INVESTIGATIONS - FIRE SCENE ANALYSIS - SECURITY - TRAINING
Francis Manfredo serves as the President of Operations. Fran oversees the day-to-day operations, including business development and recruiting.
Prior to joining Sotera, Fran had successful careers in the fire service and law enforcement fields. He was appointed to the position of Director of Public Safety for Hamilton College in July 2008 after completing over 23 years of service with the City of Utica Fire Department, retiring at the rank of Assistant Chief. During his service to the City of Utica, Fran managed the day-to-day operational and administrative needs of the department. In addition to his extensive background in the fire service, Fran is a graduate of the New York State Police Academy and completed 20 years of law enforcement service with the New York State Police and the New Hartford Police Department.
Fran earned associate degrees in Liberal Arts and Criminal Justice from Mohawk Valley Community College, bachelor degrees from Empire State College in Fire Service Administration and Emergency Management and a Master’s degree in Public Administration from Marist College. Fran is also a graduate of the National Fire Academy’s Executive Fire Officer Program and holds numerous certifications from the New York State Emergency Management Office, U.S. Department of Homeland Security and Federal Emergency Management Agency.
Jeffrey Morgan serves as the Director of Investigations. Jeffrey served with the New York State Police for twenty-six years, nineteen of those years assigned as an Investigator with the Bureau of Criminal Investigations. While a member of the New York State Police, Jeff received four Superintendent Commendations. In addition to conducting numerous State Police Investigations, Jeff also conducted joint undercover investigations with Federal, State and local police agencies in the areas of narcotics, human trafficking, prostitution, and illegal firearms possession requiring countless hours of surveillance. In some instances, wiretaps were utilized in these investigations culminating with search warrant executions and the arrests of hundreds of individuals for numerous offenses. While assigned to the New York State Police, Jeffrey also conducted both corporate and individual background investigations.
Jeffrey has extensive experience testifying in Federal, State and local criminal courts. He has served his community by speaking to high school students and local civic organizations regarding the dangers of illegal drug use and the effects of drug use as it relates to our economy and our community. For many years, Jeff was a presenter for the Mohawk Valley Leadership program representing law enforcement and speaking specifically about drug use in our society.
Jeffrey possesses an Associate Degree in Technical Chemistry and a Bachelor of Science degree in Business Management from SUNY IT. Subsequent to his retirement from the New York State Police, he worked as an analyst/surveillance operative with the Federal Government holding a top-secret clearance. He has also worked at the Division of Homeland Security Preparedness Center in Oriskany, NY assisting with training of police and emergency responder personnel.
Robert Stephens serves as the Director of Fire Investigations. Robert was a professional fire fighter with the city of Utica Fire Department for 23 years. During his career, he was promoted to the rank of Lieutenant and retired as a Fire Marshal. Over his career, Robert was deployed to several major incidents throughout the United States including Ground Zero on September 11, 2001 and hurricanes Katrina and Rita for Federal Emergency Management Agency in 2005.
Robert is a Certified Fire Investigator with the International Association of Arson Investigators (IAAI), and a Certified Fire and Explosive Investigator with the National Association of Fire Investigators (NAFI). As Fire Marshal, Robert was a member of the Utica Arson Task Force, the International Association of Arson Investigators Technical Working Group and is currently a member of the Oneida County Arson Task Force. He is a published author of several articles on hazardous material as it relates to the safety of fire investigators and has participated in the development and creation of new IAAI 40-hour Foundation Course in Fire Investigation.
Tina Pavlot joined the Sotera Investigative Group in November of 2017 as our Finance Administrator. Tina started her professional career working as an internal and external auditor for a local CPA firm. She went on to work for two nonprofit agencies specializing in internal auditing, accounts payable, budget management and billing for a New York State funded Medicaid program.
Tina possesses an Associate of Applied Science degree in Small Business Management from Herkimer County Community College and a Bachelor of Science degree in Accounting from Utica College of Syracuse University.
Tina brings years of accounting and finance experience to the Sotera team.