Founder & President

For nearly three decades, Ross Bulla has advised public- and private-sector policymakers and stakeholders on practical methods to develop an effective approach to prevention, intervention, and response to terror threats and active assailants – either acting alone or in a group – as well as from the criminal infringement of Intellectual Property Rights that endanger public health and our economy. Ross is featured nearly weekly by print, electronic, and broadcast media outlets that seek his analyses of breaking and enterprise news stories, and regularly serves as a subject matter expert at international conferences, seminars, and events.

Ross is the founder and president of The Treadstone Group, Inc. Its clients, which range in size from entrepreneurs and startups, to the world’s largest celebrities and brand owners – and the law firms representing them – trust his investigators, analysts, and consultants to resolve their most-pressing global security risks and the unwitting or intentional infringement of their Intellectual Property Rights.

For over twenty-five years, Ross has managed complex, global investigations that solved and resolved the dangerous diversion and counterfeiting of goods and materials; the accidental and intentional infringements of trademarks, patents, and domain names; and the use of such proceeds as a key source of funding by criminal enterprises, organized crime groups, terrorist organizations, and gangs. The pursuit of these activities has necessitated Ross overseeing or supporting investigations by personnel operating in nearly every country, including the Middle East and North Africa, where he managed a long-term investigation of dangerous, low-quality counterfeit auto parts, for which revenues contributed to an estimated $1 Billion market. Ross has negotiated the purchase of, or acquired, thousands of trademarks, domain names, and other Intellectual Property (IP) Rights. Ross is on the forefront of establishing best practices to protect Intellectual Property Rights and safeguard America’s competitive advantage. Ross is known for his extensive knowledge of, and as a leading authority on investigating IP matters, logically, lawfully, and ethically. As an active member of the International Trademark Association (INTA), comprised of over 30,000 trademark professionals from 190 countries, Ross has served as a member of the Public Information Committee, Legislation and Regulation Committee, Model Laws and Guidelines Revision Subcommittee, 2016 Trademark Administrators and Practitioners (TMAP) Meeting Project Team, 2015 Annual Meeting Project Team, Anticounterfeiting Committee, Internet Committee, and Membership Services Committees. Ross helped the National Counterintelligence Executive, directly responsible to the Director of National Intelligence, to spearhead the Trends in Proprietary Information Loss Survey Report, a 2007 study conducted among the Fortune 1,000 and 600 small and mid-sized companies.

Governor Roy Cooper (NC) appointed Ross as commissioner on the State Emergency Response Commission (“SERC”), which acts in an advisory capacity to the Homeland Security Advisor, to provide input regarding the activities of the NC State Homeland Security Program and Domestic Preparedness Regions. The SERC also advises the Secretary of the Department of Public Safety and the Division of Emergency Management in the preparation, implementation, evaluation, and revision of the North Carolina emergency management program. Globally, Ross is one of only 450 experts to be awarded two internationally accredited board certifications: the Certified Protection Professional, which provides independent confirmation of demonstrated knowledge and experience in all areas of security management, and the Physical Security Professional, which provides demonstrated experience in physical security assessment, the application, design and integration of physical security systems, and implementation of physical security measures. Ross was appointed to the technical committee that created the Active Assailant Supplement to the ANSI/ASIS/SHRM Workplace Violence Prevention and Intervention Standard (WPVI). The supplement includes security design considerations, protocols, and response strategies, as well as procedures for detection, assessing vulnerabilities, and managing and neutralizing immediately life-threatening behavior perpetrated by an active assailant. While the original WPVI standard focused on prevention and intervention, the supplement addresses onsite response specific to an active assailant or shooter event. In addition, Ross Bulla served as a member of the committee that developed the “Facilities Physical Security Measures Guideline”, which assists in the identification of physical security measures that can be applied at facilities to safeguard or protect an organization’s assets. The FPSM Guideline is awarded a US Department of Homeland Security “Designation” under the SAFETY Act of 2002, recognizing its role in reducing the effects of terrorism. Ross has advised many of the world’s leading corporations and international government agencies with respect to security solutions and best practices for protecting their people, property, and information. Ross has managed security risk and vulnerability assessments at many of the nation’s landmark facilities, including: Time Warner Center, described as “the most preeminent and first vertical mixed-use facility of its kind”; One Beacon Court (a/k/a Bloomberg Tower), and the headquarters and branch offices of Fidelity Investments. Ross developed, implemented, and managed the security measures utilized and currently in place at multiple entertainment and sporting venues, special events, and the Olympic Games; instructed covert counterterrorism teams assigned to American embassies, consulates, and missions worldwide; assessed and managed threats against, and the inappropriate pursuit of public figures; and managed the Charlotte branch of the nation’s largest privately owned security company, which provided over 5,000 hours-per-week of guard services at high-rise, high-tech, and mixed-use facilities. In advance of the 2012 Democratic National Convention, Ross instructed over 800 facility managers, owners, and security directors on an all-hazards approach to mitigate risks, and instructed law enforcement officers from multiple agencies in dignitary protection. Ross formerly served as chair of the Mayor’s Uptown Crime Prevention Council (Charlotte) and the Greater-Charlotte Chapter of ASIS International, the leading organization for security professionals worldwide. Ross currently serves as president of the Association of Former Intelligence Officers (AFIO), North Carolina Chapter-in-Formation.

As a volunteer professional, Ross has served at all ranks, including chief, in the rescue, EMS and fire services. Ross currently chairs the board of directors of the Lincoln County Coalition Against Child Abuse & Child Advocacy Center and is a member of the board of directors of the Valle Crucis Conference Center, where the creatively named, “Ross Bulla’vard”, leads guests througout. He formerly served on the boards of directors of the Gaston College Foundation, East Lincoln Rescue Squad Park Management Committee, and the East Lincoln Betterment Association. Ross was honored as 2018 Small Businessperson of the Year by the Lincoln County Chamber of Commerce, and presented with the 2019 Community Service Award by the Daughters of the American Revolution (DAR), 2019 Community Hero Award by the United Way of Lincoln County, and the Ola Mae Foster Award by the Lincoln County Child Advocacy Center, which also named its Child Forensic Interview Room, “The Ross Room”. Ross is equally proud to have had a roast beef sandwich bear his name.

Second to safeguarding people and property, Ross is passionate about supporting organizations that serve communities of youth, the elderly, LGBTQ, and other populations that are traditionally underserved or underrepresented. Since 2017, Ross has raised over $350,000 for the Child Advocacy Center, which helps 200 children a year heal from physical and sexual abuse and holds offenders accountable. For the Boy Scouts of America, he raised over $25,000 for the 2019, local council-level annual giving campaign; he raised funds to purchase 100 bicycles for underprivileged children at Christmas and to fund art camps for students during holiday breaks; and he successfully encouraged others to increase their giving to the United Way of Lincoln County. In addition, The Treadstone Group, Inc. has donated over $500,000 to local nonprofit and charitable organizations, since it was founded in 2002.

He is a graduate of the University of North Carolina at Charlotte, with a BS in Criminal Justice and a second major in Psychology. Ross is an Eagle Scout.

He is married with a son, adopted from Ukraine. A dog and two cats rule the house.