Ken Brandy '87
Monday, June 26, 2017
Ken Brandy '87 took a long time to graduate from Robert Morris — so long that a staff member once asked him if he was trying to get a pension out of the place. But after nine years, he earned a degree, launched a successful manufacturing career, and then established his own insurance business. And he still can’t stay away from RMU.
When Ken enrolled in 1978, he immersed himself in campus life, playing intramural sports year- round and pledging Tau Kappa Epsilon fraternity. It was the height of the disco era, and Ken and his friends wanted to play the Bee Gees on TKE Tuesdays to attract girls to the party to dance, while his brothers preferred country and rock.
While Ken mastered the party playlists, he paid less attention to his classes, and it showed in his grades. He took a hiatus to regroup and worked at the family cement business. “If there's one thing that'll send you back to college, go ahead and do cement work,” Ken says. With a new appreciation for the opportunities a college degree could offer and some prodding from his future wife, Valerie, he returned and earned a B.S.B.A. in computer operating systems in 1987. His first post-college job was as a computer operator at a plastics company, and he quickly rose through the ranks, becoming a regional general manager running five manufacturing facilities.
However, changes in the industry drove Ken to seek more control over his future, and he started KMB Insurance Services in 2004. Now, instead of running manufacturing plants, he visits seniors in their homes and helps them with health and life insurance solutions. “It's the best thing I ever did. I don't think I can work for anybody else again.”
Ken has stayed in touch with many friends from RMU, especially his TKE brothers. He plans the TKE tailgate at Homecoming each year, and he’s eagerly anticipating this year’s 30th Reunion gathering. “We’re getting more attendance each year, and I always say ‘Come see your brothers.’”
Written by Amy Scanlon