Keith was born and raised in Lima, Ohio. As the son of a Law Enforcement family Keith, at an early age, learned the true meanings of sacrifice and respect. He graduated from Elida High School in 1978. Upon graduation Keith became the owner of Cheney’s Certified Gas which he successfully operated for a number of years until he went to work for Certified Convenience Stores where he worked his way up through the ranks becoming the Chief Operating Officer.
Married for 36 years, Keith and his wife Jan (Gerding) are the proud parents of two children, Trent (Allen County Engineer’s Office) and Ashley (RN at St. Rita’s Hospital).
Keith has always given back to his community as a YMCA Coach, Little League baseball coach, Past President (3 terms) of the Fraternal Order of Police Associates, Past President (3 terms) of the Lima Northside Lions Club and American Cancer Society Allen County Relay for Life Chair to name some of his involvement in Lima. He and his wife believe they must give back to their community that has granted them a great place to raise their family.
Keith served by appointment of four Ohio Secretary’s of State (3 Republican and 1 Democrat) on the Allen County Board of Elections, ultimately serving as Chairman of the Board. During his tenure on the Board a number of cost saving measures were implemented, saving taxpayers tens of thousands of dollars, as well as state of the art equipment acquired to assure fair and accurate elections. The Allen County Board of Elections is recognized as one of the premier Board of Elections in the State of Ohio.
Keith has successfully promoted Lima throughout his public career bringing positive national and state attention to Lima. In 2013, Keith worked diligently to secure Lima as the host City of the Governor’s State of the State Address which also provided opportunities for all elected officials to meet with State Cabinet Members and ultimately to showcase the need for the now approved Elm Street underpass. In 2008 and again in 2016, Keith put Lima on the map with live broadcasts from CNN and MSNBC.
Keith’s success in the private and public sectors will play a very important roll in getting things done in Lima. From the Courthouse to the White House, Keith has the relationships to make a phone call and get results.