Leadership Team

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G. Michael Verden

Owner and CEO

G. Michael Verden, Owner and CEO of The Lake Forest Group, draws on his experience with the strategic security firm Hillard Heintze, the National Basketball Association (NBA), and an extensive career as a Special Agent with the United States Secret Service.

As a Senior Vice President with Hillard Heintze, Mike was in charge of the Strategic Security Services for the firm. He led numerous large-scale security engagements, including projects with major entertainment venues, gaming facilities, commercial properties, educational institutions, pharmaceutical operations, utility companies, property management firms, financial services, manufacturing and distribution plants, and professional sports.

In his capacity as Senior Director of Security for the NBA, Mike managed and coordinated global security, as well as designed and implemented site security measures, emergency evacuation programs, and contingency procedures. He was responsible for monitoring all NBA criminal investigations and security-related incidents throughout the league. He also implemented and supervised security for the NBA All-Star Game, the NBA Finals, and the World Basketball Championships.

Mike was a Special Agent with the United States Secret Service for 21 years and finished his career as the Assistant Special Agent in Charge for the Dignitary Protective Division at USSS Headquarters in Washington, D.C. This assignment allowed him to be an event coordinator for the 2002 Winter Olympics in Salt Lake City, Utah, and a security adviser to the 2003 and 2004 Super Bowls. Other assignments in Washington, D.C. were to the Presidential Protective Division and the Counter Assault Team. His major event experience provides an institutional knowledge in securing and protecting facilities and people on a large scale. Additionally, he assisted with creating security plans for the following major events: Super Bowl, Kentucky Derby, Indianapolis 500, Breeders’ Cup, and the Women’s Soccer World Cup.

Mike was born in Tipperary, Ireland, grew up in Chicago, and graduated from Western Illinois University with a degree in Law Enforcement Administration. He began his professional career with the Skokie, Illinois Police Department and then became a Secret Service agent in the Chicago Field Office. He holds an M.S. in Criminology from Indiana State University.