Giving Back

Volunteering is in realtor Greg Keogh’s blood

By Mario Toneguzzi

You could say that volunteering is in Greg Keogh’s blood.

Quite literally.

The realtor, with RE/MAX Real Estate (Central) has a passion for giving back to his community which is a quality likely developed at an early age watching what his father did.

“I first started off being a Big Brother that was back in 1980. I met a boy who was 10 years old and to make a long story short we’re still in touch. That was back in Toronto. He’s now 40 something with three kids. I’ve been to his wedding and I’ve been to his house. He still lives in the Toronto area,” said Keogh.

Over the years, Keogh’s volunteer work has included various different groups and organizations – the Drop-In Centre, New Hope Church, Inn From The Cold, the Elks Golf Course  (now The Winston), the Tuxedo Park Community Association, a mentor at a school, the Calgary Real Estate Board Charitable Foundation, the McDonald’s Fun Run, casino work and coaching sports.

He is also a regular blood donor having passed the 80 donation mark.

“It’s something I like to do. I like to meet people. I just feel that anything I participate in I feel I should be giving back . . .  I don’t know if it came from my father. My father did a lot of volunteering. I think that was probably a certain thread there. It makes me feel good. Indirectly I’m helping something or somebody. We should be contributing back,” said Keogh.

“I feel like I shouldn’t just be taking. People are always looking for volunteers. I think Calgary itself has a good volunteer reputation. That kind of spills over a bit too. I’ve always enjoyed it. Every time I go I meet new people. And you have fun. It’s not a calling or anything like that. It’s just something I like to do. It’s giving back and not always taking. Give back a bit.”

Keogh has been a realtor for 12 years as it’s his second career. In 1989, he was transferred to Calgary from Toronto with a large pension and benefits consulting company. He had a few good friends who were realtors and Keogh thought his skill set was a good fit with the real estate industry.

“I looked into it, talked to a bunch of people and thought it was a good career choice for me. At that time, I was just turning 50 and looking at a long-term basis I was wanting to have something where I could meet people more often. In the corporate world, you don’t meet as many people. And I like people,” said Keogh. “I figured if I had to work beyond 65 or whatever this was a good opportunity. It gives me some flexibility in my schedule. So I became a realtor. Here I am 12  years later.”