1981: ANSER’s Lead: Lawwill to Englund
Not until your twenties do you begin to find out who you really are… Some variation of that oft-repeated observation has applied to life for many individuals. It can also be applied to the life of a company. For Analytic Services, reaching 23 years old was a benchmark of maturity in the life of the company if only for one reason: the primary leadership shifted for the first time.
In late 1980, ANSER president Dr. Stan Lawwill announced his intention to retire the following year. When he took that step on May 29, 1981, Dr. Lawwill left the helm of a company he had helped build and navigate through military and scientific waters for the first 23 years of its existence. For that voyage, as the Board noted in their annual report for 1981, Dr. Lawwill “set the tone of quiet integrity and excellence that continues to be our hallmark.” It is a statement—a legacy—that resonates even now in ANSER’s 60th year.
Dr. Lawwill’s personal legacy began with the roles of teacher and analyst, first at Northwestern University and then with the Applied Mathematics group at Columbia University. He went on to become a scientist for the Air Force’s Strategic Air Command. When he joined the effort in 1958 to organize a company called Analytic Services Incorporated, becoming its first president and chief executive officer, Dr. Lawwill brought to his role some noteworthy characteristics.
His encyclopedic knowledge of military affairs and high standards of objectivity, integrity, and excellence—for himself and for ANSER—were infused with, as the Board noted, the “warmth and compassion [of a manager] who never forgot that people are the true assets of ANSER.”
By the time Dr. Lawwill retired from that leadership more than two decades later, ANSER had grown from a tiny outfit doing a lot of experimental research solely for the Air Force, to a sizable company—87 research and 62 support staff—doing studies and analyses with practical application in communications, space technology, and defense.
When Dr. Lawwill left the ANSER helm, though, he did not leave the crew entirely. Upon his retirement, Dr. Lawwill became a member of the Board of Trustees, where he further distinguished himself as an ANSER leader for another decade by bringing “remarkable insight into the complex interactions between scientific analysis and military affairs.”
Bringing similar insight to the role of ANSER president and chief executive officer was Dr. Lawwill’s successor, Mr. John (“Jack”) Englund, who stepped into the office on May 30, 1981. His pre-ANSER career trajectory was similar to Dr. Lawwill’s: a mathematician who taught at a university (Creighton) then went on to a scientific role (“operations analyst serving as scientific advisor”) for the Strategic Air Command.
From there Mr. Englund became a senior analyst with the Arms Control and Disarmament Agency, a nuclear background that brought him to ANSER and advanced him to the role of Strategic Division chief soon after. Later reflecting on his entrance into the company, when ANSER was about four years old, Mr. Englund noted that Dr. Lawwill frequently referred to him as “Johnny come lately.” In late 1976, “Johnny” became the Special Assistant to the President at the very time when ANSER was released from Federal Contract Research Center status and truly began to grow.
Becoming ANSER’s second president little more than four years after that remarkable corporate life change, Mr. Englund stood at the helm of a company that had more than proven itself to be no “Johnny come lately.”