I have had the privilege to work with and get to know several marine parts and accessories distributors over the 58 years I have been in the marine business. Several of the distributors have made a positive impression with me, but Mike Keller, President of Keller Marine and RV Distributors, Port Trevorton, Pennsylvania probably made the biggest impression with me. Mike is a perfect description of an entrepreneur who grew up in a family of marine industry entrepreneurs.
Mike’s grandfather, Flanders Keller, started it all. Born in 1908, Flanders started working in a silk mill during the depression for $1.00 per week. He then got a construction job in Virginia that paid more, but being a dedicated family man, he drove 10 hours every weekend to Port Trevorton spend a few hours with his family. Imagine doing that every weekend on two lane highways that probably weren’t always in the best condition. He ended up back in Pennsylvania and eventually started building wood runabouts. He was successful at this but eventually realized that fiberglass was making wood boats obsolete. His son George, Mike’s father, then started a parts distribution business that grew and grew.
Then along came the third generation of Keller entrepreneurs, Mike Keller, who joined his father after graduating from college. When George Keller decided to retire, he turned the business over to his son Mike, now President of Keller Marine and RV Distributors. And now Mike’s sister, Lori Keller Morrow, is Secretary Treasurer, and his son, the third generation to join the company, Michael T. Keller, is Sales Manager.
Not only have the Keller’s been very entrepreneurial, they are very innovative. For example, back in 1993 the Kellers introduced what they described as the industry’s first CD-ROM accessories catalog for both marine and RV dealers, which became a big hit. Innovation has made them a leader in the marine and RV distribution ever since.
It was a real pleasure to work with Mike in developing an article on the Keller’s that was published in the April 2017 issue of Soundings Trade Only. Check out The Kellers of Keller Marine.