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Keeley’n Spotlight: Ryan Downey

Our Paving Group is one of Keeley Construction’s fastest-growing groups with offices and team members working across the nation. With rapid expansion comes rapid growth and our Keeley’ns are embracing this growth and paving their own career paths. Ryan Downey, Project Controls Manager, is one of these Keeley’ns and has grown his team and his career exponentially.

Ryan joined the Keeley Paving team in January 2020 as a Project Controls Coordinator, becoming the second Project Controls team member to join Keeley. In 2021, he was promoted to Project Controls Manager and was able to hire the first Project Controls Specialist in the Paving Group. Since then, the Project Controls team has grown to twelve Keeley’ns, with four focused specifically on the Paving Group. In 2022, Ryan became part of the team that initiated the Paving Group’s Regional Growth Model to expand their geographic footprint and position the team to better serve their nationwide clients. Finally, in 2023, Ryan hired the first Procurement Manager within Keeley Construction and began developing a Procurement Process for the Paving Group. He then added a third Project Controls Specialist to the Phoenix office to serve the Paving Group’s Western Region. Being able to forge his own career path and build a team from the ground up has led to Ryan feeling incredibly empowered in his work and his ability to grow.

“Since 2020, I have had the ability to bring new perspectives and ideas to our team to continue the successful growth within the Paving Group. From day one, I have been empowered to speak up when I see the need for continuous improvement to our processes. Throughout my three years with Keeley Construction, I have been empowered to redevelop processes, implement new strategies to assist in our regional growth, and develop a team to better serve our regions and divisions, which in turn, will better serve our clients across the nation.”

Since joining the construction industry, Ryan has enjoyed utilizing data analytics and process implementation to solve everyday problems that our field and craftspeople face every day. He is proud to work with a team that is driven by solving problems to increase efficiencies for various teams across the company, creating cost savings and developing processes that allow our craftspeople to focus on completing their work with the highest focus on quality and safety. Being able to help others improve and work to the best of their ability is just one of the reasons Ryan chose to pursue a career in construction.

“Our industry provides an opportunity to create something and make an impact on entire communities. Buildings provide places for people to live and work. Infrastructure provides for modern amenities we sometimes take for granted. Parking lots provide safe access to retail, dining, and office spaces. Industrial plants provide opportunities to manufacture items we use on a daily basis. There is power in the work our industry provides for our communities to grow, thrive, and sustain for generations to come.”

As Ryan continues to grow in his career and grow his team, he is looking forward to the future, supporting the Paving Group’s mission of becoming the largest commercial paver in the country. Ryan is excited to expand the team’s geographic footprint, provide opportunities for existing and prospective team members, provide better service and quality to customers, and increase the ability of team members to provide for themselves, their families, and the communities in which they live and work. Keeley, and the industry as a whole, is full of growth opportunity, so if Ryan could give one piece of advice to those just starting out, it would be:

“Be teachable. Learn “the business” whether it is part of your position or not. Understand concepts of business development, contracts, scheduling, accounting, job costing, production, forecasting, etc. If you really want to find the answer, listen twice as much as you speak. If you do the right things and do them well, people will start to notice.”

Keeley is driven by a common set of core values – PRIDE – and Ryan sees People lived out every single day. Keeley is all about our people and Ryan sees that lived out through the growth opportunities provided to every Keeley’n. Whether it is career growth, financial well-being, or physical/mental health, Ryan sees that Keeley truly lives out our CEO’s words, “People are out most important asset.” Knowing that he is valued and heard constantly reminds him that Keeley is his career destination.

“Growth=Opportunity at Keeley. Collectively, we are building something larger than ourselves, and the excitement keeps our team members motivated to grow. There is immense transparency and opportunity within the organization – everyone knows where we are headed and I know that I have support from leadership to do what I can to help get us there.”

Ryan, thank you for your leadership, expertise, and laser focus on our vision. The Paving Group has grown so much because of your contributions, and we can’t wait to see what the next chapter has in store for you!


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