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Toni Antonetti
PR Chicago (agency)


People 1st Advisors Appoints Erik VanLaningham as President

Proven Operating Executive with Broad Leadership Experience


Chicago, IL, June 1, 2023 – Erik VanLaningham has been named president of People 1st Advisors (P1A), a Chicago-based private investment firm.

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 marketing, business development and strategic planning 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 U.S. Army.  He holds an MBA from the Olin Business School at Washington University in St. Louis.
“We are a ‘People 1st’ organization, so we are honored that Erik has joined P1A,” said Bryce Bowman, P1A Founder & Owner.  P1A has been blessed to achieve outsized financial returns while also living our purpose to treat people well and creating value for each of those we care about.  We have been extremely thoughtful in designing this role, and Erik is the perfect leader to continue our growth trajectory for our employees, investors, and businesses.”  

P1A, which has completed 12 acquisitions in the last six years across targeted verticals in small to mid-market businesses.  P1A’s portfolio of businesses is expanding, and P1A will deploy its own equity capital to make 1-2 acquisitions annually for each of the next 3 years within business or construction services, accounting, and/or real estate related businesses

“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 and deliver for our employees and stakeholders,” 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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