Gary L. Sigrist, Jr.
CEO and President
Gary Sigrist is a nationally known speaker, consultant, author and expert on emergency preparedness. His career spans more than 30 years as an educator, administrator and police officer. Sigrist’s background in both education and law enforcement gives him a unique perspective on safety and preparedness, which he brings to his work with clients of Safeguard Risk Solutions. Sigrist launched Safeguard Risk Solutions in 2013 with his partner and friend Mick Yinger.
Safeguard works with organizations around the world, including schools, churches, companies and public entities, to assess risk and help them prepare for emergency situations. During his work with multiple companies in Southeast Asia, he wrote emergency response plans, conducted security and vulnerability assessments, and led a tabletop exercise simulating a bomb threat for a large utility company. Sigrist was an educator and administrator for South-Western City Schools (SWCS) for 30 years.
In 2008, he was named Project Director for Readiness and Emergency Management in Schools. SWCS is only one of a handful of school districts to win the Readiness and Emergency Management for Schools (REMS) Grant two times in 2008 and 2010, under his guidance. Sigrist coordinated efforts between SWCS and federal, state, and local agencies, and worked with district and building safety teams to refine and implement safety plans. He secured almost $1M in funding and resources through federal and state grants for SWCS to enhance safety, security and crisis management programs, as well as implementing the district’s visitor ID system and developing its Continuity of Operations/Disaster Recovery Plan and Food Defense Plan. Sigrist also led the re-engineering of the districts two-way radio communication system and oversaw the implementation of its Mass Notification Plan.
In addition, Sigrist has extensive experience in emergency preparedness training and exercises. He designed, coordinated and conducted large district tabletop and full-scale exercises using funding from Ohio Homeland Security that included SWCS, the five fire departments and four law enforcement agencies that serve the district. Sigrist is also a retired police officer with more than 23 years of experience working with schools and communities throughout Ohio. Sigrist is a certified Department of Homeland Security trainer for both the Law Enforcement Active Shooter Emergency Response (LASER) and Screening of Persons through Observational Techniques (SPOT) organizations. He continues to present at school safety conferences across the country on the topics of emergency preparedness and teaching schools how to build relationships with their first responders. Sigrist carries on his work as an educator as an adjunct professor at Franklin University in Columbus, Ohio.
He teaches courses including Management Theory and Practices, Organizational Behavior, Problem Solving and Decision Making, and Business Ethics. Sigrist earned a Bachelor of Science degree in elementary education from Ohio University and a Master of Science degree in education administration from The University of Dayton. He also completed Ohio Peace Officers Basic Training through the Central Ohio Peace Officer’s Training Academy. His specialized training includes courses in hostage negotiations, school violence threat assessment, terrorism and WMD in the workplace, event security planning, stranger abducted/missing children, and active shooter situations, among many others.