Keely talks about guiding people through change and the importance of giving back to our communities.
Leading with empathy and passion, Keely, a change manager in our San Francisco office, helps organizations introduce new technology, while engaging teams, building relationships, and communicating strategically to ensure the whole team is on board.
Keely enjoys the constant movement of consulting—and she translates that energy into her free time by hiking, skiing, and climbing.
You worked at a Big 4 consulting firm and a small startup, what attracted you to Propeller?
I started at a Big 4 firm right out of college. I learned so much so quickly while I was there and appreciated the guidance I had from leadership. However, it was harder to create your own space and path in a company that size. Then I completely pivoted and went to a 20-person startup, which had a different set of problems. At Propeller, I have the perfect middle ground between the two worlds. We have structure and support in the places you need it, but also flexibility. Propeller provides me the ability to learn from industry leaders and grow in my career, while also allowing me to create my own path on the types of projects and work I want to tackle.
Propeller provides me the ability to learn from industry leaders and grow in my career, while also allowing me to create my own path on the types of projects and work I want to tackle.
What problem are you solving for a client right now?
I’m working with a large retail client and they’re revamping the technology backbone of their contact center. To describe my role, I’m the middleman between the technology team and the end-user, which in this case is the customer service agent. I’m translating the chaos and making it more digestible, helping prepare them for change and make it less scary.
What does a typical day working at Propeller look like for you?
About 90% of my week is committed to the client. My day-to-day varies depending on the phase of the project, but I am usually focused on preparing materials and activities that help end-users navigate upcoming technology changes. As a change manager, this typically takes shape in the form of communication planning, L&D design and implementation, stakeholder engagement, and leadership support. My goal is to make sure leaders can effectively guide and support their teams through complex technology changes.
The other 10% of my week is dedicated to internal initiatives at Propeller. I love working on internal initiatives because it gives me a chance to work on different types of problems and it means working with other Propeller consultants which is always a plus! Internally I have worked on our pro bono team, proposal support team, as well as our People and Change practice team.
My goal is to make sure leaders can effectively guide and support their teams through complex technology changes.
Tell me more about the work you’re doing with Uplift.
I'm one of our team leads for Uplift. I’m doing some pro bono work directly with the nonprofits, which is great. They’re always really excited to work on new projects and ideas with us. As a lead though, I spend more of my time scoping out projects and matching consultants to nonprofit work. My goal is to make it an all-around good experience for both the nonprofit and the consultant.
How do you stay connected with your colleagues?
I love the San Francisco office. I've grown close to quite a few of the team. It's nice that even though we're all on different projects, we still meet up regularly. It's always a nice break when talking to a Propeller person after being on client calls all day, especially since I’m on a solo project right now.
How have you grown while at Propeller?
I joined the People and Change practice at Propeller. This has been a huge win for me as I want to continue to learn and grow, stay up to date on current industry trends, and lend my expertise to other consultants and teams. I get to contribute to Propeller’s thought leadership while also working together with Propeller’s leaders on some of our client's biggest problems.
What’s your favorite Propeller ethos and why?
“Uplift Our Communities.” I am heavily involved in the Uplift team and committee. I’ve done nonprofit work before with other organizations, but it felt more like photo-ops type work. At Propeller, we have strong support from leadership through budget, time, and coaching. It’s more than just a photo-op, it shows we actually care about being involved in our communities.
I’ve done nonprofit work before with other organizations, but it felt more like photo-ops type work. At Propeller, we have strong support from leadership through budget, time, and coaching. It’s more than just a photo-op, it shows we actually care about being involved in our communities.
What do you like to do on the weekend?
I love to be outside. It’s a welcome relief from the busy work week. Having lived in Denver and now San Francisco—they’re both great cities for that. I usually go for a hike or head to the climbing gym. I’ve been trying to get into surfing, but I think that’s more a SoCal sport!
To wrap things up, I have a few rapid-fire questions for you:
Favorite ice cream flavor? Cookies and Cream
You have to give up one: chocolate or cheese? That’s cruel. Chocolate I guess
Beach or Mountain? Mountain
What brings you instant joy or happiness? Small moments of self-care.
What was your first job? Ropes Course Instructor
Go-to karaoke song? “I’m Gonna Be (500 Miles)” by The Proclaimers
Keely Middleton is a change leader focused on large-scale technological challenges. Her comprehensive track record in human capital consulting, change management, and customer success leadership for Deloitte and Loxo has paved the way for Keely to deliver personalized, high-impact services that bring teams together and create lasting solutions. Keely received her bachelor’s degree from Texas A&M University.