Category Archives: bodyguard training

Dating with your client?

The last days MEDIA have gone crazy after the so-called romantic relationship of the famous model Heidi Klum and her bodyguard and the fact if she was dating him while married to Seal or not. Now we are not the ones who will comment anyone’s else personal life but if we see it from our professional perspective we have to see if it’s wrong or not to be romantically connected with your client and why.

Personally and this is my own opinion, dating your client or any of his family members I see it as a very wrong and unprofessional. However it has happened before with many celebrities, some of those relationships ended well with a marriage (ANASTASIA) and some ended with revealing spicy clients details by his/her ex bodyguard to MEDIA after the relationship end.

Remember Kevin Costner in the Bodyguard movie? Oh yes art sometimes copy real life.

It is understood that you may have to spend many hours with the same person, your client, you will be in present in some of very important moment of his/her life and sometimes it is acceptable to get ‘’emotionally’’ connected. They will feel happy, sad, scared and you will be there and see all their emotional scales. Sometimes you would even need to act due to your professional duties to make them feel safer. We can’t judge someone’s heart, but we must make you aware that in a relationship like this someone has the upper hand (control) and someone is in a negative-vulnerable position and that’s the client.  The fact that the client relies on you for his/her safety makes them ‘’depended’’ on you. Just imagine it as a relationship doctor-client, tutor-student.

However if you believe you found the love of your life on your client face, then leave it to someone else to take your professional role and you can always protect him/her from another perspective or role. The one of the life partner.

This will not only protect the person you are related too but also you.

It is important in our job to act objectively and not be affected by emotions that can ‘’block’’ our senses to do our job as we suppose to. And we all know very well how unprofessional or non logical ‘’love’’ can make us act sometimes.

Denida Zinxhiria

Athena Academy Founder

http://www.athenaacademy.com

http://www.nannyguards.com


Female bodyguards although in high demand…going extinct?

We all in security industry have seen the high demand for female close protection operatives in any aspect of security operations the last 10 years, grow in popularity and their pay increase to in some cases surpass their male counterparts. Many celebrities, royal families or even politicians are now interested in hiring female bodyguards for their safety and thousands of dollars are paid in contracts.

However even the high demand for female close protection professionals we experience that there is a very small number and availability of those who are truly qualified and trained to work. So if there is a high demand and well paid contracts why is so hard to find female professionals?

As an only female close protection training provider internationally by experience far now we found out that although many women may see close protection industry as their dream profession they are not determined enough to invest in both time and money to train and qualify themselves and open the doors to a new challenging and well-paying career.

Those who are ready to deal with challenges and make their presence in this industry are very rare, and that’s why makes them in higher demand, often greater than for men. The majority of those women have a previous military or LE experience, which make them familiar on working in male dominated professions and ready to fight any difficulties to achieve their goal. Women who entered close protection profession without having a previous military or LE experience are even less.

There is a false belief that in order to become a bodyguard you must have a previous training, qualifications and experience from federal agencies, army, law enforcement or even martial arts.

Having those skills is something that may help you to adapt the new skills and knowledge easier, but by their own doesn’t make you a good close protection agent. What will make you a good one is the proper training, your ‘’heart’’, your ability to apply your knowledge in an appropriate time and place and your willingness to fight and give your best effort for what you believe in.

No matter your previous qualifications, by joining in a training course you will learn from zero the skills required to work as a close protection agent. So previous experience or qualifications has nothing to do with your success rate.

There were always women through history who broke into male dominated professions before many years, what we see now as natural like having female fighter jets pilots, it was once a day when one woman made the big step and open the door for the rest.

The first ones are the ones who will have to fight more and inspire other women to follow their dream. They are the ones who can show to public and most important to other women that if you work hard and fight harder you can offer the same professional services as your male colleagues.

If you are a woman interested to become a bodyguard and you are sure that is the profession you want to follow, do not hesitate and start looking from now for the training provider that suit your needs.

Denida Zinxhiria

Athena Academy Founder

http://www.athenaacademy.com

http://www.nannyguards.com

SECURITY RESPONSE TO GLOBAL CRISIS, a Conference Sponsored by Executive Security International and Executive Protection Institute

For all professionals working in Security Industry you don’t want to miss this opportunity: Two of the most well known internationally Security Training Providers,  Executive Security International and Executive Protection Institute are joining their efforts to offer an epic Conference that will take place in Las Vegas, from November 30 to December 2, 2012.

The 2012 Conference is a historic alliance of the two largest executive protection membership alumni associations in the country: Executive Security International’s ESI Alumni Association and Executive Protection Institute’s Nine Lives Association. The top two Executive Protection schools in America have joined together to co-sponsor this annual conference. ESI is the host of the conference in 2012 and EPI will host the conference in 2013, alternating hosts thereafter.

A TIMELY THEME

The Associations of Nine Lives and ESI Alumni have selected a conference theme that focus on contemporary critical issues:

Security Response to a Global Crisis

Core Topics:

Corporate Response to Internet Vulnerabilities

Keynote Speaker: Cynthia Hetherington, Founder of Hetherington Group,

Cynthia Hetherington, has been working with private investigators, security specialists and law enforcement professionals since 1993. A widely published author, Cynthia authored Business Background Investigations and co-authored The Manual to Online Public Records. She is the Editor-in-Chief of Internet & Online Intelligence Newsletter, and she is recognized for providing corporate security officials, military intelligence units, and federal, state and local agencies with training on online intelligence practices.

Data about your client, members of their family, business partners reside on the Internet. Everything about their world is readily available, including street level and satellite images of their residences, credit records, physical and intellectual assets. Some of the information is loosely posted on social media – Facebook, Small World, My Space, Linked-in and others that can be mined for images, schools attended and work places can be located and placed under surveillance.

This workshop will teach attendees how to find this information and steps to removing it as an essential to protecting your clients from unwanted exposure and inappropriate contact.

*Early registrants to the conference will receive a free copy of Hetherington’s book, “Business Background Investigations”

Corporate Crisis Management

Multi-national corporations confront the whole range of challenges from natural disasters to active shooters on property, stalkers of employees and executives, and kidnap & ransom policies in foreign environments. The conference will have representatives from major corporations to discuss these pressing issues.

Speaker: Peter Dordal J, Senior Vice President, Garda World

Emcee for Corporate Crisis Management Forum and Panel

Pete DordalPete Dordal began his career with 8 years in the U.S. Marine Corps, serving in Beirut, Lebanon with the 2nd Reconnaissance Battalion and then at Quantico as a combat skills instructor. He has a degree in Criminal Justice and is a graduate of over 25 formal military, law enforcement and security training courses. Pete graduated from ESI in 1984 while still in the Force Recon Unit, and Pete is the principal advisor and consultant on ESI’s PSD Protective Operations training program.

Mr. Dordal began his private security career with Vance International, which Garda acquired in 2006, where he served as executive protection team leader for a Middle Eastern ambassador to the U.S. and trained the Saudi Arabian Secret Service in advanced protection techniques. During the first Gulf War he went to Saudi Arabia to train that country’s Secret Service in advanced protection techniques.

Pete is Senior Vice President of Garda World, the Consulting and Investigation / Global Risks Group of Garda World Security Corporation. In his position, he is responsible for the delivery of security services to a variety of government and commercial clients in Iraq, Afghanistan and the Middle East.

Speaker: Filippo Marino, Director, Executive Protection & Intelligence | McDonald’s Corporation

Crisis Management in the Age of Global, Real-Time Communication:

We will first revisit the core principles of successful crisis management practices and the organizational features that contribute to resilient, global enterprises. The second portion will focus on how these practices have had to – or should – evolve to address dramatic changes in the media and Information & Communication Technology (ICT), and specifically why Executive Protection holds increasing relevance and influence in this arena.

Filippo Marino is responsible for the design and execution of McDonald’s Executive Protection efforts impacting senior corporate leaders and other at-risk personnel, and for shaping global best practices. Additionally, Filippo leads corporate initiatives in the areas of Global Risk and Early Warning intelligence, Crisis Management, Workplace Violence Prevention, and Major Events’ security. Prior to joining McDonald’s, Filippo’s career in the Risk Mitigation industry started as an officer of the Italian Army and spanned across almost 20 years, many of which as a successful adviser to Fortune 500 companies and High Net-Worth individuals. During his tenure as founder and CEO of Securitydirector, LLC, he lead operations ranging from Open Source Intelligence and Threat Assessments, to Crisis Management and Executive Protection across multiple geographical and cultural boundaries, for some of the largest and most complex organizations in the world. As an author, adviser, and entrepreneur, Filippo has contributed to several process innovations and best practice models for small and large organizations, and security professionals alike. He holds a Magna Cum Laude B. A. degree in Behavioral Sciences, and has obtained multiple certifications in security and protection services. He is a California certified Emergency Medical Technician (EMT), and an accomplished firearms instructor, scuba diver, skydiver, mountaineer, and survivalist. He speaks fluent English, Italian, German and some Spanish.

Speaker: Beth Brown, Manager, Corporate Command Center, Target

Beth Brown is currently the Manager, Corporate Command Center (C3) for Target and has more than ten years of experience as a business and crisis management professional. She has held roles in operations, workforce management, and Target Financial & Retail Services.

Her areas of responsibility include Target’s Corporate Command Center, a 24×7 facility in Minneapolis that monitors Target’s business operations, travelers, and potential disruptions around the world, and leading Target’s cross-organizational response to business disruptions and security incidents.

Speaker: Charles Randolph, Director – Executive Protection & Intelligence, Microsoft Corporation

Charles Randolph has seventeen years of experience in the protective security industry and over 20 years as a military officer has uniquely qualified Chuck to take on a typical day’s work of planning, strategic development, tactical deployment, and management of both a global sized executive protection and an intelligence unit. Having previously been the Director of a protective security company with Fortune 500 clients, Chuck has the experience and insight needed to provide Microsoft with top-level protective and intelligence leadership, and the business acumen for corporate budgets and fiscal matters. He is responsible for both the Executive Protection Team and the Microsoft Intelligence Unit – globally placed teams that produce critical data on which the enterprise relies for making decisions.

Since joining Microsoft in 2000, Chuck has taken on ever-increasing responsibilities and expanded the scope of the services and assets his teams provides the company. Under his leadership he has transformed the executive protective services and intelligence unit to function beyond their traditional roles of body guarding and information provider, tothat of a strategic enabler.

Running Protective Operations in Mexico

Keynote Speaker: Rick Sweeney, President of Secfor International,

Rick oversees all of Secfor International’s (www.secforintrnational.com) training, protective details and recovery investigations. He has been in the security field for 25 years and specializes in high-threat protective operations, spending much of his career leading security teams in places like Azerbaijan, Bosnia, Lebanon, Iraq, and for the last 5 years, Mexico. When not on detail, Rick teaches security subjects to civilians and Military personnel and has Program-Managed U.S. Government Anti-Terrorist security training programs for the U.S. Navy and U.S. Army Special Operations Forces. Secfor has been featured on Discovery Channel’s ‘Kidnap and Rescue’ series, as well as in the Washington Post and other journals and publications in the U.S. and Internationally.

Mexico Security Operations

Mexico is a unique and challenging environment to provide protective services. Many believe that their experience in Iraq, Afghanistan, Military, or corporate security positions, may have prepared them for a Mexico posting but, we have found that Mexico is unlike any other environment our experienced staff has worked in. Other high threat working environments may develop certain skill sets that are pertinent to Mexico operations, though the specific threat in this part of Latin America is very unique and may be different than anywhere you may have worked in the past.

Below are topics that will be covered in the seminar. We will cover the types of details you can expect, specific threat to your client and your teams, kidnap mitigation strategies, tricks of the trade directly from our agents in the field, additional training that must be considered when working in this region and practical advance packages that every agent must have before heading south.

Some specific points that Rick Sweeney will cover on operating in Mexico:

  • Why Mexico is a unique operating environment for Executive Protection Specialists?
  • What are the legalities of working security in Mexico – Licensing – Visas
  • What companies are working in Mexico and what they look for in new agents? (What not to put in your resume or CV)
  • Different types of details you are likely to encounter in Mexico
  • Realities of the violence in Mexico – Difference in Northern & Southern Mexico
  • The kidnap threat and current methods
  • Life saving driving tactics operationally proven on the streets of Mexico
  • The firearms question: Who can be armed? Can Contractors work in Mexico?
  • Working with local security forces – The pros and cons
  • Local law enforcement – A double edged sword
  • Communications: Local Mobile phones – US & foreign carriers | Nextels | Black boxes
  • GPS Tracking | Vehicle | Personal tracking devices | The Chip
  • Medical issues: Local capabilities. What medical training, and gear, you should have before working in Mexico?
  • Intelligence: What is reliable and what isn’t? What you’re not being told, CAN hurt you
  • Mission Package preparation: What is it and why you must have it.
  • Surveillance Detection Techniques specific to Mexico. How they will watch you & what you can do about it. Recovery Investigations (Kidnap & Ransom support)

Who Attends the Conference?

The unification of the two largest training academies and their respective associations as the sponsors of the 2012 Conference will provide new opportunities of networking and professional connections. The EPIC-Lifeforce Conference is organized to meet other working professionals face to face.

Talk with your professional contacts from other training schools. We are truly moving this conference into a “come one come all” professional event. We all know highly qualified, professional members of our industry that have not come through the ESI and EPI pipeline and we want them to come and share with us the great training, the networking opportunities, and to meet other alumni – to break bread with our brothers and sisters from around the world.

If you are a newcomer to the field – or an experienced professional looking for new opportunities – or simply interested in the networking opportunities provided by the conference, this is a must event. Many regard the NETWORK event held on Saturday afternoon the most important part of the conference, providing a chance to learn about jobs and the industry companies who employ the professionals.

BRING FRIENDS

We are offering an incentive to Alumni Members who bring two non-members to the conference by reducing Registration fee by $50 for first time attendees. It is a unique and inexpensive opportunity to find out more about the protection field and to talk with professionals who are working in the field or operating their own business.

CORPORATE SPONSORS

The EPIC-Lifeforce Conference actively solicits Corporate Sponsors to offset the cost of Guest Speakers and running the conference. For those sponsors who contribute will receive special recognition before and during the conference and a Free Table at NETWORK. Sponsors can set up a table at the conference and receive honorable mention in all promotional material. We are looking for more. Corporate Sponsorship schedule is the following:

SILVER $500 – GOLD $1,000 – PLATINUM $1,500.

EPI AND ESI PLANNING COMMITTEE

Bob Duggan, President ESI Jerry Heying, Executive Director EPI
Fonda Delcamp, Vice-President ESI Gene Ferrera, EPI Director of Training
Cory Smith, Executive Services, Target Rick Colliver, Eaton Corporation
Barry Wilson, President, Anlance Protection JJ Sutton, President, Foremost Security

CONFERENCE FEES

ESI or EPI ALUMNI ASSOCIATION MEMBER……………….$295.00
NON MEMBER……………..………………………………..……..$350.00
FIRST TIME ATTENDEES DISCOUNT………………………….$50.00
PRE-REGISTRANTS PRIOR TO OCTOBER 1, 2012: Free Copy of Cynthia Hetherington’s book, “Business Background Investigations”.

To register online please visit: http://www.esi-lifeforce.com/alumni-association/alumni-association/conference-registration.html

Maintain good communication and cooperation within your work area

During our career in security industry we will have to work along with people who don’t share the same work beliefs, qualifications, training and experience background with us. So even when we ‘like or dislike’ someone we shouldn’t never allow it to affect our professionalism and make us loose our target, which is client’s safety. If the client is safe then we and our team are safe too.

As we all know Close Protection is a profession that doesn’t have unfortunately until today, professional standards requirements. Each country, even each state has its own licensing requirements and in many times no training is required at all. So with this said, you can realize that you have to work and lock as a team with people who bring with them different experience, skills, training disciplines, standards, professionalism, culture, and ethics.

It is very important each one in the team to promote and maintain good communication and work cooperation with each other, the client, and of course other people who we may be in contact with (house personnel, office staff etc).

Some of the people you are working with may have more skills than you or less, may be younger or elder, so in each situation you must address your inquires to them with respect. Never offend anyone no matter the reason, never correct someone while there is anyone else in present. If you believe he did a mistake because of lack of experience or training you can ask if he/she will like you to give them some tips or advices. Not many people are open to get advices by others. If they refuse, respect it and leave it as it is.

In our work it is very important when an issue occurs instead of loosing time to find out why and how happened or whose fault is, to take immediate action and fix it. Later you can do your research within the team members and find out what happened, why and who is holding the responsibility for it. Finding who did the mistake is not for the reason to be put in the light spot and be blamed, but, inform, correct it and prevent any other similar issues in the future.

Have in mind if you are not the team leader or the supervisor then it is not your responsibility to call and talk with the person who acted unprofessionally or did a mistake. You can inform your supervisor or team leader about the fact of the incident, make sure you leave out ANY PERSONAL CHARACTERIZATIONS for your colleague who did wrong.

The main focus should be how you can operate as an individual within a team but also as a team member who its main target is clients and teams safety.

It is sad but very true and we see it almost every day in online networks or forums, people who hide behind a pc screen and a ‘’nickname’’ accuse colleagues or talk bad about them. First not professional at all, second it is not fair to accuse someone whose identity you have make sure is open and yours remain hidden and most important not able to be verified (your skills, experience, professional stand).

Personally I consider security industry forums, mostly as places for people who like to behave like crying babies, have plenty of free time (cause they are not working) and fill their lives with blaming others. Yes, definitely there are un-professionals and there are professionals as well, but a forum is not the right place to show who is who.

Be careful when you come to juxtaposition with others online, no matter the information or names they are using in networking places still you don’t know with whom you are talking with. Try to avoid those kinds of situations, and if not always try to be polite and not lose your temper. When someone is attacking you online have only one motivation, to break your inner self. Either is an ex colleague, a competitor or someone who want to fill his empty life with causing harm to those who are successful, always try not to feed them by reacting or responding to defend yourself. You, your colleagues and your clients knows who you are.

 

Closing one of my favorite sayings: IF YOU CANT CREATE IT, RESPECT IT

 

Denida Zinxhiria

Athena Academy Founder

CPS

Nannyguards Upcoming Training this fall in Atlanta, GA

Athena Academy announce NANNYGUARDS (SM)  a premiere and elite company that not only aids families with placement, through our network of NANNYGUARDS authorized placement agencies, but also provides the world’s first Certified Child Protection Specialist training (CPS).  No other agency in the world meets our stringent training and placement guidelines.

NANNYGUARDS offer a distinct service over traditionally trained nannies.  With training in ways to protect your family from stalkers, paparazzi, kidnap attempts and more.  NANNYGUARDS are not acting in the capacity of a bodyguard, rather a nanny whose training is equivalent to that of a bodyguard but their overall responsibility is the care and keeping of children as dictated historically and in modern times.  Not only do Nannyguards have the necessary training to mitigate exposure to negative events, but in the rare event they are faced with decisions on how to ensure the safety of the children they look after NANNYGUARDS are prepared to do what it takes to ensure children’s safety.  With training that is far superior in the management of intentional or unintentional acts of harm, NANNYGUARDS are fulfilling their role as overall caregiver.

Services are provided to families of all types, including: celebrity, executive, reality TV, and dignitary families.  Additionally, our services are even used for those families that maybe travelling often times in hostile parts of the world.

All nannies have a responsibility to carefully look after the direct and indirect actions of the children they are responsible for.  This includes supporting the physical, social, emotional, creative, and intellectual development of the children of the family.

NANNYGUARDS  company started by a group of security consultants, nannies, bodyguards and private investigators, is an answer for those that would like more peace of mind when hiring a nanny/manny. Our collective experience in protecting people, working in federal law enforcement, investigating identies and habits of individuals, travelling in foreign countries, training bodyguards and working with children uniquely qualifies us to help shape the next generation of nannies.

Not only are we keen professionals in background investigating all potential Nannyguards, but we also are very experienced in teaching and training, providing protective services for individuals and families, working in high-risk situations and more.  Although Nannyguards is not a security service provider, we are a security training group that provide nannies with the ability to look at their position from a different point of view.

Nannyguards is borne from the changes occurring in our world today.  With strange, unusual, violent and unforeseen circumstances occurring on a daily basis, Nannyguards is the answer to ensuring quality childcare.  Not only do we surpass every nanny agency in “screening” (we investigate) we also bring the future of childcare through the introduction of increased situational awareness.

If all nannies/mannies are experienced and come with good qualifications this makes things equal.  However, if the nanny has this background and then goes through Nannyguard certification, all things are no longer equal and we have just raised the bar in childminding services.

Athena Academy offers you the only training in the world that qualifies a NANNYGUARD by completing the Child Protective Specialist (CPS) course.  This unique and certified 7 day course will challenge nannies in ways they may have not thought possible.  For those who are interested in NANNYGUARD training, please contact deni@athenaworldwide.com

Denida Zinxhiria, CPSS

Founder, ATHENA Academy

http://www.athenaacademy.com