Executive in Residence Emeritus
Founder and Chair, Cascade Engineering
Fred Keller is founder and chair of Cascade Engineering, an industry-leading, diversified manufacturer whose markets include large truck and automotive transportation, waste management and recycling, office furniture, agricultural/industrial containers, polymer compounding, and RFID asset management. The company specializes in plastic injection molding, with 1800 employees in seven worldwide locations.
A materials science engineer by training, Keller started the company in 1973. Cascade Engineering is comprised of 9 strategic business units and is one of the largest Certified B Corporations in the world, widely recognized for its business achievements and community involvement.
Keller believes that business has the unique opportunity to complement its focus on financial performance with important work in the social and environmental arenas. A strong advocate for “sustainable” business practices, Keller has emphasized the key role business can play in building financial, social and ecological capital, often through partnerships with government and community agencies. His innovative management approach and work in advancing sustainability are featured regularly in business and industry publications.
Keller teaches a course on “Entrepreneurship in the Emerging Sustainable Economy” at the Samuel Curtis Johnson Graduate School of Management at Cornell University.
He has served as the former board chair of the U.S. Department of Commerce Manufacturing Council and as the former board chair of the W.K. Kellogg Foundation Board of Trustees, where he remains on the board. He has also served on the board of directors at Fifth Third Bank and Meijer, Inc. Keller is the founder and current chair of Talent 2025, a catalyst for the development of an integrated talent system to meet employer needs.
A Grand Rapids, Michigan native, Keller earned a BS in materials science engineering from Cornell University and an MS in business management from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute.