Elliott Security Solutions
“We eat, sleep and breathe security,” says Ian Kennard, co-owner of Elliott Security Solutions (headquartered at 4650 General De Gaulle Drive).
Darrin Elliott Sr. and Ian Kennard founded Elliott Security Solutions (ESS) in 2011. At the end of its first year, the company’s yearly earnings hit $150,000. By 2018, yearly earnings reached $7.2 million. Today, the company has approximately 300 employees and more than 60 clients.
The company’s client list includes the Louisiana Department of Transportation and Development, Marriott Hotels, Walgreens, Gibbs Construction, the NFL and the NBA. ESS conducts business in six southeastern states, reaching from Texas to Tennessee.
“We really just hopped out on faith and believed that God was going to do something special for us, and it happened,” says Elliott, owner and managing member of ESS.
Kennard and Elliott are childhood friends. They played little league football together in Harvey and both attended Helen Cox Junior High School. Elliott had experience working in security prior to starting ESS. His uncle, Horace Gallagher, owned Gallagher Security in New Orleans and Elliott worked in many roles at the company, including security officer and manager.
Their first year of business wasn’t glamorous — both Kennard and Elliott were living together in Harvey at Kennard’s mother’s house and basically down to their last dollars.
“We still had faith that we would get it going and eventually be successful,” Elliott says.
In 2012, Hurricane Sandy ripped through New Orleans causing nearly $70 billion in damage, destroying New Orleans East and the Westbank. Many people evacuated, but Kennard and Elliott stayed back with the thought that their security services might be needed.
A couple of days after the hurricane, Elliott got a call from Protos Security Resources saying that they were in need of security for all the Rite Aid’s in the New Orleans area.
“They needed 60 guards,” says Elliott. “We didn’t have that many at that time, but we found a way to get those security posts covered.”
That job got the ball rolling and now ESS covers numerous high-profile events, including Super Bowl XLVII and the Voodoo Festival.
“We’ve been working the Voodoo Festival event for four years now,” says Kennard. “We use 200 to 300 officers for that weekend alone.”
Early on in their careers, Kennard and Elliott worked as valets in downtown New Orleans.
It’s perhaps where Kennard discovered his infatuation for luxury cars such as Jaguars and Mercedes-Maybach sedans.
“I knew I had to be a business owner to obtain those types of cars and have that way of life, so starting ESS was essential to the things I strive for in my life — for financial freedom,” says Kennard, the proud owner of a BMW 750i.
Elliott and Kennard have also invested in different business opportunities such as flipping houses
and venturing into real estate investment. Their next goal is to start an apartment complex on the Westbank.
At the beginning of the year, ESS will be moving back to Harvey. Elliott and Kennard recently purchased a 9,500-square-foot commercial property that will serve as the ESS headquarters and offer several commercial leases.