Key Corporate Services partner spotlight: Dave Kerns

Recently we learned about Key Corporate Services founder and managing partner Jeff Wilson. Today we’ll learn more about Dave Kerns, who holds the same title. The following is Dave’s bio in his own words.

Key Corporate Services Managing Partner Dave KernsI’m from Columbus, Indiana, and have lived in Indianapolis since 1983. I attended Ball State University, and after I left there I joined my dad’s company. He owned and operated a trade show marketing and meeting planning firm for associations and corporations around the country.

At my dad’s company, I learned to identify business opportunities, including the need in the market for many specialty trade shows. For instance, we created one of the first business computer trade shows in Indiana, developing the show’s name, format and theme. We then reserved the convention center in Indianapolis, designed marketing materials, and introduced the show to every computer-related company we could find in order to sell them booth space. My job, after the creative brainstorming, was to sell the booth space. That show operated successfully for over three years before the market became saturated and we discontinued it.

I did this for multiple shows over a five-year period. By the time I left, I was managing a small sales staff, and we successfully sold booth space for our shows to companies not only in Fort Wayne and Indianapolis but also around the country.

Leaving in 1986 to expand my experience, l joined a major national recruiting firm. The office in Indianapolis was one of the most successful in an organization of 400+ offices. In my first year there, I was recruiting in the industrial capital equipment, steel, and building materials industries. I was the Central Region rookie of the year in 1987. In addition, I was a “Pacesetter” for every year but one while I was there, meaning that I was in the top 10% and earned the company incentive trip. I was the Account Executive of the Year in 4 of my 13 years there and No. 2 in many of the other years. During my last 3 years, I not only continued to recruit but also led a team of recruiters and helped manage the office as a whole. I left them in January 2000 in the “Hall of Fame,” having billed over $2 million in fees during my tenure.

In short, I had found my calling in life and had a very successful career in the recruiting industry. It was time, however, for a change. During my time at the major recruiting firm, I had also met someone who would become a good friend and future business partner: Jeff Wilson. He was looking to make the same kind of change at the same time.

He and I founded Key Corporate Services in February 2000. At the national recruiting firm, my focus had been in the chemical and pharmaceutical ingredients industry since 1991, and I had built a very strong group of clients and candidates and filled positions all over the US and internationally.  At Key Corporate Services, I have leveraged this experience to help build our very strong pharmaceuticals and biotech practice area.

As we continue to grow our business, my interest is in maintaining relationships with the great clients and candidates I have known for so many years, as well as in helping develop recruiters in our firm that can allow us to be an even better resource for our clients.

We continue to grow our expertise and abilities so that we can fill many other positions for these companies. I have a CPC, or Certified Personnel Consultant designation, from the National Association of Personnel Services (NAPS). I have attended the NAPS national conference for many years, seeking new ways to improve our techniques.

I have been married for over 26 years, and we have two children. One is in law school and the other is attending IU as a biology major.

One of the things that sets Key Corporate Services apart is the dedication and enthusiasm of our partners and recruiters, which are clearly reflected in Dave’s bio. If you would like to work with a different kind of recruiting company, whether as a client or a candidate, we encourage you to contact us.

The Key Corporate Services Blog Team