JAMES J. MILLER'S latest career move is no mystery if you happen
to know his email address: it begins with privdet007.
Miller, XP-62 (93), combined his business skills and interest
in criminal justice, added "P.I." behind the M.B.A. after his
name, and opened a private investigation agency in the Chicago
Millerwhose varied background includes a stint as vice president
of an engineering firm, proprietor of a health club, manager of
a family real estate trust, and captain in the Illinois State
Police Auxiliarysaid launching the business was a fairly simple
"I had a lifelong dream of going into investigations," say Miller,
XP-62 (93). "I thought, what a good fit. Its different, its
entrepreneurial, its me."
Of course, it takes more to become a gumshoe than a clever email
name, a digital camera, a trench coat and hat. Becoming certified
as a private investigator is no easy task, and for good reason.
Licensed investigators can perform the same tasks as a police
detective: gather evidence; provide personal protection; investigate
crimes, fires, accidents, or injuries, and conduct background
checks on individuals, firms, or corporations, just to name a
few. Certification begins with a lengthy application process that
includes fingerprinting and an extensive background check, followed
by an exam that Miller calls "the bar exam for law enforcement."
It covers the laws of the state of Illinois, including crime and
tort, as well as forensic science, business law, surveillance
techniques, and interviewing skills. Once an applicant has passed
the exam and been certified, he or she must secure $1 million
in liability insurance, get bonded with the state, and go before
a review board for a final approval.
Miller was certified in November 1997; he opened Investigative
Services Agency in Darien, Illinois, in January 1998. The staff
of 14 includes a full-time investigator, nine bodyguards, two
bodyguard supervisors, two full-time police detectives, and supervisor
Lauren Graham. The agency offers a variety of investigative services,
including bodyguard services, investigating workmans compensation,
and verifying employment history. The agency recently won a contract
with a home health care company to provide bodyguard services
to nurses delivering care in patient homes.
"It can be difficult to get nurses to visit some places because
of safety issues," Miller explains, "and Medicare will fully pay
for an armed bodyguard for these people." Even with the added
expense of a bodyguard, Miller notes, "its still less expensive
to provide home health care than it is to treat someone in the
Although it may seem unusual, Miller says that this type of request
is becoming more commonplace, and that some of the bodyguards
he hired have past experience with home health assignments.
The agency also has projects that involve gathering evidence for
attorneys, and Millera licensed pilotsays he is marketing aerial
surveillance services as well.
The biggest challenge, as with most new businesses, has been getting
through the businesss initial months and establishing the agency.
"We need to make it to the end of the first year," he said. "The
biggest challenge is just sticking it out until then."
pportunity to wed his love of the game with his publishing experience.
At SI, Klingensmith is in charge of business operations and consumer
marketing, and in a few short months his position has taken him
around the globe: to Augusta, Georgia, for the Masters; to Nagano
for the Olympics; and to San Antonio for the Final Four.
Despite the perks, heading up SI isnt all fun and games. Guiding
a news magazine in the information age presents challenges. Although
Klingensmith says that the proliferation of sports web sites has
not detracted from the success of the printed magazine, it does
mean that there are more players vying for the same advertising.
"There is more competition for media dollars," Klingensmith says.
"Were finding our place in the new media mix."
In some ways, though, the flood of information has also been positive
for the magazine. "People are overwhelmed with a barrage of information,
much of it available instantaneously," Klingensmith said. "This
plays into the hands of the magazine because people need someone
to sort it all out for them. Its the classic role of the news
magazine. People want thoughtful analysis, well-written articles.
And SI is well written and thoughtful and it has spectacular photography."
Easy going, down to earth, and quick to smile, Klingensmith seems
to have adjusted well to the fast-paced publishing world and to
Manhattan, where he lives with his wife and their two children.
His children are already displaying early signs of their fathers
love of sports: 10-year-old Carolyn is one of two girls on her
west side Little League team, and 8-year-old Jimmy is fond of
"all sports that require a stick"namely hockey, baseball, and
golf. Klingensmith himself continues to "play many sports badly"
in his free time. As for his career, Klingensmith is clearly playing
at championship level. As he talks about his two decades in publishing,
Klingensmith makes his ascension at Time Inc. seem sowell, simpleand
downright enjoyable. Has it been all that?
"Ive worked very hard," he says, "The perception in the early
days was that Time was Ivy League, an East coast establishment
corporation. I was a midwestern guy with no work experience whatsoever.
I wanted to do well. I worked hard."
So maybe it hasnt been easy, but Klingensmith has definitely
enjoyed the ride. "Even if it ended tomorrow," Klingensmith says,
"nobody could ask for a more fun career than Ive had."