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Toni Antonetti
PR Chicago (agency)

Bryce Bowman
People 1st Advisors


People 1st Advisors Appoints Erik VanLaningham as President

​Proven Operating Executive with Broad Leadership Experience


Erik VanLaningham has been named president of People 1st Advisors (P1A), a Chicago-based private investment group.


Previously, VanLaningham held management positions for nearly two decades at Emerson, a Fortune 500 global technology, software and engineering leader serving industrial, commercial and consumer markets and was most recently global vice president with revenue and operational responsibilities.


A graduate of the distinguished United States Military Academy at West Point, VanLaningham served in various leadership roles worldwide as a captain in the Army.  He holds an MBA from the Olin Business School at Washington University, St. Louis.


“We are a ‘People 1st’ organization, so we’re honored that Erik has joined P1A,” said Bryce Bowman, P1A founder. “The role of P1A President allows Erik to live out his purpose of leading, managing, and growing our talent - while also having equity - within each of P1A’s businesses.”


P1A has completed 11 acquisitions in the last six years with more than $50M of capital deployed across targeted verticals in small to medium-level markets. Portfolio expansion continues, with P1A seeking one to two acquisitions annually for the next three years.


“I am honored to join People 1st Advisors as president, and I look forward to working with our leadership teams across the country as we embark on our next stage of growth. The vision of a ‘People 1st’ organization is the cornerstone of what makes us unique in the marketplace.  I can’t wait to build on this vision together and deliver for our employees,” said VanLaningham.

About People 1st Advisors
Founded in 2017, People 1st Advisors (P1A) is a Chicago-based, veteran-owned private investment firm that deploys its own capital into a growing portfolio of people-centric small and middle-market businesses.  The company has achieved outsized financial returns by extracting hidden value and unleashing it through proven leadership. Find out more at

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