CEO, Trusted Business Advisor, Facilitator, Author and Columnist

Ken’s professional expertise lies in broad based knowledge of diverse industries and functions within corporations, midsize companies, small businesses and non-profit organizations, allowing him the ability to provide education, tools and advice to leaders, managers and supervisors. He is the CEO of Strategic Advisory Boards, a Southern California based leadership advisory firm specializing in using a formal peer group process for executive learning and advancement.

EXTENSIVE, DIVERSE EXPERIENCE

With over 50 years as a successful employee, manager, executive and owner, working in Operations, Finance, Marketing and Sales, Ken has a unique set of qualifications for both strategic and tactical advice. In addition to working with start-ups, he has also worked for and with some of the largest corporations in the world and with many closely held companies with owners who have diverse ethnic and national backgrounds. Ken’s biggest strength remains his diverse functional experience and broad industry exposure.

STRONG QUALIFICATIONS AND RECORD OF ACCOMPLISHMENTS

Ken has been a self starter his entire life; putting himself through college in four years, earning a BA in Political Science at California State University, Stanislaus, serving in key elected offices in the ASB, working nearly full time and completing two significant internships in local government agencies during his senior year.

Following graduation, he was recruited by two Fortune 500 firms as a Field Auditor, traveling extensively throughout the Western United States, in small towns and big cities, to conduct operational audits in finance, asset management and human resources in the retail and entertainment industries.

Desiring to learn more about business, Ken completed his MBA at the College of Notre Dame in Belmont, California, taking classes at night and on weekends. Just after starting this graduate program, Ken joined 100-year-old Hills Bros. Coffee in San Francisco in the start-up Retail Private Label Division.

This fast-growing division, co-packing retail ground, whole bean and instant coffee in proprietary supermarket labels, quickly became the most profitable division in the company with the highest return on investment. Ken’s role in this success story led to key assignments in Finance and later in the rapidly expanding Food Service Division, which was also moving into private label with major national distributors.

Ken was on the team of executives that doubled Hills Bros. from $500 million to over $1 Billion in annual sales in less than six years, and was a participant that successfully made the sale of the then privately held company to Nestle.

Moving to Houston from the Bay Area, Ken went to the diverse fruit juice business with key senior sales and marketing roles at TreeSweet followed by Minute Maid.  Recruited to return to Southern California, he reconnected with former Hills Bros. colleagues at Sugar Foods. Ken had profit and loss responsibilities on the Sweet ‘n Low, Sugar in the Raw and N’Joy Brands, in the club store and foodservice segments.

In 1994, Ken founded Strategic Advisory Boards, working with CEOs, Business Owners and Managing Partners in formal peer groups and providing one on one coaching for top executives.

For more than twenty years Ken authored a weekly business column (“Brain Food for Business Owners”) that was in syndication in several states.

He served for a decade as an adjunct faculty member in both MBA and undergraduate business programs at the University of Phoenix Southern California Campus, learning and utilizing the adult learning model.

Ken’s first book, “Breaking down the Walls” was published in 2004. “Improvise. Adapt. Overcome.” was published in 2006. Both books are available on Amazon.com. Ken’s third book, “Shared Lessons” will be published in 2022.

His commentary has appeared in Time, Newsweek, Sports Illustrated, Los Angeles Times, Daily News of Los Angeles, Orange County Register and Business Week.

Ken is also a Valued Added Associate of Target Training International, the creator of the world-famous DISC communications and motivators assessment. He is also certified by The Predictive Index in Talent Optimization.

He writes for, and is the publisher of, The Monthly CEO Advisory, an electronic periodical distributed to 8,000 business owners, CEOs and Managing Partners in small and midsize companies in Southern California. His column also appears in the Santa Clarita Valley Business Journal and he posts daily on LinkedIn.

Ken is a trusted advisor and confidant for his clients. He has the gift to “see around corners.” Ken is valued for his insight when asking tough, thought-provoking questions of his clients. This candor is appreciated because Ken does this diplomatically yet directly.

For more than thirty years Ken and his wife Donna have resided in Valencia, California.

Ken.Keller@StrategicAdvisoryBoards.com