Dr. Joe Serio is a popular and entertaining trainer and conference keynote speaker on transformational leadership, positive interaction with difficult people, understanding fear and resistance, increasing productivity in a world of distractions, and overcoming barriers to improved performance. He motivates and inspires his audiences while providing thought-provoking content.
His primary audiences are municipal and county government agency employees.
From 2013 to the present, Dr. Serio has delivered over 600 classes and conference keynotes to law enforcement audiences, including 45 training classes at Harris County Sheriff’s Office (HCSO), the third-largest sheriff’s office in the United States. These classes include Overcoming Fear, Emotional Intelligence, Time Management and Organizational Skills, Leadership and Legacy, Customer Service, and Public Speaking for the Faint-hearted. He was a featured speaker at the Harris County Sheriff’s Executive Leadership Conference attended by the sheriff and his command staff.
Dr. Serio was active with the Travis County Sheriff’s Office (TCSO) as a featured instructor in TCSO’s SHIELD program (Sheriff’s Institute for Ethical Leadership Development). He has also delivered one-off trainings at TCSO.
Dr. Serio has spoken to police officers, 9-1-1 dispatchers, adult and juvenile probation officers, judges, district attorneys, constables, and others across the United States. He has delivered keynote presentations at the Texas Commission on Law Enforcement (TCOLE) and Combined Law Enforcement Associations of Texas (CLEAT) annual conferences, and classes at the Texas Public Safety Conference. He has also been the featured speaker at law enforcement awards banquets.
Dr. Serio is the top-rated instructor at the Law Enforcement Management Institute of Texas (LEMIT), instructing in LEMIT’s Leadership Command College (LCC), Texas Constables Leadership College (TCLC), and the Fire Executive Management Institute (FEMT).
On the national level, his audiences have included the National Emergency Number Association (NENA), the National Public Educators Forum (NPEF), the American Correctional Association (ACA), the American Jail Association (AJA), and the North American Association of Wardens and Superintendents (NAAWS). In addition, he has presented on leadership-related topics at Texas Association of Counties (TAC), Texas Municipal League (TML), and others.
He recently published a series of books for law enforcement including Getting Healthy: 50 Lessons on Fitness for Law Enforcement and Leaving Blue: 50 Lessons on Retiring Well from Law Enforcement.
In 2014, Dr. Serio launched a wellness program for emergency dispatchers. The one-day class was piloted in Austin, Ft. Worth, Denton, and Houston to great reception. He is the co-author of Dispatcher Stress: 50 Lessons on Beating the Burnout and was co-founder of The Healthy Dispatcher. He is the founder of The 360° Dispatcher, delivering wellness programs across the United States and Canada. His forthcoming book is Dispatch Supervisor: 50 Lessons on Being a Great Leader. He has logged more than 100 hours at 9-1-1 centers listening to calls, talking with dispatchers, and interviewing supervisors.
He is currently the featured keynote speaker at all of Texas Municipal League’s (TML) Newly Elected Officials Conferences as well as a workshop presenter for TML. Dr. Serio has delivered several presentations at TML’s annual conference. He has also spoken at the City of Lancaster, the City of Cedar Park, the City of Buda, the City of Midland, the City of Big Lake Economic Development Council Awards Banquet, the Texas Municipal Retirement System Annual Conference, the Oklahoma City Managers Association Annual Conference, and others.
He is the author of Time Management: 50 Lessons on Finding Time for What’s Important; Emotional Intelligence: 50 Lessons on Knowing Who You’re Dealing With; Public Speaking: 50 Lessons on Presenting Without Losing Your Cool; and Overcoming Fear: 50 Lessons on Being Bold and Living the Dream.
Dr. Serio holds a Ph.D. in Criminal Justice with a specialization in Leadership and Organizational Behavior from Sam Houston State University (SHSU). SHSU is home to one of the top three criminal justice programs in the United States.
As part of a unique internship program during graduate school at the University of Illinois at Chicago, Dr. Serio was the only American to work in the Organized Crime Control Department of the Soviet national police (MVD). During his stay in 1990-91, he conducted groundbreaking research on Soviet organized crime and assisted in the preparation of Soviet police documents for international conferences. He had access to secret police intelligence reports and the national police archives.
The result of his research was the document, Soviet Organized Crime, which served as an important source in the early 1990s for the FBI, CIA, the Italian Ministry of Interior, the Chinese Ministry of Public Security, and other foreign governments as they realized that Russian organized crime constituted an important crime threat.
At the request of the Soviet national police, Dr. Serio translated from Russian to English a book of secret Soviet crime statistics that had been prepared for Mikhail Gorbachev and the Soviet Politburo.
During this same period (1988-1993), Dr. Serio was the founding director of a summer study program at one of the five law schools in the People’s Republic of China. The program brought law enforcement officers, lawyers, judges, and other criminal justice professionals from the United States, England, Italy, Argentina, South Africa, and other countries to Shanghai for one month each summer. The program included visits to Chinese prisons, neighborhood mediation committee meetings, courts, re-education through labor camps, and other criminal justice-related agencies.
Upon completing his M.A. in 1993, Dr. Serio returned to Moscow where he worked as a security consultant for three years. He helped foreign corporations understand the pitfalls of operating in Russia and interfaced with Russian police agencies to coordinate problem-solving measures.
In 1995-96, he worked as a Moscow-based consultant to the global corporate investigation and business intelligence firm, Kroll Associates. In 1997, he was named director of Kroll’s Moscow office, where he managed a wide variety of investigations across the former Soviet Union and coordinated with Kroll offices around the world. He also served as co-chair of the Security Committee of the American Chamber of Commerce in Moscow.
Dr. Serio is the author of the critically-acclaimed book, Investigating the Russian Mafia, and has delivered presentations to audiences in Russia, China, Canada, and the U.S. on Russian organized crime and security issues. His new book is Vodka, Hookers, and the Russian Mafia: My Life in Moscow.
In the 1990s, he worked in Moscow as a media consultant to The New York Times, The Washington Post, CNN, BBC, and other media outlets. He helped produce three documentaries on Russian crime, including going inside Russian prisons, for the television program Investigative Reports on the American cable channel, A&E. He was also instrumental in producing the first-ever newspaper series on the Russian mafia. The eight-part series, “Glasnost Gangsters,” appeared in the Chicago Tribune in 1991.
Dr. Serio has been interviewed by The New York Times, The Washington Post, The Wall Street Journal, Chicago Tribune, The Dallas Morning News, CNN, NBC News, Fox News, WGN Radio (Chicago), The European (UK), Legal Realm (China), Sekai Nippo (Japan), Sol de Mexico, and many others on the Russian mafia.
While pursuing the doctoral degree, Dr. Serio served as Project Manager in the Special Programs Division of the Correctional Management Institute of Texas (CMIT) at SHSU from 2005-2012. His responsibilities at CMIT included developing and hosting more than 100 conferences and training programs on a wide variety of topics.
During his tenure at CMIT, Dr. Serio developed a one-week media training course for state- and local-government personnel. Simulated one-on-one interviews as well as press conferences, complete with professional cameras, lighting, audiences, and question-and-answer period, were highlights of the program.
Dr. Serio also served for six years as Editor-in-Chief of the highly-regarded bi-monthly magazine, Crime and Justice International, which was produced at SHSU’s Criminal Justice Center and distributed to more than 25 countries.
While at SHSU, Dr. Serio was co-coordinator of the International Law Enforcement Academy (ILEA) in Roswell, New Mexico. This academy, established and overseen by the U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of International Narcotics and Law Enforcement, hosted law-enforcement personnel from around the world each month for a one-month program on a variety of criminal justice issues.