Women in Business: Lisa B. Keck

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Class of 2020 Women in Business Lisa B. Keck Chief Operating Officer Greenwood Gearhart Inc., Fayetteville

Residence: Fayetteville

Education: B.S.B.A., financial management, University of Arkansas

Professional background: Keck joined the firm in 2016 and has received two promotions. Under her leadership as COO during the past year, the firm has developed new processes for handling growth and the increasing complexity of investing, as well as refreshing the firm’s strategic plan. Her responsibilities include oversight of the firm’s financial planning operations, client engagement, marketing, business management and retirement plan services. A certified financial planner, Keck is involved in a number of philanthropic endeavors, including Down Syndrome Connection of Northwest Arkansas.

What character traits do you feel have benefited you in your success? I care so deeply about each and every client we work with and our team members. When I operate from that perspective, the interests of others come first, and I am able to do my best work. Having a service mindset, attention to detail and follow-up is critical when trusted with such a great responsibility.

Can you share what you have learned about your business from the COVID-19 pandemic? The world is suffering greatly on so many levels, and I think that we have gained a deeper perspective and appreciation for the amount of trust that clients place in us. For our business, the market and economic impact is magnified, and this is a time when we can do our best work for clients. I have always known and appreciated the incredible talent on our team, but this time has emphasized so many great qualities. In many ways, we have hardly skipped a beat and have been able to enhance the way we work to better serve our clients. I think we will emerge stronger and better equipped than ever.

What was your dream job as a kid and why? I knew I wanted to be a mom and have a big job, like a doctor or lawyer, but I did not have a specific career focus. I certainly knew that I could be ambitious, and my parents always encouraged it.

What is something distinctive people would be surprised to know about you? I tend to be rather serious in a professional setting, but I really love to laugh and enjoy good humor.

What has been the most fulfilling moment of your career so far? To me, it is really a series of moments. We have the ability to provide peace of mind and clarity in our client relationships, and there is no greater satisfaction than when I see that has been achieved. It is a true honor that clients place so much trust in our team.

How do you spend your time away from work? What are your hobbies? Most of my time away from work is spent with my husband and three beautiful boys. We love to be together outside and find new things to explore. I love to read and fit a few pages in when I have time. I am focusing more time on personal health and fitness, which allows me to be better for myself and for others.

What’s the last good book you read? “When the Heart Waits” by Sue Monk Kidd.

Of all the mentors in your professional career, who has been the most influential and why? This is a tough one to answer because there are so many people who have shepherded me along the way. Dr. James Rimbey was my Portfolio Management class professor. He introduced me to Mary Ann Greenwood and Greenwood & Associates for an internship during my senior year, seeing qualities in me that I did not see in myself. Almost 20 years later, I am living out my dream career at the same firm where I started because of his encouragement.

What’s your biggest passion and why? Our oldest son, Finley, has Down syndrome. For so many reasons, he is one of the greatest gifts I have received. I am so passionate about sharing his story, celebrating his abilities and the value that he and other people with Down syndrome bring to our world. So many people, hear “I’m sorry” with this diagnosis, and I want that to change to “Congratulations, you are about to go on a beautiful journey!”

What advice would you give young women who are currently at the beginning of their careers? Allow yourself to dream big, be authentically you, trust yourself and know that you deserve a seat at the table.

What’s the next big personal or career challenge you plan to take on? A great challenge for me is savoring where I am and balancing that with my ambition. Devoting time to people I love while continuing to serve our clients and grow our firm remains my focus.

What’s your favorite app at the moment? Spotify. I love music and always have my favorites playing.