Randell Torno 

Chairman and CEO

Randy has been working on the ground in the Middle East or Africa since 2007.  He was recalled to active duty as a Lieutenant Colonel in the U.S. Army and deployed to Iraq in 2007.  He received the Bronze Star in the course of his combat tour.  After finishing his tour in Iraq, Randy was requested by name for duty in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, a deployment lasting 3 years.  He retired from the Army in 2011 and was shortly thereafter contracted by Northrop Grumman (NGC) and other companies to work in Africa on a myriad of projects in countries from Senegal to South Africa.

In Ethiopia, Randy served as the Senior U.S. Advisor to the Ethiopian National Defense Force’s Defense Command and Staff College (EDCSC).  On the surface, Randy’s team assisted in training Ethiopian senior officers in strategic, operational and tactical battle planning and execution.  More importantly, Randy was tasked with building bonds between the U.S. and the Ethiopian Governments and winning the approval of external stakeholders such as the UN and the regional ambassadorial offices with a presence in Ethiopia. He finished his assignment in Ethiopia as the U.S. Embassy’s Chief of Security Cooperation, where he drafted the U.S. – Ethiopia Bilateral Defense Agreement of 2011. This treaty was the first such agreement between the two countries since 1974.

In Iraq, Randy ran the Theater Transportation and Corps Logistics Support elements of the U.S. Government’s Logistics Civil Augmentation Program (LOGCAP) with oversight for more than $10 billion of transportation assets, as well as supply and services supporting 320,000 Soldiers, Sailors, Airmen, Marines and civilian personnel in the combat zone.

Since his retirement from the Army, Randy has contracted as a Senior Peacekeeping Advisor under the U.S. State Department’s Africa Contingency Operations Training and Assistance (ACOTA) program. He has prepared well over 10,000 African Troop Contingents for duty as UN Peacekeepers in areas from Somalia to Darfur to the Congo.

Randy commissioned as an Army officer in 1987 after graduating from the University of South Dakota with a Bachelor’s Degree in Journalism.  He left active duty in 1990 for a civilian career in motion picture production and corporate communications. He founded the Light Brigade to channel a unique vision and artistry to crafting effective messages for a client list that included companies from Lennox Heating and Air Conditioning, Pizza Hut, Cadbury Schweppes, Frito-Lay, Southwest Airlines, Diageo Brands, to Wal-Mart.

Randy simultaneously continued his Army career in the reserves serving in an escalating series of key roles through multiple re-organizations of the Reserves’ force structure between 1995 and 2006.  Randy is a graduate of the U.S. Command and General Staff College at Fort Leavenworth, Kansas and the Joint Forces Staff College in Norfolk, Virginia.

Randy is a hands on expert in Africa with experience in multiple countries across the continent.  He holds a Master’s Degree in Public Policy and Political Economics and is a PhD Candidate in Public Policy and Political Economics at the University of Texas expected to complete his dissertation in the spring of 2017. 

Ed Bollen

President Lithium IP Holdings

After a 30 years with the U.S. Government beginning first as a U.S. Marine and then working for the majority of his time in service within the U.S. intelligence community, Ed founded Paladin Resolutions, a global research and management consulting firm.  Ed has recently served as a consultant on an upcoming History Channel series on the selection process for America’s elite Special Force Operators.

Before combining forces with Hudson Fulton, Paladin’s clients included both public and private organizations seeking: business intelligence collection; diplomatic negotiations; conflict resolution; general risk management; physical security; industrial security; disaster risk reduction, response, and remediation; emergency management and response logistics, and special problem resolution.  Paladin has project experience in North America, the Middle East, Africa, Europe, Asia, the Caribbean and South America.  Paladin has supported military and law enforcement operations, aviation and maritime services as well as a wide variety of corporate clients with operations in both Emerging and Frontier Markets.   

Ed’s broad experience includes 3 years with the White House Military Office working with executives and engineers from the Boeing Company, Bell Helicopter, and the Sikorsky Aircraft Company on new modifications to Air Force One and Marine One.  Ed’s extensive aviation and maritime expertise has also been engaged by Raytheon, General Electric, Lockheed Corporation, Marin Marietta, L-3 Communications, Electric Boat Company and Newport News Shipbuilding.

Ed has trained international arms inspectors assigned to the United Nations Weapon inspection teams in Iraq; established a national counterterrorism task force in Ethiopia; worked directly with the Palestinian Authority in Gaza and Jericho to develop standards and regulations for European venders, Saudi Arabian contractors and U.S. business entities working together in the region; been the boots on the ground in Liberia at the height of its second civil war serving as the special advisor to the U.S. Ambassador responsible for implementing counter insurgency measures.

After the September 11, 2001 attacks, Ed was assigned to U.S. Central Command (USCENTCOM) as the Intelligence communities special advisor on terrorism and joint operations.  After five years at USCENTOCM, Ed was assigned by the U.S. government to work with U.S. businesses to assess and implement countermeasures to defend against foreign government sponsored industrial espionage.  Ed’s U.S. business network resulted in the rapid expansion of Paladin Resolutions after its launch in 2009.

Ed has an undergraduate degree in history from Florida State University and graduate degree in comparative religion and religious history from The College of William & Mary.