The year was 1986. LL Cool J was one of the biggest names in hip-hop after releasing his debut album, Radio, a year prior. The album would later go platinum. LL Cool J was on tour with Run-D.M.C. and the Beastie Boys. They were set to make a late summer stop at the Kemper Arena. A young Norman Smith had to be there.
“I was a poor college student,” said Smith. He didn’t let that stop him.
Norm had a cousin that worked for a security company that handled events at the Kemper Arena. He urged him to apply so that he could attend the concert. Smith applied. Smith got the job. And Smith continued to work for the company for 10 years before branching off to form NPB Companies alongside Perrin “Pete” Beattle and Brian Butner.
Despite doubt, the company took off.
“Some people didn’t give us six months.”
The first office was in Smith’s house. Although work was constantly interrupted by the daily airing of Judge Judy, the company grew into the global agency it is today.
NPB has worked security for bands such as The Eagles, Drake, and Blink -182. Smith has developed a close relationship with many of his clients, especially with
Blink-182. Norm was actually at the ceremony when Tom Delonge, of Blink-182, became a Freemason.
NPB also provides security consulting. The company consulted for both of President Obama’s inaugurations and his farewell speech in Chicago.
Being involved in the KCK Chamber has allowed Norm Smith to connect with other businesses, creating friends and clients in the process. “[The Chamber] has allowed us to form partnerships with some of these businesses and form a business relationship that has continued to last 20 years.”
NPB has been a chamber member since its first year of operation. Smith now sits on the Chamber’s Board of Directors and is excited for the future of the Chamber.
“The youth on that Board, as well as the front office is great. That [youth] is something that is going to be longstanding and continue to drive this Chamber forward in the future.”