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John P. Savas
Senior Vice President
580 North Bank Lane
Lake Forest, IL 60045


Recent Posts

  • Domestic Violence in the Workplace: A Growing Epidemic

    Pam was the featured blogger for AlliedBarton this month. Her topic is very timely as October is Domestic Violence Awareness Month… Domestic violence is an epidemic in U.S. society: one out of nearly every four women will be the victim of domestic violence in her lifetime. Why should employers care read more...

  • Emotional vs. Physical Abuse

    Although isolating, emotionally abusing, and threatening the victim are certainly forms of abuse, they usually do not constitute a crime for which charges can be laid.  My friend and former supervisor, Anna Demacopoulos, used to say, “You can’t charge him for being a jerk.”  Well said!  Victims in emotionally abusive read more...

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pampic1Pamela Paziotopoulos, Senior Vice President

Workplace & Intimate Partner Violence

Ms. Paziotopoulos began her career in 1990 as a prosecutor for the Cook County State’s Attorney’s Office, quickly focusing on the area of domestic violence. In 1996, she joined the American Prosecutor’s Research Institute’s Criminal Prosecution Division as a Senior Attorney, traveling to 38 of the 50 states, conducting training and speaking on domestic violence. She oversaw curricula development and education in domestic violence prosecution, provided technical assistance to prosecutors and allied professionals, and developed training materials in the areas of domestic violence and stalking. In 1997, she was recruited to the Cook County State’s Attorney’s Office to create and supervise the Domestic Violence Division. She monitored the prosecution of over 100,000 domestic violence cases emanating each year from the city of Chicago and surrounding area. She created a Career Resource Center that continues to assist victims of domestic violence by providing a transition from welfare to work and established an “Adopt a Shelter Program,” partnering Cook County agencies with various domestic violence shelters. She helped secure over $900,000 in federal, state and private money to supplement these initiatives, and served as Chairperson and a member of various domestic violence committees throughout Cook County and the State of Illinois. In 2000, she became part of the elected State’s Attorney, Richard Devine’s, executive staff, and served as the Director of Public Affairs for the office. In 2002, Ms. Paziotopoulos formed her own consulting group, serving both the public and private sectors. Ms. Paziotopoulos joined Forest Advisors in 2010 as Senior Vice President, assisting clients and other organizations through education and policy guideline development.

Ms. Paziotopoulos has developed and presented numerous training sessions on the topic of domestic violence, stalking, and workplace violence to corporations, security directors, human resource professionals, doctors, nurses, employee assistance providers, prosecutors, advocates, judges, law enforcement agencies, psychologists, shelter personnel, and court watchers. She has trained the Albanian National Police on domestic violence policy and procedures in Tirana, Albania. Ms. Paziotopoulos has frequently been a keynote speaker on domestic violence.

She has also appeared on CNN, CNBC, and the Oprah Winfrey Show, as well as numerous national radio and news stations. She has appeared on the FBI’s Training Network, discussing domestic violence in the workplace. She was a consultant and participant in the FBI’s Violence in the Workplace Symposium, ASIS Workplace Violence Guidelines, the ABA Workplace Violence book, and the new 2011 SHRM workplace violence standards. She has authored numerous articles on the issues of domestic violence and stalking. Her article, “Violence Against Women Act: Federal Relief for State Prosecutors,” has been cited by Federal Courts of Appeal as decisive in defending the landmark legislation VAWA.

In July 2000, she was selected by Today’s Chicago Woman as one of 100 women making a difference in Chicago. In November 2000, she received the first Distinguished Alumni Award from Hinsdale South High School. In December 2008, she received an award from the Illinois Security Chiefs for making a difference in security, safety, and law Enforcement. Mayor Rahm Emanuel selected her to participate on the Public Safety Committee of his transition team in 2011.

Ms. Paziotopoulos remains active with the Justice Department and continues to conduct research in the area of intimate partner violence. She also focuses on teaching corporations how to raise awareness and create practical solutions to workplace violence issues. She is a member of the Association of Threat Assessment Professionals, and the American Society of Industrial Security. She is licensed to practice law in Illinois and in Federal Court.

Ms. Paziotopoulos has a Juris Doctorate degree from the IIT Chicago-Kent College of Law as well as a Bachelor of Arts degree from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. She is also a Certified Instructor for the International Criminal Investigative Training Assistance Program. Ms. Paziotopoulos is an adjunct professor at the IIT Chicago-Kent College of Law. She is also on the women's board at the Adler Planetarium.


 “Ten Things a Security Director Needs to Know About Domestic Violence and Stalking in the Workplace,” ASIS Foundation, 2007.

 “Workplace Domestic Violence,” Law and Order, August, 2003.

"Workplace Violence Prevention: A Practical Guide," book chapter, STP Specialty Technical Publishers, Fall, 2002.

“Domestic Violence Policies and Procedure,” Desk-book for Prosecutors, January, 2001.

“Violence Against Women Act: Federal Relief for State Prosecutors,” The Prosecutor, May/June 1996.

“The Criminalization of Domestic Violence: Promises and Limits,” Prosecutor Perspective, Spring 1996.

“Ideas and Information,” Domestic Violence, 1996.

Prosecuting Stalking Cases, 1996.

“Prosecutors Take the Lead,” Domestic Violence, 1996.

savasJohn P. Savas, SPHR, Senior Vice President

Workplace & Campus Violence


John Savas has over 25 years of human resource experience in both corporate and consulting roles. He has worked with a variety of industries including public and private companies, family-owned businesses, and non-profit organizations. Throughout his career, he has been exposed to virtually all areas within HR and would be characterized as a true senior HR generalist and expert. He has successfully managed and participated in projects relating to strategic planning, employee communications, performance management, re-designing and implementing health and retirement benefit programs, leadership training, employee and labor relations, total rewards and compensation, staffing and recruitment, and numerous talent management initiatives. He has been instrumental in the development and implementation of numerous workplace and campus violence prevention and intervention programs.

Prior to joining Forest Advisors, a division of Forest Financial Group, where he currently heads up both the workplace violence and human resource consulting practices, John was a Partner and Human Resource Practice Leader for Blue Prairie Group, a human resource and investment consulting firm, helping it to become one of INC 5000's Fastest Growing Privately Held Companies in 2009 and 2011. Prior to that, he was an Officer and Vice President of Human Resources for The Pampered Chef, a Berkshire Hathaway company. His senior leadership experience was also demonstrated at Tuthill Corporation, where he was successful in starting-up the company's first corporate Human Resources Department. He has previously held senior management positions with DSC Logistics and The John D. & Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation. Much of his professional life has been dedicated to improving processes and systems, developing the people around him, and adding value to organizations by documenting and quantifying the successes of the Human Resource function.

John holds an M.B.A. and a Bachelor of Science degree in Personnel and Industrial Relations Management from Northern Illinois University. He is President of the Board of Directors of the James R. Jordan Boys and Girls Club and serves on the Corporate Board of Directors of the Boys and Girls Clubs of Chicago. He has also served on the Board of Directors of the Chicago SHRM chapter and is a member of the Society for Human Resource Management where he maintains the designation of Senior Professional in Human Resources (SPHR). He volunteers as a pro bono Account Director for Taproot Foundation. He speaks and trains frequently on Human Resource topics such as performance management, leadership development, harassment and discrimination, and workplace violence.


rugalapicEugene Rugala, Senior Advisor

Workplace and Campus Violence, Intimate Partner Violence, & Stalking

Eugene A. Rugala, was formerly with the Federal Bureau of Investigation’s (FBI) Critical Incident Response Group (CIRG), and was assigned to the National Center for the Analysis of Violent Crime (NCAVC), FBI Academy, Quantico, Virginia.  He was a Supervisory Special Agent assigned to the NCAVC from February of 1995 until his retirement in September of 2005.  Prior to retiring from the FBI, he was Unit Chief of Behavioral Analysis Unit – 1, Threat Assessment and Counter Terrorism.

Mr. Rugala, one of the FBI’s “Profilers”, in the unit made famous by the book and  movie “The Silence of the Lambs”, and the television show “Criminal Minds”, specializes in the detailed analysis of violent crimes including murder, sexual assault, child sexual abuse, child abduction, extortion, kidnapping, domestic violence, stalking, arson, bombings, workplace and campus violence. These analyses are provided to requesting law enforcement agencies in the form of offender profiles, crime scene analysis, investigative and interview strategies, media and crisis communication strategies and threat assessments.

Mr. Rugala has participated in ongoing research regarding stalking behavior, serial rape, domestic, workplace and school violence.  He has contributed to a number of publications dealing with workplace violence, school violence and stalking behaviors. A written monograph Workplace Violence: Issues in Response was released March 1, 2004 and is downloadable from the FBI website,  He has been a featured speaker at many national conferences regarding workplace violence, and has lectured in this topic area to representatives of many Fortune 500 companies.

Mr. Rugala has testified before the Committee on Education and the Workforce, U.S. House of Representatives regarding workplace violence as a problem in America's workplaces and before the judiciary committees of the Maryland State House and Senate regarding stalking behaviors on behalf of the Maryland Family Violence Council sponsoring revised stalking legislation. He has provided assistance and expertise to the City of Chicago, States of Connecticut, Maryland, and New Mexico, The National Institute of Health, The National Security Agency and the National Reconnaissance Office in the implementation of a workplace violence prevention program and management of critical incidents.

Mr. Rugala has consulted with the Protection Detail of the British Royal Family regarding Public Figure and Celebrity Stalkers.  He has also consulted with members of New Scotland Yard regarding mass murder, specifically as it applies to workplace and school violence.

Mr. Rugala is a member of the Violence Against Women Online Resources (VAWOR) Rapid Response Project. The Rapid Response Project is a collaborative project between Minnesota Center Against Violence and Abuse (MINCAVA) at the University of Minnesota and the Office on Violence Against Women (OVW) of the U.S. Department of Justice.

Mr. Rugala has worked very closely with the Transportation and Security Administration (TSA) in the behavioral assessment of potential terrorists. He has worked with The Department of Homeland Security and the International Council of Shopping Centers in a conference on Suicide bombers looking at threat assessment, critical incident response and crisis management. Additionally, he has participated in and provided training at crisis management and tabletop exercises dealing with response to terrorist attacks as well as other critical incident scenarios.

Mr. Rugala has provided behavioral assistance to FBI personnel in furtherance of their mission at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba.

Mr. Rugala was a featured speaker in a satellite telecast dealing with workplace violence with faculty members from George Washington University in Washington, D.C. and has participated in FBI and U.S. Department of Justice Television Network satellite telecasts regarding workplace and domestic violence. He has participated in the making of a number of videos concerning workplace violence for the U.S. Department of Interior and Department of Labor, Washington, D.C. and other organizations. Mr. Rugala is also a trained Employee Assistance Counselor with the FBI and as such has responded to provide counseling after critical incidents throughout the bureau.

Mr. Rugala had been a Special Agent with the FBI for 26 years and has been previously assigned to FBI offices in Santa Fe, New Mexico, Fayetteville, North Carolina and Washington, D.C.

Before coming to the FBI, Mr. Rugala was employed with the New Mexico State Police, as a Forensic Serologist and Crime Scene Technician. He processed and examined physical evidence from sexual assault and homicide crime scenes and has testified as an expert witness in a number of death penalty cases in the state of New Mexico to include the 1980 inmate takeover of the New Mexico State Penitentiary where thirty three (33) inmates were killed by other inmates during the takeover.


“Combating Workplace Violence: A Guide for Employers and Law Enforcement,” International Association of Chiefs of Police, Consultant, 1996.

“Guide for Preventing and Responding to School Violence,” International Association of Chiefs of Police, Consultant, 1999.

“VIOLENT STUdent Scale,” University of North Carolina, Department of Counseling and Educational Development, Consultant.

“Stalking Laws and Their Implementation: What Stalking Investigators and Prosecutors Do – A Problem Solving Perspective,” Institute for Law and Justice, Alexandria, Virginia, Consultant

“Workplace Violence: From Threat to Intervention,” Clinics in Occupational and Environmental Medicine, Co-author, 2003.

“Workplace Violence: Issues in Response,” FBI, Co-author, 2004.

“Workplace Violence Guidelines,“ ASIS, Contributor, 2005.

“Expert Testimony and Risk Assessment in Stalking Cases,” FBI Law Enforcement Bulletin, Co-author, 2004.

“Workplace Violence Prevention,” FBI Law Enforcement Bulletin, Co-author, 2011.

“Standards on the Prevention of Workplace Violence,” ASIS/SHRM, Co-author, 2011.

“National Crime Victimization Survey, supplement on Stalking behavior,” Office of Violence Against Women (OVW), U.S. Department of Justice, Consultant, 2006 (yet to be released)


brandtpicGerald T. Brandt, Senior Advisor

Workplace Violence and Security

Gerald has forty years of experience in workplace violence and corporate security, providing an in-depth knowledge extending through all phases of security consultation, investigative systems and procedures.  Brandt has achieved success in the investigation and prevention of crime in the public and private sector. Personal qualifications include a high level of professionalism coupled with solid analytical, human relations and leadership skills…an accomplished public speaker.

Key Accomplishments:

  • Security Consultant to multinational corporations risk analysis, security audits, executive protection and hostage survival.

  • Past Chairman of the Illinois North Shore Chapter of the American Society for Industrial Security.

  • Contributes to published articles and lectures on violence in the work place, and domestic terrorism, retail security, security officer selection and training.

  • Has appeared as a Security Expert on CNN, WGN, ABC 20/20, NBC, and CLTV.

  • Has assisted in the production of six security related videos:

    • Terrorism in America – Executive Briefin

    • Terrorism in America – Crisis Managemen

    • Subway Stores – Store Security for Owner

    • Subway Stores – Security for Employees

    • National Counterintelligence Center –“ Something Wasn’t Right

    • Subway Stores – Security Roundtabl

  • Has written Corporate and Aviation security manuals utilized by Fortune 500 companies. Interviewed for the cover story of the October 2000 issue of Security magazine.

  • Has been presented as a security expert to numerous service organizations, banking institutions and corporations regarding violence in the workplace and security-related issues.

  • Brandt has testified in court as a Security Expert on premise liability lawsuits regarding failure to provide security.  The suits resulted, in some cases awards to the plaintiff in the millions of dollars and in others for the defendant, whose exposure was mitigated.

  • Planned, organized and implemented activities related to four visits by two Presidents of the United States.  Assigned and supervised polices officers and in the private sector security officers to assure security and safety for the President and guests of our client.

  • Conducted Security Assessments in a Varity of Industries and environments.

  • Conducted International investigations and provided Executive Protection for Principals while traveling abroad.

Prior to founding Gerald T. Brandt & Associates, which provides world-wide security consultation serving corporations, institutions and high profile individuals to reduce their exposure to criminal acts, Brandt was a Principal of Baker-Eubanks, LLC a security consulting firm assisting corporations and individuals in reducing their exposure to loss from theft, burglary, robbery, international diversion, and other criminal acts.  Baker-Eubanks provides training programs in the areas of Drug Abuse in the Workplace, Violence in the Workplace, Executive Protection, and other areas of concern to the security conscious. Mr. Brandt has recovered millions of dollars through investigation and deterrence at client locations. He was also the Corporate Director of Security and Safety for Helene Curtis, Inc., one of the worlds’ leading manufacturers of hair care products for the home and beauty salon.  Responsible for a multi-million-dollar security budget for a security related issues worldwide. Prior to his role with Helene Curtis, he was with the Evanston Illinois Police Department, holding progressively more responsible positions up to the rank of Commander (Colonel) of the Administrative Division.  As Commander of the Selective Enforcement Team, he took part in the arrest of eleven F.A.L.N. terrorists including the FBI Number One most wanted F.A.L.N. leader, Carlos Alberto Torres.


Administration of Police Personnel

State of Illinois Licensed Private Detective

State of Illinois Licensed Security Contractor


FBI National Academy Graduates Alumni Association

Southern Police Institute Alumni Association

American Society for Industrial Security

Illinois Police Association

Special Agents Association

Illinois Crime Prevention Association

International Association of Chiefs of Police


Undergraduate studies in Sociology, Kendall College, Evanston, IL

FBI National Academy, University of Virginia, Graduate, Police Administration

Southern Police Institute, University of Louisville, Graduate, Police Administration

University of Wisconsin, Graduate, Juvenile Justice Management

Northwestern University, Hostage Negotiations, Supervision of Police Personnel