President & CEO
In 2009, John founded WATCH GUARD 24/7 and is at the forefront of his company’s success, cultivating organic growth in each of the company’s 11 years in business. John sets the tone for operational excellence and customer service, leading by example as the face of WATCH GUARD 24/7.
John leads with and instills upon his team the same dedication, attention to detail, and responsiveness he exemplified in the NYPD. Upon his retirement from the NYPD, John was considered as one of the most decorated Lieutenants. He was assigned to some of the busiest, crime ridden commands in Brooklyn, NY which resulted in a proven track record for combating crime. John was the recipient of the second highest honor of the police department; the Combat Cross.
John began his career in the 67th Precinct and dedicated most of his time in Anti-Crime. He then rose quickly through the ranks of Sergeant and Lieutenant. John was assigned to Housing PSA 3 as a Sergeant and shortly thereafter became assigned as the Street Narcotic Enforcement Unit Sergeant and eventually the Anti-Crime Sergeant, covering housing projects in Brooklyn North. He then went on to become the BRAM and Squad sergeant in the 60th Precinct Detective Squad. John was later assigned as the Commanding Officer of the 62nd Precinct Detective Squad and then promoted to Lieutenant and assigned as the Special Operations Lieutenant in the 73rd Precinct, in Brownsville, Brooklyn. In 2009, John retired, entering the private sector.
John is an expert witness providing testimony in court and has been featured on Fox News as a commentator on security issues. John graduated from St. John’s University with a degree in Criminal Justice.
Executive Vice President/Chief Financial Officer
Michele Rafferty, as a founder of WATCH GUARD 24/7 in 2009, epitomizes the role of Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer. She is responsible for driving success of the company through financial management. Michele manages the company’s financial risk, budget planning, and insurance programs, ensuring that the business continues its stability and growth plans safely and with a measured approach to the benefit of WATCH GUARD’s customers. She has been at the forefront of driving healthy growth and, over the past 4 years, the company has doubled its revenues year-over-year and continues its success supported by her allegiance to stellar financial planning through best practices.
Prior to founding WATCH GUARD 24/7, Michele worked for Chubb Group of Insurance Companies where she had over 10 years of experience in commercial insurance and risk management.
Michele graduated Summa Cum Laude from St. John’s University with a degree in Computer Science and Information Technologies
Executive Vice President & COO
Mark joined WATCH GUARD 24/7 in October of 2018 and is responsible for strategic leadership and performance of all operational, divisional and administrative functions and for driving financial results. He works closely with WATCH GUARD 24/7 ownership and is tasked with overall leadership for the organization. Mark works closely with key executives and leaders within the organization to establish key metrics and roll-out plans for company infrastructures. He is also responsible for business plan creation and implementation.
Prior to joining Watch Guard 24/7, Mark had a long and successful career with industry leader FJC Security Services, Inc. He began his career by strategically designing a sales department and then spearheading a sales initiative which placed FJC as the largest privately held and locally operated guarding company in the New York Metropolitan Region. Under Mark’s leadership and with a leadership team comprised of 11 executive team members, FJC grew nationally to over 300 million dollars annually and 7,000 employees; thereby, earning a reputation for being one of the most reliable service providers of security officer services, nationwide. Mark reports directly to WATCH GUARD 24/7’s ownership.
Vice President of Operations
As Vice President of Operations, Ed oversees, manages and leads all aspects of operational functions within WATCH GUARD 24/7’s service divisions. He leads WATCH GUARD 24/7’s delivery of services and works with management to ensure the integrity of each client’s security program which adds a layer of upper management communications and ensures successful client relations. Ed also provides executive oversight for WATCH GUARD’s 24/7 Security Operations Center, Field Operations Team, Field Inspection Team, Training Division and Fleet Services.
Ed brings 23 years of law enforcement experience to WATCH GUARD 24/7. He began his career in the 73rd Precinct of the NYPD and quickly excelled through the ranks. He has worked in the department’s Anti-Crime and Street Narcotics Units. Ed transferred to the 107th Precinct where he became involved with the Community Policing Program Unit as well as starting a DWI Module. In 2007, Ed was tasked by the NYPD’s Chief of Transportation to develop and implement a new DWI Unit within Manhattan’s Transportation Division and was instrumental in the training and mentoring of the unit’s newly assigned officers.
Upon his retirement in 2011, Ed created a security team and oversaw day-to-day operations in the museum sector. He then worked with security guarding contractor, US Security Associates, as the Long Island/Queens Operations Manager prior to his appointment to Branch/Regional Manager, overseeing 110 clients. Ed has garnered a great reputation within the industry as a knowledgeable and responsive manager that meets and exceeds client expectations. Ed reports directly to the Executive Vice President & Chief Operating Officer and is a graduate of Valdosta State University with a degree in Criminal Justice.
Natalie De Marchis
Natalie De Marchis is WATCH GUARD 24/7’s Controller and leads the company’s Finance Team. She brings over 16 years of public and private accounting experience to WATCH GUARD 24/7 with exceptionally strong leadership and analytical skills. She oversees all accounting functions, including WATCH GUARD 24/7’s A/R A/P, billing and payroll departments within the division. Additionally, Natalie oversees IT Services and all software and hardware implementations. She is also involved in corporate strategy, and leads all company internal and external audit functions. Natalie has become a strong leader and significantly contributes to company-wide continuity of operations and business planning.
Prior to joining WATCH GUARD 24/7, Natalie worked primarily in the areas of assurance and attestation engagement for publicly and privately held businesses across multiple industries, including marketing, construction and hospitality.
She has extensive experience in finance and corporate development and continually improves upon internal functions and safeguarding assets through internal controls. Natalie reports directly to the Executive Vice President & Chief Operating Officer and assists in the planning and strategy of company stability and growth
Director of Operations, Hospitality Division and Main Office Market
James is the Director of Operations for the Hospitality Division and Main Office Class ‘A’ Buildings. He implements support strategies to meet the customized needs of each client. James is responsible for client relations and ensures that WATCH GUARD’s security team is delivering the caliber of services that is expected in the hospitality industry. With an extensive background and experience in law enforcement, he is able to effectively coordinate protocols and procedures that are critical to crowd control, asset protection, and physical and personal security; which proves to be critical when coordinating with local law enforcement regarding client special events.
James is a retired Deputy Inspector with 28 years of experience in the NYPD, where he focused on anti-crime, narcotics and executive-level coordination. He started out in the 103rd Precinct in Jamaica, Queens and was sent to the original Citywide Street Crime Unit. He quickly rose through the ranks as a Detective in narcotics, Sergeant in the 19th and 25th Precincts in Manhattan, 44th Precinct in the Bronx, and Brooklyn South Narcotics. James supervised the Community Policing Program as well as the Street Narcotics Enforcement Unit. He was promoted to Lieutenant and assigned to the 10th Precinct in Manhattan. He was the Platoon Commander and later assigned as the Integrity Control Officer. James was promoted to Captain and was assigned as the Executive Officer of the 43rd, 44th and 45th Precincts in the Bronx and subsequently the Commanding Officer of the 45th Precinct.
He was promoted to Deputy Inspector due to his proven track record of reducing crime and effectively managing his teams while serving the City of New York. After his promotion he was transferred to the 52nd Precinct and designated the Commanding Officer. He retired in 2009 and entered the private sector. James reports directly to the Vice President of Operations.
Director of Operations, Construction and Key Accounts
As Director of Operations, which incorporates all phases of building to include commercial and residential construction through finished structures within the New York Metropolitan area, Chris is responsible for establishing and maintaining strong client relationships that exceed client expectations. With his many years of experience as a leader in this industry, Chris oversees a growing portfolio, always ensuring the implementation of best practices and is best known for his reliability and client immediate response.
A retired NYPD Sergeant, Chris brings 33 years of law enforcement and private sector security experience to WATCH GUARD 24/7. He began his career in the 67th Precinct where he held numerous positions, primarily in Highway Safety. As a Sergeant in the 104th Precinct he was responsible for the Precinct Traffic Team, a role which focused on troubleshooting to reduce accidents and injuries. He finished his career in Traffic Investigations, overseeing the integrity of the Highway District and the Mounted Units Citywide. Upon his retirement, Chris entered the private sector and worked as Director of Security at John F. Kennedy Airport’s International Air Terminal for FJC Security Services, and later, Allied Universal Security. He also managed armed New York City Government services for AlliedBarton Security.
As liaise between WATCH GUARD 24/7 and clients, Chris ensures security program integrity for each client in his portfolio. He conducts comprehensive client meetings and ensures client satisfaction by developing a deep understanding of each client and their business needs and implements successful security solutions. Chris reports directly to the Vice President of Operations.
Director of Security
Joseph oversees one of the largest not-for-profit organizations serviced by WATCH GUARD 24/7. He manages the security team for multiple locations throughout New York City’s five boroughs. He works closely with his operations team to ensure delivery of services are effective and efficient and that WATCH GUARD 24/7 delivers a product that consistently exceeds the industry standard. Joe is responsible for client relations and ensuring all of his clients’ individual needs are met.
After 21 years of service in the NYPD, Joseph has extensive knowledge in policing and law enforcement. He brings this level of expertise to the clients he services and in the management of all security personnel. He has held many positions throughout his tenure with the NYPD including Patrol, Anti-Crime, Supervisor, Police Academy Instructor and Sergeant in the Fire Arms and Tactics Section. While in the Fire Arms and Tactic Section, Joseph supervised an instructor team that provided scenario-based training to investigative units such as NYPD, Street Crime, Precinct Anti-Crime, Drug Enforcement Units, and NYPD Warrant Units.
Joseph is a graduate of John Jay College of Criminal Justice and holds a Bachelor of Science Degree in Criminal Justice. Joseph is a certified Police Instructor and Firearms Instructor. Joseph reports directly to the Vice President of Operations.
Director of Operations
James is responsible for program success and delivery of services to WATCH GUARD 24/7’s portfolio of residential communities throughout New York City’s Manhattan and Bronx boroughs. He oversees every aspect of day-to-day operations, from recruitment and training of security officers to the management of each Community’s 24-hour Security Operations Center. James provides complete monitoring of security officer services, ensuring total client satisfaction and contract compliance. James is accountable for immediate response to client needs and establishes collaborative relationships between his portfolio, WATCH GUARD 24/7’s management, and all branches of local first responders.
James brings over 22 years of law enforcement experience to WATCH GUARD 24/7. He had a long, decorated career in the New York City Police Department, beginning as a Patrol Officer in the NYPD’s 66th Precinct. He quickly moved through the ranks, transferring to the Anti-Crime Unit, later to the Mounted Unit, and ultimately, to the Organized Crime Unit where he was promoted to Third Grade Detective. James was also selected and assigned for the role of Dignitary Protection and finished his NYPD career at the Staten Island District Attorney Detective Squad where he earned the rank of Second Grade Detective.
Upon his retirement from the NYPD, James worked for the United States Eastern District Federal Courts as a court security officer before joining the private sector as Director of Operations for industry leader, FJC Security Services, Inc. James reports directly to the Vice President of Operations.
Warren J. Ernst
Director of Operations
Warren is responsible for security oversight for two thousand inner city residential units. He commands a 24/7 Special Operations Command Center which provides surveillance, communications, real-time GPS monitoring, CCTV systems, remote building access entry, and a telecommunications center for almost 30 locations. He initiates assessments, conducts and oversees security officer training drills and through his leadership, maintains the highest levels of quality relating to safety and security standards.
Warren began his career in the NYPD’s 107th Precinct and quickly excelled through the ranks. He has worked in the Anti-Crime Unit, the Organized Crime Control Bureau (OCCB), the Narcotics Bureau, and as well in the 113th Precinct’s Narcotics Module. Warren was promoted to Detective where he played an integral role in the NYPD’s Detective Bureau as part of the Burglary Robbery Apprehension Module (BRAM), and ultimately, transferred to the Intelligence Division where he served as a liaison between the CIA and NYPD. While assigned with the CIA he received an award for outstanding service and contribution to National Security.
Upon his retirement in 2009, Warren entered the private sector within the executive protection field for heads of state, elite members of society and the entertainment industry. Over the years, Warren has acquired an intricate knowledge of law enforcement and respect throughout the industry. He has developed extensive networking channels while continuously maintaining professional relationships, which earned him the ability to provide professional consulting services to multinational corporations and individuals, world-wide. Warren reports directly to the Vice President of Operations.
Director of Sales & Marketing
As Director of Sales and Marketing, since 2017, Norma is responsible for all aspects of WATCH GUARD 24/7’s Sales and Marketing Department. She also manages and oversees the contract cycle and ensures 100% compliance with each client’s insurance requirements.
Norma is responsible for a number of significant responsibilities to include creating and implementing WATCH GUARD’s cloud-based customer relationship management (CRM) system and developing best practices for bids and proposals. She is highly adept at defining and implementing standards, processes and tools, through proven methodologies, to achieve company-wide objectives and goals. Norma has been a key contributor to year-over-year growth and expansion into private sector markets and brings to WATCHGUARD 24/7 over 15 years of high-level sales support and management experience within the security guarding industry.
She has worked for Summit Security Services and industry leader FJC Security Services, where she created and implemented employee onboarding programs, was a key contributor toward thriving sales performance, and administered successfully proven sales processes. While at FJC, Norma was also responsible for the design, implementation, and daily management of business and technical workflows within the company’s CRM system. She was also instrumental in rolling out a comprehensive quality assurance program which initiated and confirmed KPI metrics and solidified comprehensive reporting capabilities. Norma is a Notary Public for the State of New York and is trained in CRM System Administration through Salesforce.com. Norma reports directly to the Executive Vice President & Chief Operating Officer.
Director of Human Resources/Corporate Compliance Manager
Frances manages WATCH GUARD 24/7’s Human Resources Department and oversees security officer state licensure compliance and regulatory functions as Corporate Compliance Manager.
Frances ensures company adherence to all state and federal laws, from the perspectives of employment and labor, and initiates and ensures company policies and procedures. She is ultimately responsible for the company’s adherence to all regulatory requirements and provides guidance on compliance and HR matters to administrative and non-administrative employees, company-wide. Frances is an integral part of the overall success of WATCH GUARD 24/7 through preserving the company’s high standards of integrity, and ensuring that necessary communications are accurate and flowing throughout the company.
Prior to joining WATCH GUARD 24/7, Frances was Director of Human Resources, Aviation Division, for two national security guarding companies at JFK International Airport. Frances has coordinated with the Port Authority of NY & NJ (PANYNJ), the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) and Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) agencies for over 28 years. Frances reports directly to the Executive Vice President & Chief Operating Officer.