Santiago Garcia III
Santiago is a first generation American whose parents both fled Cuba in the early 1960s. His parents are retired U.S. diplomats, and raised Santiago in an environment that allowed him to be fluent in Spanish and Portuguese.
As the son of diplomats, and living overseas, Santiago was indoctrinated and trained by U.S. State Department security officers to always be on “yellow alert” and aware of his surroundings.
Santiago grew up in Brazil. Crime was everywhere – including his school the Escolar American in Rio de Janiero, Brazil. The school yard was surrounded by a neighborhood known as “Rocinha,” which is the largest shanty town in Brazil.
This continuous exposure and experience, at such an early point in his life, equipped him with the knowledge and opportunity not only learn Portuguese, but more importantly develop an appreciation and love for different cultures and diversity.
After graduating from high school in Brazil, Santiago earned his bachelor’s degree from Florida International University, which also included coursework at Florida State University in Tallahassee. In Florida, he volunteered heavily with local, regional and state park departments to develop and organize multiple mountain bike trail systems and races. He is credited for creating trail crews to maintain the vast biking trail network.
Also, while in Florida, he held a position of public trust at Miami International Airport. In this capacity, he interacted with citizens from multiple South American countries and provided security and screening of baggage. This job also provided him the opportunity to stay on “yellow alert” and practice threat assessment.
After college, Santiago’s love for cycling lead him to the private sector working in the cycling Industry. His ability to understand South and Central America, and their customs, had him traveling on behalf of many companies to perform business development and client lists in these countries. While at the same time, his outreach and reputation in Florida, the rest of the U.S. and Canada also grew.
Santiago eventually left Florida to follow his cycling passion, and found himself in the mountains of Colorado. In Colorado he co-founded the a Culture of Speed cycling shop.
With his cycling business well established, Santiago pursued other opportunities that provide an opportunity to both give back to the community and grow yet another business. This pursuit is what led him to protective services.
Santiago is a graduate of Executive Security International and graduated with a CPS with honors. The program included, but is not limited to, over 400 hours of training. The training entailed: principals of protection, protective detail operations, surveillance and counter surveillance, client management, human behavior and dangerousness, defensive shooting and tactics, threat assessment, bomb search and identification, estate security and corporate security, covert protection and five days of training with Vehicle Dynamics Institute (with mobile surveillance and detection). During training, Santiago also received the award for “Best Overall Achievement In Threat Management Planning.”