Keenan Wellar is co-leader of Ottawa-based charitable organization LiveWorkPlay.ca, which supports people with intellectual disabilities to experience life as included members of the community. Working with a staff team of 8 and more than 100 volunteers, he maintains daily involvement in the lives of more than 60 individuals and families that benefit from LiveWorkPlay supports and services, but the majority of his energies are now dedicated to partnership development and social marketing.
Keenan’s abilities in marketing and communications have been reflected most profoundly through the organization’s media relations and robust social media strategy. At a time when voluntary organizations are struggling with succession and sustainability, LiveWorkPlay has attracted highly qualified staff, grown its volunteer core, built a robust board of directors, and diversified its funding.
Recognized in 2010 with a United Way Ottawa Community Builder Award, Keenan is an active community volunteer, providing pro bono workshops for non-profit organizations at local, provincial, and national events. He has a BA in History and a BEd from the University of Ottawa, as well as an MA in Applied Linguistics and a Professional Certificate in Public Sector and Non-Profit Marketing from the Sprott School of Business at Carleton University.
Underlying all of Keenan’s efforts be they in business, community, or personal life, is an affinity with the sociological concept of social capital, which refers to the connections within and between social networks. Through this understanding of human relationships and their value, Keenan utilizes social capital to pursue positive change in the context of institutional barriers and biases that make change difficult for individuals and communities alike.