Category Archives: Celebrity

Celebrity Private Plane Crashes

Jenni Rivera, the U.S.-born Mexican-American singer and her entourage were killed in a plane crash. A U.S. aviation investigation board confirmed that Ms. Rivera died in a Learjet 25 crash, which disintegrated on impact Sunday in rugged territory in Nuevo Leon state in northern Mexico.

Additionally, there have been several high-profile crashes involving Learjets, passenger aircraft popular with corporate executives, entertainers and government officials.

A Learjet carrying pro-golfer Payne Stewart and five others crashed in northeastern South Dakota in 1999. Investigators said the plane lost cabin pressure and all on board died after losing consciousness for lack of oxygen. The aircraft flew for several hours on autopilot before running out of fuel and crashing in a corn field.

Former Blink 182 drummer Travis Barker was severely injured in a 2008 Learjet crash in South Carolina that killed four people.

Additional details HERE.

While in the past several years, private aircraft use is certainly down in the world of Celebrities and High Net Worth Individuals, it still is the preferred method of choice.  As with every other method of travel in which an outside service provider must be brought in,  screening, consideration and due diligence must be made, and that means knowing the right questions to ask or having the right people on your team to ask them.

 

 

The DNC, The RNC & ICON Executive Protection

 

For the past several months i’d been fairly immersed in negotiating, researching, planning, and finally, executing an assignment that was challenging, rewarding, and in many ways, “historic”. Historic because of my participation in both the Republican and Democratic National Conventions at a pivotal time in our nation, but also because I had the opportunity to involve several of the former ICON Academy students in the assignment. For the past 17 days, our agents had the opportunity to interact with all levels of local, state and federal law enforcement, from the United States Secret Service on down. The mix of Politicians, Celebrities, Corporate Higher Up’s and Delegates coexisted with massive crowds, inclimate weather and protesters. The senior Protectors took those with less experience under their wings, and illustrated by words and actions, that every post was an important one, and everyone (including me) got (re)familiar with that EP staple, “Halls & Walls”. In the end, while sore feet, and bags under the eyes were prevalent, the words of thanks and admiration for the work done personally made by the client made it all worth it.

Of course I do not want to make it seem that this was all brand new, in 2008, ICON Services Corporation also played a significant protection role for clients for both the DNC and RNC, and if the positive feedback was any  indication, once again be lacing up the shoes and adding the lapel pin four years from now.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Tony Scotti Offers his Views on ICON

If you’re in the Executive Protection world, chances are you’ve heard of Tony Scotti.  He’s a gentleman that has written numerous books and offered instruction for decades on the subject of how vehicles operate and how they play a vital part in the role of the Personal Protection Specialist.    If you’ve ever had the benefit of being instructed by him, know him personally, or follow his work on social media, then you know he’s famous for speaking his mind.

In light of that, I’m particularly honored by the kind words he used to describe both me and the services I provide in the areas of Executive Protection Training and dealing directly with clients.

You can find the post over at his excellent Blog, SECURITYDRIVER.COM

 

 

Tony Scotti speaking before a class attending the ICON Academy Celebrity & VIP Protection Course

 

Keeping The Plates Spinning

 

It’s been a hectic but productive month on this end.  15 days crisscrossing Australia on assignment followed directly by 15 days with my instructor hat on for the back-to-back ICON Celebrity & VIP Protection Course, and the ICON Advanced Executive Protection Course.

*whew*

Even in the mist of doing all of this, I had planned to jump a flight and get to Baltimore to speak at the 2012 Protective Security Conference that is now ongoing.  I spoke there last year and it was a blast interacting with the other attendees and speakers.  Unfortunately, (or fortunately depending on your perspective) A major client scheduled an important event that involved quite a few moving parts and it because apparent that due to some of the complexities, I was personally needed on the assignment.  Knowing full well how the last minute nature of the industry works, the host of the PSC were gracious enough to understand,  and I will continue to give them my full support and plan on again being involved and in attendance next year.

One very cool post script to all of this was that I was able to use several of the past and present ICON Advanced Course Graduates on the multi-day Protection Detail.  (They were after all the advanced course).  From real world training, to real world experience.

In a perfect world that’s how the industry is supposed to work.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

A Day in the Life of a Executive Protection Agent (Excerpt)

A Day in the Life: 

 Assisting On a Protection Assignment

By Edward Nielsen

You are at home getting some rest, and your cell phone rings. It’s the call you have been waiting for. The Team Leader on a Protective Security Detail is telling you they need last minute assistance to provide security for a well known recording artist who is in town during the weekend of a major sporting event.  What do you do? Well let me tell you what I did. I immediately asked where and when I was needed. His answer to me was “now,” and then proceeded to give me the location where the client will be at a few short hours from then.  I quickly got dressed and proceeded to the location, getting more specific instructions while in transit. I arrived at the site and met with the head of security for the venue to see where the client would enter and where his cordoned off VIP area was located. I then contacted the Detail Leader and let him know contact was made with the venue security and all are awaiting his arrival.

A few hours later, and just prior to the Client’s arrival we hit another obstacle – due to the massive crowds, the police officers on site had now blocked off the adjacent streets and would not let vehicles closer to the venue. –No exceptions.  The frustration of the officers was very evident, likely because of the amount of people that voiced their displeasure at them once they learned the routes were blocked off.  I tried a variety of approaches with the officers but they did not intend to change their mind regardless of the VIP.  Of course the Detail leader did not want to hear that, and even in the heavy traffic, I knew they would be arriving shortly and there was no way the client was making the quarter mile walk on foot. I enlisted the aid of the venue security and after putting our heads together, got access to a vehicle from the interior side of the street closure.

Once the Principal’s vehicle arrived, we quickly moved the client and the travel party into the new vehicle and whisked it down the street.  I, however, watched that last part happen curbside, as I was now tasked with parking and securing the client’s vehicle in a location where parking spaces were a valuable but rapidly shrinking commodity.  After finding one, I then knew I had almost a half mile jog to get back to the security detail, all the while keeping in the back of my mind that I am going to have to do this again when it’s time to leave…

…Continued in the Spring 2012 Issue of The Circuit Magazine.   To subscribe to The Circuit – The Magazine for Bodyguards and the Official Magazine of the North American Bodyguard Association, click HERE.

 

The Circuit - The Magazine for Bodyguards (previous Issue)

Stage Crashers & Bodyguards 1

A humorous example of what happens when you don’t have security.  (I think the artist was a great sport)  While the guy on stage was harmless, what if he wasn’t, or decided later not to be? I’m guessing it was a promoter who *finally* came on the stage, (not artist security) and STILL didn’t get the fan off.  (If it was security, he might want to trying some continuing training like the ICON CELEBRITY PROTECTION COURSE)

A Visual Diary of The ICON Bodyguard Training Academy

Take a moment to check out  a visual diary of students and instructors of the ICON Executive Protection Training Academy. With courses specializing in Executive Protection, Celebrity Protection & Weapons Tactics.  ICON offers real world training by instructors who do the job every day, not just teach “theory” from a text book. For more information about the training courses, including the special finance and scholarship opportunities, click HERE.

 

2012 ICON Academy Executive Protection Training Dates

 

Celebrity & VIP Protection Course :  (5 Days) January 11-15, 2012  **HELD FOR THE FIRST TIME IN ARIZONA**

A five-day course of practical theory and hands-on training in the world of Celebrity & VIP Protection including the fundamentals of Close Protection.  Taught by industry veteran Elijah Shaw, who in addition to his corporate clients, has traveled the world as the personal bodyguard of international public figures such as musical giant Usher, supermodel Naomi Campbell, and rap megastar 50 Cent, the class covers not only tactics but marketing & career search, and social media techniques like buying facebook views to increase your business rating.

Advanced Executive Protection Course:  (10 Days) January 16-25, 2012 **HELD FOR THE FIRST TIME IN ARIZONA**

This intensive 10-day class is an excellent tool for Operators sharpening their skills with a focus on conducting close protection assignments with a potential high threat level. Work with experienced professionals who are not teaching “theory” put practical applications developed from many years of doing the job.  Taught by Instructors  in private security working globally in a number of high-risk environments including Iraq, Afghanistan, Europe, Southeast Asia, South and Central America.

 

If you are interested in learning more about any of the above Close Protection related courses from Icon Services Corporation, including our special financing options, click HERE.  

We stand behind the quality of our teaching methods and can also put you in contact with previous Alumni to talk about their past experiences.  Group & back-to-back course discounts apply.

 

 

ICON Bodyguard Course Recap

 

ICON is proud to announce the successful completion of our October 5-day ICON Celebrity & VIP Protection Course!  Thank you to the 17 students that attended, making the commitment of both time and resources to achieve their individual goals of succeeding in the Executive Protection Industry.  

Like past courses, we packed the schedule with as much information, tactics, scenarios and drills as we are able to in an effort to maximize the students limited time spent with us.  In addition,this session, we were happy to have two “thought leaders” in the industry as guest instructors, namely Security Driving Guru, Tony Scotti of Tony Scotti’s Vehicle Dynamic’s Institute and Mark “Six” James of Panther Protection Services.  Both Tony and Mark brought decades of hands-on experience from their perspective fields and everyone, from the instructors on down, were very happy to have them at the Academy.  As one previous Alumni put it, having the opportunity to hear Mr. Scotti speak on the role Armored Cars play in VIP Protection, or “6”discuss the anatomy of the shooting of Former President Reagan from both the attacker and the protectors viewpoint, was worth the price of attendance alone.

 

Next course, January 11-15, 2012.  

To sign up for future classes, which now feature scholarship and special finance options, click HERE.

 

“I recognized the enormous benefits in training internationally with like minded professionals in our field.  Having instructors and presenters that actively work within the industry and who are willing to share their wealth of practical information, transposed to world class training that was both interesting & informative, with a focus on the real aspects of the work.  I will not hesitate to recommend the course to my friends and colleagues in the industry.”  ~ Chris Feretopoulos from Melbourne, Australia on why he choose to attend the course.

5 Tips to Begin Executive Protection Training

 

Today marks Day 1 of the October 2011 ICON Celebrity & VIP Executive Protection Course.  By all accounts we have a great group of men and women who are either entering the industry for the first time, or engaged in continuing training to “sharpen the tools in their toolbox”.  Knowing some of the newcomers found us by doing online research, I thought it might be a good idea to put some tips out for future attendees of our Executive Protection courses.

1.  Find a course that doesn’t teach “theory” but rather real world applications.  there are many out there if you do your research.  Bodyguard Careers Top Executive Protection Schools book is a great place to start.

2.  Come prepared to work.  Take a look at the materials required to take the course and ask questions prior to attending of what is suggested that you bring.  Pack a “Go Bag” with extra stuff, just like in the real world, it’s better to be over prepared than under.

3.  Ask questions.  For two reasons, one, most instructors don’t like to do ALL the talking.  More importantly, you paid your hard earned money and invested your time to attend, get the maximum out of it by asking everything you want to know.  If it’s too much or off topic, a quality instructor will reel you in.

4. Use being at the training also as an opportunity to network.  Any class that has over 2 people in it is a great opportunity to network.  Think about it, you are training shoulder to shoulder with someone who might get a call for some business in your part of the world.  Wouldn’t it be great if he had your number?

5.  Check your ego at the door.  Our profession contains the Alpha Male Trait, it comes with the job.  But even if you are ex CIA, FBI, United States Secret Service, 007, Borne Identity, Man on FIre, there is still something you can learn from others.  However, in order to do that you have to come in with an open mind.

 

For more information on the ICON Bodyguard Training Classes, click HERE.