Sandy Downes - President

Sandy has over thirty-six years’ experience in the field of background and due diligence investigations. Her experience includes training, development and implementation of Employee Assistance & Personnel Security Programs, as well as background investigation and security clearance processing protocol and procedures. Ms. Downes has been responsible for the development and implementation of Human Reliability Programs within organizations in order to reduce the risks associated with “insider threat and fraud”. Ms. Downes has developed and been responsible for CartwrightDownes background investigative techniques and services since January, 1980. She has been published, and serves as a guest lector on employee alcohol/drug abuse and background screening techniques throughout the United States. She holds a Private Detective license under the Private Detective Act of 2004 in the State of Illinois and serves as the licensee for CartwrightDownes Investigative Agency license. She is a member of NEI (Nuclear Energy Institute) and serves as Task Force Member and technical expert for background investigations on the NEI Access Authorization Committee. She is also the co-founder of the San Miguel Schools of Chicago, is a past Board Member on the LIFT Foundation – a non-for-profit agency currently building leadership schools (pre-K thru 12th grades) in the Tsunami torn regions of Tamil Nadu, India, and past Co-Chair of the Harbor of Hope Project out of Chicago, IL which made a commitment to rebuilding the homes and lives of the people in Waveland, MS who lost everything to Katrina.


Kian Sarreshteh - CEO

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is an accomplished entrepreneur that has founded and grown several technology companies. After graduating from the University of Missouri, he spent his first several years helping start-ups grow through efficient resource planning & product development. He then founded an IT consulting/recruiting practice (1872 Consulting) which led him to consult internally for several early stage tech companies and enterprises in Chicago, NY and Silicon Valley. 1872 has been one of the fastest growing companies of its kind in 2018. He has dynamic experience, helping companies bootstrap while playing roles from President, to VP of Sales, to Product Management. He was appointed CEO after CDI was acquired in January of 2016 with a mission to develop & implement new software, streamline processes and make the product more efficient to better serve CDI’s client base, which has grown by 20% year-over-year. 


Aaron Hammer - Chairman

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Aaron is an accomplished business leader, distinguished attorney, successful entrepreneur and dedicated civic leader.  A partner in the law firm of Horwood Marcus & Berk Chartered, Aaron leads its national creditor’s rights and bankruptcy practice group and serves on the firm’s management committee.  Aaron recently served as President of the Turnaround Management Association’s Chicago/Midwest chapter and now serves on the Executive Board of the TMA Global.  Aaron also serves on the board of the Anti-Defimation League’s Upper Midwest Chapter and as its Director of Development. Aaron is a prolific author on issues affecting corporate turnarounds and this industry, and has taught several courses on these subjects at Northwestern University School of Law as a member of its adjunct faculty.  He is a graduate of the University of Michigan and Northwestern University School of Law where he graduated magna cum laude at the very top of his class.