John Choate's SA-720™ Strategies is a consulting firm providing seminars on cross-functional teamwork and strategic planning based on principles derived from the U.S. Special Operations community and successfully employed in the corporate world.
John began his professional career as a naval officer in the SEAL teams. Following completion of training as the officer-in-charge of SEAL training class 218, he spent the next twelve years in both active and reserve billets deploying overseas in support of national security objectives. In addition to receiving various personal awards for classified special operations, more significantly his operational teams have received numerous distinguished awards including three Navy Unit Commendation medals, two Meritorious Unit Commendation medals, and the Presidential Unit Citation personally awarded to his SEAL platoon by the President of the United States.
After leaving active duty John founded the Procinctu Group, a global risk management firm providing specialized security services and training to U.S. and foreign government entities, multinational corporations, and select individuals. He currently serves as chairman of the board.
John was later recruited to serve as the CEO of Defense Venture Group (“DVG”), the parent company of one turnaround and two start-up subsidiaries part of the $1.2-billion portfolio of J.F. Lehman & Company private equity firm. DVG was exited under John’s leadership in 2014.
Following the tragic shooting event in 2015 in San Bernardino, CA, John was subsequently recruited to serve as the Executive Director of Security in Las Vegas for the 5th largest hotel in the world and one of a select few resorts with Forbes 5-Stars in all three categories: hotel, restaurant, and spa. John was responsible for the new design, implementation, and management of a state-of-the-art security system comprised of over 400 personnel and numerous technologies for the safety of 9,000 employees and 25,000 visitors every day.
John’s professional experience is backed with a B.S. in History from the United States Naval Academy, as well as a M.A. (with distinction) in National Security Studies from California State University, a program sponsored by the Director of National Intelligence and designated the U.S. Intelligence Community’s Center of Academic Excellence. He also holds an MBA from Columbia University (finance), an MBA from the London Business School (strategy), as well as a Certificate in Hotel Revenue Management from Cornell University.
John is a member of Young Presidents’ Organization (YPO), a board member of Pike Electric, a founder and former director of the non-profit Phoenix Patriot Foundation, and a board-certified Physical Security Professional (PSP™). An avid waterman, marginal piano player, and a truly horrific golfer, he spends most of his free time with his wife, Tammy, and two young children, Sofie and Tristan.