Dr. Burkholder is a former Special Agent (SA) that worked for the Department of Homeland Security with the United States Secret Service for nine years.  From her small frame and 5’7” stature you would never have thought that this amazing woman once had duties that included protection details for the President, Vice-President and many foreign dignitaries. 
Dr. Burkholder was also an investigator of Identity Theft, Fraud, Money Laundering, Bank Fraud and Counterfeit in the Los Angeles Field Office.  Dr. Burkholder was also integral to the uncovering of an international identity theft organization that was based in Nigeria.  She is a member of the High-Noon Rotary Club and is also a licensed Clinical Christian Counselor in addition to many other involvements and achievements.
Dr. Burkholder gave us a very interesting history on the Secret Service which was started in 1865 originally to address the currency issues that the country was having because there was not one regulated set of currencies and those from different states often looked quite different.  However, after President Lincoln was shot the Secret Service also took on the duties of protecting the President, Vice-President and other dignitaries.  It was very interesting to learn that it is about a one-year process to even be accepted for training as a Special Agent.  There is an extensive background search, a 26-page application, many interviews, a polygraph, credit check, driving record check and many conversations with everyone who has ever known you. 
Once accepted the training is rigorous including physical training, fire arms training, currency training, law education, investigative training and mental health assessments.  Dr. Burkholder did training in Georgia and Maryland.  The Agents are even trained in real limos driving at top speeds and mock helicopters where they are strapped in and placed upside down under water and have to be able to get out.  YIKES!  Let’s just say I was having a small panic attack just listening to that part.  Dr. Burkholder completed all training with honors and awards and then went to work in the Los Angeles Field Office, where she worked for nine years.
Dr. Burkholder passed around very interesting information on how to spot counterfeit money and information that showed the variety of types of Agents that exist in the Secret Service.   She explained how detailed and extensive the plans are that go into protection of our leaders as well as dignitaries from other countries.  It takes a collaboration of local law enforcement, military and EOD dogs, along with the Secret Services and hundreds of hours of planning to successful pull off a protective detail. 
Dr. Burkholder confirmed for us that if you have seen “To Live and Die in LA” it’s real.  The job was filled with many dangers and she did have a couple of very scary experiences while serving as an Agent.  She answered many questions for us including letting us know that there are about 2400 Agents nationwide and only 700 or so are women.  She also let us know it takes about three-years and twenty-thousand dollars to train a Special Agent.  She also mentioned to us that the instincts she acquired while on the job will last the rest of her lifetime.  She never sits with her back to the door (and recommends that we don’t either) and you definitely don’t want to sneak up on her from behind!  She was truly a delight and it was a fun and extremely interesting program.  Hopefully she will come to speak with us again for those of you who missed her.