Vigiquinta – Quinta do Lago SecurityBy Kerstin Buechner Dias • Apr 1st, 2007 • Category: Companies, People, Quinta Lifestyle
December 2006 was an important anniversary for Hermes Alberto; it marked his 20th year as head of security for Quinta do Lago. But try to pat him on the back, or offer him a glass of champagne in celebration of his achievement, and this modest man shrugs his shoulders in a gesture of selfdeprecation. It is just one small movement, but it expresses so much about his personality.
Hermes Alberto – Quietly Reassuring
For someone so self-effacing, however, Hermes possesses an imposing charisma. He carries the confidence of a man in control, and moves with a fluid ease and an assured sense of grace. His smiling eyes twinkle and give the impression that he knows far more than he is letting on.
Perhaps this is no bad thing, for a man in charge of security should be discreet. In fact, it is almost impossible to get any information out of him. However, his impeccable record speaks volumes about his work. The 800 acre residential estate of Quinta do Lago is one of the safest in the region. The resort welcomes guests and their families, many of whom include A-list celebrities, to a friendly environment that is not enclosed within high walls. The number of times that the police are called to this non-gated community in a year can be counted in single figures.
Hermes’s philosophy is that the key to real security lies in prevention, rather than in trying to solve problems after they have occurred. To this end, the security firm that Hermes manages, Vigiquinta, is often involved in the planning of any new development – whether it is a villa or a hotel – to ensure that security features are quite literally built into the fabric of every building and garden. This includes alarms, and sometimes CCTV cameras, that are linked directly to their centre of operations.
Vigiquinta’s security personnel, both uniformed and plain clothed, are everywhere – although we defy you to notice. Their muted green uniforms and low key manner help them to remain discreet, enabling them to see, rather than be seen. They operate in Quinta do Lago 24 hours a day and their response times are quick. As property agents in the area, we have occasionally set off an alarm in a property we have been invited to visit. Whenever this has happened, Vigiquinta security guards appear instantly out of nowhere. Luckily they know us well!
Vigiquinta is a private security company wholly owned by Quinta do Lago SA, and paid for by contributions from the resort’s residents. All of the guards are personally vetted by Hermes and must have a 100% clean criminal record, a high level of fitness and health and a good standard of education. Staff turnover is very low and experience is very high. Hermes likes to joke about the lunch he had with three senior Vigiquinta colleagues recently; between them, they had clocked up an impressive 120 years’ security experience in the resort.
Part of the reason why Hermes is so good at his job is that he knows everyone in the area, and therefore knows when things are not quite right.
President of ASCA
He was born in the nearby village of Almancil and remains an active member of the community.
This includes his role as President of the Associação Social e Cultutral de Almancil (ASCA).
This charitable organisation works in the heart of the community, providing meals and a safe, clean, living environment for people who may need a little extra help. This includes the elderly and handicapped, and people who may not be able to afford to feed themselves properly.
ASCA also supplies meals to two local kindergartens and four elementary schools. During the 2005/2006 academic year, the charity supplied 750, 603 meals. ASCA was founded 15 years ago and is supported by regular donations from members and supporters, including local residents and businesses such as Apolonia Supermarket and Gigi’s Restaurant. All profits collected at the car park by the bridge in Quinta do Lago go directly to the association, and Portugal’s Department of Social Security also subsidises the charity.
Hermes’s involvement in charity does not stop there. He is also the Founder and President of the Associação de Apoio Social de Carlos Perreira, a charity set up to give support to the widows and children of Quinta do Lago employees who have prematurely passed away.
Where does Hermes find the time to run such a professional security firm and two important charities? We can only guess, but it is evident that his dedication to Quinta do Lago is as big as his heart.
If you would like to know more about Hermes’s charities or offer support please call:
Associação de Apoio Social de Carlos Perreira
Telephone: 289 394 494
Associação Social e Cultutral de Almancil
Telephone: 289 399 699 or 289 393602
Telephone: 289 394 494