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The leadership team at ClearStar has decades of experience in background screening and drug screening. Actively involved in professional associations, serving on boards and generating technology systems, they have truly shaped and improved the screening industry.


Robert J. Vale, Jr., CEO  |  Email

Robert “Bob” Vale, Chief Executive Officer, founded ClearStar in partnership with Ken Dawson and William White. He is actively involved in developing business strategy and meeting with clients and business partners to discuss the direction of the background screening industry.

Prior to forming ClearStar, Vale was the Manager of Loss Prevention Technical Support for United Parcel Service (UPS).

As a founding member of the National Association of Professional Background Screeners (NAPBS), Vale is often called upon to deliver keynote presentations on the subject of large-scale systems management, technology trends, and personal information security.


Kenneth W. Dawson, Jr., CIO/CISO, CISSP®  |  Email

Ken Dawson is a founding member of ClearStar and currently serves as its Chief Information Officer. Dawson is responsible for evaluating, designing, and implementing background check technology solutions that combine information from disparate information sources in varied data formats.

Prior to forming ClearStar, Dawson developed enterprise systems for United Parcel Service (UPS) and Kaiser Permanente. Dawson began his career in software development and content delivery in 1990 while working as an intern for Conatec, Inc., an aerospace engineering firm.


David Pattillo, CFO  |  Email

David Pattillo leads all areas of finance and accounting for the company including financial planning, forecasting, and accessing capital to fund growth. Additionally, he is responsible for establishing and maintaining the accounting controls and processes to mitigate financial risk and ensure timely financial reporting.

Pattillo has an accomplished career in helping guide companies through high-growth expansion. Prior to joining ClearStar, Pattillo was CFO of MyCelx Technologies, which he led through an IPO on AIM market (London Stock Exchange). Prior to that, he was CFO of Harry’s Farmers Market, a company he helped guide from start-up to an IPO on NASDAQ.

Pattillo holds a Bachelor of Science degree from Clemson University and an MBA from University of Georgia.


Nicolas Dufour, EVP & General Counsel, Corporate Secretary  |  Email

Nicolas Dufour advises ClearStar’s management team on all legal matters, issues, and risks impacting the organization. He provides legal guidance, legal management, and operating standards related to business; state and federal laws; regulatory; and legal strategic matters.

Dufour has more than two decades of legal practice experience and ten years of experience in the background check industry. Prior to joining ClearStar, he was Chief Regulatory Council at First Advantage, where he oversaw litigation matters and regulatory enforcement investigations related to privacy and data security issues.


Traci Ivester,  COO  |  Email

Traci Ivester directs the daily operations of ClearStar with oversight of the compliance and order fulfillment teams. Traci has significant experience with the product and service needs of major employers, and large and small consumer reporting agencies. She lead the ClearStar team to achieve National Association of Professional Background Screener’s (NAPBS) Accreditation in 2013, and is also a founding member of NAPBS.

Before joining the ClearStar team, Traci was a founding partner and served as Vice President of global employment screening firm Vereda, Inc., a firm she took from start-up to a successful industry leader. Traci holds a BA in Justice Studies.

Andy Hellman,  Managing Director, International and Strategic Initiatives  |  Email

Andy Hellman drives the growth of ClearStar’s global (non-U.S.) business segment as well as specific strategic initiatives. This includes leading platform and product development as well as operational and compliance support.

Andy brings over two decades of experience to this role in organizations ranging from venture-backed startups to Fortune 100s, including over a decade in background screening. Prior roles include running the business analytics team for ChoicePoint and the global screening business for LexisNexis. Andy has a BA in International Economics and Leadership Studies and an MBA in Finance and Entrepreneurship. He also holds CIPP/E and CIPM certifications, as well as the newly created Fellow of Information Privacy (FIP).


Todd Shoulberg, EVP, Medical Information Services  |  Email

Todd Shoulberg, Executive Vice President of Medical Information Services, provides direction and leadership to the daily operations of ClearStar’s Medical Review Office. He is responsible for keeping all drug testing clients in compliance with state, federal, and local regulations, and identifies new testing methods and products for clients to utilize in their drug testing programs.

Prior to joining ClearStar, Shoulberg served as Vice President of Florida Drug Screening, Inc., where he oversaw operations of the Medical Review Office, including Sales, Marketing, and Customer Service.