As the Endeavor network of entrepreneurs continues to grow, so does our circle of experienced mentors and board members jumping on the Endeavor bandwagon to support them and their road to success. We talked to one of our newest board members, President and CEO of Kentucky-based Kelley Construction, Inc. Joe Kelley, about his experience in business, and how he hopes to give back to Endeavor Entrepreneurs.
What is your area of expertise?
Culture. Leadership. Team building.
What drew you to mentoring and becoming a board member with Endeavor?
A discussion with another board member, Brook Smith.
What is your proudest moment in business?
Seeing my children Tiffany and Trent grow into leadership positions in our company. Knowing that succession is being handled well for the future of all our employees.
Tell us a little about the journey that led you to Endeavor.
It was really short and sweet, actually. I came to the realization after a few conversations with other board members. I am at a good place in my career to be able to help others and give back.
What has been your biggest challenge in business and how did you overcome it?
In 1995 when I took over as President, we were a union contractor. I realized that this would hold us back from growing into a national company. It would also prevent us from becoming the diverse contractor that we are today. There is much more to this story but, in short, this meant that we were going to be ALL IN, no turning back. This change was going to be drastic. It took us three years to get out of the union and they made the transition difficult on us. We would not be the company we are today if we had not made this tough decision.
What is one piece of advice you would give to a new entrepreneur?
Make sure your passion for what you are about to do is in check because without it you most likely will fail. Times will get tough and you will need to rely on that passion.
When looking for a company to help, what traits are you looking for?
Companies and leaders that understand that change needs to be a part of how they think. They should be hardworking and committed from the top down.
In your opinion, what characteristics make up a successful company?
Straight and direct communication with both employees and customers. A good culture is also key.
What is one fun fact that you won’t find on Google?
We have a 5:01 club here at work. It’s a way for us to celebrate or just catch up with each other. It’s not a mandatory gathering just a spontaneous invitation to have a cocktail and have some fun. Covid 19 has put a damper on it for now.
What inspired you to start your current company?
My father started our company. My brother and I have it now.
What is a work from home tip you would give to fellow entrepreneurs?
Keep some routine in your day!
Want to learn more about our Endeavor Mentors and Board Members? See more members of our network here.