HPH Charter Member, Christine Lanning, is named 2020 SBA Small Business Persons of the Year for the state of Hawaii. 
Christine Lanning, MSIS, PSP is a member of the Rotary Club of Hickam Pearl Harbor and is President of Integrated Security Technologies Inc., a Woman-Owned, Small Disadvantaged Business - Certified SBA 8(a). Christine Lanning and her husband, Andrew, are Charter Members of the Rotary Club of Hickam Pearl Harbor.
Article from Hawaii Business Magazine, May 1, 2020 by Beverly Creamer
Christine Lanning shook things up at Integrated Security Technologies two years ago.
It wasn’t because anything was wrong at her and her husband’s company. Quite the contrary: Things were going superbly, and the company was on track to hit $10 million in revenue by this year.
But Lanning wanted to do more for her staff and her company’s growth. She’d just read the book, “Traction: Get a Grip on Your Business,” by Gino Wickman, and she got on board with Wickman’s principles of management, team compensation and direct communications.
“Christine really took a hard look at the company and tweaked what was a very successful business by taking a deep dive into how they could get better,” says Jason Koyanagi of Bank of Hawaii, Lanning’s banker and friend for the past decade.
“Then she made some meaningful changes about the way they operated. That played a big role financially in their success today. Not many companies will change what they’re doing if it seems to be going well.”
That is one reason Christine Lanning has been chosen as the SBA’s Small Business Person of the Year for 2020 for Hawai‘i. She and her husband, Andrew Lanning, have built a successful security business in Hawai‘i and the Pacific over the last 25 years, while also focusing on profit-sharing and a 401(k) for their 42 employees, and creating employee compensation with multiple levels of bonuses, rewards and other perks.
The Lannings appreciate each other’s strengths. Christine Lanning calls her husband the visionary behind the company. Andrew Lanning is impressed by how she handles the nuts and bolts: from getting salaries and taxes paid and contracts signed, to mentoring and staff support.
“Everyone knows what everyone is doing and is responsible for and what they’re working on this quarter,” he says.
“And everyone knows what contribution they’re making and the metrics they’re measured by. We have those discussions on a weekly basis and everyone knows what to do. No one has to sit here and wonder what to do.”
He is a big believer in Traction Tools and the daily companywide meetings called “huddles.”
“Every morning we have a face-to-face huddle. That way, if I’m stuck, I can get help from someone in another department. It’s just 10 minutes and everybody is standing up, so it’s fast.”
Things weren’t always going well at Integrated Security Technologies. In 1998, soon after the company launched, Christine Lanning took a second job just to pay the bills, and Andrew Lanning remembers a couple of years of just beans and rice at home. Both had been working for a traditional alarm company and saw an expanded future with the debut of Microsoft’s Windows 95 operating system, but their employer wasn’t interested in using their ideas for expansion.
“So my husband said, ‘Let’s start our own company,’ ” she says. “I had been an IT nerd as a kid and in third grade was the only student with a computer. My dad was a geek in the Navy – an electronics technician – and very interested in computers back then, and we were the only ones in the neighborhood who had a computer. The other kids would come over and go, ‘This is so cool.’ ”
Andrew Lanning had worked with technology in the Navy and knew what was possible, so they launched their company.
“Back then most (security) systems weren’t interconnected,” Christine Lanning says. “The value that Windows 95 brought was twofold: the ability to connect all those systems together in a graphic user-friendly interface, and you could do it on a computer with a mouse. That was industry-changing.”
A huge boost for the young company was a security contract with the state government and then one with Tripler Army Medical Center to use an advanced product used by Fortune 500 companies and the Department of Defense, from a company called Lenel.
“It manages all the different security systems together in one user base. It was really revolutionary at the time,” says Christine Lanning.
The Lannings became major players in security systems in Hawai‘i and throughout the Pacific. Along the way, they stayed focused on their principles.
“We call our core values apple pie and ice cream,” Andrew Lanning says with a smile. “It stands for accountability, passion, curiosity, adaptability, integrity and collaboration. We thought everyone could remember apple pie and ice cream.”