Kevin Nelmes has always been in the business of helping others. With more than 20 years of experience working in private security on the periphery of the intelligence community, as well as 15 years working for local fire and emergency medical services (EMS) in Southwest Florida, he has taken his educational background in management and used it as a way to grow personally and professionally, all while continuing to help others in need.
Long before Nelmes discovered Hodges University and its management program, he built a career for himself in hospitality. Growing up surrounded by family members in the military, his interest was piqued and he pursued what would become a 20+-year career in private security, tactical medicine and explosive detection with working K9s. Above all, his true passion has always been directly related to anti-human trafficking efforts abroad and helping innocent children in whatever countries he was sent to.
Although much of his work remains sensitive in nature, Nelmes became accustomed to reading and tracking people, which saw him traveling to various countries throughout the world working to stop the criminal industry of human trafficking. However, after spending six years working full time and constantly traveling, life presented the opportunity for him to settle down.
“I told myself, ‘I need to leave all this behind me. I want to start a family,” so I decided to become an emergency medical technician (EMT) in 2002 and a firefighter the same year,” he said. “Psychologically, I had witnessed the balance of taking life, so I shifted to the other side, and it’s a unique swing. My passion to help people never changed, I just repositioned and redeployed different skill sets.”
Volunteering locally, he gained full-time employment in 2003, and after years of working in fire and EMS, he earned an associate degree in emergency medical services technology at Edison College, which is now known as Florida SouthWestern State College (FSW). He began teaching several classes for the American Heart Association (AHA) such as Basic Life Support (BLS), Advanced Cardiac Life Support (ACLS) and Pediatric Advanced Life Support (PALS) at what is now Physicians Regional Healthcare System, and he began serving as an adjunct faculty member at FSW.
In 2008, Nelmes began looking for ways to upgrade his skill set, saying, “I knew I wanted to continue to teach, and as fire and EMS progressed, I knew I needed to get a baccalaureate degree. I wanted to take teaching to a new level, and I had to assimilate into the growing model in order to teach within the fire and EMS field.”
After speaking to individuals in fire/EMS and law enforcement, Nelmes learned of Dr. John Meyer, who taught management at Hodges University. Hearing positive feedback from those who enjoyed his style of teaching, Nelmes enrolled in the university’s Bachelor of Science in management (BSM) wheel program in 2008 but was forced to withdraw due to medical concerns. However, in 2010, Nelmes returned to continue the management program.
“I chose the BSM program at Hodges University, and I can honestly say, mainly because of Dr. Meyer. It is unique in that you can steer your projects toward areas you are passionate about. There was no limitation in terms of cultivating diversity in students or application of the material,” he said. “Dr. Meyer made the material come alive; he could connect with the room, the individual and the concept at every single point. He is one of my greatest inspirations for teaching.”
As part of the BMS program, students learn about finance, evaluating human resources and human capital, and they receive an overall background in management and leadership techniques in preparation for managing a company and/or organization.
While in the program, Nelmes found himself immersed in research for various projects, one in particular that focused on the creation of a best practices security model to be used by the canine program in Nigeria to thwart the efforts of Boko Haram through explosive detection.
Graduating in 2011, Nelmes continued to teach at FSW but in 2013, he accepted the position of campus director of a private college on the east coast of Florida. Managing a staff of 22 and several concurrent paramedic, EMT and phlebotomy programs at a for-profit college, he admits, “My degree and my life skills, as presented in the portfolio format, allowed me to compete with those in a specific skill set.”
Looking to broaden his reach in the canine world, he redeployed what he learned and taught from 'the military's lessons learned' in Programs of Instruction (POI) format and transitioned them to select civilians, federal law enforcement, and specialized staff supporting the United States Special Operations Forces (USSOF) community, utilizing and integrating working canine medical care programs. As a result, in 2016 he was selected by Special Operations Medical Association (SOMA) to become an instructor and improve its model.
Combining his professional, educational and personal experience, Nelmes spends much of his time teaching for organizations such as Special Operations Medical Association (SOMA), Urban Shield, the National Association of Emergency Medical Technicians (NAEMT), Tactical Combat Casualty Care (TCCC), Tactical Emergency Casualty Care (TECC), and the Committee for TECC/K9-TECC Working Group.
In addition, not only is he continuing to work for local fire and EMS, but he returned to his alma mater in August 2017 to serve as an adjunct faculty member and plans to attend Argosy University to earn a master’s degree in industrial organization and psychology starting in January 2018. He has also been referenced as a Subject Matter Expert (SME) in a newly written book by Robert Scali, a former United States Army Special Forces medic (18D), called "Unconventional Close Protection Training Manual."