Blackwell Inc. – Town&Style

Blackwell Professional Security Services

by tony di martino

IN A SOCIAL LANDSCAPE LITTERED WITH HIGH CRIME, low standards and even lower expectations, Blackwell Professional Security Services strives to be a fortress of integrity and expertise. “It’s our goal to redefine security services in the eyes of our industry, and more important, in the eyes of our clients,” says founder and CEO Wade Blackwell. “We use a collaborative approach to address the needs of each business, always staying true to our cornerstones of respect and excellence.”

Blackwell Inc. provides security and professional support services for dozens of clients throughout the St. Louis metropolitan area, Chicago and Indianapolis, including top businesses, banks, country clubs, healthy facilities and nursing homes. Wade Blackwell, a black belt in kenpo karate, says his background in martial arts propelled him toward the security industry. He worked at two firms before starting his own business in 1999. “The other firms were national outfits, but I knew a locally owned and operated agency would better understand the needs of our community and have a sense of stewardship toward its safety and protection,” he explains. He now has more than 150 full- and part-time employees. Offerings include corporate, industrial, event and warehouse security, as well as investigation services. The firm also provides doormen, lobby attendants, concierges and outsourced receptionists.

Besides ensuring a safe environment, Blackwell says top-notch security services make a positive impact on clients’ revenue growth, sustainability and shareholder value. “We’re a profit center for your business, not just a cost,” he says. “We help clients achieve increased occupancy, tenant retention and guest satisfaction. We deliver similar results for industrial and warehouse properties.” Blackwell officers are typically the first and last individuals encountered when people enter and exit a property. “Their outstanding services makes a positive impression, enhancing your image and improving your bottom line.”

Blackwell realizes the security business has a dodgy reputation. “That’s why we employ only well-trained, highly experienced protection professionals, holding them to strict standards of skill, integrity, physical fitness, performance and a razor-sharp appearance,” he says. The ‘Blackwell look’ includes impeccable uniforms or tailored suits, shirt and tie, and polished patent leather shoes. “Blackwell pros are the elite,” he says. “We systematically train each officer to be alert, aware and responsive, emphasizing a thorough knowledge of security protocol. They are respectful, courteous and helpful toward others. They serve as the eyes and ears of your business or building, handling security situations with skill, restraint, discretion and a firm resolve. At a time when there is little regard for safety, civility or property, our clients are confident we’ve got their back.”

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Blackwell Owner Highlighted in St. Louis Business Journal

What’s Your Routine? Wade Blackwell, Founder and Owner, Blackwell Inc., Wade Blackwell says his involvement in Kenpo Karate led him to start Blackwell Professional Security Services, which offers corporate and concierge security services.

Blackwell had boxed and participated in Tae Kwon Do as a youth. “Back in 1988, I was looking for something with a little more depth of intensity than what I’d done before,” he said.

Kenpo Karate is a self-defense, martial arts system first popularized in the U.S. in the 1950s. “It’s extreme street fighting,” Blackwell said.

Blackwell began studying with Bill Boyd, a Hall of Fame, Master in Kenpo, at Bill Boyd’s, Tracy’s Kenpo Karate Studio, located at 11970 Dorsett Road in Maryland Heights. Blackwell went on to become a certified black belt instructor in Kenpo and has taught at Boyd’s studio for the past 11 years.

“We’re here to teach certainly street self-defense, but it’s more,” Blackwell said. “We’re getting these ladies and gentlemen in top physical condition. We work with balance, coordination, confidence and awareness.” Blackwell, 51, said his involvement in martial arts pointed him toward the security industry. He’d previously worked at two other St. Louis-area security firms before starting his own firm in 1999, which now has 157 full- and part-time employees.

Blackwell works out at Boyd’s studio five mornings a week, taking off Tuesdays and Sundays. Each session lasts at least three and a half hours, including one-on-one Kenpo workouts with Boyd, a mixture of strength and cardio training, and constant speed and accuracy development. There are over 600 techniques to be practiced and perfected in Kenpo between the orange and black belt levels.

Blackwell’s sessions include work on a Powertec workbench gym, a Multi-Station weight and resistance apparatus with a suggested retail price range of about $3,000 to $5,000, plus accessories. On Mondays, Blackwell does three sets of chest, back and bicep exercises on the gym. “On Wednesdays, it’s all leg work, mostly extreme squats all the way up to 600 to 650 pounds,” Blackwell said. “The next day, we do shoulders and biceps.”

For daily cardio work, “we work on the power bags, we work on target strikes, and we work on the kicks. All this is done with full force and full speed,” Blackwell said.

Mixed in throughout the week are Kenpo Katas (a Japanese word describing detailed choreographed patterns of movements practiced either solo or in pairs.), or extreme combinations of movements chosen for form, power and speed. “If you do a 22-man attack Kata in less than a minute and a half, you’re absolutely dripping wet,” Blackwell said.

If he can’t get to the karate Studio, Blackwell has a full gym at home, which cost about $7,000.

“Just before a hard day at work, to me, there’s nothing better than coming to the studio, emptying the mind and just full-bore training,” Blackwell said.

Christmas For Our Boys In Service

A “BIG THANK YOU” to those that contributed to the Christmas Card and Gift Campaign for Cpl. Steven Cheney and his Platoon in Afghanistan. The generosity and enormous response in just a ten (10) day period was overwhelming. Our staff shipped nine (9) medium size boxes (316 pounds) full of goodies to the Marines. WOW!!!!!!

I know that Steve and his Marine buddies are going to be ecstatic when they open the boxes. We put a few surprises in there as well. I have sent an email to Steve to warn him of the deluge of cardboard and tape coming his way and to have a camera ready. I am hoping to get back some photos that I can display on our website showing Steve’s Marine Unit opening the boxes and handing out gifts to one another.

Be proud of yourselves for extending your thoughts and prayers and contributions during the holidays, for the men and women serving our country. You guys are the greatest!!! Please thank all of your friends, employees, family members, and colleagues for their participation.

Wade Blackwell – President

Here’s What They Had to Say


The boxes have arrived and pictures have been taken. I tried to get creative with some pictures, but haven’t seen them yet. Everyone really enjoys the Cigars. There are a few boxes that I put in the armory for safe keeping just for that plane ride home. Since there were so many of them, I started walking around asking Marines about a cigar night. I just walked up to this full bird Colonel and bent his ear for about 10 min. He says that he might come down some time and smoke a cigar with us, if his Officers let him. I took a few pictures of the guys smoking their cigars. Funny, one of the Marines just got the news that his 8lb-10oz little boy was born the day before. Weird. Everyone is still excited to be here, but would rather be somewhere else.

Let everyone know that we thank them for everything and their support for us. As soon as I find something out about coming home, I will let you know. I know it’s too soon, but who knows… right. Well its 12:00 am (midnight) here. Going out again in a few days.

Thank EVERYONE from,

GSMT Co. CLC-252 Headquarters, First Platoon, and Second Platoon

Disabled Athlete Sports Association

Bill Boyd’s -Tracy’s Karate Studios, teams up with Blackwell, Inc., to sponsor DASA’s young athletes in the skills of martial arts.

DASA (Disabled Athlete Sports Association) young athletes squared off weekly with Black Belt Instructor, Wade Blackwell, at the Ranken Jorden facility in Maryland Heights to learn the skills of Kenpo Karate.

The eight (8) week program educated the athletes in martial arts, stretching, coordination, concentration, awareness, confidence, and building strength.

On completion of the program, each athlete received a Tracy’s Karate Studio “Kenpo Karate – Introduction Completion” certificate and a Tracy’s Karate Kenpo T-Shirt.

On behalf of Bill Boyd’s -Tracy’s Karate Studios and Blackwell, Inc., we want to thank the athletes, parents and members of DASA for allowing us the time to work with, and get to know, on a one on one basis, these fine young athletes.

A Little About DASA – Discover the Ability Within

DASA encourages cognitively age appropriate children who are physically disabled, visually impaired, deaf or hard of hearing to discover their abilities through therapeutic sports and fitness activities, camps, and competition. Discover your abilities…

Blackwell, Inc. Featured in St. Louis Commerce Magazine

President and CEO,
Blackwell Inc.

When Wade Blackwell, president and CEO of Blackwell Inc., speaks of his company, he reminds one of a new father: wildly devoted, bursting with pride, and filled with lofty dreams.

This intense 46-year-old, who “has never lost a battle in [his] life,” has reason to be excited. Since starting Blackwell Inc. five years ago, Blackwell, a St. Louis native, has watched it grow into an operation with about 50 employees. The Olivette-based company analyzes, designs, and implements specialized security programs for clients like Reuters America, Deloitte, and the Plaza in Clayton.

Blackwell Inc., has also teamed with the Clayton police department, to provide security at such high-profile events as the St. Louis Art Fair and the St. Louis Jazz Festival.

Blackwell is, however, perhaps proudest of his efforts to overcome the negative stereotypes attached to his industry.

“We have helped bring respect back to the security scene,” says Blackwell, who, for the past 25 years, has trained as a martial artist.

“When you walk down the streets and look into lobbies, you know when there’s a Blackwell officer there. Underneath the uniforms, there are bona fide, highly trained, sophisticated security officers.”

Blackwell describes himself as “an old soul in a young guy’s body” and demands excellence. He adheres to high standards when recruiting, paying, and training his personnel. It is, therefore, no coincidence that he has never lost an account. After all, Blackwell only retains officers who are as passionate about security as he is, and who, above all, understand the value of civility.

Blackwell Inc. offers a myriad of security-related programs, including internal theft investigation, security officer training, and loss control.

“I love fixing things,” says Blackwell. “It’s rewarding to turn an unsecured and disorganized property lobby, where security is concerned, into a working machine.”

While Blackwell expects to witness the growth of his “baby” over the next several years, for him, the measure of success lies not in size, but in quality.

“We’re not necessarily wanting to be the biggest,” he says. “Just the best.”

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Actress Linda Blair Autograph Session

Actress Linda Blair, representing Halloween Productions, Inc. greeted fans and signed autographs at the SILO-X Haunted House in Fenton and The Darkness Haunted House in Soulard. All proceeds went to the World Heart Foundation., a foundation established for advancing humanitarian efforts in heart surgery worldwide through education and collaboration.

Blackwell’s Executive Protection Specialists were on hand to insure a safe setting for those in attendance.

Blair then joined Randy Grim, author of The Man Who Talks To Dogs, at Three Dog Bakery in Ladue Crossing for a special book signing to benefit Stray Rescue of St. Louis. Fans lined up to meet Blair, Grim, and Quentin, The Miracle Dog.

Area Residents Honor Blackwell, Inc. Employee

Lobby Attendant, Ed Gales, was recently presented with a certificate of appreciation for personal service from the residents at Gambrill Gardens Community Living Center.

Officer Gales constantly goes beyond his scope of duties to make himself available for the needs of the residents.

“I have found a home at Gambrill Gardens and enjoy the friendships that I have developed during my tenure at this facility,” stated Gales.

Congratulations Ed!

St. Louis Jazz Festival

A record-breaking crowd of nearly 18,000 people attended this two-day event. Blackwell, Inc., working alongside with the Clayton Police Department and other emergency agencies, assured festival attendees, vendors and entertainers of top-notch security. Blackwell, Inc. maintained constant communication with the other agencies to provide excellent crowd control and a safe atmosphere. This contributed to the huge success of the St. Louis Jazz Festival in the heart of Clayton’s Shaw Park.

St. Louis Art Fair

Blackwell, Inc. once again joined forces with the Clayton Police Department to provide excellent security for the St. Louis Art Fair. One hundred and sixty-five artists displayed their works and 22 restaurants tempted visitors with delicious food and beverages on the streets of Clayton. Entertainers from around the world performed on three stages. The Clayton Police Department, together with BPSS, Inc., provided the much-needed security, adding to the enormous success of the St. Louis Art Fair, by controlling the area keeping unwanted incidents at a record low.