William H. Pickle
Director and Co-Founder
William Pickle is the founder of The Pickle Group, LLC, a Washington, D.C. based business development and governmental affairs firm. Prior to this, Mr. Pickle served as the 37th Sergeant at Arms of the United States Senate. In this role, Mr. Pickle was the Chief Operating Officer of the Senate, responsible for the day-to-day operations of the Senate as well as for oversight of the U.S. Capitol Police Department. Previous to being nominated and elected to this position by the Senate, Mr. Pickle served as the first Senior Executive Service Security Director of the Transportation Security Administration (TSA). Prior to the creation of TSA, Mr. Pickle served as the Deputy Inspector General of the Department of Labor.
The bulk of Mr. Pickle’s public service was with the United States Secret Service where he rose through the Agent ranks to become Deputy Assistant Director. During this 25 year career, he served in numerous senior positions to include Special Agent in Charge of the Vice Presidential Protective Division during the 2000 Presidential Election, as well as head of the Secret Service Legislative Affairs Office during President Clinton’s first Administration. Mr. Pickle is a highly decorated Vietnam Veteran who served as an infantryman and door gunner with the First Cavalry Division in 1968-69.
Today, he serves as Chairman of the Board of Digital Defense Group as well as Director and Senior Advisor for a number of telecommunications and technology corporations to include Hysky Communications, Koolspan Technology, Criterion Systems and Cornerstone Associates. He is a former member of the 2004 Presidential Election Advisory Committee and a current member of the Presidential Medal of Valor Committee. Mr. Pickle continues to hold Top Secret Clearance with the United States Government.
Venture-capitalist Anthony Dick spent twenty-one years at Train, Babcock Advisors, a New York-based investment advisory firm focusing exclusively on individuals and families with $600 million under management. In 1992, Tony was promoted to Portfolio Manager with responsibility for client portfolios and wealth management. In addition to portfolio management and company research responsibilities, Tony served as a member of the Investment Committee. In 1996 he became a partner in the firm and held that position until his resignation in 2008. During his time at Train, Babcock Advisors he managed over 60 family relationships with an approximate total of $175 million in assets.
After leaving Train, Babcock, Mr. Dick worked as a Senior Advisor for Watch Hill Partners LLC, a small New York-based boutique investment bank where he focused on special projects, specifically business development for a long-only equity fund. Tony is a graduate of Brooks School in North Andover, Massachusetts and he received a B.A. in History from Trinity College in Hartford, Connecticut.
Lynda Thomas is a private investor and philanthropist living in Laguna Beach, CA and New York City. She is on the Boards of the National Democratic Institute (NDI) in Washington DC; the Bowers Museum in Santa Ana California, where she is Vice-Chair; the Advisory Board of the Thelonius Monk Institute of Jazz, an organization with worldwide educational programs and activities, including International Jazz Day in conjunction with UNESCO; the Irvine Barclay Theatre in Santa Ana, California; and TorchStone Global, a private company specializing in security for high net worth individuals and companies. Lynda has traveled extensively with the Pacific Council on International Policy and NDI for promotion of international dialogue. Over the past several years, these visits have included North Korea, South Sudan, Myanmar, Cuba, Argentina, Poland, Germany and the Balkans. Lynda has been an international election monitor in Tunisia for the parliamentary elections in 2011 and the presidential election in 2014.
Born and raised in New Orleans, Louisiana, Lynda attended Washington University in St. Louis, MO and Tulane University in New Orleans, LA from where she received a BA and MBA. She has worked as a researcher at the Louisiana State University Medical School doing research on the Cajun population of Louisiana. After training in New York City, Lynda was a Senior Manager/CPA/consultant at Deloitte Haskins and Sells in London, where she lived for almost a decade with her three children.
Chuck Vance founded Vance Executive Protection (later Vance International) in the early 1980s with the single objective of offering security services to the private sector that were on par with the standards of the United States Secret Service. A former Secret Service agent himself, Mr. Vance accomplished that goal by implementing the principles and techniques of his former agency and by building a seasoned management team, as well as an elite cadre of security officers. Chuck Vance maintained a senior advisory relationship with Vance International through its original sale in 2003 and its ultimate sale to Garda World Security in 2006.
Throughout his career, both as a Special Agent for the Secret Service for 14 years and his time in the private sector, Mr. Vance has directly protected, or managed the protection of, U.S. Presidents and Vice Presidents, international heads of state, dignitaries, royalty, and prominent individuals. He has appeared on more than 400 national and international news programs, and has been quoted as a security expert in hundreds of print media articles. Mr. Vance has testified as an expert witness on presidential security before the U.S. Senate, has authored multiple articles on security, and co-authored the textbook, “Fighting Back: Winning the War Against Terrorism.” He is a graduate of the University of California, Berkeley.
- Bill Shaw, PresidentEntrepreneur Media, Inc.
“The companies on the Entrepreneur 360 List exemplify growth, not just in top and bottom line, but in their ability to create a superior value for their customers, build adaptive learning cultures, and drive innovation in their marketplace.”
- Nick Tzitzon, Senior Vice PresidentSAP SE
“TorchStone is a top tier security and logistics partner for SAP. We have given them high stakes, high visibility assignments with big expectations. We couldn’t be more thrilled with their professionalism and achievement of all our objectives. SAP will absolutely continue to engage TorchStone in the future.”
- Katherine Goh, EditorPrivate Asset Management
“Mitigating threats, physical, cyber or otherwise, is currently a key focus of the private wealth sector. PAM recognizes TorchStone as the leading firm in the space. We are impressed by their team’s ability to provide a layer of protection around high-net-worth clients and family offices.”
- Robert Cresanti, President & CEOInternational Franchise Association
“TorchStone is a leader in the corporate security field and proved to be an invaluable resource to the International Franchise Association during a time of intense stress. We are extremely appreciative of their professionalism and vast knowledge. The IFA will certainly engage TorchStone in the future for any security or risk assessment needs.”
- Andrew Howard, President and CEOHoward Insurance
“Our high net worth clients tend to have complex needs and high expectations. We have confidently recommended TorchStone whenever security concerns are raised, and in every instance they’ve performed brilliantly. We appreciate having a partner who understands and pragmatically resolves the evolving vulnerabilities confronting our clients.”
- Chris Hurst, Chief Operating OfficerStabilitas
“It was a pleasure working with TorchStone during the 2016 Rio Olympic Games. Their commitment to first class service and their embrace of cutting-edge technology ensured a safe experience for hundreds of VIPs and guests of a high-profile corporate sponsor in a challenging environment."