Leader Bios

School Safety Program is based in Cary, North Carolina, but we extend our services across the entire state. Our Founder, Executive Director, and Statewide Ambassador all have a common goal: to protect children by promoting safe schools.

Patrick Smith

Patrick C. Smith, Executive Director

Patrick C. Smith retired from the United States Secret Service in 2006 after thirty years of service. During his tenure he protected six sitting presidents and one former president, spanning from President Richard M. Nixon through President George W. Bush. During his career he worked all facets of Secret Service jurisdiction and responsibilities to include Protection, Investigations, Training, and Administration with assignments in New York City, Raleigh, North Carolina, and numerous assignments in Washington DC.

At the Senior Supervisor and Senior Executive Level, he held the positions of Special Agent in Charge of the Vice Presidential Protective Division, Special Agent in Charge of the Technical Security Division, Special Agent in Charge of the Special Investigations and Security Division, and the Deputy Assistant Director for Investigations.

In 2005, he was nominated for the Presidential Meritorious Rank Award.

In 2006, he received a Presidential Appointment from President George W. Bush, along with the advice and consent of the United States Senate, to the position of United States Marshal, Western District of North Carolina for a term of four years.

He graduated from Indiana University of Pennsylvania in 1975 with a Bachelor's Degree in Criminology. He attended George Washington University School of Graduate Studies in Forensic Science and Criminal Law in 1977-1978. He has been married for more than 37 years, has three sons, and four grandchildren.

Dick Sears

Dick Sears, Statewide Ambassador

Dick has been serving his community as Mayor since 2001. In tandem with his mayoral duties, he is serving in the public sector as board member, charter member, chair, or vice chair of the five county Transportation Advisory Committee (currently vice chair working with DOT), the Holly Springs Chamber of Commerce, Kiwanis, Civitan, and other committees such as the Southern Regional Network Community Advisory, the Wake County Regional Planning, the 10-year County Plan, the Blue Ribbon Committee, and, most recently, the School Safety Advisory Committee led by Sheriff Donnie Harrison. In the private sector, his involvement includes being the founder and President of the Gray Group Consulting Network, Inc. (business and marketing), the co-founder of the Business Solutions and More, LLC, etc. In addition, he founded the Mayor's Youth Advisory Board and the Fuquay-Varina Youth Initiative.

During the span of his career, he achieved titles to include Vice President and President of the Wake County Mayor's Association, Mayor of the Year, and Citizen of the Year for the Holly Springs Holly Chamber of Commerce and Modern Woodman of America. During the 35 years he worked with Sears Roebuck, he was named National Group Retail Marketing Manager (NY and Chicago) for Women's Apparel and Accessories—a $2.5 billion in sales contributor and sustained one of the highest profit margins in the company.

Dick graduated from Purdue University in 1961 with a BS in Psychology and a BS in Economics, was the recipient of a National Merit Scholarship in geometry, and served as President of the Theta Chi Fraternity. He has been married to his wife, Mollie, for 52 years, has three children, and 10 grandchildren.

His unwavering motto is, "if it's good for the kids, it's good for Holly Springs". His number one priority is insuring that Holly Springs remains the safest town to live in in all of North Carolina (SBI and Shelby News).

Brian Barber, Founder

Brian Barber has worked in the private sector for the past 19 years, following his retirement from the U.S. Army.  He is currently an owner of :  an insurance agency;  auto repair and state inspection shop; and real estate ventures.

While in the military, he held titles such as Company/Combat Aviation Commander, Combat Skills Helicopter Instructor Pilot, Executive Officer to General Staff, and a DA Safety Investigator.  During his tenure he achieved Master Aviator, Senior Jumpmaster, Air Assault Badge, Hurricane Andrew Service Medal, and Air Medal Desert Shield/Storm.

Brian's largest contribution to the U.S. Army was the development and implementation of the Army's regulation on Risk Management, which was later incorporated into other armed services safety programs.

Brian has an undergraduate degree in Business with a minor in Accounting, along with a Masters in Aeronautical Science. He has also earned degrees, certifications, training and/or licenses to include:  Accident Investigation and Reconstruction School of West Virginia, the FBI and ATF Investigation Schools of Forensics and Arson (respectively), attended Ranger School, Army/Air Force Loadmaster, OSHA Instructor from the Virginia Common Wealth University and a NC Private Investigator License.

Brian has been married for over 33 years to a Wake County School Teacher; they have two daughters.

Executive Support Team

Danielle M. Padgett
Operations Director



Anjela Hassan
Director of Marketing Relations

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Cary, NC 27511
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