An Abbotsford entrepreneur is about to receive a national award.
Ken Keis has been named 4-H Canada’s Distinguished Alumni Award recipient for 2022. This prestigious award is given to a former 4-H member who carries values instilled in them through the 4-H program to their everyday lives as contributing leaders in their communities.
Keis is the president and CEO of Consulting Resource Group, an international leadership, coaching and training firm. He is considered an expert in the field of leadership, self-purpose and wellness, and his firm is acknowledged as being one of the top three leadership development and coaching firms globally.
But as a youth, he was involved in the Matsqui 4-H Holstein and Tractor Clubs, where he excelled in showing Holstein calves and driving competitions at Pacific National Exhibitions. And looking back now, he credits his involvement with 4-H as having been a critical to helping develop his confidence, and build the experience that would help him become a successful entrepreneur.
Through his adult life, he has continued to give his time to 4-H.
“Ken has dedicated his professional career to working with people to build confidence, and motivate individuals to make a positive impact in the world around them,” said Shannon Benner, 4-H Canada CEO. “From volunteering to judge 4-H speaking events to being a mentor, Ken has devoted his time to teaching his learned skills to youth and young adults. Throughout his career, Ken has continued to stay involved and make an impact in his community. We are proud to add Ken’s name to the list of Distinguished Alumni Award recipients.”
It has been an easy decision to stay involved with 4-H, Keis told The News, as it was such a positive experience for him.
“4-H was a very important part of my life growing up as farm kid,” he said, and it was always a place that provided an encouraging environment, be around peers, a place for growth. It also became a way for Keis to travel across Canada and even to Europe.
He worked hard and was selected for many opportunities, including working at the PNE and supervising the agricultural barns. In addition to learning about caring for animals, 4-H members do a lot of public speaking, which is also judged.
“I ended up having a fair amount of responsibility as an MC when I was just in my 20s,” he said, which led into his speaking and training career more than 30 years ago.
He’s proud to be just the fifth person to receive this award.
The Distinguished Alumni Award recognizes the outstanding leadership and contributions of one of 4-H’s 350,000 alumni from across Canada, to 4-H, their communities, their industry and the world.
The award will be presented at 4-H Canada’s Leadership Awards, which will be held virtually on Feb. 28. This is the organization’s signature event, and aims to showcase the achievements of leadership at every level of 4-H in Canada, while fundraising for the Canadian 4-H Foundation.
The show will be hosted by Canadian Olympic gold medallist Jon Montgomery, who earned his medal in skeleton at the 2010 Games in Vancouver.
To buy tickets, or for more information about the 4-H Canada Leadership Awards on Feb. 28, visit 4-h-canada.ca/4hawards.