Chairman of the Board and CEO • Prime Protective Services Inc. • Brooklyn, N.Y. • Age: 37
Nearly a decade ago, Terry English traded his post in the guardhouse for a seat at the head of the boardroom table. Armed with years of security experience, the drive to succeed, and $100, English set out to establish Prime Protective Services Inc., one of the fastest-growing security service firms in New York City. He took an all-or-nothing approach, adhering to the words of the late Black Power activist, Malcolm X, “by any means necessary.” “Once I decided to do it, it was as good as done,” English says. “True commitment differentiates the leaders from the losers.”
English has grown his company from one to nearly 200 employees, with revenues eclipsing $3 million. Prime Protective offers a complete range of services, including unarmed security guards, foot patrol, access control and monitoring, crowd and surge control, and escorts. Its clients range from the city’s largest nursing homes to high-end retail businesses on Madison Avenue. “I’ve never been one to settle for simply being better. I’ve always wanted to be the best. Businesses that don’t strive to be the best shouldn’t be in business,” English declares. His goal is to have the largest Black-owned security firm in the United States, with offices along the East Coast. He already has begun to deploy a strategy to acquire smaller security firms.
Prior to starting Prime Protective, English served in the United States Army as a military police officer, then held various leadership positions in Burns International Security, one of the world’s largest security firms. While at Burns, he managed a client base that brought in revenues exceeding $35 million.
English is a member of the American Society of Industrial Security. He takes an active role in the community by supporting Ja Rule’s Life Camp for Youth and overseeing the Neighborhood Anti-crime Coalition (NAC), a grassroots organization he founded to prevent neighborhood crime, gang activity and drug trafficking.