Keith Ladd: Industry Loses a Great One

It is with a heavy heart and great sadness I report that Keith Ladd, founder of Exton, Pa.-based The Protection Bureau and one of the electronic security industry’s true class acts, has died from cancer at the age of 74. Ladd, who co-founded the Pennsylvania Burglar & Fire Alarm Association in the early 1970s and was a member SECURITY SALES & INTEGRATION‘s Editorial Advisory Board, succumbed surrounded by family and friends after battling the disease for some time. Ladd was also a very active member of the PSA Security Network, among many other organizations.

Keith Ladd

Ladd was a rather unassuming, soft-spoken but very intelligent man whose passion for the industry was instantly evident to anyone he spoke with. My many conversations with him immeasurably enriched my knowledge about the industry and also allowed me to learn all about what a tremendous security business he had built—one based on doing the right thing for the industry, employees, customers and the community. In fact, The Protection Bureau is up for many of SSI’s SAMMY Awards this year (including Installer of the Year) and is also a finalist for the Police Dispatch Quality (PDQ) Award. Ladd formed the company, which now has annual sales in excess of $16 million and provides service in the entire Eastern Seaboard region from Virginia to Maine, in 1975.

Through the years I also discovered what a genuine, thoughtful and generous human being Keith Ladd was. He always went out of his way to seek me out and spend time with me when our paths would cross at events. He was also one of SSI‘s most dedicated advisory board members, last year at one point apologizing that his illness had kept him from responding to my correspondence to him. That was his way, often apologizing for not giving more when he had already given so much.

Among those family members Ladd leaves behind is his loving wife of 54 years, Mary, and J. Matthew Ladd, one of his three children and current president of The Protection Bureau. At the request of Keith Ladd, the family will be holding a memorial service on Saturday, March 7 to honor and celebrate his life. The service will be held at Hopewell United Methodist Church at 2 p.m., with a receiving line from 12:30 to 2 p.m. The church is located at 852 Hopewell Road, Downingtown, PA 19335 (610-269-1545). Instead of flowers, the family is asking that contributions go to: Handi-Crafters, 215 Barley Sheaf Road, PO Box 72646, Thorndale, PA 19372, or to the American Cancer Institute.

If you knew Keith Ladd, I encourage you to add your memories of him, thoughts and sympathies to this post. Let us mourn his departure from this world but at the same time rejoice and celebrate the extraordinary life and legacy of an extraordinary man. Rest in peace, Keith Ladd.

As always, thanks for reading,

Scott Goldfine



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