Photography and Dance:
As a teenager, the artist, writer had photography exhibitions at two New York
Galleries and various other venues. Kellin studied briefly with Martha Graham
and danced professionally at age sixteen. He became a pioneer in the evolving
mambo dance scene and was recognized as one of the first pure mambo dancers
in the country. The dance team, Don and Terry, opened for a number of headliners
including Tony Bennett.
During his seventeen-year insurance career with The Massachusetts Indemnity
and Life, Kellin, at age twenty nine, became the youngest officer in the almost
200 year-old history of his company. His management approach, techniques
and training methods increased the company’s volume exponentially and
impacted the industry.
Kellin came out of retirement to partner a boyhood buddy and create Cabinet
Masters of California in 1977. The company grew from its 300 square foot room
rented from a local kitchen manufacturer, to the nation’s largest regional kitchen
remodeling company occupying 30, 000 feet under roof and remodeling a hundred
kitchens a week. By the time the company was sold in 1995,
it boasted 56,000 customers.
Consulting and Mentoring:
In the ‘80s and early ‘90’s, Kellin did corporate consulting
on employer/employee relations and management techniques. He lectured weekly at
high schools, particularly in less affluent areas, focusing on students who were going
right into the work force out of necessity. A series of motivational essays about using
work primarily as a tool for self-discovery, increasing self-esteem and reaching ones
potential, many taken from his ‘Work For Yourself No Matter Who You Work For,
although unpublished at the time, found their way into the hearts and minds of
hundreds of students and changed their outlook and destiny. Some of those essays
will be published on this site along with other observations.
Kellin concentrates on writing as a full time pursuit. His first manuscript,
a ‘tween’ novel, ‘The Rockaway Boys and Maggie,’ about three kids thwarting an
espionage plot to bomb New York’s bridges and tunnels during WW2, was completed
in August, 2001 a few months before 9/11. It was shelved, albeit optioned for a film
by Director Mark Rydell. Kellin became one of the oldest new writers invited into the
Playwright’s Unit of the Actors Studio in 2003. Although he has never actively sought
representation, his new play, ‘Damaged Goods,’ has found a producer, and the rewrite
of ‘The Rockaway Boys and Maggie’ as adult fiction, is in edit and will be published.
Some of Kellin’s essays and magazine articles can be found on the web ranging from
politics to travel, particularly to his beloved Italy.
Don and Betty, his wife and dance partner for 55 years, live in Brentwood, California.