New owners at Access Specialties, same family

Sunday, June 1, 2008

ST. PAUL, Minn.--Lisa DeBettignies has purchased panel and software manufacturer Access Specialties from father Wayne Erickson with a vow that, “we’re no longer going to be the best-kept secret in the industry.” As part of that effort, Teri Zemlak, with a background in operations and marketing, has been brought in as a minority partner.

“We’re going to share our resources and vision with a lot more people,” said DeBettignies, who’s been working at Access Specialties since just after her father, a Casi-Rusco veteran, founded the company 18 years ago. “A lot of exciting things are going to be coming out, but our free tech support, our lifetime warranty, none of what’s kept us a mainstay with our dealers will change.”

Access Specialties was the first manufacturer to release a PC-based access control system, “back in the day before PCs were so prevalent, when our competitors products were very proprietary,” DeBettignies said, noting that Access Specialties was also the first Windows-based access system. The company will continue that legacy of offering integration with other manufacturers and keeping its software both feature-rich and user-friendly, she said.

“We come from that old era where there’s lot of turnover with the security guards,” DeBettignies said, “so we keep it really simple to make sure it works and it works well, and it ties complementary areas together.”

Erickson will remain with the company, working on product development and engineering, but will also “take a little extra time to enjoy life.”