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About Us

Our purpose is to enhance the lives of business owners by helping them gain the freedom and time to focus strategically on their business to maximize the value of their business and their life’s work while having more fun along the way.

The leadership of all businesses will transition; our passion is to make a significant and positive contribution to that inevitable day.

We become trusted advisors for our clients. Our average tenure is proof of that. And, through the members of our CEO Peer Advisory Boards, our clients gain directly from the experience and perspective of other seasoned business owners. The synergies gained from these peer boards offer priceless benefits. Attempting to match this level of direct experience through consultants or other advisors is impractical and/or unaffordable.

The Kelsey Group was founded by John Keener in 1999. Barry Gleeson joined the company in 2008 and became the Managing Partner in 2022. When the company started, it focused exclusively on being a Franchisee of The Alternative Board (TAB) that offers CEO Peer Boards (comprised of non-competing business owners) and Executive Coaching.

Today, our services (Link to Services page) are much broader; all of which are vital for helping companies grow sustainably. We have expanded our team to include two highly experienced coaches, Dr. Dave Baker, and Ms. Kimberle Seale. The collective backgrounds of all four Coaches bring a diverse set of skills that are valuable to any business in any market sector.

Our Values are:

• Seek Wisdom – always improve
• Show up and engage
• Challenge Status Quo
• Have an Honest Heart
• Be Accountable

If you are not content with where you are in your business journey, we should talk. Please contact us for a no-obligation consultation


Since being part of The Kelsey Group and The Alternative Board, I want to express my appreciation for your counsel. Your ability to quickly see to the heart of the problem(s) at hand, and then provide frank and neutral advice has helped me immeasurably. For a long time, I thought having a business coach might be a good idea; but what I have learned from my membership in TAB makes me realize that it was a great decision. I am learning every month just how much I didn’t know, and how to focus more strategically on building a stronger business.

~ Patti A, Home Builder and Remodeler

Being a member of TAB for over 10 years helped prepare me for a successful exit. My goal was to create a culture and leadership team that would allow me greater flexibility with my time and with my fellow members and your coaching, I’ve made a successful transition. My intent is to have my second in command continue to grow the company with the help of TAB.

~ Chris B., Security Company

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John Keener, Founder

John M. Keener has spent 30 years in senior and executive level management with Fortune 500 and small startup organizations. A vast majority of his experience has focused on sales and marketing including sales force organization, compensation realignment, strategic planning, profit enhancement and Initial Public Offering experience. As president of two organizations, his experience extended into operations and product development.

Mr. Keener is the Founder of The Kelsey Group and retired to part-time at the end of 2021. Mr. Keener earned a BS degree in psychology from Ohio State University.

Kimberle Seale, Certified Coach

Kimberle Seale, is an experienced corporate executive with 20 plus years working with businesses and business owners: coaching, developing strategy, leadership development, succession planning and business improvement. She is recognized for her performance in building collaborative leaders and teams that accelerate business performance within multiple industries spanning all market sizes, both for-profit and non-for-profit, including healthcare, higher-education, technology, construction, home services, financial management, energy, and government.

Having grown up in three generations of business owners, Kim has been able to empathize with the struggles that small businesses face. She has taken the knowledge and experience from working in large organizations and synthesizes strategy and execution best practices that work easy for the smallest of businesses.

Kim received her Bachelors from Purdue University and has continued her education with multiple certifications in Strategy Management, Project Management, Neuro-Linguistic Programming, and Exit Planning. She is also a Patent Inventor for a product sold to Uber, a 3 times published author, and is a contributing author for Forbes and Entrepreneur Magazine. Kim is also active in her community and has served on multiple boards including NAWBO St. Louis, Child Advocates, and served as an Advisory Board Member for the Purdue School of Engineering and Technology.

Kim’s passion is to coach great leaders and organizations to ignite their passion to brings about transformative change in their business, careers, and their lives. She believes every person has an intrinsic purpose combined with a set of strengths, that when leveraged, bring out exponential growth and productivity for themselves and any organization.

Dr. David Baker, Certified Coach

Dave Baker has spent 20 years helping businesses in the metropolitan region connect with and develop their workforces and he understands the challenges associated with employee development and retention for companies of all sizes. He has worked with an array of industries including manufacturing, hospitality, health care, construction and IT, assisting employers with hiring and promoting effectively.

Having worked in a successful family business, Dave is aware of the difficulties and the opportunities that consistently present themselves to owners and key managers. His knowledge of both business and training provide Dave with particular insight into today’s business environment.

Dave earned his Masters in Business Administration from Fontbonne University and holds a Doctorate in Education from the University of Missouri-St. Louis. He is aligned with numerous civic organizations including the Starkloff Disability Institute, the Missouri Women in Trades and the Progress 64 West.

Barry Gleeson, Managing Partner

Since 2004, Barry has worked with owners and leaders of privately held family businesses helping them to focus strategically to outperform their competitors. He has a passion for engaging with leadership teams enabling them to break through status quo to deliver exceptional results.

Barry is the Managing Partner of The Kelsey Group and is the Owner of The Alternative Board (TAB) Franchise, an international Peer Advisory and Executive Coaching organization. Franchise in St. Louis. Prior to that, he spent 15 years working with a Fortune 100 Defense Contractor in a variety of management positions and he was the VP and General manager of a privately-held Material Handling Distributor.

Barry is a Certified Growth Coach with the Scaling Up organization, an international community of growth coaches, helping leadership teams of small and mid-market companies scale their organization by implementing the Rockefeller Habits. He is also certified in Behavioral, Motivational and Acumen Sciences. Having such diverse background in both large public and small privately held businesses, and in many different industries, Barry brings his clients strategy, perspective, and accountability for growth.