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L. Keeley Paving: Our Foundation

By: Rich Roberts

The Foundation

The L. Keeley Paving team is where L. Keeley Construction's story begins. In 1975, Larry Keeley took a risk. He left the comfort and stability of working with his brothers and went out to start a company on his own in Sauget, Illinois. That company, Larry Keeley Construction, grew into what is known today as the Keeley Companies and the Paving team is still very much at the heart of the company.

When Larry started his business, he knew failure wasn't an option. He had a family to support and had to put his three children, Scarlett, Rusty, and Tracey through school. With his dump truck and $20,000, Larry knew that he had to get in front of the right people, and that's exactly what he did.

"He was an entrepreneur," Rusty says. "He worked a lot of hours. If that meant leaving at 5 a.m. that's what it took. If it meant missing dinner or missing spring break, that's what it took. It was part of the way."

Larry built his paving company on five solid principles:

1. Have the right players

2. Take care of your people

3. Put your customer first

4. Do quality, safe work

5. Work within your means

These principles, and Larry's experience working at his dad's asphalt company, allowed him to grow his company quickly and take calculated risks.

"When you're starting, you don't always realize that you wear 10 hats. One minute you're out selling, the next minute you're getting the jobs done, and then you're out collecting money. That's just the way it was."

When L. Keeley began to grow, Larry realized that they had to enter the untapped market across the river in St. Louis, MO.

"Why can't we go across the river?"

It was this decision that began the period of rapid growth and helped build this small paving business into a nationwide, family-owned company.

The Future

Today, at L. Keeley Construction, the Paving Group is one of four unique business groups and is constantly growing and evolving.

Matt Taylor, Vice President of the Paving Group, joined the team in 2009 and has led this group through rapid growth and immense success. In 2009, when his time with the Paving Group was just beginning, the revenue goal for the department was $13M. Since then, Matt has seen their annual revenue continue to grow year over year and ended 2019 with over $74M in revenue.

Since Matt took over leadership of the Paving Group, the team has grown from 25 members to over 80. A traveling crew was formed in 2018 and now travels throughout the Midwest completing jobs for some of our largest clients, and forming strong partnerships with new customers.

Along with the Paving Group's powerful Midwest presence, they also have a strong, growing presence on the West Coast. The West Coast team has over 30 team members and has a permanent presence in Arizona, with a growing reach in surrounding West Coast states.

The Paving Group lives by Larry Keeley's philosophy that

"Quality and service never go out of style"

Larry Keeley started this company with a vision of growth and family. Learn more about our founding service here or watch the video below!


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