National Training Director
Matt Smith co-founded Aegis Training Solutions, LLC in 2013 and organized the development and implementation of The Aegis System™ into the US market.
Early in his career, Matt spent over a decade in the field of mental and behavioral healthcare. He has been employed in front-line care, behavioral intervention, staff development and various supervisory roles. He has worked in many diverse environments such as Therapeutic Boarding Schools, Residential Treatment, Acute Psychiatrics and extensively in Wilderness Therapy. Prior to becoming a trainer, Matt directly managed hundreds of incidents where the skills of de-escalation were critical to the safety of everyone involved.
Matt took on the role of a CI trainer in 2006. Since that time, and now with Aegis, Matt has trained thousands of professionals in crisis prevention and de-escalation. Matt’s career has always been focused on mental/behavioral healthcare and as a trainer, Matt has also worked with professionals from related settings such as hospitals, emergency departments, public education, corrections and law enforcement.
Matt has come to discover that the ability to intervene appropriately at times of escalation is fundamental to the success of any organization that may be exposed to workplace violence. In terms of day-to-day operations and the economics of liability, Matt is deeply impressed by the significance of safely managing crisis situations.
Prior to Aegis, Matt was an instructor for several other systems. Throughout his professional experience, Matt became aware of a void in the field. Even before Aegis, creating a new standard in safety and best practice became Matt’s passion and journey. Matt always knew that front-line professionals deserved better solutions and that “at-risk” individuals need a more therapeutic approach. Aegis was the result of the overwhelming demand for a more clinically sophisticated approach to crisis intervention.
Matt prides himself in his ability to achieve rapport with diverse populations. He considers his documented success in de-escalating many situations without the use of physical force to be among his greatest professional accomplishments. He is committed to empowering professionals by making these tools more accessible and comprehensive. As a trainer, Matt has relentlessly pursued an ideal synthesis of experienced-based and evidence-based practices.
Matt has been privileged to study under some of the top martial scientists in the country. He trains daily to “overbuild” his skill set as a means to accommodate the unique demand presented by Aegis clientele. Matt’s physical skill set would best be described as expertise in CDT (control and defensive tactics). Documented success in hundreds of incident reports has left Matt with a solid understanding of the “hard skills” necessary to de-escalate an out of control situation. Matt believes Aegis represents the most therapeutically aligned balance of “hard” and “soft” skills.
Craig has over 20 years of experience advising business owners in merger, acquisition, and capital raise transactions. He has completed more than 50 transactions including sell side M&A, buy side projects, and capital raise transactions. Craig’s role reaches further than ownership over Aegis’ financial functions. He leverages significant industry experience to monitor the vital signs of the company’s operations. Craig is a passionate outdoorsman and has an affinity for volunteer work.
Ben Pearson, LCSW
Ben has over 15 years of experience working in the behavioral health industry. He had first-hand experience working with high-risk adolescence for 4 years in two different wilderness programs and a range of supervisory roles. After obtaining his LCSW, Ben has provided over 11 years of support to youth and adults and their families in the wilderness and residential treatment facilities.
Physical and emotional safety are keys elements of meaningful and lasting change in the lives of those getting professional help. For years Ben has worked to improve the quality of treatment of high-risk youth by assisting in the education of professionals working with them. Ben is honored to closely work with Matt Smith and the Aegis program as they improve the focus and sophistication of the safety industry.