Meridian Leadership

Mc Connell Headshot



Jonathan served as an infantry officer in the United States Marine Corps. On his first deployment to Iraq, he commanded 3D Platoon (reinforced) Lima Company, 3D Battalion 2D Marines. Jonathan was charged with quelling the insurgency on the outskirts of Fallujah, Iraq and received personal combat decorations. On his second deployment to Iraq, Jonathan was the Executive Officer of Weapons Company 3D Battalion 2D Marines as well as 1ST Mobile Assault Platoon Commander. During this deployment, he maintained Battle Position Da’Nang in the Al Anbar Province near the Syrian border. His company was co-located with an Iraqi Army infantry company in which he was charged with training and conducting joint operations.

Upon completing his second tour in Iraq, Jonathan earned his law degree from the University of Alabama Law School and passed the Alabama Bar. In response to the attack on the Maersk Alabama in 2009, Jonathan, with his fellow Marines, sought a cost-effective solution to combating piracy. In 2009, Jonathan formed Meridian.US and began positioning embarked security teams on U.S. flagged vessels.

Anthony Sandoval

Anthony Sandoval

VP Logistics

Anthony Sandoval serves as the Operations Manager at Meridian Global Consulting, LLC. Prior to joining Meridian, Anthony held the rank of detective at the Sandy Springs Police Department. He was also a member of the North Metro S.W.A.T team in Atlanta, Georgia.

Anthony has held several roles within Meridian’s maritime and domestic security business over the years. As a veteran of both the United States Marine Corps and United States Army, Anthony has a proven track record of maximizing resource utilization, process development, and process improvement. He has an extensive background in security operations throughout high threat environments.

Anthony holds a Bachelor of Science degree from the American Military University.

He enjoys spending time with family and traveling abroad. He is a recipient of the Bronze Star and Navy Achievement Medal with Combat “V” among numerous other personal awards.

Meridian US James Black

James Black

VP of Government Contracts

James is a retired Air Force Senior Master Sergeant (E-8) and Government Procurement Officer with more than 26 years of comprehensive expertise in the total procurement life cycle, acquisition, and organizational management functions. He provides government contracting advice, bid capture strategies, risk assessment, and S.W.O.T. analysis specializing in compliance, proposal management, and project management. He spent a year in Afghanistan training Afghan National Air Corps military officers and soldiers in procurement planning and supply chain management.

Lester Company Photo

Rickie Lester

Operations Manager

Rickie Lester joined Meridian Global in 2009 as a Maritime Security Team Leader. During his tenure with Meridian he has conducted many overseas missions for many different clients all over the world. In February 2020, Rickie was promoted to an operations manager. Rickie has extensive knowledge of what Meridian contractors need to succeed. Rickie ensures that Meridian contractors complete any and all future missions.

Rickie was awarded an associate degree in Criminology from Wake Technical Community College. Prior to this, Rickie was a Sergeant in the United States Marine Corps. In the four years he was enlisted in the Marines he was deployed to Afghanistan in 2004 and Iraq twice in 2005 and 2006.

Ryen Gorman High Resolution

Ryen Gorman

Logistics Manager

Ryen Gorman joined Meridian in 2022 as a Logistics Manager. Raised in Mobile, AL, Ryen is deeply rooted in the local community. His career in logistics began in brokerage as a freight solutions consultant. He later worked as a terminal manager for a chemical transportation company. Now, on our team, he works to bring cost-effective solutions to our clients for all of their shipping needs.