Barack Ferrazzano Financial Institutions Group Partner and Business Executives for National Security (BENS) member John Geiringer hosted the BENS Chicago Region members this week for a roundtable luncheon at the Firm to discuss terrorism and threat finance.
Among the speakers and guests who attended were Kurt Gredzinski, who concentrates on counter threat finance for the United States Special Operations Command (USSOCOM), and Jason Blazakis, director of the Office of Counterterrorism and Finance Designation for the U.S. Department of State. Mr. Blazakis described how the State Department identifies and formally designates foreign terrorist organizations and their members, and Mr. Gredzinski discussed the role of USSOCOM in targeting and preventing the malign activities of terrorists and their facilitators. They stressed the continued importance of private sector awareness of terrorists groups and their tactics, the necessity for evolving risk management and the increased need for better public-private partnerships in this area.
BENS’ Chicago Region was established in 2015 and is comprised of a cross-section of industries, boasting skilled and passionate leaders from backgrounds in finance, engineering and infrastructure. These leaders are dedicated to applying best business practices to pressing national security challenges and volunteer their time and knowledge to make our nation more secure.
Founded by mining executive Stanley A. Weiss, BENS is a unique nonprofit comprised of over 450 senior business and industry executives who volunteer their time and expertise to address the national security community’s most pressing challenges. Focused originally on restraining proliferation of nuclear arms and reducing defense overhead, BENS today leverages the diverse expertise of its membership to additionally support government efforts in tackling other prominent challenges such as cybersecurity and domestic terrorism. BENS for nearly four decades has been a trusted partner whose work has built a more effective and efficient military, saved billions in taxpayer dollars and improved operations that protect our homeland.