TORRANCE, Calif. – September 4, 2014 – Keenan & Associates, the largest privately-held insurance brokerage and consulting firm in California, announced today that company founder and Chairman John R. Keenan has died after a lengthy illness. John passed away peacefully at Torrance Memorial Hospital in the presence of his family.
“Keenan & Associates is positioned to continue John’s vision into the future,” stated Sean K. Smith, President and CEO of Keenan. “The Keenan family, the Senior Leadership Team and our Associates are dedicated to perpetuating the firm and continuing to build on the foundation and principles that John put in place over 40 years ago.”
John received his Bachelor’s degree in Business Administration from Loyola University, Los Angeles. After serving in Korea as a Lieutenant in the Air Force, he entered the insurance field in 1954. John saw changes occurring in the marketplace as successful organizations were looking to differentiate by specializing in a specific industry. In 1972, John decided to go into business for himself, and, with three other employees, formed Keenan & Associates in Torrance. Originally, he felt the company would be successful if they reached 25 employees. Today, Keenan & Associates employs nearly 700 associates in nine offices, serving more than 950 public school districts, cities, counties and special districts, and over 125 hospitals throughout California and other states. Keenan & Associates is now the 17th largest broker in the US.
John grew up in south central Los Angeles, and one of his passions was to support schools by providing education in disadvantaged areas, including St. Raphael’s School and Verbum Dei High School. Keenan & Associates has also participated for several years in Verbum Dei’s Corporate Work Study Program in which student interns have the opportunity to gain work experience at participating companies. More than 20 CWSP students have been interns at Keenan & Associates.
John Keenan was an exceptionally generous man who put others before himself and always saw the good in people. His footprint in the insurance industry is enormous, but his legacy of giving to others is even greater. John’s knowledge, wisdom, and compassion inspired all who knew him.
A Memorial Service will be held Saturday, September 20, 2014 at 2:00 p.m. at St. Lawrence Martyr Church in Redondo Beach. In lieu of flowers, donations made in honor of John to the Torrance Memorial Health Care Foundation or to the El Camino College Foundation are greatly appreciated.