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When Ken Dawson, Bill White, and Robert Vale left a large corporation in 1994, they decided their next endeavor should be a hiring solution that could change the world. They wanted to do it better than anyone else by combining technology with a company culture that puts its people, and applicants, first. The rest is history. What began as Compass, a web-based data provider geared towards addressing the emerging information needs of the security industry in 1995, is now ClearStar, the premier choice for background and drug screening solutions that provide critical data on applicants across many industries and businesses around the globe. No matter if you are looking for criminal background check for volunteers or background screening for financial institutions, ClearStar will always have a solution!


ClearStar was unique in the way they analyzed our screening process and focused on eliminating bottlenecks, reducing touch points, and driving a much-improved applicant experience. Their US-based customer service team wraps their solution in a wonderful bow. We highly recommend ClearStar—they have exceeded our expectations.”

Chris Wynn, Senior Director Agency Resources & Solutions, UniGroup, Inc

Robert J. Vale, Jr.


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.

Before forming ClearStar, Bob was the Manager of Loss Prevention Technical Support for United Parcel Service (UPS).

As a founding member of the Professional Background Screening Association (PBSA, formerly NAPBS), Bob 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.


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

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

Jennifer Balleza


Jennifer Balleza leads all areas of finance and accounting for ClearStar, including establishing and maintaining accounting controls and processes to mitigate financial risk and ensure timely financial reporting. She previously served as ClearStar’s Corporate Controller since ClearStar’s IPO, managing the financial reporting, compliance, and accounting aspects of the organization.

Prior to joining ClearStar, Jennifer was a senior manager in the assurance practice of Aprio, LLP, a large business advisory firm based in Atlanta. During her tenure at Aprio for over 14 years, she worked with companies in various industries, including software, manufacturing and distribution, telecommunications, healthcare, and insurance.

Jennifer earned her Bachelor of Science degree in Accounting from the University of Arkansas. Her professional affiliations include the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants, the Georgia Society of Certified Public Accountants, and she is a former board member of TAG Corporate Development.

Traci Ivester


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 led the ClearStar team to achieve Professional Background Screening Association (PBSA, formerly NAPBS) Accreditation in 2013, and is also a founding member of PBSA.

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.

Brad Carlson


Brad drives ClearStar’s sales efforts with direct clients, Innovators, channel partners, and agents. He provides statistical analysis and forecasting and manages sales contributors, partnerships, and strategic alliances. Brad has extensive knowledge within the background screening industry serving as Vice President of Sales for four national background screening companies, including his role as EVP of Sales at General Information Services, where he led the sales efforts for all segments of the team for 6 years. Brad has over 30 years of active sales management, 19 of which were within the background screening industry.

Nicolas Dufour

EVP and General Counsel, Corporate Secretary

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. Nicolas has more than twenty-five years of legal practice experience and fifteen years of experience in the background check industry.

Before joining ClearStar, he was Chief Regulatory Counsel at First Advantage Corporation, where he oversaw litigation matters and regulatory enforcement investigations related to privacy and data security issues.

Todd Shoulberg

President, Medical Information Services

Todd Shoulberg 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.

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

Our mission is to help make the world a safer place through background screening. However, we believe that keeping people safe should extend beyond our clients to those who live and work around us. To expand our company mission, we created the ClearStar Community Program with the purpose of donating background screening services to local, non-profit organizations that serve young people. We hope that by doing what we do best—background screening—we can play an integral part in serving our communities.

The Drake House

The Drake House provides short-term crisis housing, education, and empowerment programs for homeless mothers and their children in north metro Atlanta designed to assist the family in working toward self-sufficiency. In 2017, The Drake Village was built to provide transitional/permanent housing to families that graduate The Drake House Program.

Family Promise of Forsyth County

Family Promise of Forsyth County serves homeless families in Forsyth County, GA. In cooperation with community churches and volunteers, Family Promise of Forsyth County provides a safe place to stay and meals along with programs and support to help families gain or regain sustainable independence.

Jesse's House

Jesse’s House provides emergency and long-term care to young women, ages 7 to 21, who have suffered abuse or delinquency. Jesse’s House also provides tutoring, mentoring, and counseling for its residents. Since its inception in 1998, Jesse’s House has taken in more than 900 young women from 21 counties across the greater Atlanta area.

Junior Achievement of Georgia

Through the time, talent, and resources of its partners, Junior Achievement of Georgia inspires and prepares young people, K-12th grade, to succeed in a global economy. All programs align with Georgia’s Common Core Performance Standards to teach students about financial literacy, entrepreneurship, and workforce readiness.

My Sister’s Place

My Sister’s Place is a homeless shelter that provides a nurturing home, transportation assistance, nutritious meals, and other necessities to single women and mothers. They also provide life skills workshops, case management, counseling, and tools to help their residents to be in a better position when they leave than when they arrived.

StandUp for Kids

StandUp For Kids provides life-saving and outreach services to homeless, street kids, and at-risk youth. The Atlanta chapter provides two programs which address the challenges facing homeless kids on the streets and in the schools through prevention, volunteer-based outreach and mentoring, and community-supported programming.

As an industry leader in background and drug screening services, ClearStar is always looking for talented people who share our entrepreneurial spirit, passion for progress, and commitment to earning and keeping our clients’ trust.

If you think you’d be a good fit, email a copy of your resume and a cover letter to

Thank you for your interest in joining our team!