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Erik Ronningen

Erik Ronningen

Last person to escape the South Tower before it collapsed

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Fee Range: 10000-19999
  • An oboist, at the age of 17 performed a season with the National Symphony Orchestra, Washington, D.C.
  • Published Author of award winning book, FROM THE INSIDE OUT, Harrowing Escapes from the Twin Towers of the World Trade Center – September 11, 2001
  • Received a U.S. Patent: System and Method for Controlled Asset Disposition
  • Commissioned a Second Lieutenant in the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers
  • Commander of a NATO nuclear weapons site in the European Theater of Operations
  • Architected the World Trade Center’s security access control system
  • Post 9/11 developed a Personnel Assurance Security Program highly acclaimed by DHS, TSA, FBI, and USCBP
  • Entrepreneur with several business startups
  • Member of two business Board of Directors and one Board of Advisors
  • Security Specialist
  • Veteran

Erik was the last person to escape the South Tower of the World Trade Center on September 11th before it collapsed. After the dust settled, he immersed himself in the urgent task of ascertaining who, and who did not survive. To facilitate this, he developed a photo-victim identification-database reconstituted from the damaged World Trade Center access control system and delivered the results to the 9/11 Commission.

As a public speaker, Erik has keynoted at various national and international security venues, high schools, elementary schools, and Church groups, as well as Navy Seal Teams, Army Delta Teams, and the FBI’s Director of the Terrorist Screening Center and his staff. Additionally, he has been sought out for numerous radio and television interviews.

Each presentation is crafted to the specific group’s relevance. The main theme is, of course, the harrowing escapes from the Twin Towers of the World Trade Center. Some of the takeaways woven into the presentation—targeted for the audience—are: Lessons Learned Dealing with Adversity; Stay Calm, Think Clearly, Make Right Decisions; Don’t Put Off Until Tomorrow; Keep on Keeping on—Never Give Up; Principles of Leadership—Personal Example is Without Superiority… A question and answer period is always welcomed and encouraged.

An Army brat, Erik trained as a professional classical oboist, and at the age of 17 performed the summer season with the National Symphony Orchestra. Receiving his commission upon graduation from the Valley Forge Military Academy, he began his professional career as a 2nd Lieutenant in the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers serving on the border of the Iron Curtain as commander of a NATO nuclear weapon’s site.

Erik is the author of the prestigious 2014 Ella Dickey literary award-winning book, FROM THE INSIDE OUT, Harrowing Escapes from the Twin Towers of the World Trade Center, September 11, 2001, a chronology of his harrowing escape, interwoven with the accounts of fourteen others lucky enough to be able to recount them. He is the Principal of Consolidated Consulting Group, LLC, a security-consulting firm and service provider of Life-Safety Personnel Assurance. A native of Baraboo, WI, Mr. Ronningen resides in Mamaroneck, NY.


The subject is always a riveting inside perspective of my experiences escaping those fiery, doomed towers. Depending on the audience, I’ll emphasize aspects of interest to first responders; or to businesses the importance of having emergency preparedness plans in place and practiced; or to church groups, that His angels are as much in evidence today as they were in the Old Testament; and to everyone in general, the importance of maintaining self-control in emergency situations- from a sprained ankle, a minor fender-bender, to a tall building falling down around one. There are so many practical, everyday lessons learned that I emphasize as “take aways,” to be applied in our everyday lives that prepare us to deal more objectively with personal difficulty. The benefits being a greater asset to oneself, one’s family, community, and business.

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