Spotlight on Keith Walter, Former Business Executive, Active Community Advocate, and Member of Fair Oaks Village Enhancement

in Profile Articles

We're pleased to introduce Keith Walter, Member of FOVEC and Former Business Executive, in our Business Spotlight Series.

We're spotlighting various merchants in the Fair Oaks Village, as well as individuals who support what FOVEC does, all while giving you a little insight into our history and what we do for the Village. We encourage you to share these local stories and visit with merchants to get to know them firsthand.

We connected with Keith to learn more about his community service.

What do you/did you do for a living?

I began my career in high-tech designing and building network and computer systems for Bell Labs, a couple of Silicon Valley companies and startups on both coasts.

Mid-career I moved to consulting working for KPMG / Bearing Pointt using my technology background to help large organizations transform their systems and processes to become more customer focused and efficient.

The latest phase of my career has been entrepreneurial having started or helped start several small businesses.

How long have you/did you live in Fair Oaks?

I moved to Fair Oaks the end of 2011 from Texas.

In your own words, what is the importance of the Fair Oaks Village to individuals and the community at large?

Fair Oaks Village feels like you have stepped into the 1940's or 50's as it might be imagined in the movies.

The old community clubhouse and amphitheater sitting between two parks where chickens run loose can’t help but bring a smile to your face.

There are no big chain stores, all the shops are local small business owners, the pace of life is slower and people just seem nicer.

William mentioned that you recently purchased the Finegolds building on California & Fair Oaks Blvd, can you tell us about your plans for the building?

This wonderful old historic location has been a few banks, drug store, dress shop, and most recently a coin business. I purchased it because I believe in the village and want to be part of helping it grow while retaining its unique character.

My immediate plan is to remodel and update the building with the goal of having a couple new retail businesses operating there by the end of the year.

When and how did your involvement with FOVEC start?

I joined FOVEC shortly after moving to the area as I wanted to understand and help shape the vision for how the village might change while maintaining its unique character.

What kind of things did you/do you do for FOVEC?

Drawing on my background in technology and consulting, I helped move the organization online and put in place some tools to measure progress.

What is your favorite thing about working with FOVEC?

The people - Fair Oaks is lucky to have some very talented people who care deeply about the village and are willing to volunteer their time to ensure we change in the right ways.

We heard you lead the Sacramento SCORE Chapter, can you tell us more about what SCORE is and what you do with them?

SCORE was founded by an Act of Congress over 50 years ago to help small business owners be more successful.

Like FOVEC, it is a volunteer organization with over 10,000 volunteers across 300+ chapters who provide business mentoring and workshops all across the country.

Locally we mentor or teach over 4,000 people each year.

Over the years, what has volunteering meant to you?

I have been very lucky to have people throughout my career who have helped me make better decisions. At this point in my life, it feels like it's my turn to give back and help the next generation achieve their dreams.

My volunteer work with FOVEC is very focused on helping the neighborhood where I live. My work with SCORE helps create jobs and wealth across several counties. My work with Rotary helps address global issues such as Polio eradication and human rights.

What would you say to others who are contemplating volunteering?

Figure out what you are passionate about and then find a group that aligns with your values and goals. Giving back often pays rewards that can’t be measured in dollars but is worth so much more.

In your own words, what is the most valuable thing about volunteering for the volunteer?

Learning about yourself, what is really important to you and what you are willing to fight for even when there may be no obvious benefit for you.

It is quite magical when you complete a project and know it wouldn’t have happened without your contribution.

Want to browse merchants in Fair Oaks Village?

Click over to our Merchants