Keith Echols came to the information technology field on a roundabout route. Intending to become a patent attorney, he majored in philosophy in college, but the irresistible pull of “wanting to know how things worked” led him to study electrical engineering after graduation and to a career as an IT manager at Detroit Edison, which ended when he connected with Eric Hardy, who was doing contract work for Keith.
A natural technological talent who built his first computer at age 12, Keith took a leap of faith when he resigned from his secure, well-established managerial job to devote his time and skills to help build the company fulltime in 1998. Today, he serves as w3r’s Executive Vice President, one of its top three leaders, responsible for the firm’s client-facing operations, focusing on service delivery, system planning, product evaluation and selection, and project management.
Adept at both hands-on and strategic services, Keith directs the company’s recruiters, who identify and place contract staff with w3r’s customers. He equips them with the resources and training they need to be effective in matching customer needs with employee skills. In his words, w3r “makes placements that make a difference.”
Keith has also helped guide w3r through the various stages of organizational maturation, encouraging a nimble mindset that enables adaptation to changing market needs. By applying data analytics from a neutral, third party perspective, Keith leads teams that increase the firm’s value to customers by identifying achievable, logical next steps and setting near- and long-range targets, based on trends that emerge from the vast array of information that is stored—and sometimes forgotten—in their databases.
With w3r’s acquisition of Nurse Now, Keith is taking the fundamental principles learned from the company’s extensive experience with IT staffing and applying them to the field of healthcare, which is expected to continue to expand through the foreseeable future and will help diversify w3r’s portfolio of services and market segments to fuel the firm’s continued growth and development.
Keith attended Wittenberg College in Springfield, Ohio, from which he earned a Bachelor’s degree in Philosophy. He is a Microsoft Certified Engineer and a Certified Network Engineer. Keith and his wife have two daughters. His Christian faith is a guiding presence in his life and he also serves as Executive Pastor of New Beginnings Cathedral, a Detroit-based Baptist Church.