Advisory Board


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Eric Basu

Chairman Of SIA Advisory Board

Eric Basu is CEO of Sentek Global and an entrepreneur and corporate manager with specific expertise in cybersecurity, technology solutions, marketing to government and commercial executives, international business, and leadership of small to medium organizations. He has an EMBA from Anderson Business School, UCLA, a B.S. in Molecular Biology from San Jose State University and is a Former SEAL Officer in the U.S. Navy.


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Rachel Thomas

Director of Sowers Education Group

A graduate of UCLA with a Masters in Education and a personal survivor of human trafficking, Rachel has extensive experience teaching, training, curriculum writing, public speaking and mentoring.  As Director of Sowers Education Group, she has educated and inspired a wide range of audiences including teens, social service providers, churches,

teachers, college students, and law enforcement. Sowers’ intervention curriculum Ending The Game is being used by over 260 facilitators in 12 states and helps survivors break the bonds of attachment to traffickers and the trafficking lifestyle.

 Since 2012, Rachel has reached over 47,000 live audience members and millions more through numerous media outlets including New Day Morning Show on CNN, Inside with Chris Cuomo: Anyone’s Daughter on HLN, The T.D. Jakes Show, The New York Times Upfront Magazine and ABC’s Newsmakers.  Rachel was also honored by Congressman Ed Royce of California’s 39th district and Los Angeles Supervisor Don Knabe for her leadership and trafficking prevention efforts. To learn more about Sowers or Rachel Thomas, please visit www.SowersEducationGroup.com    


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Supervisor Kristin Gaspar

Chairwoman of the San Diego County Board of Supervisors

Supervisor Kristin Gaspar represents San Diego's Third District. She is the youngest woman ever elected to the County Board. Prior to becoming a Supervisor, Kristin was an Encinitas City Council Member and went on to become the first elected Mayor in that city. She also served as President of the Encinitas Rotary Club. In her first year as Supervisor, Kristin partnered with Supervisor Dianne Jacob on the “Alzheimer’s Project” and again for the launch of the “Seniors in Crisis” initiative. Both increased funding for research and issues affecting caregivers. Kristin was also instrumental in providing funding for new technology that will improve early detection of wildfires in areas of the County that are most prone to wildfires. She is the first elected official from San Diego County to meet with the President of the United States in a strategy session regarding local and state issues. Kristin attended Arizona State University where she earned a Bachelor’s degree in Broadcast Journalism. She and her husband Paul, have three children and live in Encinitas.


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Maureen Toal

Senior VP for Public Agency Retirement Services (PARS)

Maureen manages retirement trust and services for public agencies in California and the Northeast. Maureen previously  spent 17 years working as a key aide to government officials at the federal, state, and local level, including a Massachusetts Congressman and Massachusetts State Representative. Maureen is a former Assistant City Manager and Human Resources Director and has worked in every department of municipal government over the course of her 34 year career. Maureen gained first-hand experience in public employee retirement issues through her public policy and local government work.


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Michael Julian

PI Advisor

Michael Julian has worked in the investigations and security profession since 1985 when he began his career working as a surveillance investigator for National Business Investigations, Inc. He’s a long-time member of multiple national and international PI and security associations including the California Association of Licensed Investigators (CALI), of which he was President for two terms. He is a graduate of the Executive Protection Institute, studied surveillance detection and covert protection at Executive Security International, and has certificates in behavioral threat assessment and active shooter survival training. His company, founded by his father in 1967, has provided executive and asset protection services to corporate executives, celebrities, natural and man-made disaster victims and people at risk, and investigative services to the corporate and private sector for five decades. He is a certified Personal Protection Specialist (PPS), is a Certified Professional Investigator (CPI) and is one of less than 50 Certified Security Professionals (CSP) in California.

Michael created the A.L.I.V.E. Active Shooter Survival program, which he teaches throughout the US and wrote the book, 10 Minutes to Live: Surviving an Active Shooter using A.L.I.V.E., which is sold worldwide.


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Josh Gaffen

Josh Gaffen was born and raised in San Diego and is devoted to making San Diego a better place to live work and play. He has worked in multiple roles over his career spanning Government Relations, Technology, Construction, Project Management and Healthcare. He is involved in multiple civic, philanthropic and business organizations including the San Diego Regional Chamber of Commerce, (former) Board Member of San Diego County Taxpayers Association, Board Member of the Lincoln Club of San Diego, Downtown San Diego Partnership, San Diego Regional Economic Development Corp, 11-99 Foundation and the Construction Managers Association of America to name a few.

Currently Josh spearheads all client acquisition and engagement initiatives for Gafcon Inc. This includes partnering with Clients which align with Gafcon’s cultural values inclusive of Disaster Relief programs, school bond programs/projects, community revitalization projects, security assessments for public agencies and large public/private development.