Our Staff

B O A R D  O F   D I R E C T O R S

  • Bazzel Baz

    Founder & President


    Baz is known as “the Patron Saint for Missing Kids.” He is a former CIA Intelligence Special Operations Group Officer, a Citadel graduate, recipient of the Intelligence Commendation Medal and a former counter-terrorism officer in the U.S. Marine Corps.

    In 1993 Baz founded the Association for the Recovery of Children [ARC], an organization comprised of former and active intelligence, military, and law enforcement personnel dedicated to the recovery of missing and exploited American children, in foreign and domestic locations.

    Baz is well-known globally for his expertise and extraordinary skillset.  Author of Terrorism Survival Handbook, he has been called on by CNN and MSNBC as an advisor and spokesperson on the war on Terrorism and Homeland Security.  He is also a film and television writer, producer and actor, and is a member of the Writers Guild of America and Screen Actors Guild.

  • Sharkey Baz

    Airline Transport Pilot with over fifty years of flying experience with 14,000 + hours. Certified Flight Instructor/Instrument Instructor, Single and Multi-engine aircraft both land and sea. Type rated in Lear, Citation Jets and King Air 350. ( prior owner of Lear 003) Chief Pilot of Citrus World, Director of Aviation Polk Air Inc., Director of Aviation Alpha Jet Inc. Panorama Air Tours Hawaii, ComAir Orlando Fla., and VP Tires Unlimited. He is a retired Major United States Army, former 8th Special Forces Group (Green Beret) and distinguished combatant from conflicts in Korea and Vietnam. He also served as Senior Military Police Advisor to the Georgia National Guard, Forces Command Headquarters, and United States Air Force Crew Chief KB-29 Air Refueling. Sharkey holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Criminal Law from the University of Nebraska and attended Language School (Spanish) in Monterey California. He is the recipient of Prcht Badge, GCMDL, ARCOM w/1st OLC, EIB, AFRM, VCM w/60 Dev, VSM w/4 Bronze Stars, VCG w/Palm, AM, BSM , Air Force Outstanding Unit Award, Royal Thai Supr Mst Badge, MSM.

  • Tom Flores (deceased)

    Tom Flores was Director for worldwide corporate security for Fluor Corporation. He was accountable for directing and managing corporate security efforts across a wide spectrum of project types including oil and gas, mining, industrial, and government as well as corporate investigations concerning fraud, waste, and corruption throughout the world. Rising to the rank of Colonel, Mr. Flores served from 1966-1990 in the U.S. Army that included multiple combat tours in aviation and ground assignments. He held a variety of command and staff assignments to include duty in the 82d Airborne Division (1977-81), public policy development on the Army General Staff at the Pentagon (1984), human intelligence collection in Central America (1984-85), and worked for U.S. senators as a Congressional Fellow (1986-87). He served in U.S. Special Forces in both Civil Affairs and Psychological Operations (1976-77). Mr. Flores served in Latin America in the Defense Attaché’s Office in Peru (1982-83) and as an Inspector General (1990-91), responsible for investigating alleged improper conduct of senior army officials. He also served as Professor of Military Science at the University of Arizona (1987-89).

    Mr. Flores was a Foreign Affairs and Congressional Fellow at Johns Hopkins University where he was tasked with organizing POW/MIA Veteran’s Affairs Committee hearings for Senator Dennis DeConcini of Arizona (1986-87). He held a Bachelor of Arts Degree in History from Santa Clara University (1966), Master of Arts Degree in Political Science from the University of Louisville (1976), and a Master of Arts Degree in Management/Human Relations from Webster University (1979). He was also a graduate of the Centro de Academicos y Estudios Militares of the Escuela Superior de Guerra (Peruvian War College) in Lima, Peru (1983).

  • William A. Wilson (deceased)

    William A. Wilson, (deceased) Los Angeles businessman and a member of President Reagan’s “kitchen cabinet” who was appointed the first U.S. ambassador to the Vatican. Not only was he a member of the inner circle of advisors who persuaded Reagan to run for California governor in 1966, and then helped guide his political campaigns but a friend and advisor who aided ARC in navigating major fault lines within the United States and abroad, bringing a 14,000-foot view of the corruption and political players that undermine the efforts of most NGOs in the war against trafficking. To date, his contributions allow ARC to connect the dots that mitigate liability when dealing with the “forces of darkness” that make exploitation of children part of their financial platform, whether that be in politics, industry, global expansion or the undercurrent of secret societies.

    D I R E C T O R A T E   O F   O P E R A T I O N S

  • 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 & 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)

    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.


    Operator, Strike Force Recovery Team (SFRT)

    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.


    Human Trafficking Program Director | Legislative Liaison

    Tina has a life-long history of involvement in philanthropic causes and crisis response in the US and South America.  For several years she has been professionally engaged in combating domestic sex trafficking, specializing in prevention, locating victims, victim advocacy and victim services.  Tina has spearheaded a collaborative emergency response program that coordinates law enforcement, government agencies, non-government organizations, professionals, churches and volunteer groups to provide immediate medical, legal and psychological assistance, shelter and wrap-around care to sex trafficking victims from the time they are first recovered.  Tina participates in several anti-human-trafficking advisory committees and collaborations.  She is also actively involved in influencing state and federal human trafficking legislation.

A D V I S O R Y   B O A R D

  • Michael Watkins

    Michael Watkins has been in the motion picture business in virtually every capacity of design to execution. He has traveled extensively and lived in multiple locations both nationally and internationally edging his career with overseas film operations in war zones working with the military and other attached agencies. He has also worked extensively through the years with the (MCSF) Marine Corps Scholarship Fund and (TAPS) the Tragic Assistance Program for Soldiers. Versed on moving both large and small groups with great effect, purpose and completion within specific time parameters, Mr. Watkins has proven himself to be an influence of success when advising ARC on multiple operational levels and coalition building among the vast number of NGOs targeting child recovery and anti-human trafficking. He is currently birthing a veteran’s family network and developing shows that deal with the truths of children endangerment and issues that are active within the United States and the world at large.


    Community Liaison

    With her entertainment career beginning in England, Katy Haber worked with legendary Director Sam Peckinpah, for eight years on seven of his films was Head of Production at EMI Films and produced Blade Runner for Sir Ridley Scott. She is a founding member and a Board member for 19 years of BAFTA LA, the British Academy of Film and Television Arts in Los Angeles and was Managing Director for five years. As Chair of the Outreach Committee she spearheaded the Helen Keller Park screening facility, which enables inner city communities to see first run movies in their recreation center. She was Executive Director at the Dome Village Homeless Shelter for 13 years, and has been active in Gang Prevention, and Youth Programs.


    Mayer Nudell, CSC, is an acknowledged authority on terrorism, crisis management, travel security, and related international political and national security affairs. A former U.S. diplomat, Mr. Nudell received two Group Meritorious Honor Awards from the U.S. Department of State. His last Foreign Service assignment was to the Office of Counterterrorism and Emergency Planning as Latin American and Middle Eastern specialist and liaison with the business, intelligence, and law enforcement communities.


    Adviser to CEO’s & policy makers on government and politics; John embraces his role as a guide helping organizations avoid political and public land mines while achieving their goals. John is a former Deputy Assistant Secretary in the office of Secretary of Defense Les Aspin and contributes regularly on National Defense and National Security issues in the United States.  At times John serves as a consigliere delivering tough messages and making things happen behind the scenes. John is also an entrepreneur, founding and leading several businesses that deliver cutting edge products and services.

    With years of experience in public policy, communications, international relations, business and government affairs, John is one of the architects behind engaging government with the creative arts community to bring innovative ideas and unique insights to issues of domestic and national security policy.


    Executive Vice President and Chief Practice Officer

    Ms. Shepherd is Executive Vice President and Chief Practice Officer at Michael Baker International. In this position, she is a member of the Executive Leadership Team and leads the firm’s strategic planning process. She also oversees Michael Baker’s overall practice leadership, spearheads communication and collaboration across practices, and engages practice leaders in the exchange of expertise and capabilities to develop innovative and cost-effective solutions for clients. Previously, Ms. Shepherd served as Michael Baker’s Senior Vice President and National Market Lead in the Railroad and Transit practice where she directed all activities related to the firm’s rail and transit national market.

    Ms. Shepherd’s extensive business experience spans nearly 30 years in fast-growing firms in the transportation industry. She is an established rail and public transit professional with proven capabilities in developing successful bid strategies, fostering teaming opportunities, and nurturing client relationships. She also possesses a keen understanding of multimodal transportation and managing marketing and proposal teams.

    Ms. Shepherd has worked in multiple modes of transportation, including transit, freight, highways and bridges, tunnels, federal markets, ports, environment, planning and aviation. Before her roles at Michael Baker, Ms. Shepherd served as vice president of corporate strategy at Systra, USA, where she worked with a specialized team of professionals to provide engineering consulting services with a focus on track, infrastructure, electrical and systems.

    Ms. Shepherd is an active member of the American Public Transportation Association (APTA) and a past Chair and current Board member of the American Public Transportation Foundation. In addition, she is a participating member of the APTA mentorship program providing coaching and motivation for our younger generation as they advance in the transportation industry. She also is an active member of the Women’s Transportation Seminar (WTS) in the New York and Washington, D.C. chapters, as well as several transportation industry associations.


    Chief Science Officer

    RJ is a proven senior management executive with twenty year’s extensive background in the aviation, communications and energy industries. Over the span of his career he has led high level efforts which include:

    2017- Fellow, U.S. Department of Energy, Federal Energy Management Program serving as the National Program Manager for Data Centers & Laboratories.

    2014 – U.S. Congressional Citation Award, Scholar Fellow, U.S. Department of Energy, Federal Energy Management Program.

    2011- “EC4I” (Energy Command, Control, Communications & Intelligence Center) A renewable energy electrical power generation design/build portfolio in the Caribbean.

    2008- SEOD (Solar Energy Operations & Distribution) a solar energy multiplex platform for Dome Oil & Energy creating energy self-sustaining interoperability in the Caribbean.2006- Project New Sky (Secured first responder satellite to terrestrial voice/data interoperability program) receiving U.S. federal approval and grant funding from the Department of Homeland Security and National Institute of Justice.

    Mr. McIntosh is a U.S. Army military veteran, over the span of 12 years he served in the Military Intelligence/ Counter Intelligence/Combat Aviation fields. He is holds multiple degrees in science, technology and business management as well as international designations/certifications in Program Management and International Standards Organization Regulatory Compliance.

Note: We reserve the right to hire and terminate contracted staff personnel prior to, during, and after any operation involving the recovery of a missing and exploited child.

Contact Us

Association for
the Recovery of Children
318 Avenue I #59
Redondo Beach, CA 90277

Some people say the best day of their life was their wedding day or the birth of their children. Those were great days for me as well, but if I was to choose the absolute best day of my life it would have to be December 4, 2003. Thursday, December 4, 2003 was the day I was reunited with my abducted daughter. My name is Mandalyn Hanson and this is my story.