Jeff Keeler Jr. ’63
B.A., Denison University
Citation awarded May, 1998
Jeff Keeler is Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of The Fishel Company, a national underground utility construction company based in Columbus, Ohio. He joined the company in 1967 and learned the business literally from the underground up- working first with a crew in the field, and then entering the office as an assistant to the vice president. Jeff became Fishel’s President in 1978 and by 1997, the company had expanded to a sales volume of $150 million, with offices in twenty cities nationwide. Under Jeff’s progressive management philosophy, 1,500 employees, called Teammates, participate in a highly successful profit-sharing program. In recognition of his leadership, Jeff was named the “Master Entrepreneur of the Year” for 1996 by Ernst & Young.
Jeff serves on the Boards of Bank One, N.A.; Davon Corporation; AirNet Systems, Inc.; Metatec Corporation; and Ruscilli Construction Company, Inc. He is a member of the Columbus Chamber of Commerce Board as well as the World Presidents Organization, the Chief Executives Organization, and the Columbus Presidents Organization.
Jeff is active with the First Community Church, where he has served as Chairman of the Governing Board and Campaign Chairman for the Operating Funds Drive, among other roles. He is a past director of Buckeye Boys Ranch and the Arthur G. James Cancer Hospital, and has been active in the United Way of Greater Columbus. As a member of the Upper Arlington Rotary Club, Jeff has served as President; in 1978/79 he was named a Paul Harris Fellow and in 1997/98 he was named Rotarian of the Year.
Since 1986, Jeff has been Co-President of Denison’s Class of 1963, and in this role he serves as Reunion Manager. He has participated in Denison’s careers program as well as in various fund-raising roles for the Annual Fund, his Class Gift Committee, and the Campaign for Denison.
Jeff and his wife Diane Fishel Keeler, a member of the Class of 1964, are the parents of two grown sons, Rick and Scott.