At 6 feet and 5 inches, Jeffrey Zisner doesn’t exactly blend in. In fact, he’s ridiculously easy to spot in a room. And yet, Zisner often finds himself blending (or at the very least, trying to blend) into the background.
Zisner, 23, is the owner of Aegis Consultants, a company he started in early 2007. Aegis provides security (read: bodyguard services), investigative (i.e. taking photos of the cheating spouse), training (self defense), and policy solutions.
“When I was 16, there was a party with a bunch of kids and the mom was worried that it would get too rowdy, so she hired the biggest guy she knew- me- to help regulate it so that she didn’t need to. I liked the exhilaration of having authority and I began to genuinely enjoy the work,” said Zisner. “It was something I was good at, something that let me use my physical attributes, interpersonal skills, and problem solving ability to resolve situations safely.”
That led to a career that moved pretty quickly up the ranks until he decided to start up on his own. He attributes it all to a healthy combination of skill and luck. “A lot of it was being in the right place at the right time,” he said.
The name of his company, Aegis, comes from an advanced missile U.S. Navy system at the heart of which is “an advanced, automatic detect-and-track, multi-function three-dimensional phased array radar known as “the Shield of the Fleet,'” said Zisner. “The aegis is Zeus’ shield in Greek mythology.” Needless to say, Zisner loves spy, military and action movies and books.
At CSUN, Zisner is in his last semester towards a degree in business management. After this semester, he’s going to be working on a master’s degree in security management. He hopes to get his company to a point where he can retire from it but still have that steady flow of income.
“I’ve had my whole college career planned out before I even got here,” said Zisner. Instability and the unknown makes him nervous, he said.
Zisner is also a member of the Alpha Epsilon Pi fraternity. “I had friends in AEPi and, while I was still at Santa Monica College, but they hired me to do security for some of their events. I became friends with and trusted those guys and they steered me into their group. I knew CSUN was a commuter school but was also looking for that college experience so joining a fraternity seemed like the perfect solution,” said Zisner.
“My life has had a series of turning points. The biggest one was definitely when the mother hired me for that first party,” he said. “A lot of it was just kind of the way the cards fell and, so far, it has all turned out okay.”