Mark J. Zaba
President and Principal Owner
Mark J. Zaba is the President and Principal Owner of Cornerstone. Mr. Zaba brings a breadth of business experience in operations, multi-national expansion and senior management leadership to his leadership of Cornerstone. This experience compliments Mr. Zaba’s distinguished public service with the FBI. As a 30 year agency veteran with the FBI, he has carried out hundreds of investigative and supervisory functions involving a wide array of fields where he was involved with national security investigations, sensitive background investigations as well as conducting investigations in complex and sensitive matters. Highly regarded by his peers for his ethics, integrity and attention to detail, he is able to skillfully drive large projects with professional results. Mr. Zaba retired as a Special Agent with the FBI with assignments at FBI Headquarters in Washington, D.C., New Orleans, New York and Philadelphia Field Divisions. Following his retirement from the FBI, Mr. Zaba held the position of Vice President and Chief Security Officer of an international corporation, with over 18,000 employees and over 40 offices worldwide. In that capacity, Mark was responsible for Corporate Security, Facility Management and Transportation Services. Mr. Zaba has managed fraud investigations both domestically and abroad and has provided investigative and consulting expertise to both domestic and international clients. An involved leader with high standards, Mr. Zaba is intimately involved with the business operations and investigative strategies provided by Cornerstone.
Brian P. Smyth
Vice-President and Co-owner
Brian P. Smyth is the Vice-President and also a principal owner with 25 years of exceptional service with the FBI. Throughout his career, he has provided expert investigative service in the area of national security and personnel security. Mr. Smyth retired as a Special Agent with the FBI with assignments at Washington Field Office, Houston, New York and the Philadelphia Field Divisions. Mr. Smyth was employed with the FBI for 25 years and in addition to his investigative duties he served in supervisory and management roles. He enjoys an excellent reputation of being thorough, ethical and detail-oriented. Following his retirement, Mr. Smyth began working in the field of human services. His primary responsibility was career counseling for unemployed welfare recipients. Emotional and educational barriers to employment were key considerations in counseling. Mr. Smyth brought compassion to his work as a career counselor, as well as a keen understanding of the proper relationship between an employer and an employee. Mr. Smyth brings these same attributes to Cornerstone Consulting Services, LLC.
Michael J. Armes
Senior Operations Counsel
Following graduation from Temple University School of Law in Philadelphia, Michael J. Armes was employed with a local law firm. A licensed attorney, Mr. Armes accepted a position as a Special Agent with the FBI beginning a 31 year career with that agency in its New York Division. During his first 19 years of service, Mr. Armes specialized primarily in counterintelligence and counterterrorism investigations. Thereafter, Mr. Armes accepted a position as a Supervisory Special Agent and Associate Division Counsel in the New York Division’s Legal Section. His areas of expertise included electronic surveillance issues and applications, Privacy Act and Freedom of Information Act matters, ethics and legal actions filed under the Federal Tort Claims Act. While fulfilling his duties with the FBI’s Legal Section, Mr. Armes also served for five years as a Special Assistant United States Attorney in the United States Attorney’s Office, Eastern District of New York. There, he defended against legal actions filed against the United States Government as well as constitutional claims filed against individual Special Agents. Mr. Armes received numerous in-house awards from the FBI for his service. Additionally, in 2004 Mr. Armes was chosen by Respect for Law Alliance, Inc., a New York not-for-profit corporation, as its FBI recipient of the John P. O’Neill Pillar of Justice Award. Mr. Armes is a German language speaker.
Lisa Feix, Senior Investigator, served as an FBI Special Agent from 1986 until her retirement in 2010. Lisa is a skilled investigator and interviewer who brings more than 25 years of investigative experience as well as management experience to Cornerstone. In her first assignment with the FBI, on the Texas-Mexican border, Lisa investigated a variety of Bureau matters, including criminal, civil rights, background investigations, as well as internal allegations of EEO violations. Lisa spent many years at the FBI Training Academy, Quantico, VA., where she supervised, trained and mentored Special Agent Training classes. While in the Atlanta Division, Lisa supervised a criminal investigative squad and also served as the Training Coordinator and Special Agent Recruiter. Lisa retired from the FBI Philadelphia Division where she served as the Counterintelligence Strategic Partnership Coordinator which is the FBI liaison with defense contractors, universities and technology-based companies. After an extremely rewarding career with the FBI, Lisa became very active in Community Service activities. Lisa has volunteered in various capacities including Court-Appointed Special Advocate (for abused and neglected children), hospice, rehabilitation hospital and adult literacy. Lisa serves on the Board of Directors for a not-for-profit organization which provides affordable, supportive housing to homeless men with disabilities. Lisa recently completed externship coursework in Clinical Pastoral Education at a local Philadelphia hospital. An experienced investigator with high standards, Lisa is intimately involved with the investigative strategies with Cornerstone. Lisa’s extensive investigative knowledge and experience serves as tremendous assets to our team.
Thomas M. Ceccarelli
Consulting and Investigative Partner
Thomas M. Ceccarelli is a retired FBI Special Agent with more than 23 years of service. An inherent tenacity for investigations was realized in the initial stages of an outstanding law enforcement career spanning over 33 years, combining 10 years in municipal policing and 23 years as a Special Agent with the FBI. As a police officer, Mr. Ceccarelli utilized innovative techniques as a major crimes investigator, was a highly regarded patrol supervisor, and Officer in Charge of the department’s Crime Scene Investigations Unit. He was acknowledged by the Chief of Police as having performed those duties in an exemplary manner, was a model police officer with high moral standards and personal integrity. Mr. Ceccarelli assumed leadership roles in multiple FBI investigative programs including National Security, Counterterrorism and Security Management. He was recognized by FBI Management for his ability to initiate and manage complex investigative operations, for his diligent work ethic and vigilance to do things the right way. He retired from the FBI with assignments in Baltimore, Omaha and New York. Post retirement, Mr. Ceccarelli was employed as a contract consultant involved in the implementation of strategic management concepts for investigative programs to federal law enforcement agencies.
Ronald Lee retired as a Special Agent with the Federal Bureau of Investigation following assignments in New York and San Francisco. Mr. Lee presently holds a Top Secret security clearance with the U.S. Government and since his retirement from the FBI, he has held the position of contract investigator performing investigations on federal contracts. Mr. Lee’s professional background spans 32 years of renowned investigative experience with several federal agencies, to include the FBI, U.S. Customs, U.S. Department of Commerce and the Office of Export Enforcement. Mr. Lee possesses specialized experience in organized crime, foreign counterintelligence, smuggling, fraud matters, neutrality investigations and currency violations. Mr. Lee is a recognized expert in fraud and money laundering investigations and asset tracing. Mr. Lee speaks Chinese and has been involved in the investigation of international and traditional domestic organized crime and has investigated labor unions which have resulted in federal prosecutions. Mr. Lee holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Industrial Engineering from Farleigh Dickinson University.