Pilon School of Business
Program: Business Administration
Year of Graduation: 1970
Year of Induction to Hall of Fame: 2009
Owner (retired), The Gananoque Inn & Spa
With the student number “22”, John was a member of the first class of the Sheridan School of Business.
After graduating in 1970, John began his career in sales with the Campbell Soup Company. He was then recruited by Pepsi-Cola Canada as Sales Manager for Ontario and Western Canada.
Representing the entrepreneurial spirit that is the hallmark of Sheridan's Faculty of Business, John then struck out on his own and bought into Smiths Falls Bottling Works and Frontenac Beverages. He sold the companies in 1989 and retired at age 40. But boredom soon set in, leading John to start a wholesale food distribution company called Findlay Foods. He sold his shares of the company in 1999.
In 1995, John bought the Gananoque Inn & Spa and restored it to its former grandeur, adding fine dining and a fully equipped spa. Now rated as one of Ontario's Finest Inns, Gananoque Inn & Spa occupies what was originally the Gananoque Carriage Works – a business founded in the 1870s. For John, the purchase of the Inn was a return to the town where he had been born and raised. He committed to maintaining the Inn as a special property and contributing to the revitalization of Gananoque's waterfront.
As the owner of Keiltyco, John also acquired other real estate holdings in Eastern Ontario. John retired in 2017 and handed over the Inn to a new generation of caretakers.
"Sheridan Business gave me credibility and enabled me to get my foot in the door of two major corporations. I still wear my Sheridan College ring with pride." - John Keilty