GEORGE CIGANIC: Chief Investigator
A former United States Marine in reconnaissance, Mr. Ciganic holds a MS, BS degree in human resource management and is an honor graduate with a decorated career in law enforcement that included tasking at the federal level. He maintains a Certificate of Forensic Science from the Cyril Wecht Institute of Forensic Science and Law at Duquesne School of Law. In March 2002, he was nominated for the Officer of the Month (December) and (May) and was nominated for Officer of the Year 2002. He has received the Justice Department Gold Team award 1998, ASIS Law Enforcement award 1998, DEA award 19997, Mayor’s Citation 1997, Bureau Citation (second highest award) 1996, Certificate of Commendation 2000, Letters of Commendation 1994-1996, DEA/Mayor/Governor/Justice Department Letters of Expeditionary Medal, Good Conduct Medal, Navy Citation, Battle Efficiency Ribbon, and Sea Service Ribbon with Meritorious mast for participation in cold weather exercises in Alaska.
THAD TURNER: Operator, Strike Force Recovery Team (SFRT), Former Navy SEAL
A former US Navy SEAL, Thad performed the duties Middle East, North Africa and Europe. As SEAL Team Two’s Combat Swimmer Instructor, he was selected for “real world” combat swimmer missions and was personally awarded the Meritorious Service Medal by the Secretary of the Navy for actions “completed at considerable personal risk”.
He is a graduate of West Virginia University where he was a four-year letterman and Captain of the WVU DIV I wrestling team. Thad managed a wilderness school for at risk teens in 2001, Thad received the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania Governor’s Award for Community Crime Prevention. He has served on several boards including The American Red Cross, Methodist Church Council, and United Fund. He is currently the CEO of a YMCA.
JUAN GONZALEZ: Operator, Strike Force Recovery Team (SFRT), Former Navy SEAL
Juan F. Gonzalez Jr. grew up the son of an aspiring Army officer. Due to his area of expertise, he traveled quite a bit. Living in three Latin American Countries and 6 different states fueled his desire to travel and experience cultures different from his own. In 1991, upon graduating from high school he joined the U.S. Army and became a Combat Medic. After being honorably discharged in 1994 he spent a couple of years in the Army National Guard and a few as a Navy Corpsmen.
Finally, in 2001 he found his calling to become a Navy SEAL. He graduated from SEAL training with Class 238. He completed two combat tours in Iraq and two in the Pacific, all with SEAL Team ONE. Currently Juan is an active member at SEAL Team 17 and deploys in the SOCKOR AO. As a Platoon Radioman, Sniper and Tactical Air Controller; responsibility, determination, and attention to detail are the basic building blocks that have made him who he is today. Juan is also the founder of EESS and supports Corporate and Private Entities worldwide.
TINA PAULSON: Human Trafficking Program Director | Legislative Liaison
Tina has a life-long history of involvement in philanthropic causes in the US and South America. For several years she has been professionally engaged in combating sex trafficking in the US, specializing in prevention, locating victims, victim advocacy and victim services. Having worked extensively with victims being trafficked and those in recovery, she possesses a wealth of street-level insight into the vulnerabilities, traumas, and the needs of victims as well as the inner workings of the commercial sex trade and the human trafficking criminal enterprise.
Tina has spearheaded collaborative emergency response programs that coordinate law enforcement, government agencies, medical and mental health professionals, legal professionals, churches and non-profit service providers to provide immediate assistance, shelter and care to sex trafficking victims from the time they are first identified or recovered. Tina participates in several anti-human trafficking committees, task forces and collaborations. She is also actively involved in influencing state and federal human trafficking legislation.