Category Archives: Press Release

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.

 

ICON CEO Elijah Shaw to Speak at EPIC

 

ICON CEO Elijah Shaw will be speaking at the 29th Annual Conference hosted by Executive Protection Institute (EPI) and the Nine Lives Associates (NLA) This Conference was previously closed to members and guests only but is now open to the qualified public; Security and Law Enforcement Professionals, and those currently in the field.

The conference consist of educational sessions with well known speakers such as Joe Autera of Tony Scotti’s Vehicle Dynamic’s Institute and Harlan Austin of Bodyguard Careers.  In addition there is a large focus on industry networking, with the event being capped off with a Black Tie Awards Dinner.

 

 

For more information on EPIC click HERE.

An Open Letter Regarding the ICON Bodyguard Scholarship Program

 

To the ICON Selection Committee:

I am writing to express my sincere gratitude to all responsible parties for making the Icon Academy Training Scholarship possible.  I was thrilled to learn of my selection for this honor and I am deeply appreciative of your support.  The Icon Celebrity & VIP Protection Course that I attended was truly a learning experience that I intend to use to further my career in the Executive Protection Industry.

I’m currently a law enforcement officer with over fifteen years of experience which has included serving on SWAT, the Gang Unit, the Street Crime Unit, as well as being assigned to the Housing Authority Unit. I can honestly say that being a law enforcement officer does not instantly qualify one to be a bodyguard. While the overall intentions of both an officer and bodyguard are to protect, the methods of protection differ, in some cases dramatically.

During my training at ICON, the CEO, Elijah Shaw touched on different subjects such as the profiles of a celebrity, the challenges one would face in the industry, and of course the responsibilities of a bodyguard.  One of the things I enjoyed was that the classroom time was never strictly lectures; we also participated in a variety of drills and exercises that ensured we understood the subject matter. Also during class, we were being pushed physically by several of the instructors, including Justin Newcomb, a champion Mixed Martial Arts fighter who I now know to be a quiet and reserved pillar in the industry.  Justin Johnson, another talented instructor who is also active in the operational side of the industry, (an important point) provided extensive firearms training during the course that imparted me with some valuable tools.

The week was also filled with some very prominent guest instructors who are very recognizable names in the industry such as Tony Scotti of Tony Scotti’s Vehicle Dynamic’s Institute and Mark “Six” James, of Panther Protection Services. Both were gracious enough to offer their expertise and answer off-the-subject questions during breaks.  I would certainly suggest future students research these individuals so they can fully appreciate what their presence and participation says about the program.

The last part of the training concluded with our participation in a real life Security Detail (one of several running simultaneously). I had the honor of being chosen to be team leader, and responsible for an actual celebrity VIP, T*** D***, of VH1 reality show, “Scream Queens” from the moment her plane arrived in the city.  The assignment was a learning experience in which me and my team were able to take our classroom training and apply it in the most hands on way possible.  Everything that Mr. Shaw and the other instructors introduced in class became reality.   In short they capped an already impressive course with the best illustration I could think of involving understanding what it takes to be bodyguard on a Celebrity security detail.    

In closing, I would highly recommend this course to anyone looking to get in the industry or advance their current skills. I would like to thank the Selection Committee for making the opportunity possible.   While I am not sure if anything like this scholarship program currently exists elsewhere in the industry, it makes perfect sense that it would be found at ICON as they appear to be innovators.  Please thank Mr. Shaw, who I found to be a humble individual whose reputation preceded him, along with the staff, guest instructors, and VH1’s, T*** D***.    I promise you I will continue along this path to success in the Executive Protection field and eventually give something back to others.  I see myself doing this both as a Professional Bodyguard and as well as an Alumnus who will donate towards the ICON Academy scholarship providing a rare opportunity for a future student like myself.

Sincerely,

Curtis Greene

ICON 2011 ALUMNI

Scholarships for Bodyguards

 

VIP offers Training Scholarship to Bodyguards Doing Good

4 full Scholarships to training academy offered annually

ST. PAUL, MN – August 1, 2011 – ICON Services Corporation a full service agency specializing in Celebrity, VIP & Executive Protection has partnered with an existing client to provide scholarships for their recognized bodyguard training programs.  The division, dubbed the ICON Academy was designed by ICON CEO Elijah Shaw, as a way to teach realistic training in the areas of close protection work that is more “hands on” than “abstract theory.”

The Angel Scholarship will be awarded based on the criteria of leadership abilities, contributions to community, individual character and financial needs.  Among other qualifications, the applicant must submit an 800 word essay on how they would positively influence the industry, as well as, log documented hours volunteering on a charitable project of their choice.

The scholarship benefactors, who have chosen to remain anonymous, believe in the value of quality training from a recognized program.  “As someone who has used personal security for some time now, it’s apparent that anyone can say they do the work, but those with a passion for protecting others should be recognized. Society rewards unscrupulous bodyguards for writing “tell all” books; however, I know there are individuals that live by a code of professionalism and I want to support them in their endeavors.”  Said one of the award benefactors.

About ICON Services Corporation

Established in 1998, ICON Services Corporation offers a full slate of services, including celebrity, VIP and executive protection internationally.  Having been voted as was one of the Top 20 Executive Protection Schools in the world by BodyguardCareers.com, the Minnesota-based ICON Academy has attracted students from all over the globe including Canada, South Africa & Australia.  The diverse roster is also proud to include former members of the United States Secret Service and the US Special Forces community among its alumni.

 

For more information, click HERE or call 651.695.8778

 


The Updated ICON Facebook Page

 

Social Media.

I know some people in my industry are a bit “gun-shy” of the term (pun intended) because of privacy and confidentiality concerns.   However, I can actually remember when people thought cell phones and laptops were not going to take off because of the cost, difficultly of use, or just becuase it was different from what they were use to.   Well like it or not, it’s 2011 and Social Media is here to stay.  Nowadays Twitter, Linked-In and of course Facebook are mainstays and the phrase comes to mind “Adapt or Die”.   I feel we on the business end of the Executive Protection industry can still do our job, respect confidentiality, while at the same time make the marketplace aware of our services.

With that said, I’d like to invite everyone to visit the new interactive ICON Facebook Page.  While It’s no secret i”ve been active on the World Wide Web for many years now, I think our new Facebook page will be beneficial in integrating the networking and connectivity of Facebook with Icon’s Corporate site and Bodyguard Blog.

However, don’t just take it from me, click HERE to jump right over.   Pay particular interest to the I-C-O-N tabs along the left hand side  of the page which takes you to our Store, Training Page and Video Page.   Also please help us spread the word by clicking on the “Share” or “Like” buttons to let others in your network know.

Elijah Shaw, CEO

ICON Services Corporation

ICON CEO Elijah Shaw Interviewed on America’s Frontlines

This Friday at 1:00 pm CST i’ll have the pleasure of being interviewed on the radio show “On America’s Frontlines of Crime & War” found on Voice America which broadcast to over 130+ countries.  The show, hosted by JJ Sutton & William Vinelli has had some pretty interesting and engaging guest in the past, such as Security Driving Expert Joe Autera and the controversial Joe Arpaio, better known as  “America’s Toughest Sheriff”.  Both tough acts to follow, so i’ll try not to put anyone to sleep.

Here’s the episode blurb:

The protection industry has been around for centuries. Words that spring to mind are Honor, Integrity, Warriors, and so on. Today the industry is much different than what it once was. Some of the driving factors are the fact that private wealth has changed our society dramatically. We now think of Celebrity Protection as the top most level of private industry work. It has many appealing factors that draw new faces to our industry. Traveling on private planes, staying in luxury hotels, and attending the best parties – but behind the scenes real professionals are quietly handling some of the most detailed choreography that defines them as the true professionals they are. These hardworking men and women are the real deal in Celebrity Protection work and they do follow the age old adage of handling things with Honor &, Integrity. In this episode we speak with a Celebrity Protection Expert, Elijah Shaw who discusses how hard the work really is.

To catch the show click HERE.

Fresh Coat of Paint

Summer’s almost here, and so I felt like since I was spring cleaning, I needed a fresh coat of paint.   You’re now looking at Version 3.0 of  the Bodyguard Blog.  Hope you like the new layout as much as the people around the office do.  Lots of interactivity and multimedia modules, plus easy to access links to the most popular articles and post.   

p.s., Don’t forget to leave a comment, as I’ve always considered a Blog to be a 2-way exchange of information.

~ Elijah

Fighting Autism

Join Joey on his 2nd Annual Ride

The 2nd Annual ‘JOEY’S RIDE’ to support the Autism Society of Minnesota

A day of Motorcycle’s, Live Bands, Cold Beer, Good Food, Good Friends and Good Times. Everyone is Welcome! (and don’t worry, you don’t have to ride a bike to come out.)Last years event was a huge success. Join us again this year. Featuring an extended ride, live bands, taco bar, raffles, drink specials.

The Center for Disease Control and Prevention estimates that autism occurs in as many as 1 in 150 individuals in the United States.  Autism is four times more prevalent in boys than girls and knows no racial, ethnic, or social boundaries.  Supporting events like this helps enhance the lives of those living with the disorder.

When:

Saturday, May 1st 2010

Where:

Tavern on the Ave. aka “Spanky’s” located at 825 Jefferson Ave. in St. Paul, Minnesota.

Time:

Motorcycle Ride

11:00am (10am Check-in)

Bands

4:00pm – 8:00pm

Cost:

$15 Admission

Kids 5 and under are free

* 100% of the proceeds go to the Autism Society of Minnesota

For more information visit: http://www.evilroadspiritsridingclub.com/

For more information on the Autism Society of Minnesota (AUSM) visit: http://www.ausm.org/

~I’ll be there.  Sometimes helping people doesn’t require a badge.

Celebrity Bodyguard Training Course

Elijah Shaw with Naomi Campbell

 

The # 1 question I get (well besides “Are you hiring?”) is “Where can I get the right bodyguard training“?

 

In the past I believe I’ve done a pretty good job of trying to inform people of the importance of training, and have recommended some of the top schools in the industry, –which range from pricey to priceless.  

Followers of my Blog know that this year, practicing what I preach, I took some time off for continuing education and attended Trojan Securities International’s: Advanced Executive Protection Course.   Let’s just say I found the experience to be both mentally and physically challenging and even after being in the business for 14 years, I learned a lot. 

Since then our relationship has continued to grow and at this time I’m proud to announce that Trojan and I have entered into a joint venture to offer a Celebrity Protection course for individuals interested in getting more involved in the VIP side of the bodyguard industry.  I’ll be teaching the course with the assistance of their more than qualified instructors, and the plan is to make it a challenging, informative and rewarding hands-on experience.

 

Enrollment in the classes is limited, and subject to approval as Trojan (and me) have some pretty high standards.  However, if you’re interested in the course, I’d recommend checking out their website and then reaching out for more information.

2008 is going to be a very busy year for me, but I guess I can sleep when I’m 60.

 

~Elijah

 

 

Cheaters TV Show offers Real Life Investigations

 
For Immediate Release 

The Reality Part of Cheaters TV Show Comes to Minneapolis

Detective agency offers “off the air” services

Minneapolis — Security Expert and Celebrity Bodyguard Elijah Shaw has teamed with the nationally syndicated television show Cheaters to introduce a new method of infidelity investigations to the Twin Cities area.  Shaw, after months of negotiations, is now the owner of Cheaters Detective Agency of Greater Minneapolis ®.

Elijah, who is best known for providing bodyguard services to the nation’s top celebrities and pro-bono security services to women’s shelters and victims of domestic abuse, is also a licensed private investigator.  Since 1998, Shaw has helmed Icon Investigations, Inc.; a full service detective agency, which until this point, has catered primarily to the Hollywood elite.   ICON has recently merged with the television program Cheaters to deal with infidelity cases in the Twin Cities, offering professional and informative investigative results – only this time minus the TV crews.

Although Cheaters makes for television of the guilty pleasure variety with infidelity, tears, and dramatic confrontations, behind the scenes, a group of private investigators apply their trade day in and day out.  “What makes Cheaters a reality television program isn’t just the couples in trouble, the cases are actually handled by real Private Detectives that investigate the exciting, boring, criminal and everything in between,” Says Shaw.  “The TV show only lets viewers see the most sensational parts of the daily work that goes into a domestic investigation.  In most cases our work in Minnesota will probably be for a viewership of one.”

Starting on June 13, 2007, people can reach Cheaters Detective Agency of Greater Minneapolis at 1-800 Cheaters x8668.  You can also visit us online at http://www.CheatersMN.com

About ICON Services Corporation

Established in 1998, ICON Services Corporation offers a full slate of risk resources, including security and investigative services.  With its national headquarters in St. Paul, Minnesota, ICON has worked with notable figures like Usher Raymond, Michael Bolton and General Norman Schwarzkopf (Ret.).  ICON’s corporate clients include Ford Motor, Thrivent Financial and International Dairy Queen among others.  For more information, please visit http://www.industry-icon.com/ or call 651.695.8778