Mr. David L. McKeehan, former president & CEO of the North Central Massachusetts Chamber of Commerce was recognized with the prestigious “Life Member Award” from the American Association of Chamber of Commerce Executives (ACCE) at their annual meeting held in August, 2016. The Life Member Award is the chamber of commerce profession’s highest individual honor. It is bestowed in recognition of a lifetime of business community leadership and service to the association and chamber of commerce profession. Mr. McKeehan was nominated for the award by the North Central Massachusetts Chamber of Commerce.
“It was a humbling experience to have my work recognized by my peers from across America,” said McKeehan. “It’s a real honor to be acknowledged by an organization rooted in community and economic opportunity.”
Recipients of the Life Member Award are nominated by their peers and selected by the association’s board of directors. McKeehan is one of only four Life Member Award honorees in 2016. The Life Member award is earned by those who retire after notable careers in chamber leadership, and are awarded to those who exhibit a tireless commitment to the profession and their peers, while driving positive change in their organizations and communities.
“Not only did David have a profound impact on North Central Massachusetts, but he is a leading voice nationally,” said Roy Nascimento, president and CEO of the North Central Massachusetts Chamber of Commerce. “This honor really underscores his decades of devotion to the business community.”
McKeehan served as president & CEO of the North Central Massachusetts Chamber of Commerce from 1984 until he retired in January 2015. During his tenure, he led the merger of the Fitchburg and Leominster Chambers of Commerce, along with several smaller business groups, to form the North Central Massachusetts Chamber in 1984. Previously, he was vice president of the Detroit Regional Chamber.
McKeehan served as a trustee and chairman (2011-2012) of ACCE Benefits Trust; chairman of ACCE’s Fringe Benefits, Inc.; and vice chair of ACCE’s board of directors. He is past president of both the New England Association of Chambers of Commerce Executives (1998-99) and the Massachusetts Association of Chambers of Commerce Executives (1998). In 2001 and 2007, he was recognized by ACCE with the Chairman’s Professional Leadership Award.
McKeehan remains active as a trustee of the Community Foundation of North Central Massachusetts and serves as chairman of their grant making committee. In 2007, he was presented with the “Service Above Self Award” by Mount Wachusett Community College (MWCC) for making significant contributions to MWCC and the area’s 29 north central Massachusetts cities and towns. David was also recognized by Fitchburg State University as one of the “100 Most Influential People in the Last 100 Years” at their Centennial Celebration in 1994.
He is a graduate of the Institute for Organization Management in Washington, D.C., and the Center for Creative Leadership in Greensboro, N.C. In 2008, he was chosen as a Ford Foundation Fellow for Sustainable Regional Development.
Today, after 45 years’ experience in chamber of commerce management, David now appreciates the challenges and opportunities of owning and operating a small manufacturing and distribution company, GB Products.