A combination of real world experience and researched tactical insight makes Fortress Consulting the premiere training solution for unexpected violence in any workplace. Our goal is to provide you the training and tactics to minimize loss of life in the event of an unexpected violent incident. Developed in-house, our two-phase training program will leave staff, tenants and employees confident that they have a plan to take the necessary actions to live through the unexpected.

Karla Baldini


Nothing prepares you for responding to a critical situation better than hands-on experience. Karla conducts client based security preparedness consultations, testing, and training programs. She has designed and taught reality-based active shooter response training and workplace violence prevention for Terminus complex, Concourse Properties, John Hancock properties, and other large high-rise buildings in metro Atlanta.

“It’s rewarding to see the transformation of our attendees as their level of competency and confidence grows.”

She enjoys the ongoing relationship she builds with her clients, keeping them on top of current procedures and conducting advanced training so they are always prepared and ready to respond without notice.

It all started with her calling to become a police officer, leading to a degree in criminal justice, while working as a campus police officer at Indiana University. She continued her path as an officer with two major law enforcement agencies, and is Senior Instructor in the State of Georgia. She has conducted large scale reality-based training exercises for law enforcement active shooter response at Atlanta Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport, Phillips Arena, and Lenox Mall.

Karla lives in Metro Atlanta and loves spending time with her family and discovering new places with her children.

Paul Merritt


“Knowing how to respond at a moment’s notice can save the lives of people who depend on you for their safety.”

Paul is setting new standards in tactics and training for active shooter response and workplace violence. His career spans over two decades as a Police Officer, SWAT Officer and Certified Instructor in scenario-based training for law enforcement. Seeing a need for training and preparedness in the private sector, he launched Fortress Consulting.

Paul believes in providing training that can easily be applied to real life situations. He works closely with our legal, financial and corporate clients.

Paul regularly speaks to medical organizations, corporate security organizations, insurance organizations and corporate clients on workplace violence prevention, response and personal safety.

He graduated summa cum laude from Georgia State University with a bachelor of arts degree in criminal justice. He is currently a Brazilian Jiu Jitsu Purple Belt under Alliance Team founder, Romero “Jacare” Cavalcanti. His favorite pastime is spending time with his wife and children.

Brock Ryan


Brock Ryan is a nationally recognized high-rise life safety consultant to prominent Fortune 500 and real estate companies including the At&t Campus in Metro Atlanta and a large soft drink bottling company based in Atlanta.

He partnered with Paul Merritt to form Fortress Consulting to address the safety needs that the real estate and business community face today.

Brock’s passion for safely preparedness grew from his role as a Lieutenant for the Atlanta Fire Department, where he inspected high-rise buildings for code compliance and disaster preparedness.

“It’s so important that our clients take the plan that has been sitting on the shelf in a binder and actually put it into practice. The confidence gained from seeing their plan being practiced cannot be undervalued.”

After the World Trade Center attacks in 2001, Brock became passionate about making sure building management had a plan for a potential tragedy for Class A structures. He retired from the Fire Marshall’s Office and quickly became the resident expert on preparedness and training for the high-rise buildings in the southeast.

Brock provides emergency planning and crises management for many major events, and was the EMS Operations Director for the 1996 Olympic Torch Relay and the current medical director for Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation cycling events.

In his spare time Brock enjoys riding BMW motorcycles, cycling and spending time with his two adult children.

Charles O. Ayeni


Charles is a Certified Senior Instructor who conducts training for a major metropolitan police department, SWAT Team, and Narcotics Enforcement Unit. His specialized training includes: firearms, defensive tactics, entry tactics, taser training, active shooter response, basic mandate law enforcement, state criminal law, and reality-based training.

He is a Security Forces Technical Sergeant with the U.S. Air Force Reserve, and spent 8 years as a U.S. Army Reserve Military Police Officer.

Charles is currently pursuing a Masters of Science in Intelligence Management. He’s also a talented multi-instrumentalist who enjoys playing music and traveling with his family.

Pete Fite


Pete is a senior firearms trainer for a major metropolitan police department. He is also a federal firearms instructor and FLETC active shooter response training instructor. He is a certified senior instructor with the Georgia Peace Officer Standards and Training Council. He has over two decades of experience in law enforcement and specialized training and several thousand hours instructing firearms tactics and techniques. He recently acquired his status as a State Department instructor and has instructed police agencies across the European Union. Pete is a graduate of the Georgia Institute of Technology.

Neil Welch


Neil holds instructor certifications from the Federal Law Enforcement Training Center (FLETC) and the National Tactical Officers Association (NTOA), and the State of Georgia. He develops courses and conducts training in law and procedure, police tactics, firearms, and bomb squad operations.

He has advanced training and experience in threat assessment, device dynamic defeat and hand-entry, military ordinance, and home-made explosives.

Neil is a Sergeant with a major metropolitan police department, with experience as a bomb technician, SWAT Team and bomb squad member, narcotics officer, and firearms instructor.

Neil has a BS Criminal Justice and Master’s degree in Education from Springfield College.

Ralph Woolfolk


Ralph is a Certified Senior Instructor who trains in defensive tactics and civilian response to active shooters for a major metropolitan police department. He focuses in emergency management, and is certified by the Georgia Crisis Intervention Team where he trained to assist persons with behavioral health disorders. Ralph is a trainer for local university police departments.

Ralph enjoys coaching baseball, mentoring inner city youth, and spending time with his wife and children.