World-class executive protection and corporate security risk management firm Cooke and Associates (CAI) has announced the creation of its first advisory board. Esteemed executive protection professional and trainer, Robert L. Oatman, CPP, has been tapped to chair the board. His first selection as board member is Michael Gips, JD, CPP, CSyP, principal of Global Insights in Professional Security and a highly regarded security expert. CAI plans to appoint at least one other industry professional to the board in the coming months.
Operating in over 50 countries, CAI specializes in protecting family offices, CEOs, and prominent high-net-worth individuals. The firm prides itself on understanding of the wants and needs of the most discerning clients and cultivating relationships with singular attention. CAI excels in logistics and fine details, ensuring that lifestyle and culture balance perfectly with safety and security.
The creation of an advisory board reflects the firm’s desire to manage and oversee the growth that CAI has experienced since CEO Harry Arruda took the reins in 2018.
“It is my great privilege to have led the firm on a course of steady growth,” says Arruda. “Now I am thrilled to enlist the talents of Bob and Mike to help us in our next stage in our development. Bob is an unquestioned leader in the EP space, having trained thousands of the best agents all over the world and continually serving as a thought leader to help our profession evolve and grow. Mike has an unmatched breadth of knowledge and expertise across the entire corporate risk management spectrum, making him a perfect complement to Bob. And they both are passionate about improving both the profession and the industry.”
Oatman is one of the world’s preeminent providers of executive protection, having provided risk assessments, operations, and training around the world since 1989. His company specializes in developing detailed protection plans for the top executives of Fortune 500 companies in addition to private families. He is the author of multiple books, including Executive Protection: Smarter.Faster.Better. (American Literary Press 2015), Executive Protection: Rising to the Challenge (ASIS Inter. 2009), Executive Protection: New Solutions for a New Era (Noble House 2006), and The Art of Executive Protection (Noble House 1997). His experience includes overseas EP service to NBC during the Olympics in 1988, 1992, 1996 and 2000. Earlier he served with the Baltimore County P.D., retiring as a Major, Chief of Detectives. Oatman holds a B.S. Degree in Criminal Justice from the University of Baltimore and is a graduate of the FBI National Academy and the Federal Executive Institute.
“Harry has done a tremendous job building CAI to reflect the highest levels of excellence and service,” Oatman says. “It is with that spirit that the board will advise CAI on strategic growth. While building capacity, we will always focus on top-tier service and protection.”
Gips previously served as Chief Global Knowledge and Learning Officer at ASIS International, the world’s leading security association, where he edited and published Security Management magazine, oversaw educational programs, headed Standards, Guidelines, and Certification, and created and ran the CSO Center for Leadership and Development, which serves hundreds of the leading security executives from around the globe. In June, IFSEC International named him the most influential person in security in the thought leader category. He has degrees from Tufts University and Harvard Law School, as well as certificates in security from Wharton, Tel Aviv University International, IE Business School, and R.L. Oatman & Associates Executive Protection.
“To work with Bob and Harry is a fantastic opportunity and career highlight,” Gips says. CAI has built something special, and I am honored to assist the company grow and further develop its suite of excellent solutions.
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