Employee Owner

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United, We Serve

Carissa Eatmon – [Marketing and Communications Coordinator]

One of the most unique things about Keller Schroeder as a company is our caring group of employee-owners and their generous hearts. The culture we have fostered emphasizes making positive impacts on people, and our employee-owners continually do this through charitable giving, camaraderie, and joining forces behind causes that directly impact our community. This fall presented us with many opportunities to work together to give back to our community, including to one of our own facing her own battle.

day-of-caringUnited Way’s Day of Caring – September 9th, 2016

Each fall, businesses in the surrounding area allow their employees to spend time volunteering alongside the United Way of Southwestern Indiana on a single day known as “The Day of Caring.” This year’s “Day of Caring” was held on September 9th. Volunteers first met at the Old National Events Plaza for a kick-off breakfast. They then headed to areas in need all over the community. This year, our President Larry May worked with Payne Wealth Partners to assist the Evansville Association for the Blind.


Komen Evansville Race for the Cure – September 28th, 2016rftc-the-girls

September also marks our community’s annual Susan G. Komen’ Race for the Cure. Thousands of runners and walkers gather along side breast cancer survivors and their families to raise funds and awareness. This year’s Race for the Cure was particularly meaningful for our Keller Schroeder family. Our Inside Product Manager Dezarae Loewen is currently battling Stage 2 breast cancer. Our employee-owners banded together to walk or run to help find a cure and show our love and support for Dezarae. It was a hot one, but we had a blast “Doing It for Dez!”

United Way Giving Campaign Company Picnic – October 4th, 2016united_way_logo-svg

The end of September brings Keller Schroeder’s United Way Giving Campaign, where employee-owners commit to giving to the United Way of Southwestern Indiana for the following year. Our campaign for 2017 was another huge success, with our employee-owners opening their hearts and wallets to support this amazing organization. To cap off our campaign, we always host an outdoor picnic to celebrate. We used this year’s picnic to thank and celebrate our staff for their generous pledges, and as a way for our group to come together to show our support for Dezarae Loewen. It was a great day filled with food, prizes, fun, and lots of love. Thank you once again to our employee-owners and their families!

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Spotlight On…

Employee-Owner : Chris Haynes 

Chris Haynes - R
Chris has over 24 years of experience in the Information Technology field.  Before becoming a KS consultant, Chris served the roles of UNIX/Linux Administrator & Manager, Storage/Backup Administrator, and VMware Administrator across Healthcare, Finance & Distribution industries.

Since joining Keller Schroeder in 2007, Chris has specialized in storage & virtualization technologies on the Systems Team and is now the team leader.  His expertise is in NetApp and Nimble storage systems, VMware server & desktop virtualization, Cisco UCS rack & blade solutions, and Veeam Backup, Replication & Monitoring.

Chris has designed many storage/virtualization solutions for customers and performed countless installations, upgrades, and migrations.  He has implemented both server and desktop virtualization solutions, along with backup and Disaster Recovery (DR) solutions in small to large environments and continues to support these environments today. Keller Schroeder also often utilizes Chris as featured presenter during our TechSpot series of lunch and learn events.

To learn more about Chris or to leverage his skills towards the improvement of your business, please reach out to your Keller Schroeder Account Manager.

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Building a High-Trust Culture

Building TrustTrust is a powerful thing.  It serves as a foundation for organizational success.  It builds bridges between people of different persuasions, allowing them to move forward together in a common direction.  I suppose our politicians, and our country as a whole, could benefit from a higher level of genuine trust… ya think?

In Keller Schroeder’s most recent, internal survey (we collect feedback anonymously about every three years), responses from our employee-owners were 95% favorable to the statement, “Management delivers on its promises”, and 96% favorable to, “Management’s actions match its words”.  Lest we too quickly conclude that trust is all about management, our staff also responded 99% favorably to both of the following statements:  “People care about each other here”, and “People avoid politicking and backstabbing as a way to get things done”.

While all of us at Keller Schroeder are humbled and blessed to work in such a positive, high-trust culture, we never endeavored specifically to build one.  No one ever said, “You know, we really need to increase trust here!”  So how does trust happen, and what contributes most to trust in the marketplace?

Avoidance of any major violations of trust is certainly important.  Keller Schroeder consists of about 85 high-integrity individuals who are trustworthy and honest.   But I would suggest that trust is more than a moral issue.  Of all the bosses in my career, the one I respected and trusted the least was, by most standards, a trustworthy person with high moral standards.  I trusted his morals, but I doubted his intentions.  Conversely, the people who have influenced me most have been ones in whom I could place complete trust.  These mentors, peers and bosses each had two things in common:  (1) all their cards were on the table – I knew their intentions – and (2) they had a genuine interest in me and in others, ahead of themselves.

These may sound like very different attributes – clear intentions and other-centered interests – but upon closer examination I believe they are very much related.  It is difficult to have all your cards on the table – to be completely open and honest about your intentions – when those intentions are primarily self-indulgent.  And, when you are genuinely interested in what is best for those around you, it is not difficult at all to be candid and transparent about your thoughts and plans.

We all know people who we absolutely do not trust, based on obvious reasons or personal history, but the overwhelming majority of those we interact with have the basic moral fiber to be trusted.  The development of a high-trust culture for your organization depends on your intentions and your interests.  If it is first about you, trust will be compromised.  If the well-being of your colleagues ranks high among your priorities, trust will grow.  This is a leadership principle which may start at the top, but we all have the opportunity to influence how our organization’s culture evolves.

So before we too quickly point upward or outward as it pertains to trust and culture, let’s look inward.  No organization can build trust.  Only individual members of an organization, on an encounter-by-encounter basis, can demonstrate the authentic interest in others necessary to build a healthy culture.

Larry May [President]

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Spotlight On…

Employee-Owner: Amanda Gries

Amanda Gries Family

Amanda Gries is the newest addition to our technical recruiting Staffing Solutions Group. Amanda has over 16 years of experience in the Human Resources field. The majority of her career has been as a recruiter for finance and manufacturing companies. She has also worked as an HR generalist and manager.

Amanda spent over ten years at Springleaf, refining her administrative and recruiting skills. She has also held HR and management positions at Berry Plastics and Toyota Boshoku Indiana.

Outside of the office, Amanda loves spending time with her family – husband Brian, stepson Payton, son Clayton, and daughter Aspyn. They are avid sprint car fans and travel all over to watch races. They also love the water and try to spend as much time at Barkley Lake as her kids’ summer sports schedules will allow.

Contact your Keller Schroeder Sr. Account Manager to learn more about Amanda and how you can leverage her experience and skills to benefit your organization.

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Leadership Transition at Keller Schroeder

Jeff GormanAs we transition into a new year, it is my pleasure to announce an upcoming leadership transition at Keller Schroeder.  I will be retiring from the Company in first quarter 2017, and our Board of Directors has selected Jeff Gorman as my successor.

Many of you know Jeff already as our Business Unit Director for Keller Schroeder’s Network Solutions Group (NSG).  Jeff will become President of Keller Schroeder effective January 1, 2017, and will be elected our Board Chairman.  I will continue as an owner and a member of the Board for the foreseeable future, but will not have any day-to-day responsibilities after first quarter of next year.

I have seen many changes at Keller Schroeder since my appointment to this position in January, 1999.  We have seen growth in our size, reputation, and impact on our community.  Perhaps most notably, we became employee-owned in 2004 through an Employee Stock Ownership Plan (ESOP).  I believe the strong, positive culture of excellence, substance, and accountability emerging from that transaction has made us better for you, our clients, and for the employee-owners who serve you.

This is a great time for me to step away, as Keller Schroeder is poised for even greater impact in the years ahead, and Jeff is uniquely suited to lead us forward.  Jeff joined Keller Schroeder in 2004 and has overseen tremendous growth in the size, reach, and reputation of NSG, our largest and fastest-growing services business unit.  He is a key member of our Operations Team and has a solid grasp on all segments of our business:  IT consulting and staffing services, project management, and value-added resale and integration of hardware, software, and cloud-based solutions.

Jeff possesses a deep and diverse background in leadership at Keller Schroeder, and at prior employers including Ascension Health/CSC, Welborn Clinic, and South Western Communications.  Most importantly, Jeff is a person of integrity.  He is an outstanding representative of our client-focused, people-centric, ownership culture, and has earned broad “followship” across Keller Schroeder and among many of our clients (see my last newsletter article on this subject).

Jeff earned his B.S. in Electrical Engineering and his Masters of Public Service Administration from the University of Evansville.  He and his wife Amy are natives of Evansville and are avid Aces fans and Hoosier fans (some of us had to overlook the IU part when the Board chose him for this role).  He has three children – Jacob, Caroline, and Allison.

We were intentional about making this announcement a full year in advance of my retirement to give Jeff and me the opportunity to work closely in 2016 to ensure a seamless transition.  Those of you who have interacted with members of the Keller Schroeder team know that our success has been tethered directly to the outstanding skills and conscientious work ethic of our employee-owners.  I have been blessed to lead such a talented group of professionals, and I believe Jeff is stepping into one of the best jobs on the planet.

I could not be more excited about Keller Schroeder’s future under Jeff’s leadership.


Larry May


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Spotlight On…

Employee Owners: Chris FortuneChris Fortune


Chris Fortune is a 20 year veteran in IT. His experience began as a co-op student on a helpdesk and quickly escalated into increasingly challenging roles in network engineering, system engineering, and telecom. Security has always been the common thread of Chris’ work with these other disciplines.  He has also had direct responsibility for security such as managing firewalls, IDS/IPS, AV, VPN, remote access, log management and forensics.  Chris has worked for manufacturing, education, service provider, financial, healthcare and utility companies, as well as being an IT consultant for these types of businesses.

Chris has a Bachelor of Science in Computer Engineering from the University of Evansville and is working on a graduate certificate in Penetration Testing & Ethical Hacking from SANS Technology Institute.

Contact the Keller Schroeder Account Team to learn more about Chris and how you can leverage his experience and skills to benefit your organization.

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2015 Client Appreciation Event : All-Star Bash

Allstar Bash
Carissa Montgomery
– Marketing & Communications Coordinator

On October 2nd, 2015, Keller Schroeder hosted our annual Client Appreciation Event. This year, we held an All-Star Bash to celebrate the TRUE MVPs of our organization. It was a day filled with delicious food from Marx Barbecue and Pacetre, plus fellowship and a lot of fun.

Full SwingGirls

Along with our vendor partners, we also gave attendees the opportunity to win great prizes – including our grand prize – a set of 4 Indianapolis Colts Tickets.

Perhaps our favorite aspect of this event every year is the opportunity we give our clients and employee-owners to give back to the community. The continued generosity shown at this event never ceases to amaze us. This year, the Boys & Girls Club of Evansville was chosen to receive our give back donations. We successfully collected over 2 truckloads of supplies for the organization – things like cleaning supplies, healthy snacks, copy paper, and supplies for the care of their sports field.

Giving BackBasketball

Thank you so much to all of our employee-owners for their hard work in making this event a reality every year. Thank you to our vendor partners for both their resources and for joining us. Most importantly, we owe a huge debt of gratitude to our clients for their continued loyalty and support.

Group ShotRay

Be sure to mark your calendars for next year’s Client Appreciation Event! It’s always the first Friday in October – October 7th in 2016!


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Spotlight On…

Ty Nixon

Employee Owners: Ty Nixon


Ty has 9 years of experience in the Information Technology field.  Prior to his role with Keller Schroeder, he designed, implemented, and maintained server, network, and cabling infrastructure for 56 locations in a post-secondary environment with over 8,000 students.  For that institution, he carried the primary responsibility for 100+ Windows Servers, Active Directory, Exchange 2013, SQL Server, Systems Center, Sharepoint Server, Hyper-V, Cisco LAN, WAN, and wireless technologies.  He also led the design and implementation for SAN solutions, and designed high-availability solutions based on clustering, multi-homing, and replication.

In addition to his Microsoft and Cisco background, Ty has experience with Symantec Backup Exec, Simpana Commvault, and Websense security products.  He also has experience with infrastructure automation through the use of Powershell.

Ty and his wife Teresa recently moved to the area from Texas.  They have two young children – a son named Flint and daughter Ela. In his spare time, Ty enjoys spending time with his family and being outdoors. He loves riding motorcycles, carpentry and woodworking, and studying theology.

Contact the Keller Schroeder Account Team to learn more about Ty and how you can leverage his experience and skills to benefit your organization.

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Spotlight On…

Jesse Drew

Employee Owner: Jessee Drew


Jessee has over 19 years of experience in small to large businesses, government, and healthcare industries.  In his previous role as a Senior Systems Engineer he architected, designed and deployed the physical-to-virtual consolidation of 200 physical servers for local government. He has designed and migrated standalone physical direct-attached storage to enterprise-class tiered storage on several different NAS and SAN products via ISCSI and Fibre Channel. He was responsible for design, implementation, and maintenance of Dell & HP servers, Cisco UCS blade servers, HP EVA storage systems, and NetApp FAS/V series storage systems. In addition, he has designed and implemented several backup and replication solutions using NetApp SnapProtect, SnapMirror, SnapVault, and Symantec Backup Exec. He has designed and deployed physical, standalone Exchange services and multi-server Virtual Exchange environments. He also designed and implemented Microsoft domain services, including new deployments, migrations, and consolidation tasks from disparate Windows domains to a consolidated Windows domain.  Jessee has performed many different physical and virtual migration scenarios of both hardware and storage and continues to develop the needed skills to support our customers needs.

Jessee’s certifications: VMware Certified Professional (VCP) on vSphere 4 (VCP4),  Microsoft Certified Systems Engineer on Windows Server 2003,  Microsoft Certified Systems Administrator (MCSA): Messaging on Windows Server 2003,  Microsoft Certified Systems Administrator (MCSA) on Windows Server 2003,  Microsoft Certified Professional (MCP),  Certified Novell Engineer (CNE) on Novell 3.12,  Certified Novell Administrator (CNA) on Novell 3.12

Jessee has been married to his wife Lynn for 25 years. They have a daughter, Jasmine. In his spare time, Jessee enjoys taking motorcycle road trips, playing golf, and spending time outdoors.

Contact the Keller Schroeder Account Team to learn more about Jessee and how you can leverage his experience and skills to benefit your organization.

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2014 Client Appreciation Event

Carissa Montgomery, Marketing Assistant

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Despite a few early challenges compliments of Mother Nature, the 2014 Keller Schroeder Client Appreciation Event was a tremendous success. On October 3rd, over 300 Keller Schroeder guests, employee owners, and selected vendor partners took a walk on the wild side, as the theme for this year’s event was Jungle Safari. Greeted by animals, bright colors, and jungle-inspired sounds, the event gave everyone the opportunity to enjoy exotic food, fantastic conversation, and lots of fun. [PICTURES]

gorillaAn important element of our Client Appreciation Events each year is our commitment to giving back to our community. This year, we partnered with CASA of Vanderburgh County, an organization that provides court appointed special advocates for children from birth to eighteen years who have been physically or sexually abused, neglected, or abandoned. It truly is “a jungle out there” for these children, and we were extremely excited to include them as our “Giving Back” organization this year. Keller Schroeder, both corporately as well as individual employee owners, along with our event attendees, provided office and other supplies for CASA’s advocate training center and children’s items for a store the organization provides for its children. Once again, attendees were entered into a gift-card drawing as an incentive to contribute items at the event. In all, hundreds of items worth thousands of dollars were donated.

Key vendor partners who joined us for this year’s event and provided support and sponsorship included Cisco, Nimble, LogRhythm, Barracuda, and K2.

Join us next year, on the 1st Friday in October, for the 2015 Client Appreciation Event!