Category Archives: RNC

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.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Book Alleges Secret Service Cannot Protect Obama

 

The President on the steps of the Washington Monument
The President on the steps of the Washington Monument

“The U.S. Secret Service has cut corners in ways that may have jeopardized the safety of President Obama, according to a new book by a veteran Washington journalist and author, Ron Kessler.  The book, “In the President’s Secret Service: Behind the Scenes with Agents in the Line of Fire and the Presidents They Protect,” details instances of “laxness in how they protect” Obama.

Wow.  Powerful allegations.  I’ll reserve passing any judgement until I read the entire book myself.  However, I will say that having had the pleasure of meeting Mr. Obama on multiple occasions (from when he was a rising star Senator, to his current role as Commander in Chief) and liaising with his staff, the agents entrusted with his safety have always appeared attentive and mission-focused.    I did have some concerns during my time the inauguration– the sheer size and magnitude could have been nothing but overwhelming –but was fortunate enough to have had the opportunity to bring them up to key parties.  

One thing I will say is that the men and women of the United States Secret Service have a very demanding job and one that allows zero margin for error. Lopsided or not, a book like this will surely light a fire that will make some take a closer look at any deficiencies for the greater good.  

The book is due on shelves August 4th. 

At the Presidential Inauguration
At the Presidential Inauguration

Around the World in 30 Days

From China to the DNC to the RNC to the NFL Kick-off to LA to the Obama/McCain Service Forum in NYC.  It’s been a crazy 30 days.  Thanks to everyone at ICON that kept the plates spinning to make the assignments a success, and keeping all the clients happy. 

Now back to the moutain of paperwork that’s accumulated.  uggh.</p

Anarchists planned kidnapping of RNC delegates

RNC Welcoming Commitee Flyer

A year ago, the Ramsey County sheriff’s office began looking closely at a group called the Republican National Convention Welcoming Committee.

What it found, according to an 18-page search warrant application and affidavit, led to weekend raids on two Minneapolis homes and a temporary St. Paul office for the self-described anarchist group.

According to the document, investigation learned:

The self-described anarchist group — whose main goal was to “crash” the Republican National Convention,” according to its Web site — traveled to or communicated with affinity groups in 67 cities to recruit members and raise money.

Group members discussed the possibility of kidnapping delegates, blockading bridges, using liquid sprayers filled with urine or chemicals on police and throwing marbles to trip police and their horses.

At an “action camp” held from July 31 to Aug. 3 in Lake Geneva, Minn., one member talked of concealing inside giant puppets “materials” that could be used on the street. Others discussed the need for Molotov cocktails, paint, caltrops (devices used to puncture tires), bricks and lockboxes for protesters to lock themselves together.

Erik Oseland, one of the six group members arrested here, produced a video called “Video Map of the St. Paul Points of Interest.” It included such major companies as Travelers Insurance and Qwest, hotels such as the Embassy Suites and the Crowne Plaza.

Click on the exerpt for the full story.

Icon CEO, Elijah Shaw Featured in St. Paul Pioneer Press

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The St. Paul Pioneer Press recently conducted a profile piece on me in their Business Section entitled The Other Corporate Securities. The focus of the story was to illustrate the complexities (and hurdles) of operating in both the Celebrity Bodyguard and Corporate Protection markets:

“Elijah Shaw has been preparing for the Republican National Convention for about a year. The big event is a vehicle for connecting his small business to some of the largest Fortune 500 companies — meaning more business for him.

The security and investigations company owner’s pitch: Companies need to start thinking about security now, because if they wait before locking something in, the prices at other companies will go up and the quality of services down.

Shaw persuaded seven of these companies to use his St. Paul-based firm to secure their dinner parties, cocktail parties and individual events during the convention and to vet the support staff hired for the events to avoid unpleasant discoveries at a point when there’s no turning back.

“If you’re hosting a Republican who is big on border patrol,” he said. “You don’t want to find out that half of your cook staff are illegal immigrants.”

To read the full article click HERE.

What Event Planners Need To Look For In Security

with the 2008 Democratic & Republican National Conventions right around the corner, Event Solutions Magazine recently asked me to write a column for their readers discussing the various types of security concerns savvy planners should be aware of when putting on events of various sizes. Below is an excerpt from their March 2008 issue.

“Often when [event] planners begin their work, security arrangements are relegated to the bottom of the to-do list. But when security becomes an afterthought, procedures are put into place that creates headaches such as bottlenecks at entrances and exits. It’s easier for security to be proactive rather than reactive, so build a relationship that fosters early communication between you and security.

In the wake of post-9/11 terrorism concerns, longer lines at the airport are understood but no client wants to endure long lines at a corporate event. So security planning, like successful event planning, comes down to the details.

The most important part of a security professional’s job is in the risk assessment phase i.e., what disaster could possibly happen and how could I prevent it? An experienced security coordinator will ask you for the big picture, then start cutting the pie into smaller segments, such as physical security, crowd control, loss prevention, first aid and disaster preparation. Even if your venue has some form of security on-site, you may be wise
to bring in your own security team to monitor guest lists, VIP speakers and the cash box.

If you’re dealing with VIPs who travel with their own security, discuss with their security the run of show and special needs the VIP may have.”

Managing an event amongst all the chaos is not an easy job neither for the wedding planners nor the security, but despite all this it is their duty to take care and manage everything. If you are in the market and are searching for a trusted event planner, then click here.

To read the full article, click here.

Event Planners can also subscribe to and receive the latest issue of Event Solutions (For Free) by visiting: www.event-solutions.com/register

Elijah Shaw, CEO
Icon Services Corporation

Elijah Shaw Featured in Black Enterprise Magazine

Black Enterprise did a feature on yours truly regarding the tactics and challenges I used to build the company.  

“It’s definitely a balancing act,” says Elijah Shaw about running Icon Services Corporation. As President and CEO of the St. Paul, Minnesota-based full service, security and investigative agency, specializing in executive and VIP protection, Shaw knows a thing or two about creating a multimillion-dollar company. Here, the 34-year-old offers strategies for taking your business to the next level.

Plan B with A. Before he started Icon Services, Shaw knew he wanted a corporate structure that would also generate revenue without his direct involvement. For example, one of Icon Services’ biggest clients is Ford Motor Company, which uses Icon Services to handle background checks. “If I’m going to be in this high-risk industry, I was at least going to have a backup plan in place,” he says.

Think unconventionally.Shaw encourages entrepreneurs to look outside the box. “Just because everybody’s doing everything the same way, does not mean you have to as well. “Approach things a little bit differently,” encourages Shaw. “You don’t have to recreate the wheel, but just take a look at what people in other industries are doing and ask yourself: How can I apply it to whatever my business plan is?”

Click on the above text For more of the online segment.  For the full piece check out the March 2008 issue of Black Enterprise Magazine on newsstands now. 


 

ICON CEO, Elijah Shaw Interviewed on security for the 2008 RNC

From an interview conducted earlier this year with KSTP News regarding security concerns raised by the upcoming 2008 Republican National Convention. The RNC will be held this year in St. Paul, Minnesota which is incidentally national headquarters of Icon Services Corporation. (But in the interest of bipartisanship, we’ll be at the DNC in Denver as well.)

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 45 min interview to a 120 second sound bite.  Welcome to the information age.

For more dedicated information on the two events visit RNCSecurity.com and DNCSecurity.com