WRITTEN BY VALENTINE J. BRKICH
The meeting he had with Scott Dinning, CFO and part owner of the company, was “probably the worst interview I ever had,” says Kuhn, who majored in information systems management. “I was pretty nervous, and I wasn’t really qualified.” So you can imagine how surprised he was when Dinning told him he was hired. “I was dumbfounded,” he says, “but I was excited, too.” It wasn’t until years later that he found out why he’d been offered the job: Dinning mistakenly thought Kuhn was the CEO’s nephew.
From his first day on the job at Mosso’s, Kuhn knew he had his work cut out. “The stuff they were asking me to do was a little more technical than what I was used to. Like developing an inventory system in its entirety. But I knew I just had to figure it out.” So he dug in and started studying and researching, and after a while he ended up getting really good at I.T. management.
It wasn’t long before the internship turned into something like a full-time job. It was tough because he was still taking classes and had to travel back and forth from Latrobe. “I ended up computerizing all of their affiliate offices,” he says. “I became their main I.T. person. Sometimes I’d even get help desk calls when I was sitting in class. Luckily my teachers were pretty good about it.”
Kuhn and his I.T. team ended up designing a complete customer data management system for Mosso’s, enabling them to integrate marketing, operations, and reimbursement. Mosso’s made the Inc. 500 list of the fastest growing companies in America in 2003, and after Kuhn graduated, he took a full-time job there. One day Kuhn was down in the warehouse asking how they kept track of their medical equipment. “They pull out this index box,” he says. “I thought it was the stupidest thing I’d ever seen. So I turned to one of the guys and said, ‘Who makes these decisions? Who runs this company?’” It turned out that one of the guys he was talking to was the CEO himself, Joe Mosso. “He wasn’t mad, though. Joe’s one of the nicest guys you’ll ever meet. He told me to go ahead and create a new program to replace the card system.” When Kuhn was finished with the project, Mosso loved it and Keith got a raise.
“Keith took an old-fashioned, family-owned company and quickly transformed it to a cutting edge technology and data-driven company,” says Dinning. “He created a dynamic and highly responsive I.T. team that was well trained and extremely efficient.” In 2006 Kuhn decided to do something different. So he and Lilian Shoupe, Mosso’s reimbursement manager, founded Medbill, a medical equipment billing company, in Lake Wylie, S.C. Guess who his first client was? His old boss, Scott Dinning, who, like Kuhn, went off on his own to form Hometown Oxygen in Charlotte, N.C. “I learned a lot about business from Scott,” says Kuhn. “It was cool to see how far we both had come.”
Kuhn actually began his undergraduate studies at Clarion University but left after just half a semester. “I realized I wasn’t ready for college yet,” he says, “so I just went back home and got a job until I felt it was time.” After that he bounced around for a while, detailing cars and working in landscaping and construction. Finally, in 1999 he applied to Robert Morris. “I visited a lot of schools, but I really liked RMU’s size, the small classes. It just felt more comfortable, more homey.” Kuhn was a legacy — his father, Gerald Kuhn ‘88, earned his accounting degree from Robert Morris.
When it comes to serendipity, Kuhn’s definitely a believer. As he was setting up some I.T. infrastructure at Hometown Oxygen, a medical device representative walked in the door. “She was looking for a place to watch the World Cup, so I recommended this one pub in town. Well, one of the company’s owners told me to take a break and show her where it was. Now Caroline and I have been married for three years.”
As for the bizarre circumstances in getting his job with Mosso’s, Kuhn believes a higher power was in play. “God works in amazing ways,” he says. “I mean, how many people in the world bust their you-know-what for a small company, and that ends up serving as a springboard into doing what they love? It just can’t be a coincidence.”