ONE LIFE AT A TIME
The idea came to me one Saturday in July of 2016. I was sitting on my couch at home having one of those
moments when you reflect on life and make a mental checklist of priorities. At that time I had been a member
of IBSSA for 10 years, and their U.S. representative for half of those.
IBSSA, the International Bodyguard & Security Services Association, headquartered in Budapest, Hungary. A beautiful old city that I've made many trips to since joining the IBSSA. Some of those trips were to teach executive protection at the Hungarian National Law Enforcement Academy, and others were spent with my friend and international mentor Sir George Popper, the President of IBSSA. Some of my fondest memories are of days spent with Sir George in his backyard while he explained to me the international workings of IBSSA.
The network, the business and the personalities involved all fascinated me. To be a part of such a vast organization
and to be among the ranks of some of the finest security professionals in the world has always been an honor.
So on that particular July day while sitting on my couch, I felt the need to create something new, something dynamic within the IBSSA. The topic of human trafficking had been picking up momentum within our association over the past five years, so I messaged Sir George to find out if anyone in the organization had successfully created an IBSSA group specifically to counter this international crime of human trafficking. Sir George replied shortly after receiving my message, and indicated that while this was a prominent topic, no one had brought this idea to fruition.
I began putting paper to pen (or fingers to keyboard), and by the end of that evening had sketched out an idea for the first IBSSA International Anti-Human Trafficking Project.
The first thing I set about doing was locating IBSSA members in various countries to serve as what we would call Bureau Chiefs. They would be the focal points for their respective geographic areas. Then I contacted organizations that I believed would be significant partners in this project. Finally, I began attending every local area meeting regarding human trafficking that I could find. I knew that this would be a project that I would have to educate myself on quickly!
By October, we had recruited twenty three Bureau Chiefs and partnered with the University of North Carolina Charlotte (UNCC). In February, 2017, during the IBSSA annual conference (this year held in Sarasota, Florida),
I presented the first IBSSA International Anti-Human Trafficking Project to our senior leadership. That day we
formally launched the project with the unanimous approval of the Board of Directors.
Sir Karl de la Guerra: The moment of decision. Final words presenting this program to the Board of Directors.
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