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Executive Team

Stuart J. Visnov, Chief Executive Officer

Stuart’s commitment to community service and public safety is well known in the tri-state area. At age 16, Stuart joined the Fort Washington Volunteer Fire Company and was recently honored for his 40th year of volunteer service. As a volunteer fire fighter and later, fire police officer, Stuart has completed numerous specialized fire safety classes, seminars, and training sessions. For over 20 years, Stuart maintained one of the highest fire and emergency response attendance records within his company, routinely answering the call in the middle of the night – motivated by his belief that it’s every person’s obligation to serve his fellow man. This devotion to community service has earned Stuart the respect and admiration of his peers. The fire, emergency, and law enforcement professionals with whom Stuart has served for over four decades are the very foundation of Echelon’s professional and experienced manpower pool. In 2011, Stuart met integrated security solutions expert, Kevin Elsesser of i2 Security Solutions. Together, their vision was to organize their extensive network of security and technology relationships into an innovative new security group that provides the public and private sector with expert protection and surveillance solutions. Stuart attended Upper Dublin High School and graduated from Temple University in 1976. In 1986, Stuart became a Juvenile Probation Officer in Montgomery County, PA., where his responsibilities included: working with young people to ensure compliance with court orders while assisting in their rehabilitation, meeting with their families, and conducting social history and assessment reports. In 1987, Stuart was assigned to Court Unit as an Investigator. Here, he was responsible for pre-sentencing investigations and establishing restitution. Stuart secured his Private Detective license in 2001 and is proud to be a member of the Concordia Masonic Lodge in Jenkintown, PA.

Eric Rifkin PhotoEric Rifkin, Company Accountant

As Echelon’s acting Company Accountant, Eric Rifkin is responsible for financial management, operations and strategy, including the ongoing development and monitoring of control systems to preserve and grow company assets. Eric provides leadership and guidance to Echelon’s executive team on company-wide financial objectives, procedures and practices to assure accounting structure and report accurate financial information. A licensed CPA for more than 30 years, Eric started his own accounting firm in 1988 and has functioned as Echelon’s Company Accountant since 2012. Eric graduated from Temple University in 1975 with a B.A. in accounting.

Don Benn, Training Instructor / Legal Compliance Officer

Don Benn’s 40+ year history in law enforcement, criminal justice, and public safety includes service as a 9-1-1 Dispatcher, Pre-Sentence Investigator, Warrant Officer and Victim Services Officer for the First Judicial District of Pennsylvania; Chairman of the Philadelphia District Attorney’s Youth Aid Panel; and Special Deputy United States Marshal (assigned to the Eastern District’s Violent Fugitive Task Force).  He has been a Licensed Private Detective in Montgomery County, Pennsylvania since 2006 specializing in Domestic Violence and Human Trafficking investigations.

He served for five years as the Founding Chairman of the East Norriton Township Human Relations Commission tasked with investigating claims of racial, religious, sexual, gender, disability, and age-related discrimination.  Don’s education includes the Philadelphia Police Academy; the Montgomery County Public Safety Academy; the Federal Bureau of Investigation – Citizens Academy and National Academy; and the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania’s Minor Judiciary Education Board. Since 2011 he has been the only Licensed Private Detective in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania trained and Certified to perform the duties of a Magisterial District Judge.

Additionally, he is a NRA Certified Instructor, certified by the Pennsylvania State Police as a Lethal Weapons Training Instructor, an Adjunct Instructor for the Pennsylvania Bar Institute, a Licensed Notary Public, and is trained and certified by both the Montgomery County Conflict and Mediation Center and the United States Department of Justice in Crisis/Conflict Mediation and Resolution.

He is a graduate of Temple University where he received a B.A. in Criminology (plus Pennsylvania teaching certification) and completed graduate training the Philadelphia School of Psychoanalysis at Drexel University where he was certified in Forensic Psychoanalytical Psychology. 

Amanda Short, Director of Finance

Amanda Short comes to Echelon with over 15 years of experience in Finance and Accounting and has worked in a wide range of industries. As the Director of Finance, she is responsible for financial reporting, account analysis, cash flow, payroll and budgeting. Amanda’s attention to detail, organizational abilities, communication skills and effective process implementation increase Echelon’s overall efficiency in support of everyday operations. In addition to Finance and Accounting, Amanda plays a vital support role in Human Resources and works in tandem with our CFO to monitor all books and records in order to reach Echelon’s growth goals.

David Fox HeadshotDavid Fox, Director of Operations & Administration

David joined Echelon in 2009 bringing with him training and experience as a first responder. During his time with EPS David has worked as an unarmed and armed guard performing school patrols, athletic event security, public facility security and guest screening. David is a PA Act 235 (lethal weapons training act) certified Agent and is licensed to carry concealed weapons in the state of Pennsylvania. David is also a Delaware State certified Security Guard instructor. As a Director for Echelon, David manages security operations overseeing field supervisors, generating protocols and coordinating the deployment of officers to meet the clients needs. He also manages some of our key internal processes, communications and network infrastructure. In addition to his administrative duties David compliments our Executive Protection and Investigation Unit by providing close personal protection for celebrities and dignitaries and assisting with investigations.

David Rubenstein, Senior Sales Consultant

David brings over ten years of direct security industry sales experience to Echelon with a concentration in event security and staffing, corporate security coordination, property management security, loss prevention, and minority vendor contract negotiations. A consummate sales professional, David plans and manages customized security solutions for Echelon’s diverse clients in the public and private sector. As Senior Sales Consultant for Echelon, David services clients in several distinct security segments, including: VIP personal protection, armed/unarmed security and event security & staffing services. In addition, Dave has provided security and staffing consulting and management for hundreds of major events, galas, festivals and concerts. David is well respected in the security industry and has worked as Sales Director for several leading security firms in the tristate area before joining Echelon.

Stacy <acFarland PhotoStacey MacFarland, Director of Human Resources

Stacey comes to Echelon with 15 years of experience in management, human resource, staffing and recruiting in a wide range of industries. She earned her Bachelor of Science in Business Administration from Albright College and brings this business acumen and creativity to her role with Echelon. As Director of Human Resources, Stacey originates and leads the best practices, priorities and objectives that provide an employee-oriented, high-performance culture which emphasizes empowerment, quality, productivity and standards, goal attainment, and the recruitment and ongoing development of a superior workforce. In addition, Stacey helps to develop and administer programs, procedures, and guidelines to help align the workforce with the strategic goals of the company.

Dave Bishop PhotoDavid Paul Bishop, Deputy Director of Executive Protection and Investigations

David began his career in public safety and site management as Assistant Director of the Public Safety Department for Montgomery Mall in Montgomeryville, PA, responsible for the entire department alongside its Director, including overall supervision and training of security officers and coordinating security for the Mall’s special events as well as the general management of the department.  After serving with the Mall for eight years, David joined U.S. Security Care as Residential Security Team Agent, responsible for all phases of personal protection, including client routes and transportation, perimeter and access control, and liaison with fixed and rotary airport security, in addition to training with live fire exercises and provided training pertinent to I.E.D. sweeps, intelligence gathering, counter-surveillance, evasive vehicle operation, etc.  David joined Echelon in 2010, serving for seven years as Site Manager of the National Museum of American Jewish History, Philadelphia, where he established an entire Security Department and managed all security operations, such as providing supplementary security for dignitary protection officers and Israeli security forces for VIP visits.  David holds DHS Active Shooter training, Surveillance Detection and Security Assessment courses, and advanced training in the use of Magnetometers and X-Ray Machines, CCTV Operations and Access Card systems.  He was honored with commendations from the Montgomery Township Board of Supervisors and Chief of Police for saving a life in December 2006.

Robert Lembach II,Robert Lembach Photo Bio Deputy Director & Training Coordinator, Lehigh Valley Region

Robert Lembach was a member of the Allentown Police Department for 26 years in a career that included Patrol, Investigative, Vice and Narcotics eventually specializing in Training. Robert was promoted to Sergeant and spent 14 years as the Assistant Director of Training at the well-respected Allentown Police Academy where he helped vet and train over a thousand police recruits as well as instructed countless officers in mandatory yearly recertifications and updates to the law. Robert taught all Law Enforcement topics related to Act 120 certification, MPOTEC Act 180 training and specialized in Defensive Tactics, Firearms, Physical Conditioning, Use of Force and EVOC (Emergency Vehicle Operations Certification.) Robert was the Use of Force expert for the Allentown Police Department.

Robert is still a MPOTEC certified Instructor, NRA certified Firearms Instructor as well as maintaining certifications in other training disciplines. During his time in Allentown and after his retirement, Robert was a Criminal Justice Instructor for Temple University. In addition, Robert taught Criminal Justice for 10 years at the Lehigh County Career Technical School located in Lehigh County Pennsylvania. Robert was sought after and involved in course development committees by the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania for the Act 120 updated curriculum specifically in Defensive Tactics, Firearms and Use of Force. He has also contributed to developing Officer Safety VII mandatory training.  Robert was also retained as a Use of Force Expert by Lehigh Valley Health Network, Cedar Crest College, Dorney Park as well as many other institutions. Robert is a lifelong resident of the Lehigh Valley where he currently resides with his wife and two daughters.

Valarie Payne PHotoValarie Payne, Minority Business Enterprise Partner

Valarie is a seasoned security professional and businesswoman with over 20 years of experience in public safety. As a woman-owned small business, Valarie holds several key security industry certificates in DE., including: DBE Disadvantaged Business Enterprise, WOBE and WBE. In addition, she maintains her WOSB and MOB through the U.S. Federal Contractor Service and is a licensed Private Investigator in DE as well as PA. As President of Devereaux Security Services, she partners with Echelon to provide security guard training, supervision and operations in support of our clients in DE and PA. Valarie’s passion and commitment for women and minority-owned businesses aligns well with Echelon’s mission and goals. 


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