About Us

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.


Leadership

We didn’t become industry leaders in background screening overnight. In fact, our leadership team were accomplished professionals with decades of relevant experience under their belts before ClearStar was ever formed. Today, collectively, they represent the best in the business, not only leading the background screening industry but also shaping it.

Robert J. Vale, Jr., CEO

Robert J. Vale, Jr., CEO

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., CIO/CISO, CISSP®

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

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, CFO

Jennifer Balleza, CFO

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,  COO

Traci Ivester, COO

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, CRO

Brad Carlson, CRO

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, 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, 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.


Awards

Award

In 2018, ClearStar’s marketing campaign, “We Work”, earned two Gold Hermes Creative Awards in the category “Electronic/Social/Interactive Media” for its lead video and newly-rebranded website. The Hermes Creative Awards is an international competition for creative professionals involved in the concept, writing, and design of traditional and emerging media.

Award

Our ClearID/ClearContact solution was named ‘Top HR Product of 2017’ by Human Resource Magazine. Selected by the editors of the magazine, supported by a panel of industry experts and analysts, the award recognizes the newest HR products based on their level of innovation, value added to the HR function, intuitiveness for the user, and ability to deliver what they promise.

Award

In 2016, we secured a place on Deloitte’s Technology Fast 500™, a ranking of the 500 fastest growing technology, media, telecommunications, life sciences, and energy tech companies in North America. Deloitte’s Technology Fast 500™ award winners are selected based on percentage fiscal year revenue growth over a three-year period. ClearStar grew 127 percent during this period.


Award

Since ClearStar’s founding in 1995, we have strived to grow and deliver the best results to our customers. For seven years in a row, we were recognized on the Inc. 500|5000 List of the Nation’s Fastest Growing Private Companies.

Award

CIOReview magazine named ClearStar one of the ‘100 Most Promising Oracle Solution Providers 2015’. The annual list recognizes the 100 companies in the U.S. that are at the forefront of providing Oracle solutions and impacting the market.

Award

In 2012, our CEO and co-founder, Robert Vale, Jr., was selected as one of the Top 25 Entrepreneurs and Ones to Watch by Business to Business Magazine and accounting partner Gifford, Hillegass & Ingwersen.


Affiliations

Affiliate

The Professional Background Screening Association (PBSA, formerly the National Association of Professional Background Screeners or NAPBS) was established to promote a high level of ethics and performance standards for the screening industry with the goal of being a trusted global authority for the screening profession. The association offers resources and training aimed at empowering its members to serve clients well and works to promote awareness of the importance of screening to organizations, government entities, legislators, and consumers.

Affiliate

The Drug and Alcohol Testing Industry Association’s (DATIA) mission is to promote the highest possible standards of professionalism and quality control in the drug and alcohol testing industry, and develop and oversee education, certification, and accreditation programs for the drug and alcohol testing industry, as well as serve as the coordinated voice for the industry on regulatory and legislative matters of drug and alcohol testing and collection issues as well as drug free workplace regulatory issues.

Affiliate

The Substance Abuse Program Administrators Association mission is to establish, promote, and communicate the highest standards of quality, integrity, and professionalism in the administration of workplace substance abuse prevention programs through education, training, and the exchange of ideas.


Affiliate

ClearStar is integrated with SAP SuccessFactors® Recruiting to deliver accredited, award-winning, mobile background and medical screening capabilities to clients. ClearStar is a partner in the SAP PartnerEdge® program. As such, it is empowered to build, market, and sell software applications on top of market-leading technology platforms from SAP.

Affiliate

ClearStar is integrated with iCIMS Talent Platform to deliver mobile background screening solutions to clients. The partnership offers seamless transfer of candidate screening results into the iCIMS Talent Platform, where recruiters can access them from wherever they are and manage the hiring process from start to finish, all within a single, cloud-based application.

Affiliate

ClearStar is integrated with ProfileGorilla to deliver world class background screening capabilities to service providers across all of North America. The combined solution has revolutionized the way service providers and their employees get on-boarded and approved for work.


Affiliate

ClearStar is integrated with Virtual Badge, a product of Disaster Solutions LLC, which offers a workforce identity and management solutions based on a smartphone app that issues and displays virtual ID cards. The partnership makes use of ClearStar’s ClearID solution to offer employers a fully-vetted, mobile, remote-controlled ID badge for their employees.

Accreditations & Certifications

ClearStar has received accreditation by the National Association of Professional Background Screeners’ (NAPBS®) Background Screening Credentialing Council (BSCC). To become accredited, consumer reporting agencies must pass a rigorous onsite audit, conducted by an independent auditing firm, of its policies and procedures as they relate to six critical areas: Consumer Protection, Legal Compliance, Client Education, Product Standards, Service Standards and General Business Practices.

ClearStar complies with the EU-U.S. and Swiss-U.S. Privacy Shield Frameworks as set forth by the U.S. Department of Commerce regarding the collection, use, and retention of personal information transferred from the European Union, United Kingdom, and Switzerland to the United States.

ClearStar holds ISO/IEC 27001:2013 certification based on a formal audit process conducted by A-LIGN, an independent and accredited certification body, which confirmed that the company’s IT security systems, policies, and procedures met rigorous international standards in ensuring the confidentiality, integrity, and availability of data.


SecureWorks provides security auditing and scanning services to ClearStar as part of its ongoing security commitment. ClearStar is PCI Compliant and an Experian Level One Technical Provider that has met the requirements outlined in the EI3PA assessment framework. As such, we are an approved Experian Level One reseller.

A BBB Accredited Business since 07/13/2012. BBB has determined that ClearStar, Inc. meets BBB accreditation standards, which include a commitment to make a good faith effort to resolve any consumer complaints. BBB Accredited Businesses pay a fee for accreditation review/monitoring and for support of BBB services to the public.

The NAADATP accreditation certifies that the ClearStar Medical Review Office facility, operations, and personnel meet the highest standards in areas such as regulatory compliance, client confidentiality, accountability, company service standards, operational practices, business ethics and professional competency for drug and alcohol testing program management.


The American Association of Medical Review Officers, Inc. (AAMRO) is a medical society dedicated to establishing national standards and certification of medical practitioners and other professionals in the field of drug and alcohol testing. AAMRO has established standard practices and procedures, and training programs and administration of certification examinations. AAMRO is independent of existing medical membership groups and is designed to provide training and certification for physicians in different specialties.

Community

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.