John (Jack) Keller was born on November 9, 1918, in Appleton, Wisconsin. After attending grade school and high school in Appleton, he graduated from Appleton Business College in 1938. He received additional schooling in 1949 at the College of Advanced Traffic, and in 1950 from the Interstate Commerce Commission (ICC) Law School. He passed the bar exam and was admitted as an ICC practitioner.
In 1939, Mr. Keller joined Kimberly-Clark Corporation, working in traffic management. He established the motor carrier operations division and encouraged the corporation to procure airline equipment for corporate air travel service. Working with Kampo Transit, he helped create operations for handling and removal of sulfite waste liquor from pulp manufacturing for use in the road binder roadway program in Wisconsin.
Mr. Keller served in the U.S. Army from October 1942 through April 1946, enlisting as a private in the 9th Army. He served in the European Theatre through war’s end on May 8, 1945, as master sergeant major of the 548th Field Artillery Battalion. Mr. Keller authored the history of the battalion, which was published in Europe in 1945. He was discharged honorably, having earned several battle stars.
In 1951, Mr. Keller joined Kampo Transit, Inc, as vice president/general manager. He left the company in 1953 to found J.J. Keller & Associates to service regulatory problems for the paper industry and transportation services generally. The organization was incorporated in 1958 and continues to provide regulatory consulting and publishing nationwide. He served as chairman of the board until his death in 2007.
Today (2001), J.J. Keller & Associates has over 800 associates and employees and a cash flow in excess of $160 million. The corporation offers over 4,000 products and services to meet customer needs, including compliance publications, regulatory forms and supplies, software Internet services seminars and workshops, and consulting services.
In the 1990s, the Keller Foundation, Ltd., was established, and a donor-advised fund was created at the Community Foundation for the Fox Valley region, Inc., which, by the year 2001, had $5,500,000 in commitments and donations.
Mr. Keller was a life member of the Interstate Commerce Commission bar, past director of Delta Nu Alpha, past director of Associated Bank, and past appointee to the Ninth National Bank Region Advisory Committee. In addition, he was a member of the Fox Valley Traffic Club, and a life member of both the American Legion and the Benevolent and Protective Order of Elks.
Jack and his wife, Ethel, had three sons, Robert, James, and Thomas.