While it wouldn’t appeal to most folks to drive close to 6,000 miles in two and a half weeks, Signature Investigation Group’s (SIG) Owner, Mike Cook looked at it as an opportunity to blend business with a family vacation. An interesting question about this route is if anyone else has ever undertaken the same itinerary? Doubtful, as it started in Grand Rapids and wound through St. Louis to Montgomery, Texas (near Houston) and continued to Fort Sumner, New Mexico.
After that, it was on to the state of Utah with visits to spectacular National Parks along the way. The list in Utah alone included Zion, Brice (Cook’s personal favorite), Capitol Reef and Arches. (INSERT PIC OF ONE OR MORE HERE) World class scenery and views were there for all to see and enjoy. It continued to Steamboat Springs, Colorado then onto Colorado Springs where Cook met with another Private Investigator about GPS Tracking. After that, it was onto Topeka, Kansas, and St. Louis again before finally heading home. 5,927 miles to be exact.
However, at the end of the trip two events in Montgomery, TX and Park City, Utah highlighted Cook’s business relating to SIG and Private Investigation. In Montgomery, he attended the World Investigator’s Conference (WIC) for a full day and it was jam packed with guest speakers, vendor information and seminars on various private investigative functions like debugging, skip tracing, and surveillance. From there, various type of investigations were covered as well as Insurance, Marketing, testimony in court proceedings and ethics. At one point he met with Dean Beers, President of the National Council of Investigation and Security Services (NCISS); regarding lobbying being done on a national level for Private Investigators to secure client’s future success.
Cook said that the highlight of the day for him were two of the guest speakers: F. Lee Bailey and Joe Pistone. (INSERT PIC OF M.Cook with Bailey) Bailey is best known for defending Dr. Sam Sheppard (The Fugitive), Patty Hearst and O.J. Simpson. “His mind was sharp as a tack, despite being 83 years old, said Cook. He had a few colorful stories for sure, and plenty of sage advice as well.” Joe Pistone, (AKA Donnie Brasco) is a former FBI agent who worked undercover for six years infiltrating the Bonanno crime family and to a lesser extent the Colombo crime family, two of the five families of the Mafia in New York City. Pistone was an FBI agent for 27 years. He was a pioneer in deep, long term undercover work and Cook said his speech was riveting in terms of “how far electronic surveillance has come over the years as well as getting an insider’s view of the mafia and their inner workings.”
A series of individual meetings with other Private Investigators in Park City, Utah culminated in Cook sharing his expertise regarding GPS tracking. One of the PI’s he met with was Scott Fulmer who runs the ‘Utah Gumshoe’. His frustration and problems regarding GPS technology have to do with the fact that the mountains can sometimes block the signals. Cook discussed various methods in dealing with this including, but not limited to using a multi sim card system, with the idea that two carriers allow them greater coverage.
All and all the trip was a tremendous success both personally and professionally for Cook and his family. A once in a lifetime trip that won’t soon be forgotten and some very important business conducted along the way as well. Who said you can’t mix business with pleasure?