Advisory Council

Comprised of renowned authorities on ORC, the advisory council is taking a leadership role in building a comprehensive global event focused on ways to combat the growing incidence of ORC. Their extensive insight and experience will be integral in assuring you an in-depth educational, interactive summit that will go far beyond all previous events in motivational, enlightening and directing energy.

Nelson Harrah is the Director of Organized Retail Crime for GAP Inc. based in San Francisco, Ca. Nelson manages a nationwide team of investigators that investigate and apprehend Organized Retail Crime rings with an intense focus on South American theft rings. His team also investigates a variety of financial crimes artists targeting retailers. Nelson’s training on ORC is POST certified in 9 states and is a member of the National Retail Federations’ Legislative Committee and Joint ORC Taskforce. He is also certified to testify as an expert witness in multiple states throughout the U.S. on ORC. Nelson has worked with the Santa Clara County Juvenile Probation Department and held field Loss Prevention positions with Ross Stores, Phar-Mor and Luxottica.

Born and raised in Northern Virginia, John began his career as a Security Supervisor with the FBI in Washington DC. He received an A.A.S. Degree in Criminal Justice before spending two years as a licensed Private Investigator working Insurance Fraud and Domestic Investigations.

John joined Macys Loss Prevention in 1996 as a Store Detective, holding positions as an LP Supervisor, Regional Investigator, LP Manager, District LP Manager and Regional Trainer. During his 16 years with Macy’s, he has received numerous accolades to include “Loss Prevention Manager of the Year” and “Regional Investigator of the Year”.

John’s commitment to tracking local Organized Crime activity in Northern Virginia, DC & Maryland, led to the creation of the ORC Managers position within Macy’s, and has expanded across the country.

John works closely with local, state, and federal law enforcement agencies, retailers, and retail associations, conducting ORC investigations and training.

John is a member of the Joint Organized Retail Crime Task Force, and was awarded the National Retail Federations “Case of the Year” for his investigation of a national gift card fraud case valued at $3.5 million dollars.

Mark VanBeest is the Global Security and Investigations Director for jcpenney and has over 28 years of Loss Prevention and Law Enforcement experience. Mark’s responsibilities include global and aviation security, corporate and field investigations as well as directing the jcp organized retail crime strategy across the company’s 1,100 stores nationwide.

Prior to joining jcp, Mark served in the United States Marine Corps as a Special Agent criminal investigator (CID) and also as entry team leader on the Special Reaction Team (SRT).

Mark is a member of Joint Organized Retail Crime Task Force (JORCTF) as well as the Retail Industry Leaders Association Crimes Against Business (CAB) Committee.
Mark is a regular speaker at conferences such as RILA, NRF and the ECI as well as being active in efforts to pass or strengthen Organized Retail Crime legislation.

Mark earned a Bachelor’s degree in Criminal Justice, a Master’s Degree in Managerial Science and has recently completed the Executive Leadership program at Cornell University. Mark has also been a Certified Forensic Interviewer (CFI) since 2006.

Scott oversees investigations for the company’s 700 stores, which sell books, DVD & music, electronics, toys and games. At Barnes & Noble, Scott developed a highly effective eCommerce and ORC investigative strategy that has played a pivotal role in year-over-year shrink reduction.

Throughout the past 25 years, Scott has held loss prevention positions in various retail settings to include home improvement, sporting goods, pharmacy, soft-lines and general merchandise.

Tony Sheppard has spent the last 19 years working in retail loss prevention. Prior to joining CVS 11 years ago, he worked in various LP roles at Montgomery Ward’s (Lechmere), Bloomingdales, Family Dollar, Pep Boys, and The Paradies Shops.

Not only is Tony an instrumental part of the CVS ORC team, but he also provides guidance and advice in combating ORC to his counterparts in retail as well as law enforcement. He has been a featured speaker at numerous conferences across the country.

Tony has Associate Degrees in both Criminal Justice and Business Management and is a member of the NRF Legislative Committee and RILA’s Crimes Against Business Committee. He is also a board member for CLEAR and sits on the advisory board for LERPnet 2.0.

Jason F. Gonzales is a Loss Prevention Professional with 18 years of experience within the industry. He is currently involved in various Organized Retail Crime Associations across the Western United States and currently holds Board and Executive positions within several of these organizations. He has been a speaker at numerous Law Enforcement and Retail meetings and has been honored for his involvement and efforts in fighting ORC. Based on his extensive background, Jason has been interviewed by industry news media and has been published by the D&D Daily.

In 2009, Jason began with Rite Aid as a Loss Prevention District Manager. In 2011, he assumed the inaugural role of Rite Aid’s Organized Retail Crime Investigator. He is currently responsible for over 850 stores, across seven states in the Western U.S. Prior to Rite Aid, Jason held positions at Target and Marshalls.

Dennis Dansak oversees ORC prevention and investigation for the 18 companies under the Kroger banner. Denny’s duties include supervising the ORC cases and the network of fulltime ORC investigators across the United States. Prior to his position with The Kroger Co., Denny spent four years in the District Attorney’s Office in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania and 29 years as an FBI Special Agent. As a Special Agent, Denny served in a number of capacities to include being assigned to the FBI Counter-Terrorism Command Center; supervisor for the Special Operations Unit; and 8 years as Supervisory Special Agent for multi-state/multi-jurisdictional task forces investigating organized groups involved in major thefts.

Denny earned a B.A. Degree in Pre-Law from West Virginia University and an M.A. Degree in International Law from the University of Pittsburgh. Denny is a member of the NRF’s Joint ORC Task Force; the NRF’s Legislative Committee and FMI’s Legislative Committee and has published numerous ORC articles in law enforcement and retail journals, such as the FBINA, the Wall Street Journal, Fast Company magazine and appeared as a subject matter expert on ORC for NBC Nightly News with Brian Williams.

Lauren manages various projects, escalations, conferences, and hosting retailer loss prevention executives in Salt Lake City. As the point person on projects across all areas in Global Asset Protection, she manages relationships with National Retail Federation, Food Marketing Institute, National Association for Shoplifting Prevention, and Jewelry Security Alliance. Lauren joined eBay in February 2002 and currently lives in Salt Lake City, Utah.

David Nance is a nationally acclaimed safety expert who has dedicated himself to educating the law enforcement community as well as the public about personal safety. His career began in 1997 when he formed the SABRE Law Enforcement Training Division that works with police departments all around the world training law enforcement instructors on the use of force, defensive tactics and the safe and effective ways to use pepper spray.

This experience led David to recognize the need for personal safety training for the general public. He created the SABRE Personal Safety Academy in 2009 to teach individuals risk reduction techniques to reduce their odds of being attached and how to protect themselves in the case of an attack. This academy includes a network of over 200 PSA Instructors in 35 states.

In addition David is planning to launch the SABRE College Safety Program to teach students how to protect themselves on campus and alleviate parents’ concern for their child’s safety away from home. In 2006 David created a product line of personal safety products specifically for females. The SABRE Pink Personal Safety Sprays & Products have generated over $500,000 of support for the National Breast Cancer Foundation.

A member of National Crime Prevention Council and appearing on many programs including Spike TV’s Don’t Be a Victim, the History Channel’s Modern Marvel Nance is quickly becoming a recognizable front man for personal safety in the entire United States.