Private Security Training Firm offers proposal to St. Joseph College to use part of campus as training facility

Rensselaer- September 2, 2017:

On August 16, Fulcrum Strategic Group representatives met with the Saint Joseph’s College Phoenix Team on campus to discuss the possibility of leasing space and constructing a technical training environment or hard skills training center. It would support niche opportunities from associations involving the United States Department of State and United States Agency for International Development known as USAID, college labs, and be available for first responder training as well. The entities would remain separate but complement one another in a variety of services and offerings.

The Fulcrum Strategic Group is a veteran, woman owned small business which was founded in anticipation of building a facility to conduct pre-deployment training instruction for a variety of mission essential tasks and learned skill sets for aid workers and diplomatic support personnel.

Fulcrum’s executive vice president James Greene Ph.D. said, “we gave the College a very respectable and workable proposal which could assist the College to get up and running in two to three years while taking our industry’s services to the next level by introducing pioneering components. If the college wants to explore it, we’ll need one of the Phoenix Team members to engage with us in the vetting and finalizing the project plan to ensure it meets the College’s mission objectives and satisfies financial funding goals.“

Dr. Greene is a veteran of the United States Marine Corps Force Recon Community. He earned his undergraduate degree in marketing and finance from Muskingum College where he played football and roomed with the current Minnesota Vikings Receiver Coach, Darrell Hazell. Saint Joseph’s College reminds him of his alma mater.

Phil Otto, a former Global Response Service member joined Fulcrum as the Director of Business Development and states, “combining components of education, logistical i ntuition , and low overhead makes this effort unique and extremely competitive with today’s contracting environment when cost-plus tenders are a thing of the past. We have pioneers as members who ran large programs in their infancy during the height of the Iraq and Afghanistan Campaigns. Our relationships involve C and Director level staff members inside several organizations who are very anxious to see where this goes.”

The funding for the project would be derived by an initiative introduced by Fulcrum involving private placement bonds to make the improvements necessary to meet training mandates while addressing the college’s crippling debt and decaying facilities. This could give stakeholders the opportunity to invest in such a fund potentially to receive competitive returns on their investments. The fund would be handled by a third party with a proven financial track record and renowned past performance. However, efforts can not go forward until a provisional agreement is arranged between the College and the Fulcrum Strategic Group.

Richard Bartlett is the proposed Director of Facilities and Logistics. He served as the Program Manager for Greystone Ltd. in Amman, Jordan during the Iraq and Afghanistan Wars. He was instrumental in building another facility near Pittsburgh, PA which worked with Carnegie Mellon University on numerous occasions.

“Our initiative is not to be a private military company as indicated by some people in social media. Our mission is to support the objectives of USAID and diplomatic efforts of the US Government. We recognize Rensselaer to be in a fantastic logistical position with reasonable overhead to meet program budgeting challenges. Our plan still allows for agricultural and academic activities to continue relatively unimpeded with improvements and expansions to the existing campus.”

Loren Berenda along with other members of the Fulcrum Group, are long-time Rensselaer area residents specializing in higher education, accreditation, finance, and insurance, and have worked extremely hard arranging presentations and reviews for the Phoenix Team. They have held informational sessions with local constituencies, refining financial projections, and maintaining media awareness of the project, simply because they believe the project is feasible, can reopen the College as a degree-granting institution, and is fully compatible with the Saint Joseph’s College Mission Statement.

According to Berenda, USAID’s Mission Statement is: “partner to end extreme poverty and promote resilient, democratic societies while advancing our security and prosperity.” and the Department of State’s Mission Statement is: “to shape and sustain a peaceful, prosperous, just, and democratic world and foster conditions for stability and progress for the benefit of the American people and people everywhere.”

Dr. Greene continued, “For over twenty years, I’ve operated and overseen dozens of projects in countries with very high stakes to foreign policy and business interests. In my experience, enterprising minded individuals find and cut the path but operate in a non-sustainable rhythm while academics often find a rhythm once put on an already cleared path. It takes both to succeed. Our strength in positioning will arise from that methodology and synergy. Fulcrum’s president, Kelly Roxburgh-Martinez, and I each have both pedigrees which allow us to see the opportunities in Rensselaer.

I’ve known LR (Berenda) since 2002. We’ve worked in Kosovo and Iraq together. I trained at the facility his group put together in 2011. It was tremendous. So, if that was a sign of what could be at the Rensselaer site, the team being put together, a great community, and some Hoosier grit, we could put together the finest program in the world related to expeditionary humanitarian aid and diplomatic services. It will be unique.”

Bartlett states, “The group has turned to experts to understand the economic impact of this initiative and realizes the College’s current lack of operations has resulted in a decrease of $35,000,000 annually from the local economy plus student spending with local businesses which conservatively translates into a total loss of $112,890 per day.”

Bartlett concluded, “Some experts say that number is low. In either case our plan deals with this but we have to be welcomed to help. Our goal is to put our side together and do whatever we can to help Saint Joe’s group get those numbers back up and running. So potentially, the revenues could be doubled compared to St. Joe’s best years. Many times, organizations affiliated with missionary outreach do not want to have an association with a group like ours until they get down range and the dangers become real. I’ve seen it dozens of times. Right now we don’t know if it is a fit for their plans but according to our colleagues there, the College team has been very tactful.”

Editor Note: After receiving this press release Jasper County News had an interview with Richard Bartlett of the Fulcrum group. Mr. Bartlett told Jasper County News that we would be interested in a 10 to 15 years usage contract with St. Joseph’s, of part of the campus and the college could use the rest to once again be an accredited college. Bartlett said that Fulcrum plans to use investor bonds to finance their proposed campus usage plans, which Bartlett said could significantly help the college get back on its feet. Bartlett said that if Fulcrum can strike a deal with St. Joseph’s that, what Fulcrum would need of the campus would be; some of the farmland for a driving course & marksman’s range, at least 300 dorm rooms, at least 4 classrooms and other miscellaneous areas. He also said that Fulcrum would be ready for their first class of 300 students at the St. Joseph’s campus in 2019. Bartlett said that the training course will last 6 to 8 weeks and that they plan to run year round. Bartlett said that the curriculum would be; Marksmanship with about 10 weapon systems 2) Counter Terrorism Driving 3) Physical Fitness 4) Mission Planning 5) Land Navigation 6) Combat Medical Care 7) Close Quarter Battle  8 Combatives (hand to hand) 9) Close Protection 10) Small Unit Tactics etc.  Bartlett also said that a qualified student will have a police or military background in good standing. Bartlett also said that we will be training Humanitarian Aid Workers such as; Mercy Corps, World Vision, Chemonics., etc, “this will be a large part of what we do”.

Bartlett said that there are 3 such security training facilities in the US and that they are overcrowded and that there is a big need for the one that his group proposes.  Bartlett also said that Fulcrum feels that the St. Joseph’s campus is so ideally suited to Fulcrum’s endeavor that, should St. Joseph’s not be able to revive its self and permanently close, that Fulcrum would be looking at buying the entire campus.

Bartlett said the business that Fulcrum is in trains people in the security field, who get jobs with private contractors of the US Government that provide security for government officials and relief workers in international action zones and that Fulcrum does not train contracted private combat personnel.


Story by Jasper County Online News.

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