Wrapped up a great day at the 2014 International Executive Protection & Secure Transportation Conference. While I got there a bit late due to an ongoing assignment, I had a chance to hear the majority of today’s presenters, catch up with professional colleagues that I had not seen in awhile, host an Alumni Only meeting with the many ICON Graduates in attendance, and finally go out for a huge dinner (and some great laughs) with a group of the Alumni. Considering I worked all night, went right from the assignment, to the plane, to the conference, saying it’s been a long day is a bit of an understatement. Whew.
|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
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.
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.
To learn more about the 2nd Annual ICON Academy Executive Protection Social Summit, Click HERE
The ICON Academy is proud to announce Dr. Paul Viollis, PH D will be delivering the keynote address at the 2nd Annual ICON Academy Social Summit, January 25 & 26, 2014 in Orlando, FL. The Summit was created for members of the Executive Protection Community to network and discuss best practices in a contemporary manner. As such, we consider it a major honor that Dr. Viollis has taken time from his busy schedule to join the speaker line up.
Best Practices For Protecting the Affluent
Wealth 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.
- 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
About Paul Viollis
Paul Viollis is a subject matter expert in workplace security, counter terrorism threat assessment, workplace violence, private client security, police training, exam validity, school violence and domestic violence. Dr. Viollis has been involved in thousands of investigations and specializes as a security advisor for the affluent community as well as in workplace violence behavioral analysis of which he is currently recognized as one of the foremost experts in the world. Dr. Viollis is the author and lead editor for Jane’s Publishing’s book “Workplace Security”, co-authored “Safe & Sound”…Security Solutions for the Affluent and most recently co-authored his marquee book, “Silent Safety” Best Practices for Protecting the Affluent.
To learn more about the 2nd Annual ICON Academy Social Summit, and view the full speakers list, click HERE.
Respecting Those That Have Come Before
by Elijah Shaw
“This guy thinks he was born fully grown.” That’s a saying I sometimes use which confuses the hell out of people when they hear it. Allow me to explain:
To me it describes a person that thinks they know everything, particularly the ones that give the impression that this knowledge somehow came right out of the sky and was beamed directly into their brains. They suffer from a rare and unexplainable phenomenon termed IIC or “Immaculate Information Conception”.
To these individuals they didn’t have to learn something that was taught to them by someone that at some point had greater skill or knowledge about a topic. Instead they manifested the techniques and owe a debt to no-one. Or to put it bluntly, they’re full of it.
I’ve said it before in previous columns, our industry is populated by the “Alpha Male” mindset (even in women) and while I also believe it is a valuable trait that allows us to rise above the pack and assume the role of protector, let’s be realistic, there are very few cases of reinventing the wheel. Instead we as pros learn from one another, and more importantly, learned from someone prior, information or skills that allowed us to obtain the title of “professional”. The interesting quality I observe is that particularly in the Close Protection Industry, we tend to devalue what has come before, much less pay respect to it.
Don’t get me wrong, like a traditional family the son should be expected and encouraged to grow up, move away and start his own clan. From a biological level that is how we diversify and continue the species. Yet in our industry we not only move out of dad’s house, in some cases we deny we ever even had a father. IIC Syndrome claims another victim.
I think part of the problem lies in that there is a perceived vulnerability that lies in the fact that someone had to “teach” us something. As if the implication may be that it also might mean there is something we don’t know, and could therefore fail at. Industry speaking, I think we could also attribute it to the fact that many of our teachers may also still be in some way shape or form still associated with the protection business and therefore might actually be competition.
It’s different to pay respect to your kung fu sensei if he lives in a monastery or passed away many years ago. It’s another story if you open up a martial arts school across town and may have to compete for the same new students. Acknowledging the psychology and/or the economics is one thing, but that mindset is likely to do us more harm than good in the long run.
There is a value to strengthening ties to the past and calling upon the people who have not only knowledge but also the wisdom that comes from experience. Even if that person no longer has any interaction with what you do, it’s just plain good karma to respect those that have achieved a high level of proficiency in a craft. It’s one of the reasons we call a person “Doctor” even if they are not operating on us.
I can remember several years ago having my first phone call with Tony Scotti, of Tony Scotti’s Vehicle Dynamic’s Institute, an individual who prior to that I knew by reputation only. As I’m chatting with him at my desk, I look to my left and on my shelf I see a book entitled Executive Safety & International Terrorism, written by Anthony J. Scotti. I remember distinctly interrupting him mid-sentence and thanking him for what he’d done for the industry as a whole and specifically for helping me in my growth process. That particular book was one of the 1st I purchased when I decided to get involved with the Executive Protection Industry. Subsequently Tony and I have developed a friendship, but one that I’d describe as a mentorship because his experiences and outlook are invaluable to me.
As a side note to this, in 2011 I had my first chance to officially take one of Tony’s courses and I approached it not with the attitude of “I’ve been doing Close Protection Work for 18 years, and am also an instructor, I could teach this” but rather, here’s an individual (and a program) that has existed for quite some time and has produced quality results, let me keep my mouth shut and learn. Additionally when I pass on things that I have learned from the program (which we all inevitably do) I try and remember to give credit where it is due.
There’s no mistaking that Immaculate Information Conception affects most of us at one time or another, but I think with self awareness we can all do our part to stop it from becoming an epidemic.
Originally printed in The Circuit – The Magazine for the Executive Protection Professional. Buy it HERE.
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.
January is right around the corner, and we are preparing for our Second Annual ICON Executive Protection Academy Social Summit. This time around we have expanded on last years sold out event into two days of wall to wall activities, with the networking “socials” taking place in the evenings.
Once again I have been fortunate enough to have a speaking roster of contemporary individuals involved in the Executive Protection craft on hand to deliver some great topics at this invitation only gathering.
To learn more about the 2nd Annual Social Summit held January 25 & 26, 2014 click HERE.