2017 Women of Influence: Karen Lanning

Vice President of Human Resources at First American Financial Corp.

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Karen Lanning plays a vital role in supporting and fostering First American’s “people first” culture through her responsibilities in workforce management, succession planning, employee relations, compensation planning, employee recognition and rewards, performance management and acquisition integration. 

After First American acquired Forsythe Appraisals, TD Service Financial and RedVision in 2016, Lanning supported the transition of employees into the larger First American family, which required her to develop unique approaches that highlighted the values the companies shared and First American’s heritage as a family-run company. The impact that people from both companies have had since the acquisitions is a reflection of the skill and creativity Lanning brings to her role.

When Kevin Wall, president of First American Mortgage Solutions, made taking employee engagement a higher priority, he partnered with Lanning and her team to spearhead the initiative.

It was a natural extension of the work Lanning had been doing across the company, as she helped enhance First American’s approach to employee engagement through the implementation and analysis of biannual employee surveys, and her emphasis on consistent and relevant employee communication. 

Lanning also helped create First American’s Women in Leadership program, now in its fifth year. Since nearly 70% of First American’s employees are female, the program plays a powerful role in career development and has produced 66 “graduates” that are pioneering new approaches throughout the company.

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