Security company Cherokee Nation Businesses’ newest venture
BY WILL CHAVEZSenior ReporterTAHLEQUAH, Okla. – The new CEO of Cherokee Nation Businesses’ newest company expects the venture to be a “major piece” of CNB’s portfolio.Russell Claybrook, CEO of Cherokee Nation Security and Safety LLC, said the business’ focus is in the security sector, utilizing the expertise CNB has already developed providing security for Cherokee Nation Entertainment casinos.“Diversifying the business is our primary purpose right now within Cherokee Nation Businesses and one of those areas is Cherokee Nation Security and Safety,” Claybrook said. “Primarily, right now, we are looking for acquisitions within the security market. To make it simple, we are looking for…possibly a guard service company or a proprietary product within the security sector.” Companies considered would need to have a past performance in the security sector and government contract experience, he said. “We want it to be a profitable business that is affecting jobs in northeastern Oklahoma and a primary contributor to the portfolio of (CNB) businesses,” Claybrook said. No revenues have been projected because acquisitions have yet to be made.“We want to make sure that first acquisition is in place, that we know the size of the company and its capabilities before we get into forecasting of revenues,” he said. Claybrook said the company has filed for 8(A) status with the Small Business Administration. The status was created to help small disadvantaged businesses, in this case a tribally owned business, compete in the American economy and access the federal procurement market.Claybrook, a Cherokee Nation citizen originally from Mannford, said along with developing a security portfolio, he is planning to grow the tribe’s security services internally. CNSS plans to utilize the experienced and established security force working at CNE’s eight casinos and one racetrack. Security guard services and video surveillance monitoring services are utilized at those facilities.Like it has done in other industries, the CN first provides specialized services for its internal needs and gains experience and knowledge before turning to the outside and offering expertise to external customers.“We are not going away from what we already know as far those core competencies,” Claybrook said. “So, we’re not going into businesses that we’re not familiar with. We know that there’s talent within the Cherokee Nation already.”Claybrook said he expects CNSS to seek government security contacts possibly with the Department of Defense, the Federal Aviation Administration and National Security Agency. Previous experience with government contracts is essential in gaining more of those contracts, he said. Also switching the focus of the company’s experienced security force from an internal focus to an external one would also be essential for future expansion. Claybrook, 38, said his security background is in the anti-terrorism force security market, which includes looking at the “edge” of a facility all the way to the “core” or inside of a facility to establish proper security.As for the cost for the initial investment in the company, Claybrook said there are no specific numbers.“It’s a pot shared between multiple companies is the best way I can put it,” he said. “It’s what will be spent for diversification. It comes down to finding good companies and investing in those.”Good companies would be profitable, who are able to use 8(A) and bring jobs to northeastern Oklahoma, he said.
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