Category Archives: Industry Spotlight

Kansas City Honors Mayors Bodyguard

Kansas City recently honored Mayoral bodyguard Marlon Buie who recently left to take a job in the private sector.  While most of the media coverage is usually negative when it comes to members of the protection industry, it’s good to see an article about a bodyguard being appreciated for doing his duty. 

 

“Marlon Buie served as a bodyguard for mayors Emanuel Cleaver and Kay Barnes without being in the spotlight. He was aggressive without being invasive, forceful without being vengeful.  He did his job.”  Full story behind the link.

Elijah…Where are the updates?

One of the coolest things about writing the blog “Icon: Behind The Bodyguard Business” is that I get to present readers with a first hand look at what goes on in the Executive Protection industry. My original thoughts were to bring readers the ups and the downs, the news and the reviews of this life I live.  After 13 years in the industry, one would figure it would get easier, but that hasn’t happened yet.  Everyday brings a new challenge and while I’m very fortunate to be in the position that I am, my heavy workload doesn’t make for a lot of sleep (or sometimes a lot of Blog updates).  Some assignments require advance preparation, international travel, or just demands that keep me away from a PC for extended periods.  And don’t get me started about combining all that with the day-to-day duties of running an office (more of which I’ll be sharing in future posts).  I say all that to say, thank you guys for frequenting the Blog and please realize that when I go a few days without posting, it’s because of my commitment to my craft (and my mortgage company =)

–Elijah Shaw, CEO
Icon Services Corporation
Author, Icon- Behind the Bodyguard Business
An insider’s look at news, thoughts and life in the Executive Protection Business

Bodyguards: The Good, The Bad & The ugly

THE GOOD:

KVBC Las Vegas covers the need for celebrity security during All-Star Weekend, spotlighting an agent named Clarence McGee.  See the news clip here.

The BAD:

A former chef and “Bodyguard” (I use the term loosely) claims he might also be the father of Anna Nicole Smith’s bady.  see the interview here.  *groan*

And The UGLY:

Can’t afford a bodyguard?  There are some cost cutting measures you can try =)

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Industry Spotlight: Executive Protection Agent, Aaron Liepins

Weekly, Icon – Behind the Bodyguard Business will hold a spotlight where we feature someone in the Executive Protection, Security or Investigation industry. Our hope is to provide some insight into our profession and also show newcomers and the media that people from all walks of life and all parts of the globe do this type of work with honor and pride. No it’s not like the movies, but it can be rewarding, thrilling, and yes sometimes, fun.

Name: Aaron Liepins
Home Base: Mpls/St.Paul MN
Area of Expertise: Celebrity Protection, Executive Protection, Personal Protection, Personal Safety Education & Property Safety Evaluations
Clients that you work with: Chaka Khan, Cororate Executives, Local and National Realtors & Several Women’s Shelters
Years in the business: 13

What’s great about the business:
“There are always new challenges and great opportunities around every corner.”

What sucks about the business:
“You meet many “fair weather” friends and sometimes you have no choice but to work with them.”

To someone just starting out I’d say:
“Educate, educate, educate. Learn the business side as much as the physical side and don’t forget about the IRS!”

Aaron is the Director of Operations of Icon Services Corporation, and is currently available for select long term and short term assignments. For more information or to get in contact with Aaron click here.

Industry Spotlight: Executive Protection Agent, Don Moe

Weekly, Icon – Behind the Bodyguard Business will hold a spotlight where we feature someone in the Executive Protection, Security or Investigation industry. Our hope is to provide some insight into our profession and also show newcomers and the media that people from all walks of life and all parts of the globe do this type of work with honor and pride. No it’s not like the movies, but it can be rewarding, thrilling, and yes sometimes, fun.

Name: Don Moe
Home Base: Mpls/St.Paul MN
Area of Expertise: Celebrity Protection, Executive Protection, Risk Management, Use of Force and Control Tactics Instructor
Clients that you work with: International Military Advisors, Various Celebrity Entertainers, Corporate Executives
Years in the business: 15

What’s great about the business:
“The challenge behind every assignment and knowing that all went well. Meeting other professionals in the business. Receiving the opportunity to learn from others!”

What sucks about the business:
“The lack of professionalism of some in the industry. Changing the mind set from the big bouncer mentality.”

To someone just starting out I’d say:
“Attend a good school. Take an entry level job in security and get some experience working with and around people. Attend college, take criminal justice courses, become a reserve police officer, go into the military, network with others and volunteer to assist and learn the trade. Be patient in your quest. Be careful who you study under and work with. You do not want to develop bad habits. Above all, you must like working with people of all personalities, cultures, work ungodly hours without a break and have the patience of a saint.”

Don is currently working with corporate clients, and is currently available for select long term and short term assignments. For more information or to get in contact with Don click here.

Industry Spotlight: Celebrity Bodyguard Robert McNulty

Weekly, Icon – Behind the Bodyguard Business will hold a spotlight where we feature someone in the Executive Protection, Security or Investigation industry.  Our hope is to provide some insight into our profession and also show newcomers and the media that people from all walks of life and all parts of the globe do this type of work with honor and pride.   No it’s not like the movies, but it can be rewarding, thrilling, and yes sometimes, fun.

Name: Robert McNulty
Alias: Big Rob
Home Base: New York City, Da Bronx
Area of Expertise: Celebrity Protection
Clients that you work with: Mary J. Blige, Naomi Campbell, Tara Reid, Usher
Years in the business: 13

What’s great about the business:
“Seeing the world and meeting wonderful people while getting paid for it!”

What sucks about the business:
“NO Sleep!!!!”

To someone just starting out I’d say:
“Don’t get caught up in the hype and always stay grounded.”

 

Robert is currently working with a host of celebrity clients, and is currently available for select long term and short term assignments. For more information or to get in contact with Robert click here.

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 http://www.industry-icon.com/

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