Category Archives: ICON

Help Wanted: Bodyguards and Executive Protection Agents Needed

 Agents Needed

MinnesotaIcon Services Corporation is seeking a Minnesota based Protection Agent for Diplomatic Security assignments needed on a will-call basis. Military or Law Enforcement background plus some EP training required. Agency provides continuing training. Must speak Arabic. Must hold valid CCW. Comprehensive background check.


NationalIcon Services Corporation is seeking a Female Protection Agent for VIP and Celebrity Security assignments short and long term. Military, Law Enforcement or Intelligence background plus some EP training required. Agency provides continuing training. Must be able to pass physical requirements and comprehensive background check.

For more information visit:

Insiders Rule #49: Stay Focused

What every professional wants in this business is longevity.  The key to that is staying focused and consistent in your duties.  As a bodyguard, our interaction with our clients and the public come in many different forms and fashion.  What we must always be aware of is that we’re there to do a job, and the moment you let your guard down could be the moment your skills are needed most.

2004 2004

2006 2006

My travels have taken me all around the world and I have seen a lot of amazing things.  The excitement of the moment, the roar of the crowd…those are things that are always in the back of my mind, but in the forefront is, “Where is the threat”?  “If I had to evacuate, which are the best routes”?  I’ve watched hundreds of games like the ones above, and most time I don’t even know who won until we are out of the venue and in an area I can fully control.

People always say to me, “you must have so much fun on your job”… They don’t see the 4:45 am wake up to prep or the standing in sub zero temperatures to make sure your client’s transportation is on time.  Training and discipline: from the playboy mansion to the Vatican, my career requires that I stay focused.

…and yes it’s fun.

Bodyguard To the Stars Extends Safety Net

Abused women now have Icon’s Elijah Shaw in their corner
By Carolyn Will

Elijah Shaw spent the last three weeks traveling around the country as the personal bodyguard for music mega-star Usher. This week he is back in his St. Paul office, the national head-quarters for his $3 million Icon Services Corporation, setting up meetings with battered women’s shelters. Shaw, 33, of Highland Park, plans to provide free protective services to women who have been victims of domestic abuse. The new program, called ISC Safety net, will provide trained security personnel to escort women heading into potentially volatile situations, such as contentious court hearings or the victim’s home or place of employment to collect personal belongings. “I decided it was time for me to give back,” Shaw said. “I work all the time and I love my work, but it’s given me very little time to reflect. This summer, I spent time with my brother at a family gathering. He lives a very different lifestyle from me. He’s 10 years older, adopted two kids and devoted his life to working with the Iowa Coalition Against Domestic Violence in Iowa City. It started me thinking I should slow down and use my resources to provide these services in my community.”  Shaw, who bears a strong resemblance to movie star Denzel Washington, has built an elite company over the last eight years with a roster of 29 agents. Icon provides bodyguard protection to Fortune 500 executives, celebrities and politicians. Icon’s business has a Grand Avenue mailing address, but Shaw likes to keep the actual location undisclosed for security purposes. The waiting area of the office is graced by autographed pictures to Icon Staff from such celebrities as Chaka Khan, Naomi Campbell and Christina Milan.

Other notable Icon clients include Jehan Sadat, widow of assassinated Egyptian president Anwar Sadat; international businessman Koris Perleman, who makes frequent trips to Minnesota transporting jewels; and corporate executives from Lawson Software, International Dairy Queen, Ford Motor Company and others.

“When some of these people travel outside the U.S., the threat of kidnapping is very high, especially in Mexico,” said Shaw, referring to the corporate executives. When Icon agents were pitched with the idea of volunteering their services to protect battered women, Shaw said everybody was enthusiastic. Icon security agents typically charge between $30 and $80 an hour, depending on the level of threat and length of the assignment.

Shaw said all of his agents are licensed by the state. They have training in firearms, martial arts, First Aid and CPR. They need to be physically fit and skilled in conflict resolution.” Our line of work requires a tremendous amount of mental discipline,” Shaw said. “An agent needs to make a lot decisions on his own very quickly. We don’t need 800 pound linebackers with knuckles dragging on the ground. On the other hand, we want to make sure that if the clients are feeling anxious, our presence will make an overt impression that the clients are not there by themselves and they can’t be pushed around.”

Women’s Advocates, a battered women’s shelter on Grand Avenue, serves about 500 women a year, and executive director Raeone Loscalzo said ISC Safety Net could be very useful in some circumstances.

“The woman in Washington County comes to mind,” said Loscalzo, referring to Teri Lee, the 38-year-old woman who was killed in her home on September 23 by her ex-boyfriend. “She’d been to several shelters, returned home and had a security system. Those women who choose to stay home and use court-ordered restraining orders may be looking for protection. (ISC Safety Net) could be a perfect solution for them.”

At Women’s Advocates, Loscalzo said most of the women have severed ties with their past and removed themselves from dangerous situations. However, she said there could be many women in domestic abuse situations where Women’s Advocates don’t know about, especially women from Asian and East African cultures.

Shaw recently met with the executive board of Asian Women United of Minnesota, which operates the first Asian women’s shelter in the state. “It’s a great thing that Elijah plans on doing for battered women and their children,” said executive director Melani Suarez. She plans to use the company’s services immediately to provide security at the shelter and to help women retrieve personal belongings from their homes.

Shaw grew up in the housing projects in Chicago and was raised by a single mother who fostered a positive family atmosphere. While attending Columbia College in Chicago to study film, he worked security in the nightclub of Chicago Bulls forward Cliff Levingston.

“It was the start of the Bull’s dynasty and I was exposed to a lot of celebrities,” he said. “My work evolved from there.”

The ISC Safety Net will start in the Twin Cities and eventually may be expanded to Icon’s other offices in Orange County, California, and Miami, Florida. For now, Shaw said he is happy to be helping the metro area where he is raising his 12-year-old son.

All potential applicants for ISC Safety Net must be assigned by an approved shelter or social service agency. For information about Icon Services, visit

Source: Villager Newspaper
Vol. 54, No. 18.  Nov. 15-28

E! Entertainment features Celebrity Bodyguards

 Actually, one I know very well…


E!: Confessions of Celebrity Assistants

While “The Devil Wears Prada” revealed what life is like for one executive assistant in the fashion magazine business, “Confessions of Celebrity Assistants” reveals why celebs hire personal assistants in the first place, what’s expected of a top-notch assistant, and what on earth an assistant has to do in order to have a phone thrown at them. With participation from a number of celebrities and their assistants, this all new special features: Usher and his bodyguard, Elijah Shaw; Lisa Rinna and her assistant, Ninie Papadatos; T.I. and his tour manager, Clay Evans; Carmen Electra and her stylist, Amanda Reno; Amber Valetta and her trainer, Michelle Lovett, and Black Eyed Peas member and his stylist, Lor-e Phillips.

Next air date: Sunday, November 19, 2006 at 5:00 pm est

Tools (and tricks) of the Trade

When you think of outfitting yourself for a career as a bodyguard what’s on your essential must-have list?

  • Semi-Automatic Handgun? (With appropriate license to carry)
  • Bulletproof Vest?
  • How about one of those cool–talk into your hand–microphones?

It’s true, at some point and time there is probably a place for all of that.  However, one of the biggest assets to someone doing this line of work for any length of time is something so obvious it really gets overlooked:

Yep, a good, COMFORTABLE, pair of shoes will make a world of difference for the bodyguard.  Just ask any agent who’s worked a detail where he has to stand for 12 hours plus, or walked 3 miles on an overseas sight-seeing trip with a VIP (on unpaved roads!) I’ve done all those things and I’ll tell you, wear the wrong shoes and the unpleasantness factor goes up dramatically.    

Elijah with Usher in the UK

The best of the Past…

Behind the Bodyguard Business existed previously as version 1.0 on Myspace.  If your interested in what makes the people in our profession do what we do, or if your an insider just looking for a good read, there are a lot of great post archived there.  Feel free to take a vist by clicking here.