Lester H. McKeever, Jr., Class of 1971
Former chairman of the Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago
Lester H. McKeever, Jr. is the Managing Principal at Washington, Pittmann & McKeever LLC. His firm provides traditional services in the area of audit and specialized accounting services, tax compliance, and management consulting. Prior to attending Chicago-Kent, McKeever was a certified public accountant, initially joining his current firm as a staff accountant in 1956. He was elected managing partner in 1976. McKeever served as Chairman of the Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago from 1997 to 1999, and has served on committees for Mayors Harold Washington and Richard M. Daley. He also reached the rank of Specialist 4 while serving in the United States Army and has received four letters of commendation for the performance of his assigned duties. McKeever now serves as Vice Chairman of Harness Tracks of America and serves on the board of HTA Insurance Company.
Describe your career path. What steps did you take to get to where you are currently?
I was very fortunate in relationships and having great mentors. Being both an attorney and a CPA made me somewhat unique and I do believe in giving excellent service.
What was the greatest challenge you have faced in your career? How did you overcome it?
After graduation from college, I wanted to work in Public Accounting, but no Big Eight firm would hire an African-American at that time. I was fortunate to work with Mary T. Washington, an African-American CPA firm.
What has been your greatest achievement?
Becoming Chairman of the Board of the Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago.
What does it mean to you to be one of Chicago-Kent’s 125 Alumni of Distinction?
I am a very proud graduate of Chicago-Kent, and to be selected for this recognition means that, again, the Good Lord is looking over my shoulder and blessing me.
What advice would you give to young attorneys just starting out today?
Ethics and hard work is the key to success as you work to make the right connections.
How would you persuade a potential student to attend Chicago-Kent?
That is easy- the successes that Chicago-Kent continues to experience are explained to today’s prospective student.