I have learned while being here in DC that I do not enjoy the fluffy work that goes along with profile writing. But I am willing to do it when my grade depends on it. Here is a profile I wrote this semester
Securing Kris Coleman
Late into the evening on a chilly Washington, D.C. night, Kris Coleman, a tall man with a short, scruffy beard, polished brown, kept hair, and jovial brown eyes, enjoys his evening at home. His quiet evening is interrupted when he hears his phone ring and sees the area code for a California number; a potential client is calling, asking for him to come offer his expertise. In his deep, calm tone Coleman agrees to fly out that very night to meet with a potential client. At 10 pm he hops on a flight, instructing his employees of his absence, leaving to help another company with their security issues.
“The breadth of clients that I have worked to protect is the most interesting thing about my job,” says Coleman, Founder, President, and CEO of Red Five Security. “I have worked security for head of state protection operations down to working with CEOs of Fortune 50 companies. I have also worked with protecting defectors who have come to the United States.”
Coleman has more than twenty years experience in the security field. He has worked in both the public and private sectors, serving with the Central Intelligence Agency, the Federal Bureau of Investigation, and private sector consulting with Red Five Security for the past seven years. He has consulted on the pre-construction security for such diverse projects as the Louvre Abu Dhabi, Guggenheim, and Sheik Zayed National Museums on Saadiyat Island in the United Arab Emirates. During his years with the CIA he conducted threat and vulnerability assessments as well as developing programmatic approaches to counterterrorism and law enforcement for such countries as Italy, Pakistan, Saudi Arabia, Colombia, and Jordan.
Coleman fell in love with security because the diversity the field offered. “ I got to work with FBI Directors, CIA directors,” says Coleman in a tone that seems almost reminiscent. This security veteran whose love of adventure took him all over the world adds, “Working security means everything from standing post to riding mountain bikes with the Queen of Jordan. It is crazy, it is such a wide swath of activities.”
Though Coleman enjoyed working for the CIA and FBI for fourteen years, he moved into the private sector and started Red Five Security in Washington, D.C. “I left government and went to work with a high network client in the Midwest and they asked me to come in and redo their security aspect,” Coleman explains. “I really enjoyed the broad nature of working for specific clients with a lot of different moving parts. I decided to turn it in to a business venture and that is how I started Red Five Security.”
A distinctive portion of Red Five Security includes the complete assessment, design development, and installation of security programs for high net worth clients. Projects have included 35,000+ square foot residences in Washington D.C. and Florida, and comprise Threat and Vulnerability Assessments, design and installation of security systems, deployment of guard services, and establishment of ongoing policies and procedures. All the security systems used by Red Five Security and Coleman include cutting-edge technologies, tested techniques, and current best practices to endure a holistic, balanced, and effective approach.
Born in Arkansas, Coleman got involved in security during his time at the University of Arkansas at Fayetteville. Though his Bachelor’s degree was in Public Administration, Coleman started his career in security while still in school. “I did a program with the CIA; did two semesters with them before graduating and getting my first job with them.” Coleman loved the global mission focus that the CIA offered. “I was always interested in international terrorists,” Coleman admits. “Security was just so appealing to me.”
During his time at the CIA, Coleman began to receive more and more responsibility. “I was hired to become an operational support person. We did finance. We did security. We did training. We did personnel. We did everything. At the same time we were also asked to do operational stuff. It was unusual to do all the administrative and all the operations. They made an internal change in their organization so we had to pick something to focus on. I had just finished a tour in Norway and I had worked on the Olympics so when I needed to pick a focus security was the thing that interested me the most.”
As Coleman gained more and more experience in the public security sector, his work continued to surprise and entertain him. “My just got better because I was given broader access to all the issues around the world. But I was working through a certain career path in the agency and had the opportunity to become a special agent. It seemed like the natural transition to go into law enforcement. I was interested in organized crime and terrorism and becoming a federal agent allowed me to work in those areas.”
Ending his ten-year time with the CIA, Coleman joined the FBI. During his four years as a Special Agent, Coleman focused on criminal investigation of International Organized Crime and International Terrorism. He was a member of the FBI’s enhanced SWAT team and still is an FBI-certified instructor in firearms, protection, surveillance, and counter-surveillance. Coleman was involved in many national special security events during his time with the FBI, providing assessments and managing protective operations during Olympic Games in the US and overseas.
All of this expertise made Coleman the perfect candidate to move into the private sector and consult on security operations. In 2004, Coleman became the Director of Protective Operations for Limited Brands. He got the opportunity to re-engineer the Office of Protective Operations and directed global operations for the CEO and his family. With this first taste of private sector security consulting, Coleman was hooked.
His next client was Accelligence Group where he supported law enforcement and intelligence training. Finally he consulted for Good Harbor Consulting where he was responsible for executive protection and corporate security. It was at this point that Coleman realized the potential of this industry he had stumbled in to and he founded Red Five Security.
Red Five Security is a small business solving security challenges with creative and cost-effective solutions. The employees have extensive experience in security operations and intelligence, security design and engineering, threat and vulnerability assessments, investigations, and have trained corporate and government security professionals around the globe. The team includes experts from the U.S. Secret Service, the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the Central Intelligence Agency, and the Departments of State, Defense and Energy as well as accredited security design specialists. “Our combined experience gives us a deep understanding of today’s threats and the countermeasures required to defend against them and we understand the importance of best security practices in support of business enterprises and corporate strategic goals,” according to their website.
“Kris is a good boss. He won’t let you sit at a computer for an entire day, he wants you to get up and do things,” chides Haley Spence, 21, an intern for Red Five Security. “He actually cares about people and makes sure you are on track all the time.” It is comforting to know that Coleman, a man with so much experience and expertise, is keeping the private sector safe.