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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 over 20 years of law enforcement experience in the United States and retired from a Chicago area police department in 2023 at the rank of Lieutenant.  In 2007, he was trained by the FBI in hostage and crisis negotiation and has been involved in the field since that time.  Scott worked as a negotiator with one of the largest regional SWAT teams in the U.S. for many years before moving into the role of a negotiations speaker and trainer  .    


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. He has taught negotiations at Harvard University, for the FBI, and has keynoted for companies such as Microsoft.  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.  

Scott currently resides in the Chicago area and is a co-founder and Partner with the Negotiations Collective.  

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

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Senior Associate

BA, Psychology


Managing Partner

BCOM, CSC, Graduate Certificate: Negotiations, Project Leadership 

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Senior Associate




MA, Psychology; BS, Behavioral Science

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Vice President,

Business Development

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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Kayla Wilson is a dynamic and accomplished business executive with over 12+ years of experience in cultivating relationships and driving growth in multiple industries. Kayla has worked with some of the world's largest industries from Healthcare, Law Enforcement, Government, Social Media, Retail, Natural Resource, Technology moguls, Food processing and Financial Institutions. Kayla is driven by developing new partnerships, expanding existing relationships and creating comprehensive client success strategies that are aligned with their business goals and values.

Prior to her current role as Vice President of Business Development, Kayla began her career as a professional athlete, competing Internationally in snowboardcross and achieving XGAMES alumnus status. This experience instilled in her the values of discipline, perseverance, and teamwork, which she carried forward into her professional career.

After her sports career, Kayla founded and managed her own business, which gave her a deep understanding of the challenges and opportunities facing entrepreneurs and start-ups. She successfully navigated the complexities of financing, product development, and sales, building a profitable and sustainable enterprise.

With a proven track record of business development success in the telecommunications, corporate social responsibility, and cyber-security industries, Kayla's innovative approach to problem-solving and her ability to build trust with clients has helped her to consistently exceed sales targets and drive revenue growth.


Overall, Kayla's dynamic background has prepared her well for her role as Vice President of Business Development with the Negotiations Collective and the clients it trains and supports.

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