News & Media

Entertainment Industry Security and Film Set Protection: CEO Ben Payne and Risk Management Associates of Georgia

By Mollee Harper, Senior Editor
Georgia Film News
February 23, 2017

Georgia Film News met with President and CEO Ben E. Payne, CSA of Risk Management and Associates of Georgia to learn about the custom security solutions and protection they provide to celebrities and film production studios and sets. Payne shares how his Conyers-based firm of over 32 years has expanded its offering specifically to meet the needs of Georgia’s growing film industry over the past several years, including setting up a second office in Eatonton.

Payne shared, “When I started this company I had been in the industry for a while. I always noticed security companies could do one or two things but no one company covered it all. When I started RMA, I decided we were going to be a one stop shop. I want our clients to get everything they need in security and protection from one provider. We do it all.”

Payne offered, “The bulk of our business has been in the film industry and special events. I am an old retired police officer and have worked in security on the side my whole life. Early in my career, I provided security for several movies in Florida when I served as a police officer there. I also covered several movies early on with my first security business.”

He continued, “Security for the entertainment industry is a very demanding business. When I saw how much Georgia was ramping up in the entertainment industry, I decided to get back into it.”

Ben Payne, CEO of Risk Management Associates of Georgia

Risk Management Associates of Georgia (RMA) is a family-owned and operated, full-service, Security Solutions Company founded in 1996. Ben’s son, Jason officially joined the business in 2013 after serving 20 years in the Police Department and working in the business for many years. He serves as Vice President and over-sees operations for RMA. Together, the owners have over 40 years of combined service in law enforcement and security.

Payne shared, “We have two branches in Georgia. Jason runs our Conyers office and I run our Eatonton location. We opened our second location in Eatonton to meet the needs of all of the entertainment industry development and filming in the area. We hope to do work with Tytan Pictures and their new studio.”

Headquartered in Conyers, Georgia, RMA offers a wide array of security personnel, products and protection services to executive and high-profile clients including foreign dignitaries, entertainers and athletes. RMA special protective services include executive protection, corporate investigations, special event security, canines and handlers, and off duty law enforcement. RMA employs and/or contracts a wide range of security professionals including armed security guards, unarmed security guards, remote monitoring personnel, patrol services and hospitality security specialists.

Payne explained, “We have 50 full-time employees that work on location at local studios and other facilities. We also have a pool of 100 law enforcement officers that work in security for us as contractors, as needed. We typically use certified police officers for our management and armed positions. For movie locations, we have a pool of 250 part-time employees that provide unarmed security and patrol services.”

Payne offered, “We do a lot of shadowing and escorting for dignitaries without impeding what they are here to do. We make sure they get to where they need to be, providing transportation or following them. We inspect locations before they arrive, and find the safest and quickest routes to get them there and back. There’s actually a lot involved. The key is to inspect what you expect.”

He continued, “Many times, celebrities and entertainers have their own security with them when they arrive in town. Sometimes, we are hired to provide security at the location, keep fans under control and protect the equipment on location. Film locations can be anywhere including a cornfield, the woods or at one of the major production studios.”

“If a producer calls us and has a celebrity flying in. We can pick them up and deliver them where they need to be, on time safely. A lot of celebrities know they need security but don’t want it. We will shadow them while allowing them to feel unencumbered by our presence. We really provide full security services customized to our clients and their specific needs and circumstances,” he said.

RMA leverages state-of-the-art technology with their highly credentialed team of security professionals to provide clients with optimum security and protective services. RMA also provides loss prevention services and conducts private investigations.

Over the years, RMA has provided security and protected thousands of individuals, businesses and special events. RMA covered the 1996 Olympic Games in Atlanta as well as provided security for all 16 teams participating in the 1999 and 2003 Women’s World Cup.

“We pride ourselves on over 40 plus years in law enforcement and security. Our clients know they can count on that experience to provide the best security and protection for their celebrities, equipment and sets. I believe it makes a difference for those we still serve and protect.” Payne concluded. 

Ben Payne has served as President and CEO of Risk Management Associates of Georgia since 1985. Payne was chosen as Director of Security for the 1999 and 2003 World Cup Soccer tournaments, where he was responsible for 16 agents, developing security and safety policies and procedures, training and assigning agents to each participating team. He is a former Law Enforcement Officer serving in numerous roles including Acting Chief of Police, Director of Special Operations Unit and Commander of CID (Criminal Investigations Division) and Uniforms divisions.

Payne holds his Bachelor’s degree in Risk Management and his Master’s degree in Criminal Justice from Nova Southeastern University. He received his designation as a Certified Polygraph Examiner from the American International Institute of Polygraph and his Deputy Sheriff certification from Broward County Criminal Justice Institute. He is a United States Air Force Veteran.

Risk Management Associates of Georgia is a proud sponsor of Georgia Film News and a preferred partner for security services. For more information on Ben Payne and Risk Management Associates of Georgia visit their website at:


New physical therapy clinic offers a ‘breath of fresh air'

Physical Therapist Charles Eisele and Licensed PT Assistant Jennifer Carawan stand under the sign outside their new business on North Jefferson Avenue in downtown Eatonton. LYNN HOBBS / Staff

By Lynn Hobbs
The Eatonton Messenger
February 23, 2017

A new business in downtown Eatonton offers refreshment for people suffering pain due to an accident, surgery, illness or injury. Physical Therapist Charles Eisele and Licensed Physical Therapist Assistant Jennifer Carawan hosted a grand opening Jan. 17 of their new practice, Lake Country Physical Therapy.

“Physical therapy is a breath of fresh air when you are overwhelmed with your body not being able to do things you want to do because of pain due to an accident or sickness,” Carawan said. “Physical therapy teaches you how to adapt so you can move. It’s a newly-learned way of living.”

Located at 115 North Jefferson Avenue, next to The Rocking Horse, Lake Country PT has all the equipment and furnishings of a traditional facility, but the décor makes it seem more like a residential living room than a clinic.

“We wanted it to be like an extension of people’s homes so they would feel more comfortable,” Eisele explained; “and Jennifer did a great job making it that way.”

Eisele has been working at Putnam General Hospital or more than 20 years and recently decided to open his own private office. Carawan has 17 years of experience as an LPTA. They are still “brainstorming” on possibilities of types of services to offer through their new facility; but for now they are strictly PT.

“We stress individual treatment, quality versus volume,” Eisele said, noting they spend two hours with most of their clients, “There’s no rush to get out and the extra time doesn’t cost more. Also, they can have access to the facility after their treatment is completed.”

Visitors check out Lake Country Physical Therapy’s new location in downtown Eatonton during an Open House Jan. 17. SPECIAL TO THE MESSENGER / Rene Beddingfield


The two also make home visits for those who need it. For a client who had suffered a stroke, Carawan recently went with him to the grocery store, showing him how to maneuver the aisles and how to move to get items that were out of reach, according to Eisele.

“I had a lot of physical therapists after my stroke, but none like Jennifer. She is the most outstanding therapist I’ve run across,” Retired U.S. Army Colonel Billy Gavan said. “Not only is she perfect and confident, but she has the unique ability to relate to, motivate and inspire her patients to achieve their (goals). She actually cares about your health success. My beautiful wife, Kathryn, and I are a living testament to her service. Believe me, she’s a real gem.”

Charles Eisele and Jennifer Carawan, far right, celebrate with their family members, friends and clients as they cut the ribbon outside their new downtown Eatonton location. SPECIAL TO THE MESSENGER / Rene Beddingfield

Ruth Embry has seen Eisele for more than 20 years for neck surgeries, hyperextended elbow, planters fasciitis and three back surgeries. She said the pain from her last back surgery was constant, even though she was taking pain medications orally and via injections in her spinal column.

“I did that for two years with little relief,” Embry wrote in an email. She requested physical therapy, “and that is when I met Jennifer,” she said. “The program of therapy Jennifer put in place was nothing short of a miracle to me. In six weeks, I was experiencing little to no back pain for the first time in five years. I can now work in the yard, sweep the floor and play fetch with my dog. I will continue to use Charles and Jennifer for any physical therapy needs I might have in the future, and encourage everyone to call them.”

The office is available by appointment for doctor prescribed treatments and rehabilitation; call Eisele or Carawan at 706-473-2348.

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