Edward “Ed” Haynes, the founder, CEO and owner of Miami-based Haynes Security Services, saw a lot of the world before he founded his security business.
Raised in Tallahassee, Haynes studied business administration at Bethune-Cookman University and Tallahassee Community College, served six years in the U.S. Marine Corps, and was an officer on the Miami Shores Police Department. He also spent several years in California working in literacy programs, and he moved to Ghana to help build a school.
He started his first private security agency in the early 1990s and founded Haynes Security in 2011, along the way serving as chief of security for U.S. Rep. Frederica S. Wilson, the Democrat who represents the 24th congressional district, between 2011 and 2016.
“I wanted to have my own business and the freedom to create a legacy for my family,” said Haynes from his headquarters at a shopping mall on Northwest 27th Avenue in Miami.
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“We began with our savings and some credit,” he said. His wife Adriene, now the company’s CFO, was working for a nonprofit at the time and helped finance the startup: “I started with one employee — me — and now we have 30 full-time employees and we feed 30 families.” His two daughters, Chakara and Candyce (also a Marine), work with the company.
Haynes’s clients include large public and private organizations, venues like the Miramar Amphitheatre and entertainment figures — he said he has worked with the likes of Queen Latifah, Betty Wright and other celebs when they appear locally.
Haynes, offering armed and unarmed security agents, has subsidiaries that provide security training, executive protection and private investigations (Invisible Investigations).
Serious players in the highly regulated security industry had to change their image and training from that of the oft-maligned “rent-a-cop” because of the threat of terrorism and more demanding clients, Haynes said. A first-level (unarmed) security officer must take 40 hours of training and pass a state exam to be certified. Armed guards need over 50 additional hours and must pass tests for the State of Florida and for Miami-Dade, if they work in the county.
“Our job is to observe and report to the police,” Haynes said, although armed guards in some situations are allowed to detain an individual until the police arrive.
“We’re a business and we’re built for service,” Haynes said. “But I also want to help my employees become complete persons so they can survive on their own. I want people to become so proficient that they leave me and start their own business.”
Haynes recently was awarded the South Florida District and State of Florida Veteran Owned Business of the Year award for 2017 by the U.S. Small Business Administration.
Company name: Haynes Security Services Inc.
Owner: Edward Haynes.
Launched: 2011. Before that, Haynes owned and operated other security services since the early 1990s.
Revenues: More than $600,000 in 2016, up from $80,000 in 2011, when the company started.
The difference: “My knowledge base,” Haynes said. “I have a broad range of experience, have worked in different areas and can adapt to new situations. My contacts include police, politicians, businessmen and entertainment figures.”
Clients: The Miami-Dade Metrorail, real estate development companies like Global City Development, entertainment venues and performers. Between 2011 and 2016, Haynes was chief of security for Congresswoman Frederica Wilson.
Competitors: Large security firms like G4S Secure Solutions (formerly Wackenhut), Allied Universal (which merged with AlliedBarton) and many smaller companies.
Employees: 30 full time, plus contractors for special events and other projects.
Offices: Headquarters at 7900 NW 27th Ave., Miami; branch office at 601 NE 36th St., Miami.
Outside view: “We’ve worked with Haynes Security for over three years,” said Diego Procel, principal at Global City Development, a Miami-based firm that focuses on projects with a social impact in Florida, Texas and greater Washington, D.C. “Ed has always provided excellent services. He has been responsive with last-minute requests and has gone above and beyond his duties to protect our interests. We will continue to employ his services in other projects, and I would definitely recommend him to other companies.”
Business lesson: At one point, Haynes tried to grow the company too fast, taking on new employees and assignments. When existing clients didn’t pay his company on time, he ran short and briefly owed money.
Best decision ever: Learning how to mediate and not to confront people.
Challenges: Finding reliable personnel and dealing with overhead and regulations. Insurance represents a large expense and premiums keep rising as the company grows.
Strategy: “We’re looking at adding new private sector clients and qualifying for contracts with the federal government.” Haynes is also adding technology services, such as electronic monitoring, and growing its training branch.
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