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Our 1871 | Kellee Johnson of The Ballast Group

For this week's Our 1871, we chat with Kellee Johnson, Founder and Principal at the Ballast Group. The Ballast Group is an integrated communications strategy firm.

Kellee Johnson-1

  • What do you consider your greatest success? 

    Teaching my then 8-year old nephew that diving off a 25' high dive into a pool was a series of baby steps that he could conquer in 20 minutes. He did.

    What did you have to learn the hard way in your professional life?

    Given the right set of circumstances, people will do anything. Always be a healthy skeptic.

    Who was a role model to you when you were coming up in your field?

    My first sailing coach in FL, who became my mentor who founded a cyber terrorism/forensics company, still has his NSA clearance, an innate faith and an insane compassion for people and doing the right thing.

    What is one piece of advice you would give to a rising entrepreneur?

     "Stay hungry, stay foolish" the words Steve Jobs said at Stanford University's commencement speech in 2005, the year I started my integrated communications firm.

     Where is your favorite spot in Chicago? 

    Sailing on Lake Michigan, preferably racing in at least 15 knots of breeze with a great team

    What is your daily ritual?

     Meditation followed by a dog walk, a workout and then doing the work I love with people that inspire me

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