SSI Inducts The Protection Bureau Founder Keith Ladd Into Hall of Fame
Keith Ladd, founder of The Protection Bureau, has been inducted into Security Sales & Integration’s 2015 Hall of Fame class.
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Current Status: Founder and Former President, The Protection Bureau (deceased)
Why He’s on the List
- A humanitarian who spent nearly 35 years running one of the industry’s most successful regional security systems integration and monitoring companies while always putting people and the industry first
- Founded The Protection Bureau in the greater Philadelphia area working out of his garage and with a small bank loan in 1975; today it operates in 35 states with $15+ million in annual revenues
- In 1978, he helped found the Pennsylvania Burglar and Fire Alarm Association (PBFAA), where he also served as president for several years
- In 1980, began an 11-year run as editor of PBFAA’s The Bell Ringer monthly newsletter, which still publishes today
- A visionary in recognizing the value of recurring revenue, in 1983 he started his own central station and began offering managed access in the late-1990s and video monitoring in the early 2000s
- An avid sharer of best practices, he was very active in the PSA Security Network, ASIS and NSCA, and served on Security Sales & Integration‘s Editorial Advisory Board
Thinking Outside the Box
His greatest attribute is said to have been his intelligent and analytical mind. He looked at situations from all directions to make the right decision, doing what he felt was best for his company and its employees rather than just going with the crowd. He loved challenges and wasn’t one to sit back and wait for answers; he sought them out. The word “can’t” did not exist in his vocabulary. He would find a new system type and figure out how it worked. It was a new industry and he designed a way to make it all work together. Another quality he possessed was the ability to speak to people and earn their trust and respect. He had a genuine interest in people.
Taking People’s Welfare to Heart
He was revered as a charitable and honest gentleman who took every opportunity to give back to his employees, the community and the industry. He believed being involved in the industry in which you work is vital to its and your own success. SSI Hall of Famer Pat Egan called him a “mild-mannered superman,” someone who never got mad and was particularly good at getting people to work together. He took clients’ safety personally. When a customer called to tell him that he saved their lives because of the smoke detectors he recommended they install, he wept.
Some Things People Might Not Know
Ladd attended seminary for a brief time, intending to go into ministry. He ultimately chose to go into business believing the business world needed people with values. He also had a wicked sense of humor, and enjoyed engaging his employees in fun team-building outings like games and paintball in full gear.
Son Matthew Recounts Early Incident
“A very early contract Keith tried to get was for a very large home being built in our county,” recalls son and current CEO of The Protection Bureau Matthew Ladd. “The owner was a self-made man, like Keith, but had already achieved the success Keith would have later in life. Walking through the home doing a security survey, Keith noticed that the house had seven bathrooms. He asked the owner if he didn’t get the security system job could he have the con-cession for the toilet paper! Of course, he got the security system and that man is a longtime customer of ours.”
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