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As both an employee and a supporter of a cause, Marlin Keller brings passion and skill to everything he does. He has more than 20 years of strategic and tactical experience in the marketing of CPG industry, and he is a strong advocate of foundations that support child cancer awareness.
Professionally, he has experience building marketing strategies to integrate resources, maximize dollar investment, and help companies grow in visibility and return on investment. Marketing and retail, where Marlin Keller has earned most of his work résumé, are both highly competitive industries which require broad skill sets. Keller can attribute his consistent success to a strong sense of accountability as well as his innovation and creativity that help him think of out-of-the-box solutions to problems.
Keller’s other skills include management, analysis, negotiation, and problem solving. His ability to build a successful team is particularly strong—he has built many effective teams for past jobs that were committed to delivering on the company’s goals and objectives.
As an advocate, he is a financial supporter of several funds for child cancer, which he considers a hugely important part of his life. He became involved to support his young daughter, who recently beat cancer but is still undergoing follow-up scans. He and his wife donate to help millions of children who suffer cancer, and he encourages others to do the same, so that the children can recover and their families can be at ease.
His hobbies include fishing, golfing, and generally enjoying the outdoors.
Marlin Keller attended Villa Maria College and Canisius College, graduating the latter in 1997. He has since won a number of awards for his career in marketing and retail, including the President’s Award for retail rep of the year, the Kinney Drug Vendor of the Year award, and, most recently, the Peter Daymon Schwartz Award.
When he received his daughter’s diagnosis of cancer, he began a journey that has become a defining aspect of his life by becoming involved in foundations that are dedicated to helping children just like her, including:
• The Tom Coughlin Jay Fund Foundation, which was founded in 1996 in honor of Jay McGillis. Jay developed leukemia and fought against it for eight months before losing the battle at a young age. His coach at Boston College, Tom Coughlin, saw the emotional and financial toll the ordeal took on the McGillis family, and vowed to find a way to help families by being there for them with emotional, financial, and practical support.
• The Child Cancer Fund, which is a grass roots organization that helps raise funds to provide Nemours Children’s Clinic in Jacksonville, Florida with financial aid so it can always have Child Life Specialists on staff, as well as to provide financial assistance to the families of kids that are battling cancer. The organization was founded in 1994 by a group of parents who had children being treated for cancer at Nemours Children’s Clinic and Wolfson Children’s hospital. Their stated goal is to work side by side with children and families through every step of the treatment process.
• Camp Boggy Creek, a 232-acre summer camp for kids ages seven through 16 who suffer serious illnesses. Founded in 1996 by Paul Newman and General H. Norman Schwartzkopf and located near Orlando, Florida, Camp Boggy Creek runs under the philosophy that no child should go without the experience of friendship and fun that comes from summer camp. Unobtrusive medical care is available at all times, making it a safe and medically sound environment. At the camp, children have the opportunity to engage in activities such as fishing, horseback riding, and climbing a ropes tower.
• The Pablove Foundation, which addresses many aspects of childhood cancer, from funding research for treatment and helping families learn about the condition to improving the child’s quality of life during treatment by offering play, music, and art in the hospital. The foundation was named for Pablo Thrailkill Castelaz, who was six years old when he lost his battle with a rare form of childhood cancer called the bilateral Wilms Tumor. The foundation is dedicated to fighting childhood cancer globally with the same strength of spirit Pablo fought with.
• American Childhood Cancer Organization, which was founded in 1970 by a group of parents of children with cancer. The aim was to raise awareness for the fact that many children are diagnosed with cancer, lobby for more research, and to support each other through the process of treatment. Now, ACCO is one of the largest grassroots organizations dedicated to helping improve the lives of children with cancer. It publishes high quality information on the condition and has more than 40 local affiliate organizations.
Having a child with cancer helped him see what a gift a child is. He stayed positive and optimistic for the sake of his family, and through it all his family has become stronger. They learned a lot about their individual strengths, especially his daughter’s, and supported each other with love and humor.
Even as his daughter undergoes follow-up scans, the aggressive cancer having been treated, he still worries in the hospital waiting room. After years of preparing for the worst but praying for the best, he’s still not able to breathe easy, as the stress of the ordeal is still there, both for him and for millions of other families. Marlin Keller has devoted himself to these organizations to help these families.
Having had great success in his industry, Marlin Keller will continue to expand his work in the industry. In this vein he is always seeking to be innovative and lend his ideas to the industry. Not only is he dedicated to improving his role in the companies he works in, he strives to help others improve their skills—one of his strengths is to cultivate the talents of those under his management, as well as those who work alongside him.
He is also dedicated to keeping up with any and all industry trends, since improving technology and other factors are constantly changing the face of marketing, retail, and all other industries.
In his personal life, he hopes to continue to encourage people to donate to children’s cancer foundations. With time, he also hopes to expand his role from donor to volunteer, increasing his involvement in the charities he supports. Spreading child cancer awareness has always been and always will be a large part of his life.
As an advocate of these organizations he hopes to see an improvement in how quickly child cancer is diagnosed, the number of treatment options available to families, and the number of successful battles with cancer. He wishes that there can come a day when no parent will have to hear the diagnosis that their child has cancer, and suffer the heartbreaking process he had to go through. At the very least Marlin Keller wants others to feel the relief he felt at his daughter’s recovery.
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