SpecVIP Protection Group Inc. officially launched in July 2017, but that was by far not the beginning of this great company. This company was started out of a desire to help others and a passion for protection. Although our company is branded around Specialized VIP Protection, it is so much more than that. As we recently celebrated our second year in business, here’s how SpecVIP got to where it is and a little bit on where we are going.
About the Founder
As the Founder of SpecVIP, I have spent over 20 years protecting others and working as a professional in the industry. For me, I officially started out as a protector when I joined the Military Police reserves in the late ’90s and went on to have a diverse career in private security and as a local Law Enforcement Officer. There was also a period of time where I was co-owner of a private training company and a Security Service Provider. For more than twenty years I have been working in and around the protection of others in some capacity. I have also paralleled my operational experience with an equally passionate training career. Early on in my Military service, I was given an opportunity to teach a single class. From there my passion grew and I took course after course after course, of various instructor programs. Not wanting to be a paper warrior or keyboard instructor, I ensured I returned the favor and taught wherever and whenever possible. This included about a 5-year stint as a training coordinator for Western Canada and whereupon returning from Afghanistan I was tasked with helping train elements of the outgoing task force (nearly 2000 or so other soldiers) in various topics.
Most recently I have been employed as a full-time Close Protection Specialist on a well trained and very experienced team. Our members travel all over the country and around the world protecting our VIPs. It was while working on this team; with its associated duties and efforts, that sparked the fire for the creation of SpecVIP Protection Group Inc.
About The Idea
As a member of this specialized VIP Protection team, I spent a lot of time traveling around the world protecting our VIPs. I found myself in many different countries, cities, hotels, event spaces and walking or driving the streets. Despite the fact that every country, region, city or area has its own culture and nuances, there were many similarities to how I did the job of protection. In fact, it was a simple application of fundamental protection concepts employed in a customized approach that lead me down the path of reigniting my entrepreneurial flame.
As I traveled around I started to work with Close Protection teams all over Canada, the United States, Europe, the United Kingdom and a little bit in Asia. This was with both Public Sector agents and Private sector folks as well. What I noticed is they too had many fundamentals but there were also a lot of differences. In many ways, the differences were subtle, which was generally the trend with the more professional teams. With the less professional teams, the differences were vast. It was this that got me thinking that maybe there was a better way, maybe there was a different way or maybe some people just didn’t know better. That is when I really started researching what could be done and how I could contribute to helping the industry of VIP Protection.
About the Corporate Pivot
For a while, I had been working on starting this business. I had also done a ton of industry research as well as business professional development. One thing I noticed is that when deployed out of my home country I had to rely on protection methods not used at home. As my credentials did not automatically transfer I realized that I still needed to protect my clients, but had to look at it from a different perspective and operate in a different manner. One day, when working a protective detail I eventually had an epiphany on the subject; well actually two. Here are the two “realizations” I made that would eventually become the guiding concepts behind SpecVIP.
- It was not my credentials, title or perceived identity that made me good at my job or protected my clients.
- What I do at home or abroad to protect high-level VIPs can easily be adapted and applied to anyone, anywhere; not just for those employed in VIP Protection.
A Name Comes from Focus and Direction
These two realizations became the focus of where the SpecVIP Protection Group was going. In fact, at this point, we didn’t even have a company name, but we had a rough concept and a blurry focus. We weren’t just going to look at improving or adding value to the VIP Protection industry. We were also going to seek ways to use what we know about protecting VIPs to help everyone, in ways and formats that were applicable to them. It was the combination of everything we wanted to do for the VIP Protection industry, or with its concepts, in a unique and specialized format, that led to the name SpecVIP Protection Group Inc. Prior to this, I had been struggling with coming up with a name for about 3 years while we worked on this project. It wasn’t until we found our focus and vision (although still a little blurry from the celebrating) that we landed on the name. Additionally, once the name was determined so many other elements of the direction we wanted to go became more clear. It was as if we had all these ideas, but we needed a name. Then when we found the name, merely having it began to create further clarity and the ideas became concepts. The more we worked the concepts around our new brand, the more our services and products became real. The focus of our effort, therefore, became twofold:
- Provide products and services that will help the VIP Protection industry, while raising the standards in the process.
- Use high-level VIP Protection concepts, adapted as required, to help anyone better protect whomever they call VIP (family, friends, customers, employees, etc.).
The Result of this Journey
As a result of focused direction and landing on some concepts, we created a few “A La Carte” programs designed around both visions.
- We have some courses and services designed specifically for the VIP Protection Community; some complete and others in progress
- We have other courses and programs designed specifically for the everyday individual or business.
- We also have some courses and projects in the works that will benefit both the everyday person and the seasoned protection professional.
The benefit of having such a robust career path is that it makes you adaptable and flexible. The same can be said for our courses and some of the other services we offer. We can take anything we have and modify it to serve the needs of our clients. We also have a very experienced team behind us, all with diverse and varied specialties. This allows us to create programs and services from scratch in a variety of other topics as well.
No Mission is Undertaken Alone
I would be remiss if I did not mention the efforts of the team behind the scenes, in the classrooms and at the training sites. No mission can be undertaken successfully without help or cohesion. I may have started the company but it is the folks that work hard on their days off and in the evenings to help out, that truly make this company grow. We are small and all of our staff are currently operational in various positions in Law Enforcement, the Military or the Private Sector. These folks dedicate and give up their free time in order to come out and help build the vision because they believe very strongly in what we are doing. They are all experienced protection professionals and trainers that see a need for a better industry and a better world. Which is why I am so thankful to have such great people helping us along this journey.
I also must mention and thank my family, for without them none of this would be possible. The family that has put up with me spending days off writing or running courses. The family that has put up with my operational deployments and now has to suffer without me while I attend the evening networking events or spend weekends on business administration or the endless hours on social media trying to get our message out. So to them, I thank them all very much for their love and support.
The bottom line is no mission can be accomplished without help. We’ve had great friends helping out, tremendous family support so far and fantastic business relationships as well. This may just be the start, but it is the beginning of something great and we hope we can change the world; one step, idea and influence at a time.
There you have it, a little bit more context on where we came from and what sparked the beginning of SpecVIP Protection Group Inc. For personal and professional reasons I’ve left some details out, but I think you get the point. Although we are a small organization at the moment, we have some big ideas and great people working with us. With your help, we can make the world a much safer place for all our personal and professional VIPs.