Orland Park Native
Keith was born and raised in Orland Park. Keith’s father was a trustee for Orland Park for 6 years and helped bring Orland Square Mall to the Village. As a youth, Keith played OYA baseball and basketball, and was on the first Pioneer football team. He is a product of our local school system and attended Carl Sandburg High School. After high school, Keith graduated from Arizona State University with a B.S. in Aerospace Engineering and joined the United States Air Force. While in the Air Force, Keith earned his M.B.A. from Duke University and was a Fuqua Scholar.
Upon leaving the Air Force in 1998, Keith moved back to Orland Park with his wife Betty and their three children: Lisa, Tim, and Amanda. Since returning to Orland Park, Keith has coached baseball and basketball with the OYA and Orland Park Magic for 10 years. The Pekau family has grown to include a granddaughter named Maddie.
Keith’s career began in 1989. As the Top Graduate from Navigator Training and the Paul F. Lorence award winner as the Top Graduate for Fighter Navigator Training. Keith became the youngest Mission Ready Navigator and youngest Instructor Weapons System Officer in the F-15E. He has over 1,500 hours of flight time. He is also a decorated combat veteran during 3 tours to Southern Iraq where he has over 45 combat sorties and 150 combat hours in Operations Desert Storm and Southern Watch. Additionally, he was the Commandant’s Trophy winner as the Number One graduate of Squadron Officer Training School.
Before leaving the Air Force, he was Chief of 4FW Formal Training he managed the training program for over 200 aircrew flying the F-15E, implemented a $50 million training program, and increased training throughput by 30%. He also managed 80 Supervisors of Flying responsible for coordinating flying operations, emergencies and search and rescue operations with several base agencies.
Keith continues to work along with other Veterans and is the Illinois Director of Vets4Energy focusing on Energy Policy and Energy Security as well as helping Veterans find job opportunities in the Energy Industry.
Successful Business Owner
Keith worked as a management consultant for two international consulting firms, Marakon Consulting and L.E.K. Consulting. In these roles he helped companies with market growth, strategy development, value based management and acquisitions. As part of this work he performed market attractiveness studies and business plans for a variety of companies. Industries in which Keith has experience include retail, manufacturing, aerospace, government, energy, health care, software, medical devices and education.
In 2003 Keith purchased a tree service business and became a local business owner. GroundsKeeper Landscape Care is now a full service landscaping and tree service company with over 25 employees during the season. Under Keith’s leadership, the business has grown over 600% by targeting new segments and geographies, re-branding the business, introducing a series of new product and services and marketing through new channels such as trades shows, internet and referral programs. Keith developed the marketing and business strategies, hired and trained his team, and built the business processes required to drive this growth profitably.
In 2009, Keith founded Fahrenheit Consulting Group which specializes in helping businesses assess their market positioning and develop market and product growth strategies to improve shareholder value. At Fahrenheit, Keith has delivered projects including market assessments, customer segmentation, channel strategies and new product strategies