About Us

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

Partner

Paul Merritt

Partner

Brock Ryan

Partner

Karla Baldini

Partner

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

Partner

“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 Brown Belt under Alliance Team founder, Romero “Jacare” Cavalcanti. His favorite pastime is spending time with his wife and children.

Brock Ryan

Partner

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

Trainer

Pete Fite

Trainer

Neil Welch

Trainer

Ralph Woolfolk

Trainer

Charles O. Ayeni

Trainer

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

Trainer

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

Trainer

With sixteen years of law enforcement experience, Neil Welch holds the rank of Sergeant with a major metropolitan police department. He currently holds the positions of SWAT Team Leader and Bomb Technician, both of which require a balance of both incident command capability and the technical knowledge and skills required to lead a tactical response team.

Neil is an experienced trainer and holds instructor certifications from the Federal Law Enforcement Training Center (FLETC), the National Tactical Officers Association (NTOA), the Advanced Law Enforcement Rapid Response Training Center (ALERRT) and is a certified senior instructor through the State of Georgia. He has a passion for training and mentoring both the officers assigned to his team and our Fortress family.

“In the midst an emergency — this is not the time to come up with a plan. The simplest of actions can save a life if practiced ahead of time. Keep it simple and practice it.” Neil regularly facilitates scenario-based emergency preparedness drills and specializes in incident management and suspicious package response trainings.

Neil earned his bachelor’s degree in Criminal Justice from Sacred Heart University, where he captained the men’s ice hockey team and earned his master’s degree in Education from Springfield College. He continues to play hockey regularly and enjoys attending his two son’s sporting events.

Ralph Woolfolk

Trainer

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

Ralph holds a bachelor’s degree from Morehouse College and earned his master’s degree in Public Policy from Georgia State University. Ralph enjoys coaching baseball, mentoring inner-city youth, and spending time with his family.

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

Partner

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

Partner

“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

Partner

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

Trainer

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

Trainer

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

Trainer

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

Trainer

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.

HAVING PEACE OF MIND IS HAVING A PLAN.

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