At Defencify, we believe there is a better way to do security officer training. A more valuable, less cumbersome way where security employees get the knowledge that they need to be successful in the field. We’re obsessively passionate about it, and our mission is to deliver the very best online training, one that leads to a highly-effective security force. We focus on an interactive course design. It’s one of the least understood and least utilized aspects of great security training, and we see that as an opportunity. We’re excited to elevate training for everyone in the industry through our training platform, online courses, and community.
Russ Willmon, CPP
CEO & Chair, Board of Directors
Russell Willmon moved to Salt Lake City from Anaheim, California in early 2010. He studied Economics and German at the University of California, Santa Cruz and the Georg-August University of Göttingen. He started his career in a demanding position as a branch manager, working in an upscale environment, managing security services for gated communities in Orange County, from Sunset Beach to San Juan Capistrano. Eager to take on more challenges in the security industry, he transferred to Salt Lake City to work on a larger, more diverse portfolio which included companies listed in the Fortune 500, and which spanned most industries including: financial, manufacturing, high-tech, logistics, commercial, government, residential, mining, energy, and more. After a decade of working in contract security management, as a senior portfolio manager and a state qualifying agent, Russ saw an opportunity to improve the industry and ventured into independent consulting. Russ has a Bachelor of Arts in Global Economics from the University of California, Santa Cruz. He is board certified in security management through ASIS International and currently serves as chair of the Utah chapter. He is also a board member of the Security Licensing Committee for Utah’s Department of Professional Licensing.
VP of Sales
Julie Hammonds is a veteran of the security industry, with almost three decades of professional service and experience. She has held various managerial positions, most recently serving as National Account Manager for three leading security industry firms. In that position and for each company, Julie targeted large companies with a nationwide market reach. Dedicated to immersing herself in understanding each client's security requirements, she built powerful partnerships with company leaders in a range of businesses and industries, all leading to tremendous success. Julie enjoys hiking, gardening, and spending quality time with her husband and son.
Director of Content Development
Paul Atkins was raised in New York City and Madison, Wisconsin. His nine years of college include the University of Wisconsin (Classics), the University of Washington (Economics), and the University of Oregon (Law). Paul has over fifty years of experience in business, most of that time in leadership or mentoring roles in the legal and financial arenas. Years ago, he discovered the meaning of life but forgot to write it down.
Paul has spent many years writing and editing both legal and non-legal documents. He is a voracious reader and often writes the author of a book or essay to point out errors (factual or grammatical) in their work. (They have almost always been appreciative of his doing this.) He has also helped several authors over the years "polishing the grammar and correcting errors" in their drafts before their work is published. He has also recently worked as a licensed security officer for the better part of a decade. With Paul's legal and security background, as well as his command of the English language (thanks to his Latin and Greek studies), he is a perfectionist when it comes to creating Defencify's course content, ensuring that they are the very best online training classes for private security officers in the world!
Jayce Chalfant is a customer service expert with nearly ten years of assisting individuals in various positions (phone agent, chat support, and emails). Jayce has handled everything customer-service related and does so with a friendly attitude. He values customers' time and is always looking for ways to more efficiently and effectively support our user base as the company expands. He has a CompTIA A+ certification under his belt and knows his way around computer hardware and software. He also enjoys being able to train new clients on the Defencify platform, and then ensuring that they have continued excellent support afterward. Jayce enjoys building computers, riding motorcycles, making music, and going on adventures with his wife and newborn daughter.
Board of Directors
Board of Directors
Mr. Callister is an experienced finance and operations executive, having spent several years in lead financial, operational, and strategic planning roles. Most recently, Mr. Callister served as Chief Operations Officer at VentureCapital.Org. Prior to VentureCapital.Org, Mr. Callister served as President and Chief Operations Officer at Mommi, a manufacturer and marketer of nutritional products for women. Prior to Mommi, Mr. Callister was General Manager for the SLC Angels, where he led financial processes including analysis, due diligence, and investment activities.
Board of Directors
Nate has 20+ years of experience working with emerging growth companies, primarily in the areas of education, technology, and human capital management. He most recently served as Chief Operations Officer at Career Step, the leading provider of certificate-based healthcare education, software and consulting services. Prior to Career Step, Nate served as COO at American InterContinental University, managing both online and brick-and-mortar campuses in the U.S. and London. Prior to his career in operations, Nate spent 13 years in investment banking, advising emerging growth companies and investors within the software, education and business services sectors.
Board of Directors
Bill is currently an advisor to several businesses, with a focus on strategies for growth and scaling operations. His experience, insights, and passion for developing and executing business plans that chart the course and deliver results is grounded in 30 years spent in operating-executive roles of high-growth public and private companies, including serving as the president of three businesses – Digital Monitoring Products, Per Mar Security Services, and AMR-TeleService Resources. He also held senior leadership positions with Northwest Bank & Trust Co., Science Applications International Corp. (SAIC), Westcott Communications, and the Wackenhut Corporation.
Bill currently serves as a director on the boards of several companies. He was a member of Young Presidents Organization (YPO). Bill holds an MBA degree from the University of Miami and a BBA degree in finance from Florida International University.
Board of Directors
Michelle has over 15 years of experience in marketing, advertising and sales. She currently runs the B2B business unit at Clearlink, a digital marketing and customer acquisition company owned by SYKES Enterprises. Prior to joining Clearlink, Michelle was head of global marketing for AAPC, a membership-based education and certification organization for medical billers and coders. In her advertising days, she served as vice president and group strategy director for MRM//McCann West where she designed and executed successful go-to-market strategies for one of the nation’s largest telecommunications organizations. Her vertical expertise is heavily focused in education, healthcare and technology.
She holds a master’s degree in Business Administration from Westminster College and a Bachelor of the Arts in English from the University of Utah. Michelle lives in Salt Lake City, Utah.
Advisory Board Member
Anneke is an instructional design consultant and a team leader for the Client Learning Team at Optum, where she heads up the creation of eLearning and video learning tools for clients in the healthcare and medical coding fields. She has previously worked for LDS Publication Services where she created training materials and educational innovations for a wide range of topics, from HR management modules to health and safety courses for the food processing industry.
Anneke holds a Ph.D. in Instructional Psychology and Technology and started her career teaching university courses in Educational Psychology and working at a high school in Taiwan where she taught communicative language teaching methods to the English teaching department. She specialized in education for second language acquisition, enriching her own linguistics studies by working to become fluent in Japanese and French and learning a useful level of Chinese and Spanish. She holds undergrad degrees in French and Graphic Design and loves to bring her various academic interests together to produce excellent, engaging, professional learning tools.
Anneke lives in Salt Lake City with her husband and two boys.
Advisory Board Member
David Corrington is a former U.S. Federal Agent with the US Department of Homeland Security, Office of Inspector General. Prior to becoming a Federal Agent, David was a Criminal Defense Investigator for the Federal Public Defenders Office in Washington. In addition to Federal criminal investigations, David has managed corporate security for several fortune 500 companies. For the last decade, David has worked as a corporate security manager for Comcast and has extensive experience in physical security assessments, contract security management, and internal investigations. Additionally, David conducts background clearance investigations for various US Federal Agencies. David received his Bachelors of Science in Justice Studies from Arizona State University and received a Master Degree in Criminal Justice from the University of North Texas. David speaks fluent Spanish and Portuguese and has international investigative experience in Latin America and Europe.