USPA Nationwide Security Gives Profits to Kingsman Service
It all started in a backyard of a home on Long Island talking about the possibility of opening a security company. They tossed around a few names, and Mike Evans offered US Protection Agency. Everyone laughed. No one is laughing now. Evans is the CEO of USPA International, one of the world’s largest security conglomerates, employing 5,000 contractors in 16 countries. The parent company, USPA International, has spun off into USPA Nationwide Security, Panic Room USA, and USPA Technologies. Evans moved to Parkland four years ago, and his USPA Nationwide Security branch remains headquartered in Manhattan. It provides security guards, high-end bodyguard services, firewatch guards close protection, anti-kidnapping, and abduction support. Every contractor is either ex-military or has experience in law enforcement. The Panic Room USA division includes experts at building bombproof, bulletproof, and fireproof “hard rooms”. Evans said he reached out to the school district following the tragic Parkland shooting and offered to fund the installation of bulletproof glass and any other safety measures necessary, but never received a response. His USPA Technologies division addresses the digital era of doing business. “We are developing an app to make it convenient for people to order and pay for any type of bodyguard service or security direct from their phone.” Evans had a law enforcement background, worked side jobs with security companies, attended college, was getting ready to be a first-time parent, and was in the middle of building a house on Long Island. Short on money, the idea of starting a security company bloomed. Within ten months of launching USPA, “we were working between 60 to 80 hours a week, and the investors wanted out,” said Evans. “I bought them out, and by the end of 12 months, I was the sole owner.” The company went from making almost nothing in the middle of 2006 to a $1 million profit margin in 2008. Evans underbid the competition to get his first client, an architectural firm in Manhattan that required 24-hour security from Friday through Sunday. He took the assignment on short notice. “I was there by myself for the entire weekend and I learned two things: I didn’t charge enough money, and I needed to hire more employees.” His first big client, Oneida County (NY), gave Evans a taste of government contract work by providing security for the Department of Motor Vehicles, Probation Department, Social Services, and the train depot. Evans’ company started Kingsman Service, an initiative assisting women and children who are victims of human trafficking, domestic violence, or other crimes. When it was introduced, business soared and phones rang off the hooks. At that time, Evans underwent a life-changing experience. He was hired by the Oprah Network to work undercover as a guard for Lisa Ling, host of “Our America With Lisa Ling,” and part of an ongoing series called “3 AM Girls.” The program, an exposé on the trafficking of teenage girls, left an indelible mark. “What I witnessed opened my eyes, and it was something I was never really able to walk away from,” he said. “I knew the girls needed help and didn’t have any money, so I sponsored the program and provided services free of charge.” To fund and sponsor the project, Evans needed a revenue source, particularly when the ranks of volunteers thinned due to the increased caseload. After some success as a technical writer, he authored a mainstream book to raise money. “I have a nice life in Parkland, my family is healthy, and we’re fine financially,” he said. “So, do I buy a bigger house or do I help young people? The answer is easy. My mother taught me that money wasn’t everything, but what is everything is the way you interact with people.” The father of three says that USPA Nationwide Security has been involved in domestic violence cases since 2006. “As a boy, I saw my mother abused, and I understand the physical and emotional damage it causes.” USPA provides numerous other services, including Pathfinder, a program of close protection, security and transportation for clients in “hot zones” created by man-made or natural disasters where there is a potential for civil unrest. The team also provides looting and fire watch protocols to safeguard businesses. The company also offers kidnapping services and covers the costs involved. “We do this in different areas of the U.S., Mexico and the Philippines,” he said. “We work with informants that give us information on missing people being trafficked.” Mike Evans is not a traditional CEO. He is on the frontlines, attending high-level sniper and pre-deployment training with contractors as they head overseas into high-risk zones, or boarding a plane on-call to provide security for a high-profile personality. “I got into the business as a way to pay the bills and provide for my family, but over the years there’s a bigger purpose than just providing safety,” said Evans. “I define success now as lending a helping hand to those in need.” In his “spare” time, Mike coaches Lax Mafia, a national lacrosse team, ranked among the top 25 teams in the nation, according to the U.S. Club Lacrosse Rankings.