The Keenan Blog

Timely and informative posts written by our experts.


Keenan’s 50th Anniversary

December 14, 2022 by Tim Crawford

Keenan was founded fifty years ago, and we want to take this opportunity to thank our many clients, all our past and present associates, and our industry colleagues over the years, who have helped make this golden anniversary possible.

John R. Keenan and his three original associates began building this unique organization in December 1972, with an entrepreneurial spirit, a determined focus on the specialized needs and characteristics of California public schools, and dedication to exceptional customer service. These foundational principles persist today at Keenan, along with a fifty-year history of innovation in employee benefits, risk management, and retirement programs. A journey of such length is never accomplished alone. It took all of us – customers, associates, and colleagues – to arrive where we are today.

Together, we have encountered a dynamic landscape, navigating through the ups and downs of insurance markets, climbing the rising slopes of medical inflation, adjusting course for new legislative developments, and adapting to the unpredictable terrain of the global economy. Over five decades, we have seen a lot, but we would be arrogant to say we have seen it all! No, there will always be new challenges spurring us to innovate and persist in the face of adversity.

Change has been a constant companion on this journey. Sometimes the changes have been positive and welcome. All too often, life's changes have created problems for our customers and their employees. We took on their problems and made them our problems, but more importantly, they became opportunities to develop solutions.

When market conditions made it difficult for public school districts to obtain insurance coverage at any cost, we worked with our clients to organize pooled arrangements to provide the protection needed and address their specific risks that much of the insurance industry didn't understand.

When Congress and the state Legislature have enacted laws affecting the rights of participants and their access to health and welfare coverage, we worked next to our customers to help them communicate with their employees, so they could preserve their protections and make informed choices for themselves and their families.

When economic downturns impacted state and local revenues, severely impacting our customers' budgets, we collaborated with them to maximize their limited resources to get through the lean times.

Keenan is proud that so many customers have accompanied us on substantial portions of our journey. We believe it's not just because of the value, expertise and experience we offer. At the core, we believe the way to keep clients is to do what is right for them. Our associates are empowered and self-motivated to deliver exceptional care to clients through their actions that demonstrate the definition of customer service. Keenan appreciates each and every one of our customers who have contributed to fifty years of success. It is our commitment to continue with you on this journey and step up to the challenges of the future together.

Editor’s Note:
This blog was written by Tim Crawford. Tim started in the insurance industry in 1981 and joined Keenan in 1996. In 2016, Tim retired from Keenan, but we were not ready to let him go. He has been a part of our history and who we have become, and Tim stayed on as a consultant, supporting many of the blog posts, emails, and other communications our clients have relied on over the years. This month, Tim is once again retiring from his consulting assignment with us and moving on to enjoy his retirement – which we are certain will be filled with more writing, though more of a fictional focus. Keenan (and the Keenan Marketing Team) would like to thank Tim for the decades of dedication and experience that he gave to us!