  She is currently a Senior Manager in the Corporate Event Safety and Security division of Global Security for Walmart Inc.  Her responsibilities include developing and managing safety and security plans for events and meetings held domestically and internationally, and providing event management training.  Risinger started her career in Arena Management moving into Convention Center Manager.  Prior to her current role, she worked at two of the largest Convention Centers in the US as the Life Safety and Security Manager in Dallas, Texas and the Assistant Director of Public Safety in New Orleans, Louisiana.  In addition to her roles in Safety and Security Management, Dana was responsible for creating and managing the plans for disaster responses atypical for large entertainment venues.  Her successful relationships with local, state, and federal law enforcement agencies, emergency responders, and government officials supported her development and implementation of city and county wide safety and emergency plans involving entertainment venues.   

Risinger is recognized for keeping safety and security a primary focus of operations often developing training and courses for venue and event management professionals in Safety and Security.  In addition, she has been a speaker at the International Crowd Management Conference and the International Convention Center Conference. She has served as a faculty member for the Academy for Venue Safety and Security for over 10 years.  Risinger is also active in the Event Safety Alliance and the Entertainment Services Technical Association working on codes and standards to assist the live event industry.  She has written programs and guideline documents with the primary goal of assisting colleagues with emergency and safety planning.    Dana has contributed articles to the Facility Management Magazine focusing on Safety and Security, and she was one of three editors of the Mega-Shelter Planning Guide, and the Mega-Shelter Best Practices Guides.   The Mega-Shelter Planning Guide which she edited in conjunction with IAVM.  The guide is currently available on at

Dana graduated from Trinity University with a B.S in Business Administration/International Business and a B.A in Chinese Culture. 


Joseph E. Sampson
Partner, McCathern, PLLC

Joseph "Joey" Sampson is a partner at McCathern, PLLC. Since joining McCathern in 2007, Joey has garnered extensive experience and developed a successful practice in litigating matters for defendants and plaintiffs. He handles cases in all areas of business and civil litigation, including insurance coverage issues, D&O liability claims, contract disputes, construction claims, labor and employment claims, and catastrophic personal injury and premise liability claims. Joey also consults companies regarding risk management, employment issues, and contract matters. He was recently recognized by the National Association of Distinguished Counsel as one of the “Nation’s Top Attorneys,” an award bestowed upon the nation’s top one percent of officers of the court as vetted and selected by that organization.

A native of Atlanta, Georgia, Joey attended and graduated magna cum laude from the University of Georgia in 2001, where he earned his Bachelor of Business Administration degree, majoring in Risk Management and Insurance. Terry College’s risk management-insurance program at the University of Georgia has long been recognized by insurance professionals and U.S. News & World Report rankings as one of the top in the country. In fact, U.S. News's 2015 edition of America's Best Colleges ranked UGA's risk management and insurance program as the No. 1 program in the nation. Joey’s strong risk management and insurance background allows him to bring a unique perspective to both consulting businesses and his litigation practice. 

Joey earned his law degree from Baylor University School of Law in 2006. Baylor is consistently ranked as one of the top trial advocacy schools in the nation and has been referred to as the Marine Corps of law schools. While attending Baylor, Joey became a member of the Order of Barristers, and he also completed an externship with the McLennan County District Attorney's Office. Joey was licensed to practice in the State of Texas in November 2006. In addition to being licensed to practice in all Texas state courts, he is also licensed to practice in the United States District Courts for the Northern, Southern, Eastern and Western Districts.    


Ty M. Sheaks
Partner, McCathern, PLLC

Ty M. Sheaks is a partner with McCathern and is the go to “fixer” for McCathern’s most difficult and high-exposure litigation matters. He has a unique and diverse background counseling business partners in a variety of civil and commercial litigation matters on a national level. Prior to joining McCathern in 2013, Ty served as national trial counsel for a multi-national corporation handling all aspects of defending toxic tort and product liability claims in state and federal courts nationwide.

Ty heads up McCathern’s Retail, Restaurant, and Hospitality Section, but has extensive experience and a successful track record in a variety of litigation matters involving personal injury claims, premises liability claims, non-subscription defense, labor/employment disputes, D&O liability claims, construction disputes, toxic tort and products liability claims, and breach of contract actions. Additionally, Ty routinely advises his business partners in a variety of transactional matters, business entity formation issues and corporate governance. Regardless of the issue, Ty utilizes a common-sense approach and his strong business acumen to achieve the best possible results for each business partner.

Outside of the law, Ty implements McCathern’s mantra of “improving lives” by volunteering as the assistant boys’ varsity lacrosse coach at Jesuit College Preparatory School and serving as an Advisory Board Member for the Circle Ten Council-Boy Scouts of America. He is also a member of the National Eagle Scout Association, the Claims and Litigation Management Alliance, the Defense Research Institute, the State Bar of Texas and the Dallas Bar Association.

Ty is a native Texan and graduated from Jesuit College Preparatory School in Dallas before accepting a scholarship to play lacrosse at Regis University in Denver, CO.  At Regis he captained the division II men’s lacrosse team, was a student ambassador and graduated with cum laude honors in 2000 with a degree in business administration and a minor in Spanish.  He received his law degree from the University of Denver, Sturm College of Law, in 2003 before returning to Texas to start his practice.  Ty was licensed to practice law in Texas in 2003 and is admitted to the United States District Courts of the Northern, Southern, and Eastern Districts of Texas.  He has also been admitted to practice pro hac vice in state and federal courts nationwide, including in New York, New Jersey, Delaware, Illinois, Pennsylvania, Missouri, Ohio, North Carolina, South Carolina, Kentucky and Utah.


Andrew Thut
Meteorologist, Severe Weather Preparedness Program

Andrew has been working as a Meteorologist for more than ten years. After graduating from the University of Wisconsin, he began his career as a Broadcast Meteorologist and earned his seal of approval from the American Meteorological Society. He later transitioned to the private weather industry where he has forecasting experience at events including the PGA Tour and the Indiana State Fair. More recently, as a Weather Solutions Expert, Andrew has worked with industries ranging from Utilities to Athletics to Public Safety.


Paul Turner, CFE, CSSP
Senior Director of Event Operations, Dallas Cowboys / AT&T Stadium

Paul Turner, CFE, CSSP is Senior Director of Event Operations for the Dallas Cowboys and AT&T Stadium where he oversees event management event and venue security and public services for all events at AT&T Stadium. He was part of the stadium planning group during construction and was responsible for the development of the stadium operations department. In his 27 years in the venue management industry, Paul has developed and led numerous guest, event and security services operations in performing arts centers, arenas and stadiums.

He has previously held positions with the NFL Philadelphia Eagles, the NBA Portland Trailblazers, Theatre Projects Consultants and the Cerritos Center for the Performing Arts in Southern California. Paul is active in the venue management industry and is a member of the International Association of Venue Managers (IAVM) and the National Center for Spectator Sports Safety and Security (NCS4) where he serves on their National Advisory Board and is Chair of their Professional Certifications Commission.  Paul is currently Chair of the Academy for Venue Safety and Security (AVSS) and a faculty member of the Venue Management School (VMS). In 2015 Paul received the Distinguished Leadership Award from NCS4 and he is a 2017 recipient of the FBI Director’s Community Leadership Award.

Paul is well known for developing industry standards and practices for customer service, event management, security and venue operations. He has created many training and development programs and has presented at industry conferences in the United States, Northern Ireland, Germany, Russia, Australia and the Middle East.


Paul Villotti
Director of Life Safety, Henderson Engineers

Paul Villotti serves as the Director of Life Safety for Henderson Engineers, providing fire protection capabilities to our team of experts in building operation and construction. Whether mentoring the next generation of fire and life safety experts, leading AIA-accredited code classes for architects, walking a job site with a facility manager, or helping an owner deal with a code, Paul is most at home teaching others.

Paul has been involved in fire and life safety design for more than 300 venues across the US and internationally and is an expert in all phases of the facility process, including new construction, renovations, additions and alterations.  An industry-renowned fire protection and life safety expert, Paul has spent the last 35 years helping venue managers, operators, and facility owners obtain building permits, coordinate with fire marshals, and resolve building and fire code issues by providing technical justification for code equivalencies and variances.

Recognized as a Fellow by the Society of Fire Protection Engineers, Paul provides excitement in his teaching methods and brings clarity to the world of building and fire codes. Students appreciate his ability to decipher the many confusing and apparently conflicting requirements while presenting specifics in a clear and truly interesting fashion. Whether talking about underlying principles, current application or future trends in today’s rapidly changing risk environment, Paul makes connections with material that is directly applicable to venue managers and operators. He does not believe in boring code recitation, instead preferring to inspire lively discussions of fire and life safety hazards in your venue with a concrete approach on how to identify and minimize risks. Students learn how to understand fire and code officials’ viewpoints, and then turn that knowledge into an asset.

Paul also assists Henderson Building Solutions, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Henderson Engineers, in overall venue system evaluation and building tune-up activities. He focuses on retro-acceptance testing, reevaluating existing system programming and performance, and implementing operational, energy conserving and cost effective changes to building systems. His emphasis on sprinkler, standpipe, fire alarm, and smoke control systems – along with his building and fire code knowledge – allow aging and tired building systems to be upgraded to improve functionality and reduce operating costs.

A key member of the Henderson University program, Paul also spends time mentoring and training Henderson’s staff and clients. You’ll want to attend one of his trainings — his enthusiasm about fire and life safety is definitely contagious.

Away from the office, Paul enjoys riding his motorcycle and working on his family farm in Garden City, Missouri.

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