Rochester native Bryan Ehni always felt the need to protect people. The former US Army Ranger launched his first business, Ehni Enterprises, last October to “protect the life, reputation, and property of our clients with real, physical security.” Ehni and his team capitalize on technology advancements and continual training to meet customer needs. Ehni sees Rochester as a prime location to germinate his business and prepare for the future.
Ehni Enterprises provides executive protection for foreign dignitaries, celebrities, and corporate executives in a manner consistent with the highest models in business security.
From a young age, Ehni was driven to protect others. This mission began in the second grade after standing up to older bullies for a childhood friend and later motivated him to pursue a degree in law enforcement. After graduation, Ehni enlisted in the United States Army and attended the Ranger Indoctrination Program, a Special Operations selection process for the 75th Ranger Regiment. Ehni was selected and served for four years in the 75th Ranger Regiment.
“I enjoyed the idea that I could make a difference,” he explained.
The germ of an idea for Ehni Enterprises was conceived early in his career, right after completion of his law enforcement training. While serving in the 75th Ranger Regiment, Ehni identified a unique opportunity to leverage his military skill set toward this personal mission of protection. Once hatched, the concept for Ehni Enterprises grew and evolved in his mind for the next seven years.
Apart from working in the hardware department at Menards and selling Cutco knives door to door, Ehni really had no formalized sales or business training. To fill this gap in his educational experience, he enrolled in the business management and business administration program at Winona State University. He spent the next few years learning and continuously sharpening his business plan with the guidance of advisers such as Dr. Hamid Akbari at the university.
Now, Ehni Enterprises is seeking a foothold in Rochester as the “first choice for executive protection.” Ehni’s team is a mixture of highly skilled, experienced former military and law enforcement individuals on both the executive and protective sides of the business.
Ehni sees an immense need for increased executive protection in Rochester, and on a worldwide scale, due to evolving risks and a changing geopolitical climate.
“Even though Rochester is a relatively safe city, it is growing because of Destination Medical Center. With growth comes the need for additional vigilance,” he explained.
Ehni says that Rochester currently does not offer services that provide an adequate level of protection for these individuals.
Executive protection is certainly a challenging market to break into, but Ehni has been persistent. A market analysis and assessment of the need in Rochester for his services posed its own unique challenges; information about the presence of potential clients in the city is highly sensitive and difficult to obtain. Ehni successfully collaborated with key members of the Rochester business community to identify local opportunities and needs for his specialized protection services.
Ehni says his experience in Army Special Operations prepared him well for business, where you’re “faced on a daily basis with challenges that you don’t know how to deal with.” To others interested in launching their own business Ehni says, “You have to be willing to push yourself to the limits and then beyond what you think you can do.”