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About Us



Who we are...

Spartan Solutions International, is a strategic entity, which falls under the umbrella of Security Management International (SMI), a leading global security consulting and intelligence advisory firm.  Established in 2010, SMI is headquartered in Vienna, Virginia with satellite offices in Florida, Alabama, and London.  We are proud to be the leading experts in the CIA's CARVER Methodology... training thousands of students from law enforcement, military, the intelligence community, academia, and over two dozen Fortune 500 companies. 


CARVER+ has a unique US Government defense contracting capability in Astra Solutions LLC.  Established in 2020, Astra specializes in Systems Engineering and Technical Assistance (SETA), procurement, advisory, security, product prototyping and development services for the Federal Government and commercial customers.  Astra is a certified HUBZone, Service-Disabled Veteran Woman-Owned Small Disadvantaged Business (SDVOWOSB, SDB).


Our CARVER+ software is the culmination of decades worth of global critical infrastructure experience, years of software development (all of it in Huntsville, Alabama by U.S. software engineers with government security clearances), and thousands of hours of beta testing by the toughest critics in the public and private security sectors.  

Visit the SMI Website
Visit the Astra Website

Meet our leadership team...

Meet the people who you would work directly with for your CARVER+ software subscription.

Luke Bencie, Managing Director

As a former intelligence professional, Luke Bencie has been a consultant to the US Department of State, US Department of Defense, Fortune 500 companies, as well as foreign governments.  He has worked in over 100 countries and has trained thousands of domestic and international students from the military, law enforcement, and intelligence community on the CARVER Methodology.  He serves on the board of Moffitt Cancer Research Center and is an advisor on Cybersecurity and Global Affairs to the University of South Florida Muma Business School.

Nicholas Waugh, Director of Operations 

Nicholas Waugh has over 20 year’s experience with conducting intelligence activities.  His most recent assignment was serving as the Assistant Chief Security Officer for United States Army Space and Missile Defense Command (SMDC).  Prior assignments include serving as the Director of Security for the Counter-Unmanned Aerial System Program Office, Director of Security for the Army Fixed Wing Project Office, Deputy Director of Security for the Joint Attack Munitions System Project Office, and Anti-Terrorism Officer for the U.S. Army 59th Ordnance Brigade.

Shannan Starling, Director of Government Services

A former Warfighter and Combat Veteran, Astra Solutions CEO and Founder Shannan Starling has a passion for supporting Warfighter needs and helping clients meet customer requirements. She is an experienced industrial base executive with a strong track record of exceeding customer requirements and expectations. Ms. Starling retired from the U.S Air Force after 23 years of service and a myriad of duty stations and operational deployments. After retiring, she supported the Missile Defense Agency (MDA) providing direct support to senior leadership on system level integration issue resolution across their $9B Missile Defense System (MDS) program. 

Leo Labaj, Director of Critical Infrastructure 

Leo "The Godfather of CARVER" Labaj served in the US Navy for seven years before transferring to the CIA as Bomb Technician for another 24 years.  Leo supported several overseas assignments to include Jordan, El Salvador and Germany.  He was apart of the team that was assigned to develop the CARVER methodology as a defensive tool to protect critical infrastructure assets.  Following his retirement from the CIA, Leo went to work as a security expert at the Y-12 Nuclear Complex, Raytheon Company, and finally SMI.  Leo has over 50 years experience protecting some of the worlds most critical assets.

See what people have to say about us...  

For fourteen years, SMI has been a global security consultancy based out or the Washington D.C. area.  We have worked with nearly every U.S. federal agency in either a training, consulting, or research capacity.  Hear what our clients have to say about us.

"At SMI you are going to get the people who are the real experts." 

                  - William Esposito, Former Deputy Director of the FBI

"After I officially retired from government service, I opened my own international security consulting firm, Jones Group International (JGI), to continue the fight. We have partnered with SMI on numerous projects, and we continue to use the CARVER methodology to help our clients identify where their operations are exposed." 

    - General Jim Jones, Former U.S. National Security Advisor

"The fact that the CARVER+ software is made in America - much of it in Huntsville by engineers with security clearances - gives us peace of mind." 

                  - Senior Security Official at Redstone Arsenal

"I'm privileged to have had the opportunity to work with SMI - a team of professionals who understand intelligence, counterintelligence, and how to counter threats in ways that I have not seen through other companies." 

    - Michael Sulick, Former Chief of the CIA's National Clandestine Service

"SMI and CARVER+ are revolutionizing the way security is performed here in the Middle East." 

    - Major General Yousef Mansour, Land Forces of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (retired)