Printella Bankhead finds passion, purpose and success in entrepreneurial career.
As a child in Alabama, Printella Bankhead was told she couldn’t succeed.
“I was told, ‘It’s a man’s world – you can’t do it,’” Bankhead said. “I wasn’t expected to achieve anything, and I wanted to be different than that.”
Bankhead, president and founder of EBS Security, overcame obstacles to achieve success. EBS provides security services to commercial, residential and government organizations. The company also offers bodyguard services and long term and short term security services. The company currently has more than 78 employees. Bankhead was named the 2022 overall JAX Chamber Small Business Leader of the Year.
After high school graduation, Bankhead got married and relocated to Jacksonville. Five years later, she was working, going to school and raising two young daughters on her own following a divorce. Bankhead was determined to find a better way to support her family. She found her purpose in life when she took on a job as a security officer.
“There are so many opportunities in security,” Bankhead said. “I enjoy that it’s not the same daily routine.”
Bankhead began working in security full time and enrolled in Florida State College at Jacksonville, earning a degree in Criminal Justice. She was promoted to supervisor and worked for the same company for seven years. The company provided security for the church Bankhead attended.
“My pastor asked me if I had ever thought of starting my own security company,” she said. “He told me I would be a natural at this.”
Bankhead launched EBS in 2002. While she was knowledgeable and skilled in the security industry, Bankhead was not experienced on how to run a business. She credits the company’s growth to her involvement with the JAX Chamber, the Jacksonville Women’s Business Center (JWBC) and the Small Business Administration. As a business owner, she achieved success by working hard, leading by example and maintaining high standards, often making sacrifices to get the job done.
“You can take your business as far as you want if you have the right mindset,” Bankhead said.
EBS provides armed and unarmed security. The company has assisted at high profile events attended by politicians, athletes and celebrities, working with police and special security forces.
“Many people don’t realize security is a requirement at most events,” Bankhead said.
EBS has faced numerous challenges during the pandemic, when closures and cancelations eliminated many of the company’s contracts. Bankhead had to establish new protocols to ensure her team members were safe and able to do their jobs. Bankhead also found herself back in uniform and working onsite closely with her team. Her resilience has allowed EBS to thrive.
“You can’t always be in the office,” she said. “You may be the CEO, but it all comes down to you.”
During her career, Bankhead has received numerous honors including being named the 2015 SBA’s Minority Business Person of the Year.
The works of authors Les Brown, Zig Ziegler and Wayne Dyer have offered encouragement. Her own experiences inspired her to write a book, “Staying on Course in Business and Life.”
Bankhead has found being an entrepreneur offers many benefits including the freedom and means to care for her father during his final years.
“For me, this was the most rewarding,” she said.