Located in Tega Cay, South Carolina, Lea Jaunakais is a business owner, biologist, and third-generation environmental analyzer. Lea is a passionate individual who strives personally and professionally to drive animal conservation. Lea has worked closely with her father at Industrial Test Systems (ITS), founded in 1989. She currently serves as the president and owner.

Lea Jaunakais

Starting as a production supervisor with the company, Lea was able to build her skills and work on scheduling production and managing personnel, training, and employees and providing senior technical expertise for on-site troubleshooting and critical problems within the project. She has also served as a research and development scientist. She oversaw chemical formulations, strip and instrument development, and manufacturing alongside designing, planning, constructing, and evaluating pilot operations tests and diagnostics.

During her time as a research and development scientist, Lea Jaunakais worked to reformulate products that help improve performance and have helped improve product sustainability. Now, as the president of the company, Lea has invented and developed more than 14 chemistries to detect ions in water heavy metals, copper, ozone, iron, silver, mercury, arsenic, and more. She also holds a patent for inventing a portable field kit that allows scientists to detect inorganic arsenic in water, soil, and urine. 

Lea Jaunakais also has a personal love for the world and works in preservation. As a conservationist, Lea spends most of her free time in nature, where she hikes, kayaks, goes horseback riding, mountain bikes, and goes white water rafting. 

Lea has a Bachelor’s degree in Biology focused on animal behavior from Arizona State University and an MBA from Winthrop University. She also attended Southampton, earning an MBA in business management, marketing, and related support services.

Alongside her work with ITS, Lea is also the Founder and President of Tiger World, a nonprofit conservation, preservation, and educational center in Rockwell, North Carolina

Lea Jaunakais Thoughts on Continuing Your Education as a Business Leader

As a business owner, you’ll be required to learn a little something about every aspect of your business. For instance, if there is heavy machinery in your business, learning about their operation can help you stay safe around them. You should also make an effort to learn something about accounting, IT, and other aspects of operating your business. In addition, there are benefits to learning as much as you can on various topics.

Gain a Better Understanding

Your willingness to learn as a business leader can help you understand specific functions within your business. Even if you have professionals to perform the work for you, it may help to understand the processes or challenges they need to discuss with you. When an IT technician explains why your business should be using a VPN (a virtual private network), it will help you make a better decision if you know something about how a VPN functions.

Adapt to Change

If you’re the type of business leader who is always eager to learn about innovations and processes, you’ll stay ahead of your competitors. You’ll be better prepared to embrace new technology for the benefit of your business. When you understand how new technology and innovative services work, you can adapt them for your business. If you have already been learning about the latest innovations, you may be among the first to use those advances in your industry.

Lead With Greater Confidence

When you take the time to learn more about the various functions within your business, you’ll have the knowledge you need to tackle almost any problem. This can give you more self-confidence as a leader since you can speak with authority on most topics. As a result, your team will have tremendous respect for you, and your customers will trust you with their needs.

Keeping an open mind and looking for opportunities to expand your knowledge will also help you function better as a leader. You’ll be able to discuss innovations with your employees, and you’ll be more receptive to their ideas. You may also learn new leadership skills to help you be more efficient and effective as a business leader.

Lea Jaunakais
Job Title
President and Owner
Industrial Test Systems