Linda J. Keller
Her diligent commitment to serving the community and her adopted university are two ways Linda J. Keller is making a positive difference. She was born in Burnside Township, Michigan on the Centennial family farm. She completed her K-12 grade education in Brown City, Michigan where she graduated as an honor student and served as an officer of her high school class for three years. In 1962, she was chosen Lapeer County "Dairy Princess." She attended Central Michigan University for two years where she was a member of the Concert Choir and the Central Singers. She graduated from Asbury College (now Asbury University) in 1968 receiving a BA Degree in Christian Education. During her senior year, she served as President of the Christian Education Organization. Following graduation, she served as the Director of Christian Education at Trinity United Methodist Church in Lima, Ohio.
Moving back to Michigan, Keller became employed by Consumers Power Company and was hired as the first woman in Management working in the Customer Service Department. She was also honored with a Business Woman Award in 1970, worked as a Volunteer Supervisor for Junior Achievement, and represented Consumers Power Company on the Michigan Safety Council Board as Secretary (the first woman to begin going through the chairs of office to become president). She was a member and an officer of Alpha Iota, a business sorority.
In 1974, she married Travis A. Keller and three years later they moved to Johnson City, Tennessee to start a new business, Keller Glass Company. They chose this area because of family here and they wanted to live in a University town. East Tennessee State University fit that requirement perfectly. Keller worked with her husband in starting the business and continues to sit on the Board of Directors serving as Secretary/Treasurer. She became an active member of Munsey Memorial United Methodist Church, singing in the choir and serving as Children's Coordinator.
She also became involved in the Newcomer's Club as the Civic Council Representative; President and Secretary of the Johnson City Civic Council; Treasurer of the Women's Division of the Johnson City/Washington County Area Chamber of Commerce; Treasurer and President of the Johnson City Woman's Club; Chairperson and Treasurer of the Board of Directors for the Hospital Guest House and a member of the ETSU Friends of Music Board of Directors serving as Secretary. She was also a member of the ETSU Friends of the Library Association and the Johnson City Home Builders Auxiliary. She also serves as a treasurer of the Parkinson's Support Group. Later on, she moved her church membership to Wesley Memorial United Methodist Church, where she sang in the choir, helped start a new Sunday School Class, and has served on different committees, including Chairperson of the Staff/Parish Committee and Chairperson of the Administrative Council. She has served on the District Board of Ordained Ministry and also the Holston United Methodist Conference Board of Ordained Ministry where she was the first elected lay person to serve as an officer as she served as Vice Chairperson. She is currently serving as a member of the Advisory Board for the Sequoyah Council of Boy Scouts of America.
Some of her favorite activities over the years have been attending ETSU football and basketball games, ETSU concerts and artist series, and the Johnson City Symphony Orchestra. She enjoys traveling, reading, and working on jigsaw puzzles. She loves the mountains and the beauty of the area and most of all spending time with family when they can visit. Her family is Sherry Keller of Texas; Bradford Keller of New York; Paul Playfair, MD and Cynthia Keller Playfair, MD, (both are graduates of ETSU's Quillen College of Medicine) and their children Emily and Katherine Playfair of Texas; Glen and Temple Keller of Tennessee and their children, Anthony, Kelsey, Sarah, and Shannon.
ETSU continues to be a very important part of her life as a member of the ETSU Foundation and for her support of the Roan Scholars Leadership Program. She and Travis are also members of the ETSU Legacy Circle and the President's Trust Silver Society. Keller notes "ETSU creates that perfect university town which has truly been a great place for us to live and for our company." 4/12