Kevin Keenan, the longtime director of communications for the Diocese of Buffalo, will be heading up the Keenan Communications Group of Masiello Martucci Calabrese and Associates, a Buffalo-based lobbying firm.
Keenan officially joins the Masiello Martucci Calabrese team on Jan. 1.
"This is something I really wanted to do," Keenan said. "I'm a story teller and this could help people tell their story, which is very exciting."
Keenan joined the Diocese in 2000 after long stint in programming and on-air duties at WBEN-AM. Outside of the bishop, he was the face and voice of the 170 parish-strong Diocese. Western New York counts some 633,550 Catholics.
Keenan Communications Group will focus on public relations, social media, crisis communications and grassroots mobilization.
Vic Martucci, one of three partners in the lobbying firm, said hiring Keenan to oversee this newly-created division was a natural choice. Keenan and the firm's partners have been talking about starting up the new division since March.
"Kevin's reputation in the community is unparalleled," Martucci said. "It made all the sense in the world. He's the right guy."
Keenan will not be leaving the Diocese completely.
The Diocese of Buffalo has agreed to be his first client. Keenan will still handle many of his current duties for the Diocese, but as an outside contractor, not as an employee.
"Kevin has been a tremendous asset to the Diocese since his arrival in 2000," Bishop Edward Kimec, said in a prepared statement. "He has played a key role in helping to craft and successfully communicate our message and I am pleased that he will continue in that role."
Both Carl Calabrese, former Town of Tonawanda supervisor and Deputy Erie County Executive, and Anthony Masiello, former Mayor of Buffalo, said bringing Keenan into their downtown Buffalo lobbying firm will be both an asset and complement to their clients.
"I'm convinced we got the right person at the right time," Calabrese said.
"This was a very unique opportunity," Masiello added.