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Chief Gene Saunders announced as IAOTP’s Most Inspirational Member Of The Year for 2024

Chief Gene Saunders will be honored at the International Association of Top Professionals (IAOTP) annual awards gala in Nashville

NEW YORK, NY, UNITED STATES, April 16, 2024 / -- Chief Gene Saunders is the Founder/CEO & Chief Director General of Lifesaver International based out of Port St. Lucie, Florida. He was recently chosen as Most Inspirational Member for 2024 by the International Association of Top Professionals (IAOTP).

While inclusion with the International Association of Top Professionals is an honor, only professional is selected as Most Inspirational Member. The Most Inspirational Member Award signifies IAOTP’s most inspirational member who has gone above and beyond excellence not only in his field but has demonstrated success professionally, personally and has been a leader in his community, as well as inspires the rest of us to break through ceilings. This man has made an impact on people’s lives around the world and for 2024 IAOTP is so proud to give this award to Chief Gene Saunders.

Chief Gene Saunders has exemplary brilliance in many fields and has dedicated more than four decades of his career as a proficient Officer of Law. Stephanie Cirami, President of IAOTP says, “His endless list of professional accomplishments, academic achievements, leadership abilities, and contributions to society are amongst some of the qualities we base our decisions on. Our Most Inspirational Member demonstrates strength, positivity, kindness and motivation. IAOTP is so pleased to see all of Chief Gene Saunders’ amazing accomplishments, and we wish him the warmest congratulations.”

As a dynamic results-driven leader who has exceled in every position he has ever had the honor of serving, Chief Saunders founded Project Lifesaver International in 1999. He has overseen its growth with more than 1,600 public safety organizations in 50 states, 6 Provinces in Canada and 1 agency in Australia.

Project Lifesaver is a 501 (C)(3) community based, public safety, non-profit organization that provides law enforcement, fire/rescue, and caregivers with a program designed to protect, and when necessary, quickly locate individuals with cognitive disorders who are prone to the life-threatening behavior of wandering.

Project Lifesaver’s program has helped provide thousands of family’s peace of mind knowing that their loved one had protection and safety in case they wander. To date over 4,000 people have been rescued through Project Lifesaver.

Chief Saunders impressive repertoire of prior roles includes his 33 years of service with the Chesapeake Police Department serving in Patrol, Vice, Narcotics, Detectives and Training. He served in line function and command elements of each of these units.

Chief Saunders co-founded the Special Weapons and Tactics team in 1974 serving as tactical commander and commander for 23 years with over 800 operations.

Additionally, he was Chief Investigator on several large multi-state, international drug and organized crime conspiracy investigations. Served as Shift Commander, Olympic Security Team, Soccer venue, Olympics, Atlanta, Georgia 1996. Upon his retirement in 2001 as a Captain, he served in the National Guard and State Defense Force in Infantry, Airborne and Ranger Units in leadership and command positions.

Moreover, Chief Saunders was in the US Air Force Aux. (Civil Air Patrol) as a Senior Squadron (Ranger)commander and 5 years as Commandant of the Middle East Region Staff College. Equally, he is a Certified instructor in Pursuit Driving, Firearms, Special Operations, Raid Planning, General Law Enforcement and Search and Rescue. Also, Chief Saunders has functioned as a Helicopter Flight Officer, as a volunteer, with the Virginia Beach Police Department and did several years of skydiving.

His remarkable skills and specialties include but are not limited to: Search and Rescue, Training, Interrogation, Public Speaking, Firearms, Driving, Special Operations, Investigations, Non-Profits, Crime Prevention, Preparedness, Command, Electronic Search and Rescue, Intelligence, Program Management, Expert Witness, Community Policing, Team Building, Supervisory Skills, First Responder, SWAT, Leadership, Crisis Management, Surveillance, Emergency Services, Private Investigations, Project Planning, Homeland Security, Disaster Response, Criminal Justice, Patrol, Security Operations and Personal Protection.

Throughout his illustrious career, Chief Saunders has received awards, accolades and has been recognized internationally for his expertise, he is widely known as the Father of radio tracking recovery of persons at risk. Last year, Chief was awarded with Man of the Year and he was featured on the famous Nasdaq billboard in Times Square NYC numerous times, and on the famous Planet Hollywood billboard on the Las Vegas strip. He was also exclusively interviewed on TIP Radio multiple times and published and awarded International Best Selling Amazon Author in the Top 50 Fearless Leaders Book and Top 25 Global Impact Leaders Book. In 2023 he graced the front cover of TIP (Top Industry Professionals) Magazine, received the Lifetime Achievement Award, Law Enforcement Hero Award and was inducted into IAOTP’s Hall of Fame. Chief Saunders received Top CEO of the Year Award at IAOTP’s 2021 Annual Awards Gala. Furthermore, Chief Saunders has earned 3 Commendation Medals and the Chief’s Leadership Award given by the Chesapeake Police Department, 3 Line of Duty Injury Medals and 3 Silver Stars for Valor for three separate incidents given by the American Police Hall of Fame. He also received a Presidential Commendation for his SWAT service given by President Bill Clinton, earned the Congressional Medal of Honor Foundation’s “Service Before Self” Citizens Honor Award and was awarded as Treasure Coast Non-Profit Leader of the Year for 2019. Chief Gene Saunders will be announced as Most Inspirational Member and Law Enforcement Hero at IAOTP’s 2024 Annual Award Gala being held at the Gaylord Opryland Resort in Nashville this December.

Along with these merits also include the Local Hero Award given by the Bank of America, he was named as a Person of Distinction by the Al Cole Radio Show, he received the Moving America Forward Award given by the William Shatner TV Show and was granted the Hero Award from Pilot International-Virginia District. Chief Saunders is actively involved in 11 different prestigious organizations as his career continues to advance.

Besides his successful career, Chief Saunders is a sought-after speaker and the author of several articles for magazines concerning wandering. He has appeared on numerous local, national and international radio and television programs such as: CBS; the Early Show; Extreme Makeover Home Edition; Living the Life; Fox News; The Discovery Channel, CNN News, The Daily Buzz and William Shatner's "Moving America Forward." Chief Saunders also held lead and supporting roles on the following TV series: The Prosecutors, The FBI Files, The New Detectives and The Untold Stories of the Navy SEALS. He was an invited featured speaker at IAOTP’s Summer Soiree at the EAU Palm Beach and sits on the IAOTP Panel to consider new honorees.

Looking back, Chief Saunders attributes his success to his perseverance, education, resourcefulness and patience. When not working, he enjoys spending time with his family and traveling. For the future, Chief Saunders will continue his mission of “Bringing Loved Ones Home”.

For more information on Chief Saunders please visit:

To view his video biography, click here:


The International Association of Top Professionals (IAOTP)is an international boutique networking organization who handpicks the world’s finest, most prestigious top professionals from different industries. These top professionals are given an opportunity to collaborate, share their ideas, be keynote speakers and to help influence others in their fields. This organization is not a membership that anyone can join. You must be asked by the President or be nominated by a distinguished honorary member after a brief interview.

IAOTP's experts have given thousands of top prestigious professionals around the world, the recognition and credibility that they deserve and have helped in building their branding empires. IAOTP prides itself to be a one-of-a-kind boutique networking organization that hand picks only the best of the best and creates a networking platform that connects and brings these top professionals together.

For More Information on IAOTP please visit:

Stephanie Cirami
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