Our Story & History
Security veterans, icon, join forces.
Strategos International and Clarence M. Kelley & Associates are combining decades of experience
to serve security clients in an increasingly dangerous era.
When Vaughn Baker and Mark Warren were in high school, Clarence M. Kelley was an icon in the world of security and law enforcement. A few decades later, their company is merging with the firm founded by the former FBI director and Kansas City police chief.
Strategos International has merged with Clarence M. Kelley & Associates (CMKA), resulting in six decades of combined experience and knowledge.
“Clarence M. Kelley definitely leaves a legacy you take seriously,” said Baker, President of Grandview, MO.-based Strategos International. “This acquisition is an opportunity for us to continue his legacy as a champion for clients. In many ways, today’s security challenges are even greater than the ones he faced. Mass shooters are setting fatality records. Global terrorism has become domestic. Combining our expertise and resources gives us more power to help our clients prevail over these heightened security challenges.”
Strategos, founded in 2002, has provided security training to more than 250,000 people in the corporate, healthcare, faith-based, law enforcement, military, school and non-profit sectors in 15 countries. The firm is a leader in security consulting, tactical training, surveillance, investigations and executive protection.
Kelley (1911-1997) was a native Kansas Citian and an FBI agent in Kansas City before becoming the city’s police chief (1961-1973) and director of the FBI (1973-1978). He founded the investigative and security firm that bears his name in 1982. Clients have included small businesses, Fortune 100 corporations, the U.S. government and U.S. military.
When the company’s CEO, Todd Dupriest, announced his retirement this year, the two firms already had a track record of collaboration.
“This acquisition is the logical and natural fruition of a great business relationship,” Baker said.
Dupriest said his company considered several buy out proposals, but turned them all down.
“Each time, the decision to step away from the deal was based on a conflict in core values with the other party,” he said.
“We feel strongly that the team at Strategos will not only continue the legacy of service the company has developed over the last 37 years, but will build on it.”
“We’ve had the opportunity to work with Strategos on many occasions and our business and strategic thinking line up well. We believe this transition will allow us to bring a greater depth of services and expertise to our clients.”
Mark Warren, Executive Vice President of Strategos, said CMKA customers won’t miss a beat. The combined companies will provide all of the services (and more) clients have been receiving.
“The beauty of this merger is that no one will even feel a ‘speed bump,’” Warren said. “CMKA clients and Strategos clients will continue receiving top-flight service. Both groups of customers will benefit from an increased level of expertise and experience.”
Baker said the acquisition is more than a business footnote.
“It’s a concrete action with real life results,” he said. “It’s a step forward in protecting people and property in uncertain times.”
President, Clarence M. Kelley & Associates