PICA: Great Conference. Case Closed.

Professional Investigators of California

Howdy. This is Paul.

I had opportunity to speak at last week’s PICA conference. What a great conference!

On Friday, the first day, it was standing room only. Ann Marie had to order more food. Everyone told me that the presentations and food were great, that they easily covered their cost to attend (out of pocket cost + their time).

I didn’t get a chance to attend all the presentations. But I peeked in on each one and all the seats were filled. That tells me they were valuable—because no one stays for a dull presentation. Two presentations I did attend, blew me away.

Greg Kading, Murder Rap

Greg Kading gave a great presentation based on his book, “Murder Rap, The Untold Story of the Biggie Smalls and Tupac Shakur Murder Investigations“. Greg is a retired LAPD detective, specializing in the field of gangs, narcotics, and homicide. He spent most of his career assigned to federal task forces to investigate complex criminal cases, including the Biggie Smalls and Tupac Shakur murders. Decorated with the Medal of Valor for bravery, and Police Star for heroic action, Detective Kading achieved the highest ranking as an investigator. After his 25 year law enforcement career, he retired to write his book, covering the two murders.

Greg’s presentation was something I’ll never forget. It was a presentation one doesn’t see, unless you go to association events. Get Greg’s book. Greg is the owner of Onsight Investigations.

Gretchen D. Lichtenberger on Process Serving

The other presentation I attended surprised me.

Gretchen D. Lichtenberger gave, what I found, was highly educational presentation on process serving. I didn’t there was much to process serving—I was wrong. Gretchen’s presentation was entertaining, informative, and educational. She covered the CA laws that relate to process serving and gave some great examples of how to serve even the toughest cases. Gretchen’s website is www.ayouvebeenserved.com

My Take Aways

My judge of any market is how many young people are involved. If young people are involved, the market is growing. If not, it’s dying. I also look for coopetition. No big market exists, without coopetition.

There was a time when I thought the investigative field wasn’t growing, that it had become a stale group of good ole boys. I’m happy to report that at least at PICA, my fears are allayed. I found the audience young, hip to what’s going on, savvy and entrepreneurial.

As I understand it there were at least 25 new members at the conference. PICA board members told me this was their most successful conference yet.

Coopetition At Work

I saw some coopetition going on at PICA. Those who read my blog know I’m big on coopetition. From a fly on the wall I could see members exchanging business cards, sharing tips and tricks with one another. PICA has done a good job of creating an atmosphere were investigators can compete with one another and work with one another, to grow the business pie. PICA is definitely not, an association where the good ole boys club at the top cherry pick and everyone else is left to pick from the scraps.

Corey Friedman and Ann Marie Batesole, along with the other PICA board members, have done a great job with keeping PICA fresh, creating a valuable association—for members. Because of the work Corey and Ann Marie are doing, BellesLink will definitely continue partnering with PICA well into the future.

I encourage every investigator out there in CA to join PICA. You’ll pay for your membership with just one good contact and/or the experience you’ll gain from Gretchen, Corey, so many others in the association. Because they get the idea of coopetition.

PICA Conference Photos

Here’s a few pics from the conference.

Professional investigators at the 2014 PICA Conference

Professional investigators at the 2014 PICA Conference

Note the picture from the presentation. That was taken on the last the day, the last seminar of the day. Note how many seats are filled. This is proof positive, how valuable the meeting was. The room was still 80% full, at the last hour of the last day.


Professional investigators at the 2014 PICA Conference

Professional investigators at the 2014 PICA Conference

The other picture is yours truly and a young lady who was kind enough to take a picture with me. There were plenty like her—young and professional.

Paul Kulas at the 2014 PICA Conference

A picture is worth a thousand words.