Kelly O'Keefe

Whether inspiring people, teams, and companies to reach their potential, or spending downtime with his growing family, Kelly O’Keefe is an artist.

Kelly O'Keefe

What is your role at Brand Federation?

I am a Managing Partner and CEO.

What work are you doing now and what about it inspires you?

There is so much work that inspires me right now. My primary role is helping to develop a great team and great company. We bring together people who are  immensely talented, really smart, and thoroughly committed. I feel like it's my job to provide them with an environment that allows them to thrive. It is so inspiring to watch members of this team find their voice, become their best selves, and then end up doing their best work. It’s been my philosophy that when you help people to be the best version of themselves, that’s what produces the highest quality work. I’ve seen this philosophy lead to great things in my past work at the VCU Brandcenter and now at Brand Federation.

What superpower do you bring to your clients and colleagues?

I’m an optimist. It’s my gift to see past the obstacles to the potential we all have to make a difference. I have an unshakable belief that our people and our clients can be forces for good. My superpower is to help them seize that potential.

Why did you start the Brand Federation team?

I left my work at the Brandcenter to launch the Brand Federation because there was a growing number of talented people for whom the working world just wasn’t working. These creative, smart, and skilled people were being stifled. They couldn’t do their best work. I saw an opportunity to create an organization that brought them together and supported them. That’s how the Brand Federation was born. We encourage independent thinkers to remain independent while also giving them the guidance, camaraderie, and infrastructure to accomplish things beyond their individual capacity.  

Have you read a book (or seen a movie, or listened to a podcast) lately that you’d recommend?

I watch every type of movie, but I will recommend a book I just read called “The Fire Next Time” by James Baldwin. I just think he’s a great thinker and writer. It’s a very short book, but it really influenced me.

What gets your energy and time outside of work?

I have always been an artist: I love to write, draw, and tell stories, especially with my family. It’s a family activity to create art together. We have a huge roll of paper and we cover the kitchen table with it and fill it with art. I love that time together.

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Brand Federation is recruiting experienced, independent branding and marketing consultants who are united by a belief that we can help build brands and organizations that are more relevant, powerful and responsible.