Phil is known to be “the quiet man behind the scenes” that forges a good thing into greatness. He has proven to be very versatile.
Security and investigation have been keen interests of Phil since his earliest days in the field, at the Akron Zoological Park, where he started his security career as a guard. Thankfully, Phil has gotten away from his early days in the field when he was assigned “one-man surveillance details” and from being a fixed post security officer – that was then, this is now. His work ethic and experience has lead him to the administrative, management-supervision and leadership roles in the industry for more than 17 years.
He considers himself fortunate to have gained valuable experience along the way, serving as the Sr. Investigator/Project Manager for an Akron-area security, investigations and consulting firm. Phil was tapped to do everything and anything for the firm, from public relations, training, marketing, hiring, staffing, scheduling, payroll, investigations... Phil never shies away from any challenge. He served with honor and distinguished himself by his work product.
In 2016 he commanded an executive protection personnel detail during the Republican National Convention in Cleveland, Ohio, ensuring the physical safety of essential personnel and dignitaries for that event. While growing his depth of experience in the security industry, he was asked by a mid-size regional security firm headquartered in Pittsburgh, PA to step in to turnaround a failing security operations division that was permitted to exist by regional management in the Cleveland, Ohio service region, serving as the Director of Security Operations and National Corporate Trainer. “I knew the assignment would be tough, but temporary. I achieved my mission --- delivering an organized unit that responded well under my unified command. We cut call offs by 93% in Q1 of operations. I was proud of my efforts in improving the firm's quality of service delivery for its clientele.”
“I’ve always tried to be a positive example for those whom I’ve been charged with leading. Being a leader isn’t about titles – it’s about how you treat the members of your team, your vision, your direction,” Rizzo said recently, “I’d like to think that the men and women I lead respect me for my sound decision-making ability, my frank communication skills and a desire to get the job done right, the first time. They may not always agree with me, but they know I care about them as people and I do everything in my power to show that through my actions and interactions with them. The best leaders and managers are those who instill and inspire creativity but who take satisfaction in seeing their own ideas so embraced by those whom they lead that they ultimately come to believe they were the original source of the idea. Not someone who just says, “do this” “do that” – that gets old fast.”
Phil earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Criminal Justice and Political Science from The University of Akron, and began his career as an investigator working for ex-Summit County Deputy Mr. William K. Bickett’s Bickett United Security firm, in the Special Investigations Unit (SIU), where he gained 10 years of solid investigative knowledge, experience and expertise.
From 2010-2014 he served with distinction as the Corporate Loss & Risk Mitigation Specialist with Goodwill Industries (a large nationwide non-profit social service agency), where he was responsible for protecting the human & physical assets of 14 retail stores in a 5-county area in Ohio (with an annual sales volume of approximately $15 million) from shrink loss, theft (internal/external), damage or injury due to the criminal acts of employees, participants and customers. He was the corporate-wide trainer on topics including: Active Shooter; Workplace Violence Awareness; Detail Recognition in The Retail Environment; Loss Prevention/Point of Sale (POS) Cash Control; and the De-escalation of Aggressive Behavior in the Retail Setting.
At the beginning of 2014 he was asked to be The Director of Safety & Security for the Cottage Grove Evangelical Church in Coventry, OH. He served as the Head Recording & Counting Steward, managing and overseeing a staff of 7 stewards responsible for the cash control of the congregation and the physical security of the facility.
Continuous improvement is a lifelong mission for Phil, as evidenced by his continuing education efforts, which include a certificate program from The University of Maryland at College Park: START – The National Consortium for the Study of Terrorism and Responses to Terrorism, which he completed with Distinct Honors.
In addition to his certification from The Crisis Prevention Center, Inc. in Nonviolent Crisis Intervention, Phil holds certifications combined in 17 separate areas of specialization with The U.S. Department of Homeland Security; Federal Emergency Management Administration and Emergency Management Institute, including: Active Shooter Risk Mitigation; The Fundamentals of Risk Management; Critical Infrastructure Protection; Emergency Planning; Workplace Violence; and Retail Security Awareness.
He has been a 7 year active member of ASIS --- the American Society for Industrial Security (www.asisonline.org) where he honed his leadership skills, serving as the immediate past Chairman of the Board of Directors (Akron/Canton chapter #123) from November 2014 to the conclusion of 2017. He was appointed by the Regional Vice President to be the Assistant Regional Vice President for Region 2F, covering the geographical area of Cleveland, Akron and Canton, OH.
Currently, Phil also serves as Physical Security Consultant to Taveras Mercado & Groceria in Union City & East Orange, New Jersey, responsible for the security standards, operations and oversight protecting the patrons, employees and company assets.
He is also working towards the completion of the Emergency Management Certification with The University of Minnesota Department of Homeland Security Emergency Management Division. A certified ISO Auditor (ISO 9001:2008); Phil also has his OSHA 10 and has begun his studies for his CPP Credential with ASIS and the Security+ exam with COMPTIA. Most recently he was elected by SC Magazine to be a judge for their 2019 SC Awards, which he served with honor and distinction.
Phil blogs extensively on the topics of Executive Protection (a specialization of his) and Criminal Justice reform. He was contracted to author an exam prep premier on Crime Scene Investigation entitled: "Follow the evidence: An insider’s look at crime scene investigation, evidence collection and best practices", and is very proud of his final work product.
Today, with the love, guidance and wisdom of countless others who have looked favorably on Phil’s quality of work and work ethic, he is active in the community, volunteering his time to numerous worthy causes. Currently, he runs miles to help raise money for the National Kidney Foundation to help eradicate kidney disease and to provide funds for research and for those undergoing costly kidney transplants.
He has long been a staunch champion of the foreign-born and immigrants, having volunteered his time at The International Institute of Akron as a Citizenship Exam Proctor and language bank translator in both Spanish & Italian languages. Functional in Italian and fluent in Spanish, he has travelled extensively in the Dominican Republic, where he met his wife of seven years, Miledys. They reside in West Akron.
“I am a business professional who has developed a special skill set in Risk Mitigation/Safety & Security through my formal training and development gained from those around me and my collective life experiences,” Rizzo said. “I like to protect people from hurt, harm or danger. My goal is to treat everyone I am fortunate to encounter as if they were family. I look forward to partnering with you to help remedy any security issues you may have. My door is always open to you and I look forward to meeting you and serving you with CPR (courtesy, professionalism and respect) as the founding partner in Rizzo’s Protective Group, Ltd”.