Keith Farley was recently
named Oconomowoc’s Citizen of the Year by the Oconomowoc
Chamber of Commerce. He is a partner and project manager at
Oliver Construction and is involved in several initiatives
and organizations aimed at making the community a better
place to live.
Keith Farley grew up in the suburbs of Chicago and openly admits
to being a Cubs fan. But, that hasn’t stopped him from adopting
Wisconsin and Oconomowoc as his home and, judging by his
contributions to the community, it’s lucky to have him.
Chamber of Commerce has honored Farley as its 2014 Citizen of
the Year. He, along with the other recipients of the Oconomowoc
Chamber of Commerce awards, will be officially honored at 5 p.m.
Nov. 6 at the Golden Mast restaurant in Okauchee.
Farley is a
partner and project manager at Oliver Construction, a career
choice that brought him back to the place where he spent summers
with grandparents and where his wife, Vicki, grew up.
He and Vicki
are now “empty enjoyers” as he calls it, with three children -
Chelsea, Macky and Conor - out pursuing their own dreams across
answered some questions about the honor and his service to
ENTERPRISE: First, congratulations on the honor.
How does it feel to be appreciated by your community in such a
I was totally shocked to be honest when Katie Miller walked into
my office to announce the award to me. I had heard about the
award but was not aware that my (Director of Business
Development) Timm Walker filled out the paperwork and turned it
into the chamber for consideration. People that know me also
know that I’m not about being recognized for what I facilitate
and get other folks involved in. My achievements in what I have
been recognized for are really a tribute to the people that I
have asked to be part of the various groups and foundations that
I belong to. It doesn’t happen without them.
ENTERPRISE: Can you talk about some of the work
you’ve done in Oconomowoc?
it really started in helping out at my church, grew into
coaching my kids in various sport clubs in fall, winter,
spring. From there I saw a need in other programs - volunteer
groups, clubs - to be part of. There is a part of me that
doesn’t ask the “why” to things that don’t get done but (rather)
why not let’s get these things done for the betterment of our
community and all that it will touch for now and future
ENTERPRISE: What projects really stand out as you
think of your past accomplishments?
are a lot of them, difficult to pin down one, exactly. I would
say that the blessing is in seeing how some of the projects such
as the Physical Development Center (or PDC) at the high school
which will have a very everlasting impact on kids learning the
joy and appreciation of conditioning the beautiful bodies that
God has given us, or the impact (of what) our Teresa’s
Pancreatic Cancer Foundation means to the researchers at the UW
Carbone Cancer Center in Madison and cancer patients. Lastly,
the Athletic Fields Forever project. I just saw a drone video
done by Oconomowoc’s own Joe Haas of the completed project. It
was awesome. What a facility for our kids.
ENTERPRISE: Why is giving back to the community
important to you?
think we are all programmed to give, you just need to start.
Whether it is volunteering or sharing or contributing your
talents to those in need.
ENTERPRISE: What influences in your life (people,
experiences) do you draw a line to as far as community-building?
FARLEY: I saw
at a young age my grandfather giving to others without asking
for anything in return. My father going door to door in my
neighborhood supporting a candidate for public office and
leading the Christian education programs at our church while
growing up. Locally, Tom Snyder, who gave back to his community
tenfold with never looking for anything other than a smile and a
ENTERPRISE: What do you think is the most
satisfying part of living in Oconomowoc?
beauty of the Lake Country. Where else can you leave your office
at noon in the summer, grab a pull with your favorite water
skiing buddy, Randy Bourdo, and be back in your office by 1
p.m.? It’s the small town, beautiful scenery, and friendly
people that make this place special.