Category Archives: Benjamin Alozie

ICON Academy Executive Protection Social Summit Speakers List

 

Summit Group (Circuit Ad) 1

Executive & Celebrity Protection – The Overlooked Components
Elijah Shaw, Director
The ICON AcademyElijah Shaw hosts an interactive round-table discussion with an engaging mix of seasoned veterans and talented journeymen, challenging both the audience and the panel to strategize solutions to elevate the craft, and figure out how to combat the negative stereotypes that plague our industry. Present the scenario. Ask the Network. Solve the Problem.

Surviving An Active Shooter – Lessons Learned From Kenyan Mall And Other Places Around The World
Mark “Six” James, Executive Director
Panther Protection ServicesPresented from an Executive Protection perspective, the topic focuses on understanding the psychology and mindset of the shooter, the respective environmental conditions and the tactics required to survive an active shooting situation. We all know the profession is a serious one, but in an active shooter environment, every decision made could mean the difference between life and death.

Beyond Getting Noticed – “Getting Selected”
Eric Konohia, President
BPI GroupThe important step from a decision maker that weighs far heavier than even getting noticed is the process in which they make final selection. The underlying factor in the final selection is TRUST. Learn the several factors in which TRUST is measured and evaluated as discussed from a decision maker’s perspective.

Perform As Advertised
Raffaele Di Giorgio, CEO
Global Options & SolutionsIt has to be more than a catchphrase. Do we understand that doing extraordinary things does not take an extraordinary skill set? Instead, it takes a mastery of the basics and the ability to perform them flawlessly under extreme circumstances. There are many that claim they work the craft, but when the challenges occur, how will they respond?

Nigeria: The Anatomy Of An Attack On Principal By Someone Arms Length Away
Benjamin Alozie, International Director
ICON GlobalSince the last Summit, the slogan, “Real World vs. Textbook” has made its way into the lexicon of many Executive Protection Specialists, however, nowhere is it more apparent than when working international. Benjamin Alozie presents a sanitized but 100% true account of the stakes that go into protecting a High Net Worth Individual in a third world country when an attack occurs.

Special Guest Speaker
Transitioning From the Military to Civilian Protection Work
Dr. Leonard C. Holifield, CPS, CGSP, CHS
President/CEO/Founder

IAEPAExploring the process of individuals such as myself coming out of the military service and transitioning from Military Service into Civilian Life. How do you do that and create a successful career in Executive Protection, Security or Law Enforcement? The reality is, many soldiers come out of the service with the “Military Mind-Set”, one that can be either a “Hindrance” or a “Benefit” depending on how it is used in the industry. Join me in shedding light on the transitioning process using my own personal experiences and others who have successfully crossed over from military service into the private security field.

Special Guest Speaker
Continuing Education – The Pathway to Industry Success
Misty Ladd, M.S, CPP, PCI, CPOI
Manager of Security Services

Whelan SecurityIn the current mindset of global security concerns what is the next evolution in the career of the modern day professional? This presentation will cover several theories about how today’s professional Protector can add value to an organization or client, and become more successful by continuing their education. It is not enough in this competitive economic environment to simply perform your daily tasks- you must train and educate to create your own “brand”. Certifications available, educational programs, and other tips will be offered to guide a current practitioner (whether novice or expert) through the process of obtaining industry success through the benefits of continued education.

Special Keynote Speaker
Best Practices for Protecting The Affluent
Dr. Paul Viollis Sr., PH.D.
CEO

Risk Control StrategiesWealth brings considerable attention and security exposure to families across the globe. Dr. Paul Michael Viollis, Sr., CEO of Risk Control Strategies (RCS), the nation’s leading security adviser to the high-net worth community, is a renowned expert on workplace security, counter terrorism threat assessment, and private client security, providing security solutions to affluent community for many years. By giving pragmatic advice and strategic countermeasures, Dr. Viollis supplies a security blueprint that can not only be deployed during a crisis, but can also help to preemptively mitigate risks.

Agenda

  • Validating the threat level
  • Conducting the vulnerability assessment
  • Creating secure electronic communications
  • Crafting the crisis management & emergency response plan
  • Implementing thorough employer/contractor background screening
  • Establishing an investigative due diligence process prior to all relationships/investments
  • Estate security protocols and Home invasions countermeasures
  • Travel security / personal protection
  • Safeguarding luxury assets (i.e., Yachts, Aircraft, Art)
  • Special event security

 

 

To learn more about the 2nd Annual ICON Academy Executive Protection Social Summit, Click HERE

Principal Protection, Lessons Learned Book Q&A

Principal Protection; Lessons Learned

 

A Q&A between Benjamin Alozie of the Summit Group  & R.E. “Rick” Colliver, Author of Principal Protection; Lessons Learned

 

First off, how did you come up with the title of the book, Principal Protection; Lessons Learned?

Good question, answerable in two parts…having been a student of the art since 1977 (my first detail was actually for President Gerald Ford in 1974, but I was a military “volunteer” for that one), I noticed how different schools and different protection personnel couldn’t agree on what it was we did for a living…Executive Protection, Dignitary Protection, Personal Protection etc. So I looked at what our job was and broke it down to the basics: we protect Principals. Henceforth, the course that we developed for the Ohio Peace Officer Training Academy carried that name. Depending on where you find your career taking you, the skills you learn protecting a military officer in a combat theater can help you transition to protecting a corporate executive. The skills you learned protecting a Governor, could also prepare you to protect a football player or entertainer. You still protect Principals.

The second part of the answer is that we live in an era where people want to know “why” as often as they want to know “what”. In other words, why do we do something this way or that way”?   When you look at how protection has evolved over the past three thousand years, you’ll see that almost every significant development that got us where we are today, occurred as a result of someone getting assaulted or killed. As a matter of procedure, almost all of the big details require a debrief at the conclusion of every protection mission. This gives participants a chance to analyze what went right and what went wrong. Thus, we improve our performance and capabilities by analyzing “lessons learned”.

I’m sorry to say that I didn’t invent anything in the book…no patents on new technology, no major improvements in any process. All I did was bring together the teachings of a great many professionals who, every time they got bloodied on the job, got back up and figured out a new way to do things.

 

What inspired you to make the commitment to sit down and write the book?

Actually, it started out as handouts that we used in our protection classes to support lectures. Every year, the handouts got larger and larger, and one day the OPOTA course coordinator said, “Why don’t you write a book?” As I was driving home scratching my head, it suddenly hit me that I already had most of the research and material knocked out. I just put it all together…which probably explains why it won’t win any awards for impeccable continuity.

 

Please forgive me, however this is a serious question, in the digital age of YouTube and Facebook, do people even read anymore?

Good friend and Varro Press President Michael Nossaman and I have had several discussions about the trends in print vs. electronic media. I think we are seeing a gradual reduction in printed text and an increase in online sources and electronic readers like Kindle. The libraries of the past may soon fit into your pocket. With that in mind, I will be making Principal Protection; Lessons Learned available on Kindle after the first of the year. I am also working with an applications engineer and a former broadcast journalist to create an app for cell phones that will facilitate advance work and protective intelligence collation, while on the road.  More to follow on that!

 

What were some of the challenges that you encountered while writing the book?

Continuity and innovation. Because this was pieced together over a 15-20 year period, it was a challenge to make sure what made it into final print was current and accurate, and fit together with all the other pieces. Also, there have been a hundred or so books written about protection over the years and I wanted this one to be different. Unfortunately, as I said, there’s nothing “new” in there. I just took the old stuff and put it all together in a format that gives you what you need in a compact package. Hopefully though, we give readers a comprehensive reference that will help them do their jobs.

 

Why should Principal Protection; Lessons Learned, be on the read list of professionals in the industry?

This is not another “how-to” book on protection – it is more of a “why-to”. Security is one of the first line-items to get reduced in a corporate budget, because we aren’t seen as a profit center. Add to that the IRS Rule that makes some organizations report their EP costs in public filings, and we quickly see how the burden falls to provide adequate protection at minimal cost. This means that we can’t afford to send 4-agent details everywhere the Protectee goes. We have to manage protection according to anticipated risk, threat and exposure. Thus, if we can educate security managers with “why” we need to do things, then they can use their own creativity to implement successful protection plans even when they don’t have human assets on duty. Teaching people how to walk around in a Diamond formation, or how to ram a car, really doesn’t do this. Those are reactive skills, which, when you think about it are totally subordinate to our protective mission — which is to prevent intentional and unintentional harm from affecting the Protectee. We are hired to keep them out of harm’s way – not to stage dramatic rescues…spinning back-kicks…mid-air interception of speeding bullets and the like. Protection specialists need to have a personal toolbox full of both hard and soft skills. However, in the long run, the soft skills will keep you and your boss alive longer.

 

Are there any emerging security trends that you think Protectors need to take notice of in order to more successfully operate in the years to come?

Technologically, we are seeing more things done by video analytics that used to be done by humans. I encourage everyone to attend an ASIS conference sometime just to find out what kinds of new products are hitting the market. You need to be able to successfully integrate electronic and human security programs that support the Protectee’s business objectives, so that they will feel that you are adding value.

Protection specialists need to increase their personal training portfolios to include topics like Crisis Management, Disaster Response and Environmental Health and Safety. I know we all enjoy the hands-on training like shooting and car-spinning, but are we familiar with the difference between a rickettsia and a virus, or the various ways that anthrax can be introduced into the human system. Wouldn’t it be a shame that as we did our bomb sweep of the venue, we walked right past a chemical weapon because we didn’t know what it was? If you have a tornado or earthquake affecting thousands or millions of people, do you have a plan to get around?

 

Is there any other specific advice you would like to share with your audience beyond the pages of the book?

Build your network. Attend events like EPIC and the ICON Summit because that’s where you will meet people that can make your job easier. Take professional training from qualified schools because that will get your professional network started. When you complete an EP program, the people in your graduating class will be your friends and peers for the rest of your career!

 

 

R. E. “Rick” Colliver has served as the global security director for two multi-national corporations with operations in 24 time zones, and has managed protection details on four continents. He is the course developer and lead instructor in the Principal Protection program at the Ohio Peace Officer Training Academy and is an adjunct instructor in protective operations through several police, military and academic organizations. He has held security clearances with the US DoD and DHS, and serves as an advisory board member with the American Board for Certification in Dignitary and Executive Protection, and a Council Member for the Protective Security Council.

Benjamin Alozie is a member of the Summit Group and the International Director of ICON Global, responsible for the development and implementation of policies and procedures of the firms international operations.  Benjamin has extensive experience working on multiple continents with a special emphasis on Africa and Europe.  With a background that includes the ability to speak 7 different languages and multiple dialects, Benjamin has conducted long term Protective Assignments for Foreign Heads of States traversing the world.

 

Purchase Principal Protection; Lessons Learned HERE.  Meet Rick Colliver and discuss his book and other Executive Protection Industry Topics at the 2nd Annual ICON Academy Social Summit.  Learn more about the Summit HERE.

 

 

 

A Woman’s Perspective: ICON Executive Protection Course Review

 

The ICON Celebrity and VIP Protection Training Course is truly an essential course for anyone wanting to enter the industry of Executive Protection. A truly engaging program, from Day One, Elijah Shaw immerses his trainees in understanding the world of celebrity protection.

Through a combination of lecture, followed by hands-on drills, his teaching style is well-absorbed by
anyone willing to learn. Mr. Shaw and his staff present the course with real-world experiences,so trainees know what to expect, what not to do and not to do and more importantly how to prevent threatening situations from occurring and what to do when they do. I decided to take the course because I had an interest in becoming a bodyguard.

After researching for what seemed to be days on end, trying to find a training course that I felt would be most beneficial to me as a beginner. What’s more, the ICON course was the one of the few courses I’d seen that openly advertised and encouraged women to take their course. Although I had already been leaning toward training with ICON, just that small amount of encouragement solidified my decision. I was truly happy in my decision because since my first inquiry for information, I received a prompt response and felt welcomed.

I felt the same welcoming environment throughout the course. The course is set up to give you the essentials needed to get started in the industry. As I stated before, the course is completely immersive and drills into you the main objective: protecting the principle. The course trains you to constantly think critically about your situation and environment and how to be proactive. It trains you on how protecting isn’t always matching or one-upping force, which particularly hit home and was a challenge for me, coming from previous law enforcement training and working in private security. Most importantly, it introduces you to the demanding nature of the job and how to remain on your game through mental, physical and emotional fatigue. Remembering,  “Mindset is Key.”

Overall, my experience was truly amazing. I would recommend ICON’s Celebrity and VIP Protection course to all men and women looking to get into the industry, as well as currently active protection agents. If you’re looking for real-life, in your face, no fluff training, ICON Services Corporation is where you want to begin. Coming from a law enforcement and private security background, this course instilled in me the true meaning of protection and gave me the foundation on how to build my skills to master the art of protection.

Bryttani Tyner
April 2013 CPC Alumni

brytt1
Vehicle Embussing/Debussing Drills. Practiced over and over to achieve proficiency.

 

To learn more about the ICON Academy Executive Protection Course, click HERE.

Mindset is Key

 

Today I completed 18 straight days of training. Even as the instructor it was mentally and physically taxing but ultimately very rewarding to see see people make a concentrated effort to achieve their goals. I remember several years ago when I was first encouraged by a very reputable training academy to share some of the things I know (in a formal setting) I thought “how the heck am I going to accomplish this and still DO the work?” Fast forward to 2013 and I’m still trying to keep all the plates spinning as an active operator, academy instructor, business owner and most importantly, father.

Special thanks to my support system for the massive help along the journey.

2013 Executive Protection Training

The ICON Executive Protection Academy is happy to announce that by all accounts our first training course of 2013 was a success.  As previous alumni of the program will tell you, each class we try and introduce something different into our core curriculum, and i’m happy to say the tradition continued.    In keeping with our promise to deliver contemporary training by instructors that don’t teach “theory” but are actively involved on a full time basis in  the art of Executive Protection, working the craft day in and day, out around the world.

Special thanks to  Mark James:  Internationally published author and CEO of Panther Protective ServicesEric Konohia:  CEO of BPI SecurityBenjamin Alozie:  ICON Director of International Operations , and Raffaele Di Giorgio:  CEO of Global Options and Solutions for your assistance in a fully immersive and engaging course. 

 

Photo Jan 29, 9 55 31 PM

 

** Next Course Dates **  

March 20-24th, 2013 (5 Day Celebrity & VIP Protection)

Maarch 25-April 3rd, 2013 (10 Day Advanced Executive Protection)

 

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It’s also no secret that training is expensive and the market is competitive.  To assist with that we have developed a pioneering special finance department  which offers the opportunity for installment payments as well as full scholarships.  Click HERE to learn more.

 

For more information on the programs click HERE.  **Also, just ask and we’ll put you in touch with previous graduates of the program.  Ask about their experiences while at the class, and more importantly, if the program assisted them professionally upon completion.

South Africa CEO of Chrysler Shot

Chrysler’s South Africa CEO was wounded during a robbery outside Johannesburg over the weekend.

Three men attacked Trent Barcroft and his wife, Cathy, on Saturday afternoon after hitting the couple’s Jeep Grand Cherokee from behind, according to media reports and Chrysler SA spokesman Richard Sloman.

When Barcroft stepped out of the car to inspect the damage, Sloman told MSN Autos, he was shot in the abdomen and the three men from the other vehicle stole his watch, wallet and cellphone; they also stole a handbag from his wife, who was unharmed, reports said.

Full Story HERE.

The question to ask is, Could it have been prevented?

*** The above is a preferred method of carjacking and robberies and they have been doing it in South Africa for years, so much so that they have it to a science.  What is troubling is aside from the absence of an Executive Protection Team, is that it appears that Mr. Barcroft, was not aware of these practices to the degree where he had an effective plan to counter.

I asked Benjamin Alozie, the Director of Global Operations for ICON, and an individual with extensive experience in protecting High Net Worth Individuals in Africa, his initial thoughts on the incident-

“There are several tactics robbers employ to stop their victims in places that makes it difficult for the robbers to set up road blocks (Ambush). The one used in this case is a very classic one, bump your car from behind because they know your natural impulse will be to stop, get out of the car angry as hell with the driver that just bumped you. A couple of things to note here is that most criminals are more security aware than their victims so most operations for them are very successful. I have warned clients about how and when to stop when bumped from behind. The environment you are bumped into in is more important for your safety than the bump itself. Remember that if you have a comprehensive vehicle insurance that the bump can be taken care off and if you are a CEO of an organization such as Chrysler one would hope that you have been properly advised.”  

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For more of my thoughts on the matter, click HERE.

ICON Executive Protection Training – An International Student’s Perspective

“After being interested in the line of work for a long time, I started doing some research on some good training courses in the US, thinking that US would be the best place to at least get the basics in – even though I want to work in Europe. Starting with looking through YouTube, and found some informative clips… Doing some more research, I found very good reviews about ICON and its instructors on different forums on the internet. In addition to the company, searches for “Elijah Shaw” – gave some pretty impressing facts about the chief instructor that wasn’t just your standard corporate boilerplate.

After exchanging a series of  emails, back and forward with Elijah,  I was convinced that I wanted to attend this training course, and selected the ICON Celebrity & VIP Protection Course.  So the process with ordering airplane tickets started, and arranging some time free from work. Then I could just start the countdown, eagerly just waiting for the day that I would get on the airplane, that would bring me the long way to Atlanta, USA.

I got on board the first leg of the long trip with a strange feeling in my stomach  – Investing that amount of money, time and energy, you want to make sure that you get a high quality product back! Going on board the 2th leg of my journey, I felt the “strange” feeling converting into something complete different – Thinking back on the emails, reviews and the YouTube videos that I had spent several hours of reading, and rereading, watching and re watching – I felt proud that I was taking this step, and even more motivated than ever to start the course.

The first day, started of easily – getting to meet some of the instructors and of course the class its self. Going around and presenting our self to each other, I was amazed to meet a guy originating from the same country as I come from, and I guess he was quite impressed that someone could pronounce his name right the rest of the training!

The training was a really nice mix of theory, hands on, physical and mental. Staying on the edge of my seat, writing notes as the instructors told about their experiences and what other people do in the industry now, and not for 20 years ago – I felt the motivation gradually increasing even more. All of the course attendees kept together as good team, helping each other step by step. The instructors keep the students involved all the time, in that way nobody was afraid to ask those “stupid” questions, which were always answered in a way that encouraged growth.

The 5 days went by so quick, ending in what I learned was a first of it’s kind “Summit” on the Sunday –  At the 1st Annual ICON Social Summit, I had the chance to meet even more current Operators, with real experiences and who had a great attitude and accepted “newbies” into the fold with open arms. After spending hours together with the summit participants and  getting some great contacts, the evening finally came to a close, and I found myself  in the car on the way back to the hotel for my last night in Atlanta.

Waking up on the day after the summit, I started to look back on what was both a grueling and intensive 5 days, and the only thing I could summarize it with was…  Great training, great instructors, great class and exactly what I was looking for when I got on the airplane to Atlanta – A great introduction of the aspects of working close protection within the celebrity & VIP Protection world.

Back home and charting my future plans, I’ve  already started to see when I would be able to attend the Advanced Course!

To the staff of ICON and the real world instructors (Benjamin Alozie, Erik Konohia, Mark James, Raffaele Di Giorgio), who gave days out of their working schedules to educate, thanks for the training! Elijah, you’re a great instructor with the right temperament and experiences for this training – And together with the rest of the instructors create a useful toolbox to design a very good road map into this business.”

~ M.O. , Scandinavia

ICON Social Summit Review and Recap

The ICON Executive Protection Academy kicked 2013 off with a bang.  In January we ran our well established Celebrity & VIP Protection Course immediately followed by our Advanced Executive Protection Course for those who were looking for continuing training in the close protection industry.  Sandwiched in between the two courses was our first Annual ICON Social Summit.  The Summit itself made waves, having originally been conceived to bring ICON Alumni of the previous years together to discuss best practices and network.  We tried to keep word of the Summit relatively under wraps (Prior to the event, I didn’t even do a Blog posting on it) however as word spread, we started getting inundated with request from industry peers who were also interested in attending.

One of the big draws to what came to be a by invitation only, sold out event, was our impressive lineup of guest speakers which had the distinction of having subject matter experts as speakers who were actually ACTIVE in the Protection field on a full-time basis.  (As my friend Tony Scotti would say, “What a concept”?)  The speaker roster included:

Mark JamesInternationally published author and CEO of Panther Protective Services

Eric Konohia:  CEO of BPI Security

Benjamin Alozie:  ICON Director of International Operations  

Raffaele Di Giorgio:  CEO of Global Options and Solutions 

Raffaele also had the distinction of traveling the furthest to be at the Summit, scheduling his time back in the US from an assignment in the Middle East around it.  Further enhancing the flavor and overall spirit of unity was the welcome presence of graduates of several other industry schools which included Executive Security International (ESI) the Executive Protection Institute (EPI) and the International Academy of Executive Protection Agents (IAEPA) as well as many members of the North American Bodyguard Association (NABA).

 

With a sold out attendee list and a full day of seminars (which included a few surprises) the Summit switched gears slightly to move to the “social” phase which was a chance for new Protectors to meet, old associates to get reacquainted, and those that knew each other solely from social media to finally put a real face to the virtual one.   The laughs were many, the exchange of contact information was frequent, and the amount of people that used the access of liquor at the nearby bar to damage their credibility was nil.

 

Immediately following the Summit, I launched into Day 1 of the ICON Advanced Executive Protection Course, so the feedback on what everyone thought was sporadic for me; however upon its conclusion I was able to truly get a sense that those in attendance appreciated the presentations and flow of the day and were looking forward to more in the future.  In fact, in addition to Summit presenter Eric Konohia’s Blog article on his experiences,  one able bodied Protector in attendance even took the time to do a video review.  Find it HERE.

With all of this said, the Summit Group is well into planning the 2nd Annual ICON Social Summit, and hope to continue to find new and creative ways to unite and strengthen the Executive Protection industry.  (Not counting the virtual fistfight almost broke out on the North American Bodyguard Association Facebook Page about where to hold the next Summit, but I digress…)

It truly warmed my heart to interact with a room full of like minded individuals who took the time out of their schedules to attend, and it is my hope that the best practices discussed and networking opportunities presented help make life easier for the men and women that risk their well being to engage in the business of Executive Protection.

Elijah Shaw~ ICON

To see a photo gallery of the 1st Annual ICON Social Summit Click HERE.

To get more information about the 2nd Annual ICON Social Summit Click HERE.

 

BPI Security Covers The ICON Social Summit

 

ICON was very honored to have Eric Kohonia of BPI Security as one of the Guest Speakers of the 1st. Annual ICON Executive Protection Academy Social Summit, recently held in Atlanta, GA.  For both the organizers and the attendees, the experience was a great one, and Eric decided to put some of his always candid views on the Summit as the topic of a Blog posting. *

Read it HERE

 

*I plan on writing on the experience as well, however right now i’m on day 6 of the 10 day ICON Advanced Executive Protection Course which began immediately following the Summit.

Analyze This – Security Risk of Drunken Airline Passengers

By Benjamin Alozie 

On the 5th of January 2013 on a New York bound flight from Iceland a DRUNKEN male passenger was DUCT-TAPED after a BOOZE-FUELLED MELTDOWN.

When you look at the photo of the duct-taped boozed passenger ts quick to see only the humor in that photo, but do we see the dangers as well?

All protection professionals and even private individuals that are security conscious owe it to themselves to look and see all incidents differently.

Let’s use this incident to launch our new feature, “LET’S ANALYZE THIS” by asking you to carefully study the photo below link it to the incident and comment on the possible risks and threats you see and how you’ll better prepare to mitigate it when traveling commercial alone or with your client.

“LET’S ANALYZE THIS”