Kevin Kehoe, founder of Aspire Software, passed away on Sept. 30, 2022, at the age of 67. He had been battling Stage 4 colorectal cancer since 2014.
Kehoe was recently named NALP’s 2022 Lifetime Leadership Award recipient for his work mentoring numerous landscape professionals throughout his career.
He earned a BA from the State University of New York at Stony Brook, an MBA from Southern Methodist University, and a master’s from the Thunderbird School of Management at Arizona State University.
After working for an accounting firm and for several smaller consulting firms, Kehoe launched his career as a ‘gun for hire’ in 1992. He mailed out 100 letters to directors of national associations as part of a marketing campaign and Debra Holder, then director of the Associated Landscape Contractors of America (ALCA, a NALP legacy organization), was the only one who responded.
Since speaking at that first event, he has consulted for more than 300 landscape companies. Kehoe became a friend of many of the company owners he consulted with. He was known for his practical solutions in the areas of sales management, financial management, budgeting, pricing and mergers and acquisitions.
“I have known him for 30 years and don’t believe that there is a smarter, sharper mind in our industry or has had an impact on the industry as much as Kevin Kehoe,” said Bob Grover, LIC, president of Pacific Landscape Management.
Kehoe went on to build Aspire Software in 2013 with Mark Tipton. The software has grown to the point where it powers more than 50,000 landscapers and performs just under $4 billion in annual transactions across landscaping, snow and ice and construction. Aspire was also named one of America’s Fastest Growing companies by the Financial Times.
In 2021, Kehoe sold Aspire to ServiceTitan and started his philanthropic foundation, the Kehoe Family Foundation, the same year which gives to causes that align with the family’s values. His foundation’s mission is to engage future generations of the Kehoe family members in responsible giving and teach them the importance of giving back.
The foundation supports education, entrepreneurialism, veterans and cancer research. Its current beneficiaries include Mayo Clinic, Hillsdale College, SUNY Stony Brook Athletics, Tunnel to Towers, Turning Point USA and the NALP Foundation.
Through charitable contributions as an NALP Foundation scholarship Ambassador and lead champion of the annual NALP Foundation Scholarship Reception, held in conjunction with the NALP National Collegiate Landscape Competition, the Kehoe Family Foundation is focused on recognizing students in landscape and lawn care programs who have received a scholarship from the NALP Foundation. The reception provides students and Ambassadors, the benefactors of the scholarships, an opportunity to celebrate the student’s achievement and network with fellow students, faculty, and industry professionals.
The NALP Foundation stated that it is grateful for the opportunity to work with Kevin Kehoe and the Kehoe Family Foundation and is honored to help carry on his legacy and ardent support of students.
Kehoe also wrote his book, One Hit Wonder: The Real-Life Adventures of an Average Guy and the Lessons He Learned Along the Way in 2021. In the book, he encourages the reader to examine who and what they are and what they believe. Kehoe felt people could shortchange themselves and miss out on opportunities when they did not examine their lives. His advice was to tell your story as it’s the one way to truly live forever.
Kehoe’s goal in life was to leave the world a better place because he was here.
He has been described as trustworthy, courageous, disciplined and anything but an ‘ordinary’ guy. He is survived by his wife Lorraine Kehoe and his daughter Julia M. Kehoe.
In working with the NALP Foundation, Kehoe continually stressed the importance of giving to and supporting students, and actively working to attract, grow, and retain the next generation of landscape industry leaders.
Information and video provided by NALP.