About Us 2017-12-13T00:46:41+00:00

Our Mission

We are An association of professionals and volunteers who assist child victims of exploitation; in prevention, rescue, procuring legal representation, safe housing, and rehabilitative therapy.

Who Is NAMEC

The National Association for Missing and Exploited Children, Inc. is a not‐for‐profit charity organization founded in 2017 consisting of professionals and volunteers whom serve missing and exploited children in the United States.

NAMEC is the first and largest National Missing & Exploited Children’s association in the world. The association works to advance the needs of missing and exploited children through educational programs and legislative advocacy efforts before governmental agencies: Federal, State, and Local Legislatures.

NAMEC works in support of the children who are runaway/missing and exploited.

  • Networking individuals and organizations who assist parents and law enforcement in locating missing children;

  • Networking individuals and organizations facilitating accessing rehabilitation and legal representation for victims of child exploitation;

  • Networking individuals and organizations articulating and advocating the needs of child victims before legislative, administrative, and judicial local, state, and federal branches of government; and

  • Acting as a hub for as-needed resources by nationally engaging professionals and volunteers in meaningful and concrete service to victims and families.

Board Members

<strong>Joseph Travers</strong>
Joseph TraversPresident
JOSEPH ANTHONY TRAVERS, CPI, CCDI holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Criminal Justice Administration, and has been advanced to candidate for a Master’s of Science Degree with High Honors (4.0 GPA) from the California State University at Long Beach Graduate School of Criminal Justice Administration. Mr. Travers was also an Honor’s student (4.0 GPA) at Calvary Chapel Bible College.

Joseph Travers is the author of “Introduction to Private Investigation, Essential Knowledge and Procedures for the Private Investigator”, Charles Thomas Publishing 1995, 2nd Edition 2005, 3rd Edition 2015, “The ORIGINAL Private Investigator’s Handbook & Almanac, CIA Investigation Academy Publishing 2010, 2nd Edition 2014, 3rd Edition 2016, and has just finished “Investigation of Missing & Exploited Children: The Gateway to Child Sex Trafficking”2017.

An Honorably Discharged Veteran from the United States Navy, Mr. Travers has a total of six years of experience in Law Enforcement, specifically in Criminal Investigations and Police Training and Supervision. He possesses professional certificates from the California State Peace Officer Standards and Training; Basic, Intermediate, Advanced Officer Training, Hostage Negotiations, and Field Training Officer Certificates. In addition, Mr. Travers has experience in Loss Prevention and Private and Personnel Security, having served as the former Manager of Security, Southern California, for McDonnell Douglas Corporation.

Mr. Travers is a California State Licensed Investigator (www.PeoplesDetective.com), since 1984, and his investigative work has been chronicled in People magazine, various cable networks, and on television stations such as CBS, NBC, ABC, KTTV, KCOP, KHJ, KTLA, San Diego 10, HBO VICE, and the TV movie and series Renegade. His work has also been recognized in the front-page headlines of newspapers around the country, including The Los Angeles Times, The New York Times, The Sacramento Bee, The Riverside Press Enterprise, The Los Angeles Daily News, The Inland Empire Daily Bulletin, The Orange County Register, OC Weekly, and the San Diego Union Tribune, Risen Magazine, The Atlantic Magazine and Dove TV.

For ten years, Mr. Travers has taught Investigation, and has served as Director of Education for U.S. Colleges Incorporated and Private Investigative Research Company Schools of Professional Investigation and Security. He has testified as an expert witness and conducted investigations regarding Police Practices and Investigative Technique in California State and United States Federal Courts.

Mr. Travers is currently a Police Commissioner for the City of Oceanside, California since 2008. He is the Chairman and former second Vice President and former Director of the San Diego District for the Professional Investigators of California (PICA), and former President for the California Association of Licensed Investigators (CALI), the Largest Private Investigation Association in the World, Receiving the President’s Award in 2014 and the Investigator of the Year Award in 2015. He is also a Pastor for National Christian Information Center, Incorporated.,www.NcicInc.com, and ministers on a Harley Davidson Motorcycle as founder of “Born Again-The Way” Christian Motorcycle Ministry www.BiblesForMarines.com and serves as a Licensed Investigator and Educator with his son, Joshua, with the CIA School of Investigation. www.CIAInvestigationAcademy.com As Executive Director for www.SavedInAmerica.org Pastor Travers has assisted in the rescue of 39 young girls vulnerable to Child Sex Traffickers SINCE 2014

<strong>Kelly Riddle</strong>
Kelly RiddleTreasurer
Mr. Riddle is the President of Kelmar Global Investigations and has more than 35 years of investigative experience. He earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Criminal Justice from the University of North Alabama. He was chosen as the “PI of the Year” by the National Association of Investigative Specialists and the PI Magazine named Mr. Riddle as the “#1 PI in the United States”. He has been designated an expert in surveillance, insurance investigations, nursing home abuse and computer investigations. He was chosen as
“One of the Top 25 PI’s of the 20 th Century.” Kelly obtained his Texas Certified Investigator designation (less than 50 in TX.) Mr. Riddle is also the past President (2010-2012) for TALI – the Texas Association of Licensed Investigators; Board of Directors (2007-2010) for TALI as well as being on the Board of Directors for the Freedom of Information Foundation of Texas. Kelly is on the Advisory Board for FAPI – the Florida Association of Private Investigators and is on the Public Relations committee for the Council of International Investigators. Kelly is also on the Board of Directors for the Intellenet Board Accredited Investigator certification and the Membership Chair for the San Antonio Chapter of ASIS. He is a Founding Board Member and Board Advisor for the non-profit organization “Can You Identify Me.” Mr. Riddle is on the Board of Directors for the National Association for Missing and Exploited Children. Kelly was the recipient of the 2013 Investigator of the Year award, the highest recognition presented by the Texas Association of Licensed Investigators.

Mr. Riddle is the author of 10 books and has published more than 40 articles. He has been the guest speaker at more than 500 events and has been on national TV, radio and newspapers. Kelly was also presented the NALI Editor-Publisher Award in 2004.

Prior law enforcement experience includes being a member of the SWAT team, a Training Officer, Emergency Medical Technician, Evidence Technician, Arson Investigator, Juvenile Specialist and Traffic Investigator. Mr. Riddle is the Founder and President of the PI Institute of Education, as well as the Association of Christian Investigators with more than 1000 members in the U.S. and 19 countries. Kelly is the Founder of the Coalition of Association Leaders comprised of past and present board members from state, national and international associations.

Mr. Riddle is a member of TALI, NAIS, INTELLENET, NALI, FALI, FAPI, CALI, ASIS, NCISS, USAPI, ACI, PICA, WIN, CII, NLLI, CTIP, CLEAR, IOPIA, TIDA, ASSIST, ISPLA

<strong>Mark Gillespie</strong>
Mark GillespieVice President of Private Investigation & Chairman of the Board
Mark Gillespie is President of Gillespie Security and Investigations located in Austin, Texas. With 34 years of investigative and forensic science experience and a master’s degree in forensic science from George Washington University, Mark combines extensive first-hand field experience with cutting-edge forensic technical expertise. Mark spent a career as a special agent for the Air Force Office of Special Investigations (AFOSI) where he commanded a number of OSI investigative units in the U.S. and overseas. Upon retirement from the Air Force, Mark became the Director of Forensic Science for the Austin (Texas) Police Department where he was responsible for directing and managing the department’s Forensic Science Division (Crime Laboratory). Mark has the distinction of introducing forensic science to St. Edwards University (SEU) (Austin, Texas) in 2002 which led to the creation of their forensic science undergraduate degree program. Mark served on the SEU faculty where he was an Instructor of Forensic Science, crime scene investigation and criminal investigation. In 2016 Mark created the Texas Institute of Investigation (TII) offering PI training and continuing education. Mark is a past president of the Texas Association of Licensed Investigators, TALI (2012-2014) and TALI Board member (2007-2012). Mark currently serves at TALI’s School Director. Mark is the Region 4 Director for the National Council of Investigation and Security Services (NCISS). Mark is licensed in Texas, Alabama and Louisiana and is a member TALI, FALI, CALI, FAPI, LPIA, NCISS, NAIS, INTELLENET, WAD, ASSIST.
<strong>Victor Bazan</strong>
Victor BazanVice President of Public Investigation (also Bylaws Chairman)
Victor Bazan retired from the FBI on January 3, 2007, after almost thirty years of active duty.
He entered on duty with the FBI in 1979. His first office of assignment was the San Antonio Division where he was assigned to the Laredo Resident Agency (RA); a one-man office at that time. In 1980, he transferred to the Los Angeles Division where he was known as Mr. Copyright, having been assigned to working copyright matters in the movie and music industry. Later, he was assigned to work drug matters and Racketeering Enterprise Investigations. In 1988, he transferred to the Brownsville, Texas RA where he was assigned drug investigations and later transferred to the Austin RA where he served as the San Antonio Division’s Criminal Intelligence Supervisor and FBI liaison to the Texas Department of Public Safety and a member of the Post Seizure Analysis Team. He was assigned to the Central Texas Joint Terrorism Task Force where he was the San Antonio Division’s Correctional Intelligence Initiative Coordinator and created and oversaw the Prisoner Debriefing Initiative until he retired.
Bazan was the FBI San Antonio Division’s Crisis Negotiations Coordinator and was a member of the FBI’s Critical Incident Negotiation Team (CINT). He has been deployed overseas as an advisor in kidnapping of American citizens cases under the FBI’s International Terrorism/Hostage Taking Program. He was a Coordinator for the National Center for the Analysis of Violent Crimes (NCAVC) and was on the Board of Directors of the Texas Association of Hostage Negotiators (TAHN) for eighteen years.. He is also on the Board of Directors of the National Council of Negotiation Associations. Bazan participated as a police instructor overseas at the International Law Enforcement Academy (ILEA), Budapest, Hungary and Panama City, Panama where he taught Enterprise Theory, Human Intelligence Matters, Organized Crime and Hostage/Crisis Negotiations. He graduated from Her Majesty’s National Hostage Negotiation Course at Scotland Yard’s Peel Center, Hendon, England, in 2002.
Bazan attended the University of Texas at Austin where he majored in Anthropology and Archaeology in addition to obtaining a State of Texas teaching certificate. He was a Speech Therapist II at the Austin State School prior to teaching at the elementary school level in both private and public schools in San Antonio, Texas. He was an elementary school principal for two years. He obtained his Masters degree in Social Rehabilitation and Social Services from the Institute of Contemporary Corrections at Sam Houston State University, Huntsville, Texas. He spent two years as an adult probation officer with the Bexar County Adult Probation office, San Antonio, Texas prior to attending the University of Texas School of Law and his appointment to the Federal Bureau of Investigation.
Upon his retirement, Bazan started TPI International, Inc. (Third Party Intermediary) that specializes in the repatriation of kidnap victims with their loved ones and contracts with several Risk companies that provide Kidnap and Ransom Insurance. He continues to teach Crisis Negotiations for the Department of Justice throughout the world as well as for the United States Department of State and the Department of Defense. Bazan has responded to kidnap for ransom hostage negotiations cases recently in Pakistan, Iraq, Mexico and Venezuela. He also has experience in Saudii Arabia, Haiti, Colombia, and Bangladesh. Bazan is a fluent Spanish speaker (Level 5), Italian (Level 3), and Arabic (Level 2+). Creole and Farsi not tested yet.
<strong>Leah Watson</strong>
Leah WatsonVice President of Rehabilitation
Leah Watson is the founder and director of GRACE – Girls Rising Above Child Exploitation. A non-profit organization spreading awareness about child trafficking in the United States and providing an emergency care shelter for girls ages 12-17 rescued from child trafficking. Leah also serves as the Director of Rehabilitation for Saved In America, assisting with the rescue and rehabilitation services of children trafficked out of California. Leah is a survivor of human trafficking and has been working diligently to restore her life and help others restore theirs since 2009. She is completing her Masters of Business Administration and intends to continue with doctoral studies in Human and Social Services.
<strong>Brooke Mosteller Burris</strong>
Brooke Mosteller BurrisVice President of Policy
Brooke is the East Coast Director for the Lynch Foundation for Children. She focuses on developing effective child sex trafficking policy and legislative implementation. She ensures the Foundation’s efforts are maximized, efficient, and collaborative. She worked for the Foundation in San Diego as the Director of Policy and moved to Chapel Hill, NC, to start the East Coast branch in North and South Carolina in July 2017.

Brooke clerked at the South Carolina Supreme Court for the Chief Counsel to the Honorable Chief Justice Jean Hoefer Toal, drafting opinions and engaging judicial policy and access to justice. She was first introduced to the human trafficking epidemic as a law clerk at the South Carolina Attorney General’s Office Criminal Prosecution Division.

In 2013, Brooke was Miss South Carolina and Miss America’s Miss Congeniality. A licensed attorney, she earned her law degree at the University of South Carolina School of Law, receiving honors for her dissertation on health policy. She graduated cum laude from Furman University with a BA in Political Science.

<strong>Greg Wark</strong>
Greg WarkVice President Special Operations/Military
Promoting dynamic, positive, and influential leadership in high-pressure environments is what Greg and his wife, Amber, have devoted themselves to for the last thirty years. Greg served as a senior pastor of three congregations in Southern California before transitioned to full-time work in leadership development of military and law-enforcement personnel. In 1994, Greg founded Mission Force, a non-profit organization, which uses mentoring relationships to help military personnel and their families cope with the emotional leftovers of their chosen service. Greg has been actively involved as a pastor, counselor, mentor, and friend in a network of dynamic, caring individuals who have committed their lives to honorable service of their country. Greg is also credentialed as a chaplain with a federal law enforcement agency.

The widespread problem of child sex slavery and child trafficking continues to gain attention around the globe. After a briefing on the horrors of child sex slavery in Eastern Europe, Greg founded Centurion Alliance Incorporated, to address this issue. Centurion Alliance is a non-profit organization that contracts with former military and law enforcement personnel with proven skill sets to investigate those across the globe who prey on the innocent. For Greg, the work of Centurion Alliance is a continuation of his passion to create dynamic, positive leaders who defend the vulnerable and serve with excellence in civic responsibilities.

Greg has authored 2 books. “A Prophets Reward,” and most recently “A Good Death.” He has earned several post-graduate degrees including a Master’s Degree in Theology and a Doctor of Ministry degree. Greg and Amber have been married for thirty-nine years, and have five children and eight grandchildren. They currently reside in Nashville, Tennessee.

<strong>Terry Myer</strong>
Terry MyerNortheast Regional Director
Terry Myer Sr., is CEO of Columbus Detective Agency in Columbus, OH. He started this agency 27 years ago. Through the years he has joined, and supported, many associations: to name just a few, WAD, FALI, CALI, TALI, OASIS, NCAPI, IASIR, and was installed March 28th, 2017 as President of NCISS for 2017-2018.
He was recently appointed as a board member of the National Association for Missing and Exploited Children (NAMEC). He has been working with a similar group that also works with child sex trafficking in Ohio. It is my honor to work with and be on a board to mission for this purpose.
<strong>Tim O’Rourke</strong>
Tim O’RourkeSoutheast Regional Director
Tim O’Rourke is president of The Grafton Group, based in Tampa, Florida. Tim has more than 30 years’ experience in conducting and directing the protective and investigations needs of businesses. His practice areas include major fraud investigations, internet crimes, financial crimes, asset searches, product counterfeiting, due diligence and workplace violance. Prior to founding The Grafton Group, Tim served both domestic and multi-national corporations with their protective and investigative needs for twenty-years. During this period Tim was also appointed by the Florida Commissioner to serve as an advisor to the regulatory body which oversees private investigators from 2005-13. Prior to that Tim was selected to assist the DOL with a post 9-11 training curriculum. Tim has also served as president of the third largest PI Organization in the US, Florida Association of Licensed Investigators (FALI). Under Tim’s leadership FALI has doubled its size and is on track to become the nations second largest Private investigators association in the United States. Tim has hand picked from his network, the most experienced practitioners and courtroom tested specialists/experts in the forensic and private investigative field nationally to serve you.
<strong>Michael Julian</strong>
Michael JulianSouthwest Regional Director (Also Conference Chairman)
Michael Julian has worked in the investigations and security profession since 1985 when he began his professional career by specializing in surveillance operations. He was inducted into the Phi Theta Kappa International Scholastic Order for academic excellence as an Administration of Justice major in college. After joining the California Association of Licensed Investigators (CALI) in 1995 he served in several key elected positions including president in 2012 and 2013. He regularly teaches courses on business, technology, locates, asset discovery, and basic, intermediate and advanced surveillance techniques, as well as executive protection. He is a graduate of the Executive Protection Institute and member of the Nine Lives Associates. His company, founded by his father in 1967, has provided executive and asset protection services to corporate executives, celebrities, natural and man-made disaster victims and person’s at risk, and investigative services to the corporate and private sector for five decades. He is a certified Personal Protection Specialist (PPS), is a Certified Professional Investigator (CPI) and is one of less than 50 Certified Security Professionals (CSP) in California. Michael created the A.L.I.V.E. Active Shooter Survival program and now teaches active shooter throughout the US. He wrote a book, 10 Minutes to Live: Why the First 10 Minutes Matter Most in an Active Shooter Event & How to Best Survive Them, which will be published this year.
<strong>Jim Casteel</strong>
Jim CasteelDirector at Large
Jim Casteel has been a private investigator since 1989 and has been instrumental in the passing and support of Alabama’s laws which monitor and regulate the Investigative profession. Jim is a standing member of many state and national investigative associations.

Having worked as an Investigator with ample experience and training in Surveillance, records research, Child Custody cases, Divorce cases and Injury Fraud cases and charged with the responsibility of training new investigators; Jim Casteel, having become an expert in field surveillance, Left Mark II in 1996 to operate his own detective Agency. For the following five years, having started up a company known as Altima Investigations, Mr. Casteel tested his interest in Product liability investigations, Internal theft, missing persons, drug and substance abuse cases and undercover drug operations. Mr. Casteel has had the pleasure of working close together with law enforcement in theft stings (Birmingham P.D.), missing persons cases, child abuse and neglect cases and lengthy undercover drug operations where Mr. Casteel worked in deep cover inside factories to weed out employees who sold drugs on company time and property (Calhoun County Drug Task force and Anniston P.D).

In 2001 Jim Casteel Formed The Casteel Agency (Current legal name is Casteel & Associates LLC). The Casteel Agency strives to assist people whose lives are turned upside down as a result of divorce or Child Custody issues. The Casteel agency specializes in surveillance in both domestic and corporate cases (Injury fraud, child custody, divorce, cohabitation, internal theft etc.)

Jim Casteel is currently serving his profession as the President of the Alabama Private Investigator’s Association as well as serving the consumer on the Alabama Private Investigator’s Regulatory Board. Jim has worked close with child advocate programs to bring in speakers to their conferences to educate investigators on the early warning signs of domestic abuse and child endangerment. Jim and wife Betty also operate a Spy Store that sells personal protection items as well as child tracking and monitoring items and support a “don’t be a victim” program taught in the Birmingham area.

<strong>Joshua Michael Travers</strong>
Joshua Michael TraversDirector at Large
JOSHUA MICHAEL TRAVERS, LPI, is a graduate of U.S. Colleges, School of Criminal/Civil Justice and CIA Investigation Academy in Oceanside, CA. Mr. Travers is a graduate of Liberty University. He is a former member of the Corps of Cadets at The Citadel Military College of South Carolina, leaving to deploy to Iraq in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom. Upon return he transferred to Liberty University, Lynchburg, Virginia, where he became a 2016 NCWA All –American Wrestler.

Mr. Travers was a Corporal in the United States Marine Corps, assigned to Charlie Company, 4th Combat Engineer Battalion, Lynchburg, VA. He returned from a combat deployment to Iraq in February 2010 after serving 6 months overseas, his awards include a Navy Unit Commendation, The National Defense Medal, Marine Corps Reserve Medal, Iraqi Campaign Medal with a gold star, Sea Service Deployment Ribbon, Global War on Terrorism Medal, and the Individual Mobilization Augmentee Medal.

Mr. Travers has worked as a licensed private investigator since he was 15 years old, working on cases that have been seen in the OC Weekly, the Orange County Register, and other major news media. Upon return from deployment, he continued working with his father, Joseph A. Travers, CPI, CCDI, the CALI VP of Administration, on at least thirty different investigations. Mr. Travers has performed anti-piracy investigations, as well as surveillances, witness locate and service, scene photography and recreation, and client/witness interviews. He has taught anti-piracy surveillance techniques to students at CIA Investigation Academy in Oceanside, CA, as well as Co-authored Chapter 13 “Bioethics, Investigation, and the Occult” in Introduction to Private Investigation, 2nd Edition by Joseph Travers, as well as an official co-author of the 3rd Edition. Mr. Travers and his father Joseph co-authored The Original Private Investigator’s Handbook and Almanac, 2012, which provides the laws, regulations, and professional association information for becoming a Private Investigator in every U.S. state and territory, as well as Internationally.

Committee Members

<strong>Rudy R. Rodriguez</strong>
Rudy R. RodriguezEducation Committee Chair
Rudy Rodriguez began serving our country at the age of 18 when he joined the U.S. Army. He is a Vietnam Veteran & received an Honorable Discharge after serving in the U.S. Army for 51/2 years as a Counterintelligence Agent. He has been in law enforcement for over 35 years (including 3 years as civilian contractor), which includes being a Deputy Constable, Precinct One in San Antonio, Texas. On November 7, 1977, Rudy was hired by the U.S. Border Patrol & started his career as a federal officer in Yuma, Arizona as a Border Patrol Agent. He retired from the Department of Homeland Security as a Colonel in 2009. Rudy has extensive experience in management & supervision relating to Border Patrol Operations, Tactical Operations, Investigations, Intelligence, Executive Protection, Detention/Removal & training. He has a degree in Criminal Justice and currently teaches Human Trafficking, Surveillance/Counter Surveillance, Stress Management, Court room Demeanor & Spanish to Cadets, military, & in-service officers.

Northwest Region

Rick Root
Rick RootNorthwest Regional Director
Richard “Rick” Root is the Owner and President of Richard Root Investigations. He is a judicially recognized expert and has more than 35 years’ experience in law enforcement and security. Rick began his law enforcement career in 1982, as a Security Police Officer in the United States Air Force. In 1988, he transitioned from military to civilian law enforcement. Rick joined the Boynton Beach Police Department. During his tenure with the Boynton Beach Police Department, Rick became a use of force instructor and subsequently designated the agency’s use of force expert. Rick experienced many lethal force encounters and served as the department’s expert witness on cases involving the use of force by police officers. After retiring, Rick joined the largest American-owned security company in the United States. He progressively excelled because of his work ethic and expertise. Rick functioned as the organization’s Regional Operations Manager, in the State of Florida. Rick was later promoted to District Manager, he was responsible for district operations with a $19 million dollar budget, servicing the needs of 58 clients and a workforce of over 650 employees, including managers, supervisors and security officers. Rick oversaw investigations both internally and externally for operational and employee issues. Rick graduated from the Southern Police Institutes 33rd Command Officer Development Course at the University of Louisville. He is a FALI Life Member and is currently serving as FALI President