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2014 Forty Under 40: Sean Keefer

Lou Harry
February 1, 2014
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keefer_sean_1col.jpg (IBJ Photo/Aaron P. Bernstein)

Road to the Governor’s Office part 1: Graduated from Hillsdale College, received a master’s in Western European Studies from Indiana University. Graduate work in international public policy and development from Georgetown University. Hired by Bose Public Affairs, then became director of global health and science policy for the American College of Sports Medicine.

String theory? A tennis player with an active 4.5 rating, Keefer serves as assistant tennis coach for Butler University’s men’s team. “I love to play,” said Keefer, who went to regionals in high school and was all-conference in college. “It helps me get my mind off what I’m doing. When hitting a ball as hard as you can, that kind of helps.”

Road to the Governor’s Office part 2: Served as deputy secretary of state and chief of staff in the Indiana Secretary of State’s Office. Appointed chief of staff in the State Department of Health in January 2013, then bumped up to legislative director in September.

His job in a nutshell: “Sometimes I say I’m the government’s lobbyist.”

AGE 36
Hometown: Fort Wayne
 
Family: wife, Gaby; sons Santiago, 7, and Ramiro, 4

On focus: “You can’t be all things to all people. So really attempt to understand the three to five issues that really affect that position and make yourself the best at those.”

The benefits of overseas travel: Keefer walks into an Irish bar in Argentina … and meets his future wife. “She moved up here with me, so she got to name the kids.”

On his Six Sigma green belt designation: “Six Sigma [a business improvement program] really just puts technical terms to things we already do well. Making sure to have a cooperative spirit, having a sense of humor, being deferential, being nice. Make sure what you say is correct. Basic things that I’ve brought from job to job.”

Ten years from now? “At this time, I’m living in the present and enjoying working for Gov. Pence. He’s an outstanding governor. Make sure to put that in there.”•

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  1. A Tilted Kilt at a water park themed hotel? Who planned that one? I guess the Dad's need something to do while the kids are on the water slides.

  2. Don't come down on the fair for offering drinks. This is a craft and certainly one that belongs in agriculture due to ingredients. And for those worrying about how much you can drink. I'm sure it's more to do with liability than anything else. They don't want people suing for being over served. If you want a buzz, do a little pre-drinking before you go.

  3. I don't drink but go into this "controlled area" so my friend can drink. They have their 3 drink limit and then I give my friend my 3 drink limit. How is the fair going to control this very likely situation????

  4. I feel the conditions of the alcohol sales are a bit heavy handed, but you need to realize this is the first year in quite some time that beer & wine will be sold at the fair. They're starting off slowly to get a gauge on how it will perform this year - I would assume if everything goes fine that they relax some of the limits in the next year or couple of years. That said, I think requiring the consumption of alcohol to only occur in the beer tent is a bit much. That is going to be an awkward situation for those with minors - "Honey, I'm getting a beer... Ok, sure go ahead... Alright see you in just a min- half an hour."

  5. This might be an effort on the part of the State Fair Board to manage the risk until they get a better feel for it. However, the blanket notion that alcohol should not be served at "family oriented" events is perhaps an oversimplification. and not too realistic. For 15 years, I was a volunteer at the Indianapolis Air Show, which was as family oriented an event as it gets. We sold beer donated by Monarch Beverage Company and served by licensed and trained employees of United Package Liquors who were unpaid volunteers. And where did that money go? To central Indiana children's charities, including Riley Hospital for Children! It's all about managing the risk.

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