Monthly Featured Member - January 2016

 
 

Keith Werbeach has been a Rotary Member since February 1, 2006 after attending a few breakfast meetings with his friend Bob Voss. He joined the Chesterland Rotary after attending several events the Rotary put on in particularly Shining Stars. What appealed to him most was the fact that the organization helped others without too much fanfare and because of the tenants behind the 4 Way Test.

So far Keith has held the offices in the Chesterland Rotary Club as a Grant Coordinator, Vice President, President Elect and come July, President. The position he enjoys most is his membership on the District 6630 Grant Committee. The Grant Committee decides and recommends which Local and International Grants are approved and suggests how some grants can be improved.

“It is interesting being a Rotarian”, Keith says, “because there are like-minded people who just want to make their community and the world a better place to live. It’s great to see the war on polio being won.” Keith says, “It is the one exception to one of my favorite quotes by Benjamin Franklin, “There never Was a Good War or a Bad Peace.”, to me the war on polio is a good war and I will be glad when it is finally won. I have several friends growing up whose life was completely turned around by polio and I’m glad to see its end.”
 
Keith is a graduate of Painesville Harvey High School and Bowling Green State University where he graduated with a degree in elementary education and a minor in math. While going to college Keith was a lifeguard at the Painesville YMCA, a security guard, worked for a vending company recovering pool tables with his brother Ra, worked for a rubber company in their banbury room mixing 200-300 pound batches of rubber for later use, and made jar rings for Ball Rubber. 

After college Keith got a job as a Floor Supervisor at Metzenbaum Sheltered Industries but was promoted after a year to the position of Production Manager and then Manager of Metzenbaum Sheltered Industries, in all a vocation lasting 29 years. Keith had the opportunity to then become the Manager of Maple Leaf Community Residences, a company that currently owns 22 properties that he and his staff property manage for use by people with developmental disabilities, in 2006 and then separated from Metzenbaum Center as a free-standing non-profit corporation in 2008. After 40 years of service to individuals with developmental disabilities Keith will retire in 2017.

Keith is married to the love of his life, Debbie, and has twin daughters Jessica and Shannon who are now 24 years old. Debbie will be retiring this May from her work as an Adapted Physical Education Instructor for Metzenbaum Center after 33 years and Jessica will have a Masters Degree in Architecture in 2017, Shannon will be starting her efforts to have a Doctoral Degree in Geography in 2016. Both Jessica and Shannon have a link with Rotary belonging to the Interact Club at Chardon High School, Jessica winning a college scholarship from the Chardon Rotary Club and Shannon spending her Junior year in Italy as a Rotary Exchange Student.

In the past Keith has been a Board Member for the Chesterland Chamber of Commerce for 18 years serving as the president for 3 years and Vice President for 2 years. He is still active and volunteers at various Chamber of Commerce events.

In his free time Keith enjoys kayaking, golf, hiking, brewing beer, touring the National Park System and sitting on the beach occasionally going in the water to body surf then coming out to enjoy a cold one.