Co-founder & Chief Executive Officer
After working in the investigative industry for more than three decades, Steve Cassell recognized the need for an innovative training program that could prepare the next generation of Private Investigator and Security Professionals. But rather than following the traditional classroom approach of so many other programs — a model that required students to take time away from their current employment and family commitments — Cassell leveraged the power of online learning and launched out in a bold, new direction.
In 2012, Cassell teamed up with Sandra von Eschenbach to establish NITA, the nation’s premier online training program for Private Investigators and Security Professionals. Cassell and von Eschenbach started by assembling a respected faculty comprised of experienced investigative and business professionals. In doing so, they created a highly specialized learning environment where students can learn the practical and professional skills required to run a successful investigative and security business.
Before starting NITA, Steve Cassell founded RSight Investigations, Inc., a licensed private investigative agency that provided surveillance and fraud abatement services to large self-insured employers, insurance carriers, Third Party Administrators (TPA’s), and the legal defense community. Cassell also served two terms (2008 - 2010) as a voting board member on the Florida Workers’ Compensation Fraud Task Force, the first private investigator to be elected to the board. Additionally, Cassell founded Command Investigations in 2012 - a final business iteration following more than 20 years of successful work within the investigative and insurance claims communities and is currently the Senior Strategic Advisor for Command Investigations, the nationally recognized preferred provider of investigative services to the insurance defense community.
In addition to his numerous professional accomplishments, Cassell is an accredited lecturer and trainer for investigative methods, fraud investigations, and insurance certification classes. He is also a published author, regularly featured in more than a dozen trade-related publications. Steve Cassell holds his private investigator license in Florida, Georgia, California, Pennsylvania, Tennessee, and Delaware.
Sandra von Eschenbach
Co-founder & Executive Vice President
As the co-founder and Executive Vice President of NITA, Sandra von Eschenbach brings an extensive skill set gained over more than a decade of experience in the private investigative industry. As NITA’s EVP, she directs all administrative oversight, compliance, marketing, and curriculum development for the program’s online Private Investigator courses.
Before establishing NITA with co-founder, Steve Cassell, von Eschenbach worked for RSight Investigations, Inc., serving in a variety of capacities, including Investigative Quality Assurance Manager, Corporate Administrative Manager, License Compliance Manager, Marketing Coordinator, and National Vendor Manager. As part of her duties, von Eschenbach conducted investigator licensing, state compliance training, license renewals, and record maintenance for more than 100 full-time private investigators. After leaving RSight Investigations, von Eschenbach was part of the core investigative team that started Command Investigations and performed multiple roles on the executive team as VP of Corporate Administration. Her duties culminated with the oversight of the administrative team to ensure quality assurance during the investigative workflow and reporting process.
After graduating from Auburn University in 1990, Sandra von Eschenbach worked for a national Fortune 500 company and managed a territory that spanned the Southeastern United States. During her time at the company, she served as a District Sales Manager, Key Account Manager for National and Regional Companies, Brand Manager for the Southeast and Sales Systems Manager.
In addition to being a licensed security professional in Florida, von Eschenbach holds an investigative license in the state of Alabama as well.
Backed By The Best
Faculty & Staff
Larry Dodd has worked in the private investigative and law-enforcement fields for over 28 years and currently holds the position of faculty instructor and curriculum developer for NITA. He also is an accredited lecturer and trainer in the areas of investigative methods, fraud investigations and insurance certification classes.
He has held positions of Vice President of SIU and currently is Key Account Sales for Command Investigations. There he manages the national SIU compliance program, national regulatory reporting, on-site customer consultation, fraud assessment analysis and oversight of the Restitution Management Program™.
Hilary Rodela is a certified private investigator in New Mexico and a faculty instructor and curriculum developer for NITA. She is a former crime scene investigator and has worked for the Ruidoso (NM) Police Department as well as the Lubbock (TX) Police Department. Hilary has extensive investigative, forensic and law enforcement experience and is currently pursuing fingerprint analysis expertise. Hilary has also written for several police and forensic oriented publications.
Jeff Dingle is a graduate of the Florida State University School of Criminology and has worked many high-level careers including as a Special Agent/Criminal Investigator with the US Department of Defense National Security Agency, as Director, Protective Operations for the Office of former US President Jimmy Carter, and Corporate Security Manager for the corporate headquarters of Home Depot.
Jeff has a current Florida Private Investigative Agency license, a Florida Private Investigator license, and a Florida Security Officer Instructor license. He has completed Emory University’s Front Line Management Training Program, and recently completed Lapin International’s
"Lead by Greatness" corporate leadership program.
Jeff has co-authored and published two security-related books, and published over 100 articles in security, law enforcement, and trade magazines.
As a forensic accountant and financial crimes investigator for civil litigation and criminal prosecution, David Sawyer has served as consulting or testifying expert in more than 200 investigations involving fraud, corruption, financial damages and a variety of other legal disputes. He has provided expert witness testimony in more than two dozen of those matters.
David served a key role in developing software designed as an early warning system to detect red flags of fraud, waste, abuse and white-collar crime. He has also worked as an advisor on the global initiative to combat, prevent and detect multi-national economic and military espionage, as well as the proliferation of WMD, terrorist financing and money laundering. He is a published author and has provided expert commentary for the Atlanta news media affiliates of ABC, NBC, CBS, Fox and NPR.