LARRY G. KEAST BIO
Larry Keast earned a BSME from the University of Texas and is a registered professional engineer. While at UT, he joined the Texas Army National Guard and became a jump-qualified MP officer.
His first job was nine years with Cameron where he gained experience in engineering, offshore service, sales, and manufacturing of blowout preventers and subsea equipment.After 9 years at Cameron, Larry joined World Wide Oil Tools as Vice President & General Manager. Virtually a startup, he built this new company into a respected manufacturer in the pipe testing business. Directing the development of four new product lines, Larry received three patents in the process. He also traveled worldwide selling, training, and establishing sales agents, and he learned to love startup manufacturing companies.
In 1980, Larry started Venturetech in his garage. Venturetech is today leading the competition with his power swivels which are working on oil and gas wells worldwide.In 2007, Venturetech was honored as one of Houston’s Fastest Growing Businesses by the Houston Business Journal plus their Enterprise Champion award for doing good work in the community above and beyond financial performance. Larry continues to direct Venturetech's development, and is excited to be launching new top drive and pipe handling product lines. 24 patents, more in process.
For fun, Larry is building a car collection including a 34 Ford pickup, a 62 Corvette, several different Jeeps, a 46 Dodge Power Wagon, and a couple of Bonneville Salt Flats race cars. To fund this enterprise, he is about to begin manufacturing a driver-controlled air lift kit for Jeeps allowing drivers a 7” height adjustment on the fly. He also learned to fly in the last few years and he rides his bicycle to work 10 miles twice a week. He loves having a lot going on and does not understand retirement.
Giving back to the community is an important part of Larry’s life. He learned the power of support groups in the substance abuse programs Insight and Lifeway, and was an advisory board member of Cornerstone Recovery. After his wife was diagnosed with Hepatitis C in 1996, Larry joined the Texas Liver Coalition board as Director of Support Groups. Under Larry’s direction, the Coalition developed 32 support groups in Texas cities which helped thousands of people each year. Larry also served on Mayor Bill White’s Task Force for Hepatitis C. Thankfully, his wife’s treatment was successful, and she remains virus free.
Mr. Keast has enjoyed mentoring and speaking to engineering and entrepreneurship students at the University of Texas and the University of Houston. He has served on the Business Advisory Council of Goodwill Industries and the Advisory Board of Houston-Galveston Institute. Larry has also served as President of the Dover Club, a support organization of business owners, and as a board member of his church, Unity of Houston. Larry is a member of Nomads since 1980, and has enjoyed membership in TAB - The Alternative Board, a business owners' roundtable group. In 2012, he was honored by Dickinson High School as an Alumni of the Year, and also served on the board of their education foundation. Larry is a member of AESC, IADC, SAE, AOPA, EAA, and is a Certified Fluid Power Engineer.
In 2000, Venturetech began hiring people who deserve a second chance including ex-convicts, people in recovery, and older folks.
Hiring these “unemployable" people has proved to increase company morale and productivity and this practice continues today.
In 2004 Larry began spreading the word among other small business owners and founded America in Recovery, a 501(c)3 non-profit which encourages hiring people who deserve a second chance. www.americainrecovery.org. America in Recovery’s mission is to serve as a placement agency finding good jobs for qualified people deserving a second chance.
Married for 52 years, Larry and Zandra have three children and six grandchildren living in Austin, Berlin, and Budapest.