About Blue-U

Since our founding in 2014, Blue-U Defense has become the nationally recognized leader in “reality-based” organizational safety and security- security that actually works on paper AND in reality. Our programs are built to provide effective, ongoing, and systematic training that contains all of the elements necessary to achieve true organizational and personal safety. When it comes to “true safety and security”, there are no equals to Blue-U Defense.

We have developed an extensive list of organizational partners to play significant roles in developing  a “culture of true safety and security”. We are not “assumed experts” because of our current, or former professions. We are trained, full time professionals with experience like none of our competitors. We understand business and how safety and security can impact things like liability, insurance, and culture.

Introducing Our Experts

The Most Experienced Team of Professionals Assembled for Your Benefit:

Terry L Choate Jr.

Co-Founder/CEO/President

Terry has all of the training and experience that is normally associated with the expertise and ability to consult on acts-of-violence and safety and security. He was a law enforcement officer and SWAT Team Commander for 15 years and has all of the associated training and experiences that come with this profession. What he tells people however it that training and experience in law enforcement and/or the military does not automatically equal qualification to successfully consult businesses and schools in violence prevention and survival. In fact, it can, and sometimes does, create for more danger than doing nothing at all.

He was also a Homeland Protection Professional; has high levels of executive protection education and training; stalking and dangerous human behavior; recognizing signs of violence and de-escalation; tactics; FBI Crisis Negotiator School; and on-and-on.

Of equal importance, he also has a 20-year executive -level corporate career behind him that he voluntarily ended prior to becoming a law enforcement professional.  As a result, he has etensive experience in business. Why is this critical? Because keeping schools and businesses safe is impacted by far more than just training people and tactics. The things that we do to keep people, businesses, and schools safe impact policy and procedure, exposure to liability, insurance and more.

Of greatest importance? This has been his life! It started when he was a young teenager when he became interested in criminals – how they become criminals, why they become criminals, how they choose victims, and most importantly – questioning the solutions that we are given every day, nationwide, to preventing and surviving incidents of violence and whether or not they actually work, or are little more than things that look great on paper but will not work if, and when, reality strikes. What he found? The majority of the things that we are presented as solutions are little more than things that look great on paper, but will not work when reality strikes. I set out to fix this; and made it my life’s work.

“For me, this is not a work assignment, it’s not a part-time “gig” or something I decided would be a hot topic to capitalize on. I don’t think about this when I’m at work and leave it there when I go home. I didn’t gain my “expertise” through a 2-Day Instructor Certification Course; and I don’t “re-present” other people’s presentations. This is my life – 24/7. I am always thinking about it; I don’t accept the generally accepted; and I don’t automatically accept “industry standard”. I question and test everything to ensure that what Blue-U Defense provides our clients is accurate and will provide our clients the best possible results.”

Joseph B Hileman

Joe Hileman is a Co-Founder and Training Specialist for Blue-U Defense. He served as the Assistant Team Commander of the Monadnock Regional Special Response (SWAT) Team and for 15 years as a Detective/Police Officer with the Jaffrey (NH) Police Department. Prior to his career in Law Enforcement, he served as Security Supervisor at the corporate management level of a Fortune 500 company.

Mr. Hileman holds two A.A. degrees in Criminal Justice – Law Enforcement and Criminal Justice Corrections, Probation, and Parole. His extensive tactical training includes:

  • SWAT 1 and 2 Certification, Tactical Officers and
    LEADS Consulting
    Active Shooter Instructor
    Threat Assessment Team/Management
  • SWAT Team Leader/Commander
  • Use of Force, Active Shooter Instructor
  • Narcotics – Covert Surveillance
  • OC Instructor
  • Taser Instructor
  • Domestic Violence Lethality Assessment Coordinator
  • Field Training Officer
  • Sexual Assault Investigator specializing in the Child Forensic Interview
  • Suspicious Death/Homicide Investigations

Thomas Schladenhauffen

Thomas Schladenhauffen, CPP is an ASIS Certified Protection Professional, with 39 years of experience in security, fraud prevention, safety, and the environmental health field. After retiring from a 22-year career in law enforcement, where he served as a fraud investigator holding a Certified Fraud Examiner (CFE) certificate and before being promoted to executive officer holding the rank of captain, he worked in corporate security and safety for both publicly traded companies, and private entities. As a risk manager, he was responsible for the Environmental Safety, Health, and Security programs in general industry, construction and mining operations.

His major focus was the protection of human assets, and the overall reduction of risk exposure in the workplace. The formula of success was working closely with senior and mid-level management to establish a culture of safety in these industries by empowering all employees to take responsibility for safety, by working as a team and looking out for each other. The result was a reduced number of lost time injures, and an increase in productivity. In addition, Mr. Schladenhauffen is a DHS/TSA Armed Security Officer (ASO) who provides private Air Marshal Services for General Aviation clients who wish to fly into DCA – Reagan International Airport.

David A. Gorr

Vice President Investigations and Corporate Security / Asst. In-House Counsel Johnson Financial Group Racine, WI

Dave is responsible for Corporate Security Management, legal issues and Investigations at Johnson Financial Group, Inc, (JFG) a Racine, Wisconsin based financial services company, which owns Johnson Bank with branches in Wisconsin and Arizona. Johnson Bank offers traditional banking, trust, and investment services (and through joint partners) branded brokerage and Credit Services. Johnson Financial Group also owns Johnson Insurance a full lines insurance agency.

Dave’s background includes over 27 years of management and investigative experience with the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) before joining JFG in September of 2009. He has extensive specialization and experience in financial investigations and management of a staff of investigator’s and financial analysts. As the Financial Crimes Manager for the FBI he was responsible for all white collar crime, public corruption, and money laundering investigations in the State of Wisconsin. This made him responsible for management of over 300 investigations at a time plus oversight of all FBI forfeiture proceedings and internal compliance audits. Two years prior to the sub-prime crisis, he identified the trend in Financial Institution Fraud cases and requested redirection of resources from Congress and FBI Headquarters. In addition he was tasked with the review of all Bank Secrecy Act (SARS) and US Patriot Act money laundering matters reported in Wisconsin and the direction of the financial component of all Wisconsin terrorism investigations. Dave was also Associate Division Counsel for the FBI, providing legal advice and instruction to all agents and support staff. He insured compliance with policies, laws and regulations. In 1999 Dave was named the Federal Executive’s Association’s Law Enforcement Officer of the Year.

Since beginning his employment with JFG Dave has continued to provide instruction regarding financial crime investigations both internally and externally. His FBI background also allowed him to develop an expertise in executive protection and physical security. He is the past Chair of the Wisconsin Banker’s Association (WBA) Financial Crimes Committee and as such was charged with providing guidance and advice to all WBA members. The committee is also responsible for development of the WBA’s annual Security and Financial Crimes Conference . Dave assists with management of the event and is also a presenter. He is an active member of the Racine, Wisconsin TRIAD Association. TRIAD’s main purpose is to prevent senior financial fraud, through education. Dave provides assistance by speaking about financial fraud trends at TRIAD meetings. He is also a member of the Kenosha Area Public Private Partnership, whose purpose is to establish and maintain good relationships between government and private companies. Dave is a graduate of Drake University with a double major in Police Science and Public Administration. (cum laude). He also received a Juris Doctorate (JD) degree from the Drake University School of Law. Dave has completed the Kellogg School of Management compressed MBA program.

Bryon Gebhard

Bryon Gebhard owns and operates Windfall Consulting, LLC, which provides continuous support to enterprise business clients with their overall electronic security systems, specializing in the integration of electronic security systems. Bryon has over 15 years of experience in the safety and security industry, working in all types of roles. This experience has provided him with a uniquely thorough and wide-ranging knowledge of the industry and leading security systems and solutions. He has been factory trained in the operation and design of over 20 separate system manufacturers. In addition, Bryon has founded several safety and security startups that are still operating today. His entrepreneurial perspective means he goes beyond what you would expect from a typical security professional because he understands the risks, challenges, and hard work of being an owner. Bryon’s background in electronic security integration and business management, along with his commitment to providing the best possible solution, means you will get a realistic design approach and high quality solution every time.

Debra R McManigle

Debra joined HUB Financial Services on September 5, 2000 and manages the Enterprise Risk Insurance
Program for HUB Financial Services. Debra was an underwriter with the ABA sponsored insurance program
prior to joining HUB. HUB has over 700 financial institution clients and Debra provides hands on insurance
advisory services, working directly with bank management to develop insurance programs and risk management
solutions that align with her client’s needs.

HUB Financial Services provides a complete suite of risk management and insurance products designed to
minimize ever-increasing executive-level risks while reducing expense. Debra/HUB Financial Services is
endorsed by several banking associations, acting as a strategic resource, offering valuable insights and
actionable advice, coupled with industry-proven programs that leverage our extensive insurance product
and coverage design expertise.

Previously, Debra was a Senior Underwriter for the American Bankers Insurance Program from 1989 to 2000.
Debra attended the Case Western Reserve Weatherhead School of Management, Kent State University and
Lakeland Community College. She is a multi-state licensed agent, a Certified Financial Security Officer, and
former instructor at the Robert M. Perry School of Banking.

Debra serves as an Insurance Agent Panel for the ABA sponsored insurance program, Travelers Insurance, and Berkley
FinSecure.

Jim Rechel

Jim Rechel is president of The Rechel Group, Inc., a risk-consulting firm headquartered in Cincinnati, Ohio. He is one of the board of The Institute for Criminal Justice Education, Montgomery, Alabama and a member of numerous national organizations and is a Certified Financial Security Officer. He is a past local board member of the International Association of Financial Crimes Investigators Association and the American Society of Industrial Security.

Prior to working for The Rechel Group, Inc., Jim was Vice President for Fifth Third Bank headquartered in Cincinnati, where he held positions in various departments, including Retail and Lending, and Security Director and was a Special Agent with the FBI.

Over the last 20 years, he has worked with organizations of all sizes in the investigation of fraud losses ranging from $200,000.00 to $200 million. He has utilized multiple link analysis techniques and software in the reconstruction of the fraud losses, and works with financial institutions, accounting firms, and legal offices around the country to prevent, investigate and recover fraud related losses.