About G. Michael Verden

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, 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.

It Takes a Strategy to Prevent Workplace Violence

The Lake Forest Group remembers all victims of workplace violence, especially those in Atlanta and Boulder this past week. How is your leg bone connected to your WPV prevention program? Protecting your employees from workplace violence is not easy. It takes a dedicated team. It takes training. And it takes a strategy to pull it… View Article
This story was written by G. Michael Verden

We Get You—and We Got You—in 2021

As we exit 2020, destined to be remembered as one of the most challenging years in our history, and enter 2021, we want to remind you that we are here for you. We get you, we got you, and we know what you’re going through—and you’re not alone. When our clients got focused on safety… View Article
This story was written by G. Michael Verden

To Save and Protect: Independent Security Study Does Both

How safe and secure do your employees feel? They might be harassed or threatened by co-workers or visitors, or exposed to some other type of workplace violence. Or maybe your CEO has received threats from a customer dissatisfied with your organization’s product or service. From C-suite to entry level employees, you must be committed to… View Article
This story was written by G. Michael Verden

What to look for when hiring a Chief Security Officer (CSO)

by Patrick Gray of Raines International and G. Michael Verden of The Lake Forest Group The Lake Forest Group is working with Raines International in recruiting security professionals for top level executive positions to make an immediate impact in organizations across all industries and functions—because in today’s business environment, security has taken on an elevated… View Article
This story was written by G. Michael Verden

Why Domestic Violence Is a Factor in Workplace Violence

You Owe Your Employees a Safe Workplace Even as we paid special attention to this important issue during October’s Domestic Violence Awareness Month, we know that domestic violence affects the lives of Americans every day. And due to COVID-19, domestic violence has become even more dangerous with a tremendous spike in incidents of abuse as… View Article
This story was written by G. Michael Verden

Training Communicates COVID-19 Safety and Security in the New Workplace

We’ve all become familiar with the term the “new normal” because of the impact COVID-19 has had on our society and on our businesses. As people gradually return to their workplaces, they will find many changes as organizations ask them to adjust their behavior and expectations—and patience—to ensure safety in the new work environment, built… View Article
This story was written by G. Michael Verden

It’s Time to Focus on Your Employees’ Mental Health and Security Needs

We’ve all heard about the “new normal” as states are opening up. But what does that mean?  It depends on your responsibility in the organization. If you’re in HR or Security, you know as employees begin returning to the workplace, you face many challenges: putting physical barriers in place to ensure social distancing, modifying or… View Article
This story was written by G. Michael Verden