Northeast Metro Business VHEDC 2018 | Page 30

Keith Warner’s Enduring Legacy B y all accounts, Keith Warner was a remarkable man — an inspiration to all who knew him. Throughout these VHEDC pages you will find events and awards dedicated to Warner which exemplify his passion for helping people and his commitment to getting things done. He was bestowed numerous awards for his outstanding commitment to community service and was honored before his death with the mayor of White Bear Lake declaring November 25, 2013 as “Keith Warner Day.” Keith Warner also served as the VHEDC’s executive director 2008 – 2013 after retiring from the baking and milling industries. Patty Warner notes, “During the years Keith served as executive director of the VHEDC, he focused on personal visits to businesses and devel-oped open communications with management to familiarize himself with their firms. He encouraged an active Board to reach out to the business community, provide support and create a positive environment.” His most notable impact to the local community was as co-founder, with his wife Patty, of the Relay for Life event in White Bear Lake, in remembrance of their daughter, Lori, who passed away from colon cancer. Warner’s family genetics carry a variation called Lynch Syndrome which predisposes them to various cancers early in life. Keith himself beat three different cancers in his lifetime, with the fourth — cancer of the brain — taking his life December 10, 2013. He’s also credited with transforming VHEDC’s organizational focus from “Open for Business” to “Taking Care of Business” according to former Vadnais Height