Categorized | Social Entrepreneur

Connecting the Dots with Awareness and Accountability

Rick Shaw - MOAT

Rick Shaw

What do you get when you combine Awareness and Accountability? Awareity! Small business entrepreneur, Rick Shaw, spent several years in the corporate world before realizing numerous opportunities to solve escalating problems and widespread challenges in organizations around the world.

Rick’s background includes over 27 years of experience in people management, risk management, information management, emergency management, compliance management and safety management. Rick has worked for large global companies, as well as regional companies and started his first company in January of 1998. Rick’s first company (CorpNet Security) focused on technology solutions and performing risk assessments and vulnerability assessments. However, Rick’s visionary and innovative expertise helped him to see the need for solving significant problems with lack of awareness and lack of accountability at the individual level, so he began developing visionary tools and changed the company name to Awareity.

Visionary Services

Awareity’s initial service, MOAT, was developed to help organizations improve ongoing situational awareness of organizational policies, procedures, roles and many other requirements. MOAT (Managed Ongoing Awareness and Trust) is a web-based suite of tools that combines awareness reminders and training with an awareness vault to ensure customized policies, procedures, training documents, etc. are securely shared with the right people and updated as risks, requirements, responsibilities, etc. change.





MOAT is utilized by schools, colleges, state agencies, counties, law enforcement agencies, health care organizations and financial organizations to ensure all employees (and third-parties) understand their individual roles for:

  • Regulatory Compliance
  • Information Security
  • Information Privacy
  • Safety
  • Security
  • Ethics
  • Legal
  • Employment
  • And much more…

MOAT provides comprehensive tools to track and document every individual’s progress and their acknowledgements and certifications with on-demand reporting metrics.

Incidents like Columbine, Virginia Tech and Fort Hood revealed a widening gap in the ability for organizations to identify red flags and warning indicators before violent acts occurred. In 2009, Awareity began the development of TIPS (Threat Assessment, Incident Management and Prevention Services) to help organizations and schools encourage individuals (students, staff, employees, parents, community members, third-parties, etc.) to report suspicious incidents, red flags, weapons, bullying, etc. and ensure the appropriate personnel were notified for immediate and documented actions.

TIPS empowers individuals (victims, bystanders, others) to report suspicious incidents anonymously or non-anonymously. Then once an incident is reported, the appropriate team members are automatically notified and must login to the secured system to review and acknowledge the incident report. The actions of team members are documented and shared with authorized team members to improve communications, prevention efforts and to ensure a coordinated response. TIPS enables multiple teams across multiple departments and locations to connect and maintain an ongoing timeline of responses and follow-up actions, so red flags and at-risk individuals do not fall through the cracks.

TIPS can be utilized for bullying/safety concerns as well as ethics, information security incidents, employment concerns, personnel issues, fraud, as an employee suggestion/feedback tool and etc.

Lessons Learned

Rick’s experiences and Awareity’s ongoing research help to understand and proactively solve underlying and widespread problems and disconnects that create challenges for most every organization.

The most valuable asset for most every organization is People and unfortunately the weakest link for most every organization is People. How can this be? Organizations are failing to connect the dots when it comes to People and Processes – including policies, procedures, regulations, roles, responsibilities, best practices, legal due diligence, guidelines, ethics, culture and many other “dots”. Organizations lack the tools to ensure situational awareness and accountability and measurability at the individual-level which leads to problems and disconnects, and a lack of ongoing sustainability to keep pace with new risks, regulations, obligations and challenges.

Rick has always been passionate about the safety of students and helping all young adults explore their ideas and dreams for the future. Unfortunately many schools and universities are struggling to ensure the safety of students and their communities because they are not connecting all the dots. Suicides, truancy, depression, alcohol, drugs, workplace violence and too many other expensive and embarrassing incidents are threatening the safety of students. Lessons learned validate mounting challenges, problems, disconnects and liabilities in schools and while lawmakers believe creating more laws will help, schools do not have the right tools to keep pace with changing laws, risks, regulations, legal due diligence and maintaining situational awareness, accountability, measurability and sustainability.

Helping Prevent the Consequences

Awareity’s tools are utilized across the Nation by tens of thousands of current users. However, MOAT and TIPS have only made a small dent in the number of organizations that need help connecting the dots and improving People’s awareness and accountability of procedures, roles and many other Processes.

Awareity’s solutions cost less than the costs the organization incurs using traditional labor-based efforts, paper-based efforts, megaphone-based approaches and spreadsheet tracking efforts. Costs for Awareity’s tools are based on the quantity of employees and/or students, so scalability is excellent for both small organizations and large enterprises.

A Community and Global Effort

School and campus safety is a community and global challenge, and Awareity has launched a community-based initiative to help meet today’s and tomorrow’s challenges. Our future is in the hands of the students in schools today and it is critical that all students have the opportunity to learn in a safe and secure environment.

Bullying and cyber bullying affect over 80% of students and can lead to truancy, suicide, violence, weapons, depression and more. Prevention and Intervention are key, but organizations cannot prevent something they don’t know about so TIPS is needed to empower individuals (students, parents, administrators, staff, faculty, community members, law enforcement, etc.) to report warning signs and incidents. To learn more about how you can work with Awareity to help prevent the consequences of bullying and school violence, visit

Using Social Media to Expand Reach

As a small business, social media has a huge impact on the way Awareity communicates with customers, business partners and prospects. Over the last two years, Awareity has been working diligently to establish an online presence through social networks, including Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn. Twitter is used to announce new projects, press releases, etc., but also to share relevant news stories and lessons learned with Awareity followers. Information is critical and Awareity is helping their clients to implement lessons learned ongoing by utilizing real world stories and case studies ongoing.

Awareity has also created several user groups on LinkedIn to help connect existing and future clients and encouraging them to share feedback regarding MOAT and TIPS and how the services are utilized within their organizations to improve operations, reduce costs and leverage limited time and resources.

Customer Service and Client Feedback

Awareity’s tools are constantly evolving to meet the everyday demands and needs of their clients. The best advice for Awareity comes from the feedback of their customers, and it is a priority of Awareity to maintain open communications with customers and address their ongoing needs.

The Trials and Tribulations of a Small Business Entrepreneur

Success did not come easy for Rick Shaw and Awareity, but what kept the company moving forward was Rick’s ability to remain dedicated to his experiences and lessons learned and to not give up when naysayers did not see the immediate value. Rick has learned to be more patient with timing and has often said, “I do not control timing, but I can control if we are ready to act when the timing is right. So keep your faith in God and in yourself and be willing to listen and watch for when the timing is right.”

Rick Shaw


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