This week’s Life in the Spotlight is a man who believes in the value of person-to-person, face-to-face conversation. As he puts it the “lively art of conversation” is important not only in the business world where it is an integral part of his job but also in everyday life, in making connections with others.
Bill Keegan grew up in the west suburbs of Chicago, in Westchester. He attended college at St. Mary’s University in Winona, Minnesota and graduated with a degree in journalism and marketing. From a young age, Bill worked with his uncle at his marketing business.
“My uncle had such a fertile and creative mind,” Bill says, “I learned everything from him.”
After graduating, Bill worked in a larger agency in Chicago. From there he entered into the tech business when he was hired by Apple. Soon after, Bill was moved to corporate in California. While the opportunity and experience were valuable to him, Bill missed the Midwest.
“The Midwest is built around neighbors, communities. There’s something about it that is just strong and honest,” Bill says. Bill was hired on at Ketchum and he and his family returned to the Chicagoland area. At Ketchum, Bill began to develop skills in crisis management, something he specializes in now.
Through colleagues in the business, Bill heard of AC Incorporated, the largest digital marketing firm in Valparaiso. He has since been working with them, handling the PR side of their business. AC Incorporated has clients in banking, energy, retail, and manufacturing to name a few. Bill has helped in special events, developing story ideas around clients’ businesses, in media outreach, and training to name a few. Bill enjoys working with the company, remarking that AC Incorporated is “committed and very talented. I enjoy the collaboration, and everyone there brings a strong Midwestern work ethic everyday.”
Bill has had the opportunity to work with a number of companies over the years, but one of his dearest goals has always been to own his own company and be his own boss. With the opening of Keegan Strategic Communications LLC, he has been able to do exactly that. As this has been a goal of his since he was young, Bill stresses the importance of goal setting in life.
“It’s critical. Goal setting allows you to focus on what’s important to you,” he says.
Bill also stresses the importance of recognizing the value of failure. He says, “Failure is a good thing. There will always be another opportunity. It’s about being positive and fighting the good fight to achieve your goals.”
While goal setting and failure have helped in shaping the man Bill Keegan is today, he owes much of his inspiration and success to his uncle, his mother, his kids, and his wife.
“My mom raised three kids without their dad,” he says, commenting on his father’s passing when Bill was young, “She’s an inspiration to me.”
Bill also finds inspiration in seeing his daughters grow up and take on responsibilities, and in all that his wife does for him and his daughters.
Bill adds that he has recently found another unexpected source of inspiration in life. His diagnosis of a rare form of cancer has led him to a new appreciation of his life and for those around him.
“It’s been a very interesting journey, but it certainly puts life in perspective,” Bill says. “The support network is incredible,” he added, expressing his gratitude to friends, neighbors, and family in their stepping in to help. “I’ve been blessed with tremendous family and friends. It’s a good life,” Bill remarks with a smile.
A man of incredible determination and drive, Bill Keegan is a man dedicated to his work in helping others grow and shine. He is a firm believer in the golden rule: treating others the way you want to be treated, and he holds honesty and the art of listening and conversation to high esteem. Through his work, he betters businesses and promotes their growth, and through his everyday interactions with others, it’s clear he does quite the same, helping others to grow through his genuine concern and sincerity.