Chris Furlow is Chief Operating Officer at Ridge Global, the international security and business consulting firm founded by Tom Ridge, the first U.S. Secretary of Homeland Security and 43rd Governor of Pennsylvania. In this role, Mr. Furlow manages Ridge Global’s business operations, including management and budget, human resources and business development services. Additionally, Mr. Furlow leads the company’s strategic consulting practice, helping clients strengthen business-to-government and business-to-business relationships, with a particular emphasis on emergency preparedness and response. A veteran of the White House and Capitol Hill, he has held Senior Executive positions in two cabinet agencies. Following the 9/11 attacks, Mr. Furlow was named Director for State Affairs in the White House Office of Homeland Security where he coordinated development of the network of state homeland security advisors, supported new information sharing and threat/warning protocols, and served as homeland security liaison to governors and state officials. During the historic stand-up of the Department of Homeland Security in 2003, he was appointed Executive Director of the Homeland Security Advisory Council where he led operations of the department’s principal advisory board and its committees for state & local government, first responders, the private sector and academia. During his tenure, the HSAC addressed issues from operational lexicon and training issues to funding challenges. Mr. Furlow is a former U.S. Deputy Assistant Secretary of Commerce for Legislative and Intergovernmental Affairs and previously served as Communications Director to U.S. Rep. Jim McCrery. He holds a B.A. from Louisiana State University and is a former Senior Fellow of the Homeland Security Policy Institute of The George Washington University. Mr. Furlow is a member of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce National Security Task Force, the Royal Institute of International Affairs (Chatham House, London), and serves as private sector liaison on the National Emergency Management Association legislative committee.
Steve Kohler is Principal for Regional Trade and Economic Growth at Ridge Global, the international security, risk management and business consulting firm founded by Tom Ridge, the first Secretary of Homeland Security and 43rd Governor of Pennsylvania. Mr. Kohler spearheads Ridge Global's growth initiatives and identifies strategies that further market position of both the company and clients. Mr. Kohler previously served as president of Space Florida, a statewide Special District focused on economic development within the Florida aerospace economic sector. Before that, Mr. Kohler was the president of Winner Global Defense, a privately held company that focuses on military and non-military applications of aircraft countermeasures and laser-based detection technologies. Earlier, he served as senior vice president for Corporate Advisory Services for CB Richard Ellis/Pittsburgh. In that capacity, he specialized in office and industrial real estate development, private and public finance and brokerage, including developing partnerships with public-sector organizations. In June 1996, then-Governor Ridge appointed Kohler to lead the Pennsylvania Governor’s Action Team, where he was responsible for the Team’s configuration of financial incentive proposals for industrial and business expansion projects. He holds a bachelor’s degree in Urban Studies from Edinboro University, Edinboro, Pennsylvania. He has also completed two years of continuing education at the Economic Development Institute, University of Oklahoma and the University of Maryland.
S. Michele Nix is the Principal Senior Strategist and Chief Communications Officer at Ridge Global, the international security, risk management and business consulting firm founded by Tom Ridge, the first Secretary of Homeland Security and 43rd Governor of Pennsylvania. Ms. Nix leads Ridge Global's communications, media, marketing and branding functions and serves as the company's chief spokesperson. Additionally Ms. Nix partners with internal and external team members to ensure that organizational development, business strategy and client services are consistent with the company's core principles and premier reputation. Ms. Nix previously served as a senior public affairs official to Secretary Ridge at the U.S. Department of Homeland Security. For eight years prior, she was a consultant, focusing on executive visibility, reputation management, crisis communication, speechwriting and media training for high-profile CEOs and prominent national political figures. Before that, Ms. Nix served as a member of President George H. W. Bush's White House speechwriting team and later as a senior corporate communications aide to the chairman of MCI Telecommunications. A published author, Ms. Nix lectures on the subjects of presidential address, leadership communication and public messaging and currently serves as a member of the Center for the Strategic Study of the Presidency, the World Affairs Council and the European Institute. She holds a B.A. in Journalism from the University of Texas and an M.A. in Public Communication from American University.
Luke Ritter is Principal for Global Trade Security at Ridge Global, the international security, risk management and business consulting firm founded by Tom Ridge, the first Secretary of Homeland Security and 43rd Governor of Pennsylvania. Mr. Ritter provides strategic management support to clients focused on security and resilience initiatives in the critical area of global trade. He brings significant leadership experience in trade security and business process improvement to this practice area. Mr. Ritter is the co-author of Securing Global Transportation Networks (McGraw Hill, 2006), which has received widespread critical acclaim from industry publications and was selected as the American Society for Industrial Security's "Book of the Month." Prior to joining Ridge Global, Mr. Ritter was the founder and CEO of Trident Global Partners, a management consulting firm specializing in global trade security. He has been published and quoted in Journal of Commerce, Security Management, Directors Monthly, Traffic World, and Cargo Security International. Mr. Ritter has pioneered the concept of Total Security Management (TSM), a business process improvement strategy designed to create value by managing security and resilience requirements as core business functions. He is a U.S. Naval Academy graduate and holds an MBA from Old Dominion University. He is board certified by the American Society of Transportation and Logistics and serves as the vice chairman of the American Society for Industrial Security's Transportation Security Council.
Jim Seif is Principal for Energy Consulting Services at Ridge Global, the international security, risk management and business consulting firm founded by Tom Ridge, the first Secretary of Homeland Security and 43rd Governor of Pennsylvania. Mr. Seif started his career in the US Attorney’s Office in Pittsburgh, PA in 1971, where he prosecuted some of the earliest environmental cases of the modern era. From there, he moved to the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) in Philadelphia as Chief of the Legal Branch, and then in 1975 rejoined the US Justice Department in the Criminal Division in Washington, DC. In 1977, Seif joined the Dick Thornburgh gubernatorial campaign and, following the election, served as Administrative Assistant to the Governor in Harrisburg for six years. In 1985, he was appointed as Regional Administrator of the EPA's six-state office in Philadelphia, serving four years in that post. His next position was with the Philadelphia office of Dechert, one of the nation's largest law firms, where his practice concentrated on environmental issues and the representation of environmental and energy companies. In 1995 Governor Tom Ridge appointed Seif as Secretary of the Department of Environmental Protection (DEP). In 2000, Seif received a Lifetime Award for Public Service from the National Academy of Public Administration for his 30-year career in state and federal government. Following his work as DEP Secretary, Seif became Vice President for Corporate Relations at PPL, Inc, a Fortune 500 energy and utility company in Allentown, PA, a position he held for six years. Seif currently serves as Director of BioChem Technologies, Inc. of King of Prussia, PA, and he is on the Advisory Committee of the Dick Thornburgh Legacy Project at the University of Pittsburgh. He has a political science degree from Yale University and a law degree from the University of Pittsburgh. He is admitted to practice in the United States Supreme Court and in Pennsylvania.
Jocelyn Gamble is the Director of Client Management at Ridge Global, the international security, risk management and business consulting firm founded by Tom Ridge, the first Secretary of Homeland Security and 43rd Governor of Pennsylvania. Ms. Gamble is responsible for ensuring the timely, effective and successful delivery of client services and providing key support and tactical expertise in the areas of account planning and business development. Prior to joining Ridge Global, Ms. Gamble served as Director of Business Development at Global Security and Engineering Solutions, a division of L-3 Communications. Before that, she served as Director of Client Relations at The Pennant Group, advising clients in the areas of stakeholder advocacy, regulatory issues, marketing and communications strategy, and business development strategy. Additionally, she managed the research, production and delivery of homeland security market updates, policy and legislative tracking services and client presentations. Ms. Gamble started her homeland security career in the Office of the Secretary at the U.S. Department of Homeland Security as an aide to the Chief of Staff. She holds a B.A. in Political Science from the University of Pittsburgh and is pursuing her M.B.A at the Darden School of Business at the University of Virginia.
As the chief aide to the CEO, Ms. Galen serves as Secretary Ridge's confidential assistant and additionally manages day-to-day administrative operations. Previously, Ms. Galen was the Executive Assistant to the Deputy Secretary of the Department of Homeland Security beginning February 2003 through March 2005. From June 2001 to January 2003, she held the position of Special Assistant to the President of the Overseas Private Investment Corporation (OPIC). Following the 2000 Election, Ms. Galen was an Assistant to the Executive Director of the Presidential Inaugural Committee. She also served on the George W. Bush Presidential Exploratory Committee beginning in March 1999. Prior to her government service, Ms. Galen worked for EDS Corporation for over 18 years starting in the Government Services Division in Washington DC in 1977. From 1990 through 1995, she worked for the Chief Financial Officer at corporate headquarters in Dallas and Plano, Texas. Ms. Galen worked for Frito Lay Corporation 1996 to 1998 and held the position of Assistant to the Chairman.
Justin Slotnick is an Associate at Ridge Global, the international security, risk management and business consulting firm founded by Tom Ridge, the first Secretary of Homeland Security and 43rd Governor of Pennsylvania. Mr. Slotnick is responsible for supporting, managing and developing an array of client support services, including market analysis, issue tracking and project management activities. Mr. Slotnick’s research portfolio includes the critical areas of cyber security, the chemical regulatory environment and emergency preparedness and response. Mr. Slotnick enlists his strong research and data analysis background in preparing presentations, market reports, white papers and other detailed documents for Ridge Global clients and senior management. Previously, Mr. Slotnick served as Associate Director of Client Relations and Support Services at The Pennant Group, where he assisted with business development services and client liaison responsibilities for major accounts. Mr. Slotnick holds a B.A. in Philosophy with a minor in English from The George Washington University.