In the fall of 1986, Kirk Englund decided to take a sales and marketing course at King’s College. For the final class project, each student needed to create a company, develop a business and a marketing plan and then make a sales presentation. To put himself through school, Kirk was working part-time at the front desk and office area of a major hotel and conference center chain. This was where Kirk first became involved in the limousine services industry. The seeds were planted to create his own limo rental company.
Kirk’s duties included arranging ground transportation for all guests arriving at the local airports. He combined his work experience with the sales and marketing project at school and began developing the business he runs today. Soon after creating his “fictional” company for the class project, Kirk turned fiction into reality on June 22, 1987, when he officially registered and incorporated KEE Enterprises, Inc. in the state of Connecticut. Within six months, KEE Limousines obtained all necessary permits from the Connecticut Department of Transportation and the Interstate Commerce Commission. Kirk purchased a used 1987 Lincoln Town Car and opened KEE Limousine for business in December 1987.
Kirk ran KEE Limo out of his bedroom for two years, until increased demand from customers for wedding limousine services and Connecticut airport transportation prompted him to move his Lincoln and two newly purchased vans into a commercial condominium unit in 1990.
Five years later, the company had grown to the point where it was overflowing the original condo space. With so many customers calling us for CT airport shuttle services, wedding limousine rentals and other services, KEE Limousine purchased the condo unit next door in 1995. After renovating the new space, the company knocked down the walls to combine both units. They were raring to go, happy that they could now provide more vehicles to meet the wedding limousine services needs and other transportation requirements of their growing customer base.
In 2005, Norton Colepaugh, the owner of I’ll Drive, Inc., another livery service based in New Milford, CT approached Kirk to let him know he was preparing to retire soon. KEE Limo had worked with Norton for many years. While they were competitors, they had grown to respect and appreciate one another. In fact, Kirk and Norton had discussed the possibility of merging the two companies, but it never got beyond the talking stage.
However, by 2005, it was clear that Norton was more than ready to retire and he wanted to find a good home for the business he had spent so many years developing. Over the next few weeks, Norton and Kirk determined that the two companies would fit together perfectly to provide chauffeured transportation services in the greater New Milford, CT and the Litchfield County area and beyond.
Kirk placed the future of the two limousine companies in the hands of the Connecticut DOT. Officials said they would approve the application in four weeks, but it wound up taking four months until they finally got the approval needed from the state to move forward with the sale of the company.
KEE Limousine closed on the purchase of I’ll Drive on June 29, 2006. The transition period of bringing two ground transportation services firms together under one roof went incredibly well. Norton and Kirk were right that it was a perfect fit. Today, Kirk and his team still find ourselves writing new history and growing this limo rental company for a better tomorrow.