History of Involvement With Veteran Groups
Keith was named the State of Michigan, Mid-West Regional and National Veteran Small Business Champion by the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA), the first Veteran from Michigan to ever win the National Champion award.
As quoted from the SBA award letter: “Specifically, you have combined your professional and entrepreneurial career with your passion to assist veterans, especially veteran entrepreneurs, not only in the Detroit area but across our great state and the nation. Through your position as National Public Affairs Chairman of the Vietnam Veterans of America and as a member of the Economic Opportunity Committee, you helped promote the idea of Veteran owned businesses throughout the country. Your involvement with Vet Force and their interaction with all of the Veteran Service Organizations helped to create the first Veteran Business Owners Conference”.
July 11- Present
President, Michigan Service Disabled Veteran Owned Business Roundtable
Became President in July 2011 and developed the by-laws, committee structure and appointed Committee Chairs. Developed the levels of membership and the membership application and began recruitment efforts. Organized material to present to the Governor’s staff on the history of the 2005 SDVOB law, Veteran information and discussed the reasons for the failure by the State to reach the goals in August 2011 meeting. Fellow officers and members of the Board of Directors launch grassroots campaign to find SDVOSB’s in Michigan. Roundtable was included in the 2005 SDVOB law as an advisory group to the Governor and Legislature.
Secretary, Veterans Memorial Park of Detroit (Veterans Park Foundation, Inc.)
Elected to the Board of Directors for the Foundation, then elected Secretary. The purpose of the Veterans Park Foundation is to build a Park to honor all Detroit Veterans. Detroit is the largest American City without a permanent Park or Memorial honoring its Veterans. We are in negotiations with the various departments of the City of Detroit to secure the land and build an appropriate memorial to our Veterans.
National President, United States Armed Forces Association (USAFA)
Veterans Support Foundation (VSF)
Became President in January 2007, implemented various fund raising programs and have launched an aggressive fund raising agenda. Recruited new members to the Board of Directors of the VVAF to complete the new programs and to assist in defining the future direction of the VVAF. Created the Veterans Support Foundation to replace the VVAF to insure the future of the foundation and the work we do on behalf of Veterans. Created the USAFA to serve other Veteran Programs not supported by the VSF and launched the fund raising efforts generating over $5 Million to date.
July 05-October 2011
National Public Affairs Chairman, Vietnam Veterans of America
Oversaw the change of the National VVA web site into an interactive e-commerce site. Hired the new National Magazine Sales Representatives to increase revenue for our national Membership Newsletter the “Veteran” and implemented the change from newspaper into magazine stock. Created the 25th Anniversary of the Vietnam Memorial logo for the VVA and launched an integrated Public Service campaign using the web, TV and radio PSA’s.
May 93-April 2003
Appointed Trustee of Michigan Veteran's Trust Fund by Governor John Engler
Policy making Board which oversees $50 million trust with full and part time employees and hundreds of volunteer staff covering all 83 Michigan counties. Elected Chairman of the Board of Trustees February 1996-1997, re-elected 1997-1998 and again 2001-2002. Involved in effort to have Constitutional amendment protecting the MVTF from legislative raids placed on November 1996 ballot (Proposal C) and helped organize state wide campaign in support (Passed with 75%). Developed position and language for the Board's request for Attorney General's ruling, clarifying the Board's new Constitutional authority and protection. Ruling was favorable to the Board and Veterans of Michigan.
July 92-Nov 2001
Appointed State Commissioner of Michigan Vietnam Monument Commission:
Oversee all facets of the design, construction and fund raising efforts to build Michigan's Vietnam Monument. Chairman of Public Relations Committee, secured pro-bono agency and oversaw creation of two award winning campaigns on behalf of the commission. Over $700,000 worth of Television, Cable, Radio, Newspaper, and Magazine ads were placed pro-bono. Credited with raising $2.8 of the $3.2 Million needed to complete the monument.
Mar 82-June 86
Founding member, State of Michigan Council Vietnam Veterans of America (VVA)
Elected three consecutive terms as State Chairman/President. First Vietnam Veterans of America State Council Chairman to be seated on State Commander's Group. Assisted in creating the language and passage of Michigan House Concurrent Resolution #819, the first State to officially endorse the awarding of a Federal Charter to the VVA, passed in 1985. Received funding from State of Michigan for VVA State Service Officers Program, the first state funded service officer program of the VVA in the country, hired first State Service Director.
Nov 80- Present
Life Member, VVA Chapter #9, Detroit
One of the original fifty members and elected five consecutive terms to the Board of Directors. Served four years as Publisher and Editor of “The Aftermath” an award winning monthly chapter newspaper. Currently serve as Chapter delegate to VVA State and National Conventions. Elected Chapter Secretary in 2004 and reelected in 2006, 2008, 2010 and 2012.