Social Impact Heroes: Keith Michelsen Of RELO Direct On Individuals and Organizations Making an Important Social Impact
An Interview With Maria Angelova
Learn Something New Each Day, no matter how small… be inquisitive enough to learn from others.
As part of my series about “individuals and organizations making an important social impact”, I had the pleasure of interviewing Keith C. Michelsen CRP, GMS.
Keith is a relocation industry sales and account management veteran consulting on corporate relocation and global talent management solutions. Keith works with numerous multinational organizations to design and implement tailored mobility/talent agility programs, while assisting firms in achieving goals, solving problems, and satisfying organizational needs. His personal goals are to always continue to connect dots that offer solutions to challenging problems and finding solutions for corporate outsourced talent management needs.
Keith serves on the committee board of many regional Relocation Council Groups and a member of: Metro Atlanta Relocation Council, Southeast Regional Relocation Council, Greater Washington Employee Relocation Council, Greater Richmond Relocation Council, Tennessee Relocation Council and Charlotte Metro Area Relocation Council. Active member of the Worldwide Employee Relocation Council (ERC) and hold a CRP, GMS along with a GA State RE License.
Keith earned a Bachelor of Science degree from the University of Maine, where he served as VP of Sigma Alpha Epsilon fraternity. He holds p-12 Teaching Certification from the states of Georgia and Maine.
I spend my time engrossed in volunteer efforts with Special Olympics, supporting a son in college, or providing advice to three daughters in what ever is the “thing to do” of the month.
Thank you so much for joining us in this interview series! Can you tell us a story about what brought you to this specific career path?
I had the pleasure of fulfilling my goals of molding young minds and changing lives of young adults via teaching and coaching, but as life goals change so did my family needs. I back doored my way into the relocation industry totally by mistake. I had the drive, ambition and determination and just needed a platform to chart a path. So here I find myself as an Executive in the Talent Agility space.
Can you share the most interesting story that happened to you since you began leading your company or organization?
Change is inevitable, but don’t let it be an obstacle. I was asked to transfer to Phoenix, back in my lead operation days. Our first born was two and the second was on the way. The move wasn’t right for us and there was much uncertainty. My wife (Wendi) and I weren’t sure what was on the horizon, as we flew back to Atlanta. Staying positive turned out to be the key for where I sit today. Literally hours after making the final decision not to transfer, I was contacted by an organization that opened the door for sales and wanted my expertise from operations. This was the springboard to my successes. This migration would have never taken place had I relocated… wouldn’t have found my passion for being consultative in sales.
It has been said that our mistakes can be our greatest teachers. Can you share a story about the funniest mistake you made when you were first starting? Can you tell us what lesson you learned from that?
Mistakes are simply and opportunity to learn. In my angst to be responsive, I would fire off emails without proofing in my early years. I mistakenly sent an email addressing the CEO with a Hello Robert but dropped the “o” in Hello. This wasn’t recognized until after Bob and I built a rapport and engaged in a partnership. It was years later he shared that his reason for meeting with me initially, was because the way I addressed him. We laughed and continue to address each other this way. Mistakes sometimes open opportunities.
Can you describe how you or your organization is making a significant social impact?
I am blessed with the opportunity to give back. I volunteer with Special Olympics, volunteer coach youth sports, and currently hold a board position on a Community Outreach Committee for Metro Atlanta Relocation Council. I’m inspired by the friendly competitive and loving nature of our special/exceptional individuals that have the same goals to succeed but do it with enthusiasm in celebrating the successes of their competitors. Providing fundraising efforts for these events drives me.
Can you tell us a story about a particular individual who was impacted or helped by your cause?
My first-born daughter “Shea” is truly special. A now 23-year-old adult with Downs Syndrome is the most loving and care individual I encountered. Through her, I have had the pleasure of meeting so many exceptional individuals I couldn’t possibly single anyone out. I challenge you to volunteer once, you’ll thank me and forever be changed and inspired.
Are there three things the community/society/politicians can do to help you address the root of the problem you are trying to solve?
We can all assist in fundraising efforts. These young adults age out of school programs at 22 and have limited options. Organizations like Exceptional Foundation of Atlanta or Just People need our help to offer programs to keep them engaged. Just ask how you can help. It’s that simple.
How do you define “Leadership”? Can you explain what you mean or give an example?
Leadership is simply doing the right thing and getting others to support a vision. Simply put, it is influencing others to achieve results or a purpose beyond which they believe they are currently capable. The example you set is infectious and genuine. This is when you know your inspiring and motivating those around you.
What are your “5 things I wish someone told me when I first started” and why.
- Be You, being you is genuine.
- Show Empathy, this confirms that you are listening.
- Care for Others, this will ground you daily.
- Learn Something New Each Day, no matter how small… be inquisitive enough to learn from others.
- Celebrate Often, celebrating even the smallest successes motivates those around you to new heights.
You are a person of enormous influence. If you could inspire a movement that would bring the most amount of good to the most amount of people, what would that be? You never know what your idea can trigger. 🙂
Get involved in something or in some way that you are passionate about. Sparking the idea for a Charity Benefit Concert to raise funds for Adult Special Needs Programs is vastly needed — just need a few great headliners.
Can you please give us your favorite “Life Lesson Quote”? Can you share how that was relevant to you in your life?
“Do it right, because it’s the right thing to do”. I strive to do this each and every day. This can be applied not only to the workplace, but also the way you interact in society. Just remind yourself to “Do it right or make it right”. Even when it is difficult. Trust me, you will feel better.
Is there a person in the world, or in the US with whom you would like to have a private breakfast or lunch with, and why? He or she might just see this, especially if we tag them. 🙂
Maria Shriver… Maria is outgoing in her philanthropic endeavors. She continues her mothers caring and giving back philosophy.
How can our readers further follow your work online?
Follow me on LinkedIn at linkedin.com/in/keith-michelsen-crp-gms-37578024
This was very meaningful, thank you so much. We wish you only continued success on your great work!
About The Interviewer: Maria Angelova, MBA is a disruptor, author, motivational speaker, body-mind expert, Pilates teacher and founder and CEO of Rebellious Intl. As a disruptor, Maria is on a mission to change the face of the wellness industry by shifting the self-care mindset for consumers and providers alike. As a mind-body coach, Maria’s superpower is alignment which helps clients create a strong body and a calm mind so they can live a life of freedom, happiness and fulfillment. Prior to founding Rebellious Intl, Maria was a Finance Director and a professional with 17+ years of progressive corporate experience in the Telecommunications, Finance, and Insurance industries. Born in Bulgaria, Maria moved to the United States in 1992. She graduated summa cum laude from both Georgia State University (MBA, Finance) and the University of Georgia (BBA, Finance). Maria’s favorite job is being a mom. Maria enjoys learning, coaching, creating authentic connections, working out, Latin dancing, traveling, and spending time with her tribe. To contact Maria, email her at email@example.com. To schedule a free consultation, click here.
Social Impact Heroes: Keith Michelsen Of RELO Direct On Individuals and Organizations Making an… was originally published in Authority Magazine on Medium, where people are continuing the conversation by highlighting and responding to this story.