36 Intriguing Delawareans • Dave Tiberi
Founder of Emergency Response Protocol
Dave Tiberi’s life has always been about boxing, learning from six older brothers who boxed, generating an impressive 22 and 2 pro record between 1985 and 1992 and using the sport since to help all comers—children, adults, families and corporate clients, near and far. He ticks off the benefits.
“Boxing gets kids off the street and out of trouble,” he says, noting it also builds confidence and helps with weight loss—for kids and adults. Families and companies benefit from his team-building programs, which always end with the hand wrap and gloves coming out.
“Boxers always have a story about fighting the good fight,” he says, and one favorite involves his decision to get out of his comfort zone, which for him was a lackadaisical New Jersey gym.
“How easy it is to get comfortable in a relaxed environment with the status quo. But I wanted more. I wanted to be a champion.” So he made the “big sacrifice” in effort to head to Philadelphia for training under Marty Feldman, benefiting also by connecting with other serious boxers.
“Dave does a lot for kids. It’s been his life’s work. Dave Tiberi is all about everyone else,” boxer Henry Milligan wrote in 2012, when Tiberi was named one of the 50 most influential Delawareans of the past 50 years by Delaware Today.
That’s why Tiberi has been a church youth director and served on the boards of St. Francis Hospital and the Sunday Breakfast Mission, and he ran at-risk youth programs and the Dave Tiberi Youth Center. He remains active with the Boys & Girls Club of Delaware, which serves 30,000 children at 44 clubs, and the Fellowship of Christian Athletes. He feels tremendous satisfaction when children he has coached return years later to share how well they’re doing. “I get more out of it then they do,” he says.
Tiberi heads to the gym most mornings at 5 a.m., he says on his LinkedIn bio, which keeps the 50-year-old at 170 pounds, just 10 pounds up from his fighting weight three decades ago.
Sometimes he’s up early to lead Dave Tiberi’s Boxing Boot Camp, an eight- to 12-week program of weekly exercises, boxing moves and discipline. He runs it out his Newport offices and Isaac Willis’ garage in Smyrna, both outfitted with the boxing ring and bell (but usually not boxing anthems). Groups of up to 12 have included adults, couples, fathers and sons and soon fathers and daughters.
During most of his boxing career Tiberi produced a weekly cable television program. After he stopped his pro career, he and his wife Angela founded Emergency Response Protocol, a commercial security firm that combines their video and software experience with Angela’s background in fire protection and first responders (her father David Kyaw’s career). Since 1992, he has personally taught defensive tactics to all recruits at the Delaware State Police Academy, for state and other forces.
He jokes he learned to box because he was the youngest of 14, and he uses stories about tough times growing up to connect with kids. “It’s easy for others to cast stones, but we as adults can be change agents and need to step up to be mentors. Delaware is a small state, and we can make a difference.”