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Scott is an internationally recognized crisis negotiator, advisor, trainer and keynote speaker. He is known and respected for his experience negotiating in highly charged situations, with high stakes and when the situation requires sensitivity to the human element.  Clients, audiences and students alike, find Scott’s teachings, insightful, inspiring and pragmatic.   


Scott has 19 years of law enforcement experience in the United States and is an active Lieutenant with an agency in the Chicago area.  In 2007, he was trained by the FBI in hostage and crisis negotiation.  He worked as a negotiator with one of the largest regional SWAT teams in the U.S. for 7 years and has been teaching crisis negotiation for the past 10 years.  


He has studied negotiation at the Harvard University Program on Negotiation, at IMD Business School, and he continues to receive training from the world’s top hostage negotiators.  


Scott is a prolific trainer within the negotiation field and travels the country and around the world speaking to audiences in both law enforcement and the private sector.  In 2016, he was invited to give a TEDx talk titled “The Secrets of Hostage Negotiators”, which has received over 1 million views.  His visibility as a speaker and educator through TEDx and other venues has reached global status.  He has professional affiliations with multiple negotiations groups in a various countries in North America and Europe, and his instruction continues to be in demand.  

Scott currently resides in the Chicago area and is a co-founder and Senior Associate with the Negotiations Collective.  Learn more at

Joanna has over 18 years of negotiations experience in the natural resource, utilities, infrastructure, health care and education sectors. During that time, she has led over $2B worth of acquisitions, divestments, and contract negotiations. She has project managed and negotiated agreements linked to over $1B in capital projects in both Canada and the United States and held senior leadership roles in commercial negotiations, project management, resource development and organizational restructuring.  


Joanna has served as both director and president of volunteer and professional organizations across Canada, whereby her primary objective has been to lobby provincial governments on issues relating to the members she represented, in addition to developing and delivering education and social programs.  Joanna has a BCOM from St. Francis Xavier University, is a graduate of British Petroleum's intensive in-house Conflict and Negotiations training course, holds a Graduate Certificate in Project Leadership from Cornell University, and a Graduate Certificate in Negotiations Mastery from the Harvard School of Business.


Joanna is the Managing Partner and Co-Founder of the Negotiations Collective.

Melissa Fortunato is a retired FBI Special Agent. She retired in June 2022 with over 23 years as a federal law enforcement officer.  During her career, Melissa was assigned to the New York City and Cleveland field offices. 


Melissa was a certified FBI Crisis Negotiator and Undercover Agent. She spent her last 15 years as an FBI Crisis Negotiator; leading FBI Cleveland’s Crisis Negotiation Team for 10 of those years.  In this capacity, she successfully resolved domestic and international kidnappings, barricaded subjects, and other crisis events.  Melissa planned and executed formal crisis negotiation training for hundreds of law enforcement officers. Moreover, she worked as an assessor and coach for the FBI’s National Crisis Negotiation Course. In 2020, Melissa was selected by the FBI to instruct at the International Law Enforcement Academy (ILEA) in Budapest, Hungary, where she taught crisis negotiation strategies to international law enforcement officers. In addition to her FBI training, Melissa represented the FBI in 2019 as a student at the Metropolitan Police (Scotland Yard) Hostage Negotiation Course in London, England.  


As an FBI undercover agent, Melissa operated both domestically and internationally.  Her undercover portfolio included transnational organized crime, public corruption, drug trafficking and counterintelligence matters. One of the cases in which she was directly involved as an undercover agent was briefed to the President of the United States and won the FBI Director’s Award.   


Melissa is a Senior Associate with the Negotiations Collective. She is married with two daughters. Her husband is an Assistant Special Agent in Charge of FBI Cleveland, where he leads its National Security branch


Managing Partner

BCOM, CSC, Graduate Certificate: Negotiations, Project Leadership 

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Senior Associate 

MA, Psychology; BS, Behavioral Science

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Senior Associate 

BA, Psychology

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Senior Associate

Leighton is an Associate Professor (Teaching) at the Haskayne School of Business at the University of Calgary where he focuses on translating current research into effective negotiation training programs. He has over ten years of experience designing and teaching negotiation courses within Executive MBA, MBA, and undergraduate programs. Leighton’s is a passionate educator; in 2019 he was inducted into the University of Calgary Students' Union Teaching Excellence Hall of Fame and also received a Calgary Award for Community Achievement in Education. Leighton has a significant consulting background in diverse areas including negotiations, strategic planning, and cross-cultural management. 


Leighton holds an MBA (thesis-based) and a BA in Psychology from the University of Calgary. His MBA thesis looked at cultural differences in the use of ethically questionable negotiation behaviors. 


Executive Assistant

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