Keeley'n Spotlight: Larry Keeley
By: Claire Sauer
How We Got Here
In 1975, L. Keeley Construction was born. Started by Larry Keeley, L. Keeley has grown from a small paving business to a full-service construction company with a national footprint. It has been a long, but rewarding journey to get where we are today and the future is bright for L. Keeley.
When Larry decided to go out and start his own business, he already had 14 years of experience under his belt working with his brother. However, he was ready to take the next step in his career and start a business in which he could have more control. Of course, when building any business from the ground up, there are challenges. When asked what the biggest challenges were that he faced in the beginning, Larry explained that there were two main hardships:
1. Cash Flow
2. Growing the Business
Larry had to work hard to overcome these challenges. To keep cash moving in and out, Larry would submit proposals to his customers that would ensure that he was paid upon completion. This way, they were getting their jobs done and collecting their money. After a job was completed, Larry would pay the bills and move on to the next job.
Growing a business is a challenge in any industry, but it is particularly hard for a small company entering a market. Larry maintained his confidence and had a game plan. This game plan of working any small job they could find while gradually growing to larger projects kept the team busy and paid off immensely.
However, Larry would not have been able to overcome any of these challenges if it wasn't for the strong and incredible support of his wife, children, and loyal team. This support system kept him going through the hard times and helped him turn L. Keeley into the powerhouse that it is today.
Where We Are Going
Larry Keeley has had plenty of accomplishments to celebrate over his career, but, when asked, he will always tell you that his proudest accomplishment was selling the company to his son, Rusty Keeley.
"This was probably one of my brighter moves...we were doing well and Rusty was at the stage where he had great ideas and I knew that if I kept controlling it, we would not have those great ideas. If you look around, it's clearly paid off."
This exponential growth experienced by Keeley Companies has allowed the company to provide Keeley'ns with numerous resources and benefits that are unmatched in the industry. Larry's favorite part of watching this growth has been just that - seeing the evolution of the culture and growth of the people. He loves explaining the world-class Keeley culture to others, showing them what each cultural pillar has to offer, and how each one allows someone to find their passion. Larry is especially proud of KeeleyU and the way it helps Keeley'ns grow personally and professionally. The future is bright for this culture, and it is exciting to see what other amazing benefits Keeley'ns can take advantage of.
Keeley Companies was built on an entrepreneurial spirit. When asked about what advice he would give to someone wanting to go out and start their own business, Larry responded:
"Make sure you know what you are doing...I knew what I had to do to make it work. If you're married, you need your spouse to be understanding and understand that you have to work many hours."
Larry Keeley has built a family-owned, nationwide business that shows no signs of slowing down. Larry, thank you for everything you have done, everything you continue to do, and everything you will do.