Featured Stories
 

 

Biography

 

Bill McKell began creating and telling campfire stories while he was in high school and has been doing so ever since.  As a scout leader for almost 20 years, Bill perfected his stories around the campfire on monthly troop campouts and then used them to entertain large gatherings at scout camps and other events.  He now shares his stories at church, school and business events throughout the Midwest.

Inspired by personal experiences and special people in his life, Bill's stories are filled with authentic characters, traditional values, heartwarming messages, and surprise endings.  Although crafted primarily for young people, these stories have universal appeal.  Bill's most recent recording is a collection of stories related to his childhood summers spent at Grandmother's farm in Kentucky.

As a college student, Bill discovered a unique and personal way to extend Christmas blessings to his family and friends.  For almost 35 years he has written an original story as his "Christmas card".  In celebration of the 20th year of this tradition in 2001, Bill returned to the oral roots of his story crafting and recorded all 20 stories.  Compiled in a CD collection entitled "Christmas Presence," the stories are enhanced by the art of friend Dave Rogers whose illustrations also grace the covers of the print versions.  In celebration of the 25th year of the tradition in 2006, Bill created a DVD of his best known campfire story, "Approaching Storms", that combines video of a live storytelling performance with scenes from the story as it unfolds.  The DVD also includes audio versions (in DVD and MP3 format) for all 25 annual stories created to that point.  In 2015, instead of a story, Bill created a Christmas Devotional containing 22 insights related to Christmastime scripture passages. 

Bill graduated from Ohio Northern University with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Elementary Education.  After five years as a middle school teacher, Bill joined The Chillicothe Telephone Company.  The company, founded by the McKell family in 1895, is headquartered in the southern Ohio community where Bill resides with his wife, Peggy, and their daughters Kristen, Lauren, Meghan, Caitlyn, Shaelyn and Jaidyn.

Today, Bill McKell is president and CEO of Horizon Telcom, the parent company of The Chillicothe Telephone Company, a provider of broadband services throughout Ohio and surrounding state.  He previously served as CEO of sister company, Horizon PCS, a PCS Affiliate of Sprint that provided Sprint wireless services to approximately 200,000 customers in 10 states.  For many years, Horizon PCS sent one of Bill's stories to each of its customers as a Christmas greeting.  Until 2002, the author was described merely as "an employee who writes stories."  In 2002, however, Bill's title was revealed.  Customers responded with calls, letters and e-mails, saying they were delighted and gratified to learn that this corporate CEO is also a warm, thoughtful, creative person who writes wonderful stories and cares enough to share them. Chillicothe Telephone continues to make a Christmas story available to customers online or at its front desk every December.

Bill is a co-founder of and regular teller at the Southern Ohio Storytelling Festival held in Chillicothe, Ohio the Thursday, Friday and Saturday after Labor Day every year.  For more information, check out www.sostoryfest.com. 

 


 

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