National crowd management firm Staff Pro Inc., whose clients include a wide range of venues, festivals, tours and other live events, has been acquired by U.S. Security Associates (USA), and will maintain current management and executive staff. Financial terms were not disclosed.
Founded by president/CEO Cory Meredith in 1984, Staff Pro, based in Southern California, is the second largest provider of event security in the country, providing staffing, crowd management, and consulting services for thousands of shows at hundreds of facilities annually. USA, based in Roswell, Ga., was founded in 1993 by Charles Schneider and is the fourth largest contract security services firm in the country, with more than 160 offices and 52,000 employees. USA provides security officer services and risk mitigation solutions for more than 4,700 clients, specializing in the areas of human resources, training, quality management, and customer service.
Together Staff Pro Inc. and U.S. Security Associates form a team they say will have a "depth of experience and broad based service offering with no peer in the security industry today," according to an announcement released by Staff Pro.
"The combination of Staff Pro and USA is something that this industry has never seen and is greatly needed with the security challenges we face today. We are truly excited about the opportunities to better serve our clients that our new partnership with USA presents," Meredith tells Billboard.biz. "I am looking forward to taking Staff Pro to the next level with my 900 pound gorilla. It is going to be a great experience."
Staff Pro will operate as a separate Division of USA, with Cory Meredith continuing to lead as president. Staff Pro specializes in crowd management, licensed security, ushers, ticket sellers, ticket takers, alcohol enforcement, event managers, and special event consultants. The firm is particularly active in the fast-growing EDM festival space, handling security for such events as HARD Summer, Insomniac's White Wonderland, Day of the Dead, and the Electric Daisy Carnival in Las Vegas, where 800 staff manage 115,000 people per day.
While EDM events have made headlines in recent months due to safety and security issues, Meredith believes the genre gets a bad rap and EDM fests are not inherently more risky than other events. "Frankly, EDM is not that difficult to do, compared to a lot of other events," Meredith told Billboard.biz in a recent interview. "It's all about planning and carrying through with the plan. You have to know your audience, you have to communicate with performers and promoters, and you adjust your plan based on the demographics and culture of the music. We're fortunate enough to work with Insomniac, Live Nation, HARD, promoters who spend the money to do it right. It does cost money to staff these events correctly, and the promoters we deal with spend a lot of money to make sure [events are] managed correctly and professionally."