Positive Links Speaker Series Session: CPO Executive in Residence Fred Keller

Fred P. Keller grew up in Grand Rapids, Michigan. His father had a successful tool and die business (Paragon Tool and Die Company) and was a major philanthropist in Grand Rapids. Keller, Jr. earned degrees in engineering and business and started his own company, Cascade Engineering in 1973. He and his engineering business are nationally recognized leaders in sustainability.

Keller is the founder and owner of Cascade Engineering and a nationally significant leader in the realm of social, economic, and environmental sustainability. Keller is also active in other local and national businesses. He serves as a director of Meijer, the chairman of the Economic Club of Grand Rapids, the chairman of the School to Career Progressions Board and the W.K. Kellogg Foundation. He is also on the advisory team for the Delta Strategy, a community-effectiveness organization. He and his wife support the Grand Rapids Symphony.

Keller became broadly recognized as a leader in the sustainability movement, originally through Cascade Engineering. Sustainability is a term associated with environmental conservation, but it can also apply to social issues. Keller places enormous value on his employees and the impact they can have. He supports many environmental and community programs that benefit West Michigan. Fred Keller instituted a program at Cascade Engineering called PHASES (Providing Health, Activities, Safety & Enrichment Services) that offers innovative employee benefits such as adoption assistance. He has been a leader in welfare to work programs that develop methods of overcoming obstacles to attaining jobs and promotions. In 1998, he organized the Delta Strategy, a think tank that identifies critical community concerns and works towards solutions. He is also pioneering wind and other green energy technology in West Michigan.

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