Safeguard’s executive team includes award-winning professionals with extensive experience in their fields. As Safeguard grows, so does the level of talent and education making it not only the largest field services company in the country, but also the best.
Founder and Chairman
Robert Klein is the founder and chairman of the board for Safeguard. Under Robert's leadership, Safeguard grew from a handful of employees in 1990 into the largest field services company in the industry, with an extensive network of contractors throughout the United States, Puerto Rico, and the Virgin Islands. Robert built Safeguard around the doctrine of "Customer Service = Resolution®" with the mission of creating a company focused on client satisfaction and strong business relationships. Robert assumed the role of chairman in May of 2010.
Since Safeguard's inception, Robert has developed and maintained a reputation as an innovator and is recognized as a leader and an advocate for the industry. Robert continually focuses his attention on initiatives affecting our clients, providing current and relevant industry information and offering creative solutions to meet their needs.
Robert serves as chair of the National Vacant Properties Registration Committee of the Mortgage Bankers Association (MBA). He also represents not only Safeguard, but the industry as a whole, in national associations including MBA, USFN, CMBA and REOMAC. He has been a session leader and panelist at their yearly conferences, in addition to being the primary sponsor of the National Property Preservation Conference in Washington, D.C.
In 2009, Robert received the prestigious Ernst & Young Entrepreneur Of The Year® Award. He won both in the northeast Ohio region in the category of professional services and asset management firms, and nationally in the servicing category.
Chief Executive Officer
Alan Jaffa is the chief executive officer for Safeguard, a role he assumed in May 2010. Previously he served as chief operating officer. He also serves on the board of advisors for SCG Partners, a middle-market private equity fund focused on diversifying and expanding Safeguard Properties’ business model into complimentary markets.
Since joining Safeguard in 1995, Alan has learned the business from the ground up, working through virtually every department of the company. This hands-on experience has given him unique insights as a leader to innovate, improve and strengthen Safeguard's processes to assure that the company adheres to the highest standards of quality and customer service.
Alan has led Safeguard's initiatives to develop information technology tools to improve the efficiency and effectiveness of service delivery to clients. He takes a team approach to process improvement, involving staff at all levels of the organization to address issues, brainstorm solutions, and identify new and better ways to serve clients.
Under Alan's leadership, Safeguard has doubled in size with strategies that have included new and expanded services, technology investments that deliver higher quality and greater efficiency to clients, and strategic acquisition. As a result, Safeguard has been recognized in Northeast Ohio by the Weatherhead 100 annually since 1996. In 2010 and 2011, Safeguard was recognized as the fastest growing large company in Northeast Ohio.
In 2008, Alan was recognized by Crain's Cleveland Business in its annual "40-Under-40" profile of young leaders.
Gregory Robinson, CPA
Chief Financial Officer and Executive Vice President
Gregory Robinson is the chief financial officer and executive vice president for Safeguard. He directs all accounting and financial management activities, including financial reporting, planning, budgeting, forecasting, cash management, lender relationships, internal control processes and oversight and analysis of financial results.
In addition to his financial responsibilities, he oversees quality assurance, information security, internal audit, corporate communications and support services. He is a collaborative leader with proven track record of building internal and external partnerships focused on attaining organizational strategic goals and objectives
Initially joining Safeguard in 2006, Greg has been part of every major initiative during his tenure leading to a more than 1,000 percent growth of the organization. He has been instrumental in delivering a strategic and professional approach to the organization as he applies his experience in finance, operations, information technology and business development to position Safeguard financially, operationally and competitively for growth.
Greg is active in the community providing strategic advice and leadership to a number of organizations; Greg serves on the board of advisors for SCG Partners, a middle-market private equity fund focused on diversifying and expanding Safeguard Properties’ business model; Level7, a mid-market information technology firm, and is the Treasurer of the North Royalton Athletic Boosters.
Prior to joining Safeguard, Greg led successful consulting practices at CGI, Inc., NetGov, Inc. and ORION Consulting. In those capacities, he was responsible for developing and delivering business and technology solutions to clients in the government sector.
Greg is a graduate of Baldwin Wallace University and is a Certified Public Accountant in the State of Ohio. He is a member of the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants (AICPA) and the Ohio Society of Certified Public Accountants (OSCPA).
In 2010, Greg was recognized by Crain's Cleveland Business as CFO of the Year in the category of large private companies.
Chief Information Officer
George Mehok is the chief information officer for Safeguard. He is responsible for all strategic technology decisions, new systems deployments and data center operations supporting a national network of more than 10,000 mobile workers.
George has more than 20 years of leadership experience dedicated to high-growth companies in the mobile telecommunications and financial services industries, spanning startups to global industry leaders.
George played a senior role in the formation of Verizon Wireless, leading the IT product development and strategic planning team. He led the integration planning for the Verizon merger including: GTE, Vodafone-AirTouch, Bell Atlantic Mobile and PrimeCo.
As chief information officer at Revol Wireless, a VC-backed CDMA wireless communications network operator, George’s team implemented an integrated technology infrastructure and award-winning business intelligence platform.
George holds a bachelor’s degree in political science and economics from Eastern Michigan University and an M.B.A. from The Ohio State University. He is a board member of Akron University's School of Business Center for Information Technology, in addition to an advisory board member for OHTec.
In 2013, George won the Crain’s Cleveland Business CIO of the Year award for his team’s work in completing a major acquisition and technology transformation at Safeguard. In 2015, George’s team was recognized by InformationWeek’s annual Elite 100 ranking of the most innovative U.S.-based users of business technology. The mobile inspection technology developed at Safeguard was selected as InformationWeek’s "One of the top 20 ideas to steal in 2015".
Chief Operating Officer
Michael Greenbaum is the chief operating officer for Safeguard. Mike quickly became a valued partner to our clients and has been instrumental in aligning operations to become more efficient, effective, and compliant with our ever-changing industry requirements. Mike has a proven track record of excellence, partnership and collaboration at Safeguard. Under Mike's leadership, all operational departments of Safeguard have reviewed, updated and enhanced their business processes to maximize efficiency and improve quality control.
Mike joined Safeguard in July 2010 as vice president of REO and has continued to take on additional duties and responsibilities within the organization, including the role of vice president of operations.
Mike built his business career in supply-chain management, operations, finance and marketing. He has held senior management and executive positions with Erico, a manufacturing company in Solon, Ohio; Accel, Inc., a packaging company in Lewis Center, Ohio; and McMaster-Carr, an industrial supply company in Aurora, Ohio.
Before entering the business world, Mike served in the U.S. Army, Ordinance Branch, and specialized in supply chain management. He is a distinguished graduate of West Point (U.S. Military Academy), where he majored in quantitative economics.
Linda Erkkila, Esq.
General Counsel and Executive Vice President, Human Resources
Linda Erkkila is the general counsel and executive vice president of human resources for Safeguard. Linda's broad scope of oversight covers regulatory issues that impact Safeguard’s operations, pro-active risk mitigation, enterprise strategic planning, human capital and training initiatives, litigation and claims management, and counsel related to mergers, acquisition and joint ventures. Linda’s oversight of both the legal and human resources departments assures that Safeguard’s strategic initiatives align with its resources, leverage opportunities across the company, and contemplate compliance mandates. Her practice spans more than 15 years, and Linda's experience, both as outside and in-house counsel, covers a wide range of corporate matters, including regulatory mandated public disclosure, corporate governance compliance, risk assessment, executive compensation, and merger and acquisition activity. Her former role at National City, a Fortune 500 company and ranked among the top 10 in revenue, helped develop Linda's pro-active approach to change management during periods of heightened regulatory scrutiny.
In addition to serving as vice president and attorney for National City, Linda also served as securities and corporate governance counsel for Agilysys Inc. and as an associate at Thompson Hine LLP. She earned her JD at Cleveland-Marshall College of Law. Linda holds a degree in economics from Miami University and an MBA. She was a 2014 Crain’s Cleveland Business General & In-House Counsel Awards nominee.
VP, Business Development
Tod Burkert is the vice president of business development for Safeguard. Tod oversees Safeguard's sales, marketing and community initiatives departments and related communications functions. He also is responsible for developing innovative growth strategies for Safeguard and developing and overseeing potential partnerships, mergers and acquisitions.
Tod also serves as vice president of business development for SCG Partners, a middle-market private equity fund focused on diversifying and expanding Safeguard Properties’ business model into complimentary markets.
Prior to joining Safeguard, Tod held executive operations, sales and marketing positions with Turning Technologies of Youngstown, Ohio and Cintas Corporation in Cleveland, Ohio and Indianapolis, Ind. He received numerous sales and performance awards at both companies.
Tod is a distinguished graduate of the U.S. Naval Academy in Annapolis, Maryland and majored in Mathematics. He served 12 years in the US Navy, mostly as a Navy pilot.
VP, Vendor Management
Joe Iafigliola is the vice president of vendor management for Safeguard. Joe leads our vendor recruiting, sourcing, execution, controls, and field quality control teams.
Joe has been in a wide variety of roles in finance, supply chain management, information systems development, and sales and marketing. His career includes senior positions with McMaster-Carr Supply Company, Newell/Rubbermaid, and Procter and Gamble.
Joe has an MBA from the Weatherhead School of Management at Case Western Reserve University and a bachelor's degree from The Ohio State University's Honors Accounting program.
AVP, Investor Relations
Kellie Chambers is the assistant vice president of investor relations for Safeguard. In this role, Kellie leads investor facing operations including over allowable requests, extension requests, reconveyance resolution, and review of new guidelines and regulations. She works to ensure operational controls, monitoring, and client and supplier communications are in place for investor guideline compliance.
Kellie also manages Safeguard’s quality assurance resolution teams to ensure compliance with HUD guidelines and conveyance standards.
Kellie joined Safeguard in 2001. In 2007, she was promoted to property preservation manager and in 2009 was promoted again to director.
Kellie served on the board of directors for Community Housing Solutions in Cleveland, Ohio, a non-profit organization helping to fill the housing needs of the underserved. She also was named a 2015 HousingWire Rising Star.
AVP, High Risk and Hazard Claims
Steve Meyer is the assistant vice president of high risk and hazard claims for Safeguard. In this role, Steve is responsible for managing our clients' conveyance processes and developing our working relationships with cities and municipalities around the country. He also works directly with our clients in our many outreach efforts and he represents Safeguard at a number of industry conferences each year.
Steve joined Safeguard in 1998 as manager over the hazard claims team. He was instrumental in the development and creation of policies, procedures and operating protocol. Under Steve's leadership, the department became one of the largest within Safeguard. In 2002, he assumed responsibility for the newly-formed high risk department, once again building its success. Steve was promoted to director over these two areas in 2007, and he was promoted to assistant vice president in 2012.
Prior to joining Safeguard, Steve spent 10 years within the insurance industry, holding a number of positions including multi-line property adjuster, branch claims supervisor, and multi-line and subrogation/litigation supervisor. Steve is a graduate of Grove City College.
AVP, Inspections, REO and Property Preservation Operations
Jennifer Jozity is the assistant vice president of inspections, REO and property preservation operations for Safeguard. Jen ensures quality work is performed in the field and internally, to meet and exceed our clients’ expectations. Jen has demonstrated the ability to deliver consistent results in order audit and order management. She will build upon these strengths in order to deliver this level of excellence in both REO and property preservation operations.
Jen joined Safeguard in 1997 and was promoted to director of inspections operations in 2009 and assistant vice president of inspections operations in 2012. She graduated from Cleveland State University with a degree in business.
AVP, Human Capital
Jennifer Anspach is the assistant vice president of human capital for Safeguard. She is responsible for the company’s national workforce of approximately 2,000 employees. She manages recruitment strategies, employee relations, training, personnel policies, retention and benefits programs.
Jennifer joined the company in April 2009 as a manager of accounting and finance and a year later was promoted to director. She was named AVP of human capital in 2014. Prior to joining Safeguard, she held several management positions at OfficeMax and InkStop in both operations and finance.
Jennifer is a graduate of Youngstown State University.
AVP, Client Systems and Data Analytics
Amitha Rao is the assistant vice president for client systems and data analytics for Safeguard. Amitha leads data architecture and governance for all systems, with the goal of creating a consistent and reliable information management platform. She works closely with the service lines to define key performance indicators and deploy dashboards to help Safeguard identify opportunities for continuous improvement; in addition to working with clients to provide information that helps meet their business objectives.
Amitha has been with Safeguard since 2002 and has been instrumental in designing and managing the company’s enterprise data warehouse system, consistently exceeding the expectations of clients and internal users.
Prior to joining Safeguard, Amitha worked as a principal consultant in Boston for various clients in the research and development, bioinformatics and life sciences industries. As a bioinformatics consultant, she is proud to have worked on various proteomics and genomics projects including the Human Genome Project. Amitha holds a master’s degree in physics and statistics.
AVP, Application Architecture
Rick Moran is the assistant vice president of application architecture for Safeguard. Rick is responsible for evolving the Safeguard IT systems. He leads the design of Safeguard’s enterprise application architecture. This includes Safeguard’s real-time integration with other systems, vendors and clients; the future upgrade roadmap for systems; and standards designed to meet availability, security, performance and goals.
Rick has been with Safeguard since 2011. During that time, he has led the system upgrades necessary to support Safeguard’s growth. In addition, Rick's team has designed and implemented several innovative systems.
Prior to joining Safeguard, Rick was director of enterprise architecture at Revol Wireless, a privately held CDMA Wireless provider in Ohio and Indiana, and operated his own consulting firm providing services to the manufacturing, telecommunications, and energy sectors.