Human Resources and Manufacturing

Manufacturer appoints president and CEO

September 18, 2018
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Christina Keller
Christina Keller. Courtesy Cascade Engineering

A local manufacturer that specializes in large injection-molded plastic parts has selected its next president and CEO.

Cascade Township-based Cascade Engineering said yesterday it named Christina Keller to the role.

She will replace Mark Miller, the current president and CEO, who is retiring at the end of the month.

Keller has been with the company for nine years and serves as president of its Campus Business Team, or CBT.

She is the youngest daughter of Fred Keller, Cascade’s founder and chair.

“Christina has established herself as a highly respected and competent leader at Cascade Engineering,” Miller said. “She has the talent and experience prerequisite of all leaders. Most importantly, she has the passion and conviction to embrace our triple bottom line culture, encourage diversity and value trusting relationships — things that can’t be taught.”

Kenyatta Brame, Cascade Engineering executive vice president, said Keller is “grounded” in the company way.

“She has the distinctive ability to combine her analytical skills with compassion and humility, making her an invaluable asset to our business,” Brame said.

Keller said she's "honored to have an opportunity to foster a vibrant culture built on trust, diversity and inclusion, established over more than 40 years."

"I am humbled by the responsibility entrusted in me, and I am excited to continue our tradition of innovation in the plastics industry,” she said.

Keller’s background

Keller has held a number of leadership positions of increasing responsibility since joining Cascade Engineering in 2009.

From 2010 to 2013, she was business unit leader for Triple Quest, which produced and distributed the Hydraid BioSand Water Filter.

In 2013, she was named president of Montpelier, Ohio-based CK Technologies, or CKT, the largest of nine business units within the Cascade family of companies. CKT manufactures plastic exterior body components for large trucks. Parts include bumper systems, grills, chassis and roof fairings. CKT has additional facilities in Mount Airy, North Carolina, Brownsville, Texas and Grand Prairie, Texas. The company said CKT posted two consecutive years of record revenue under Keller’s leadership.

Keller returned to Grand Rapids as president of CBT in 2016. While in the role, she was responsible for strengthening the core plastics business across five diverse platforms with manufacturing operations at six Grand Rapids facilities. Keller worked with business unit leaders for Cascade Carts, Automotive Americas, Innovative Plastic Technologies, Decade Products and Noble Polymers to develop strategies for growth.

Most recently, she led the strategic integration of all of Cascade Engineering’s North American business units to align best practices and standardize work to maximize operational, financial and human resources.

Miller’s tenure

Outgoing president and CEO Miller started with Cascade Engineering in 2006 as the VP of sales and marketing for CK Technologies. He was named president of CK Technologies a year later and became the president of Cascade Engineering in 2013, assuming the CEO title the following year from Fred Keller.

“Mark has been a tremendous leader for Cascade Engineering,” Fred Keller said. “He directed the growth of CKT from a small business acquisition into becoming the largest of nine businesses we currently operate. His contribution to Cascade Engineering has been remarkable.”

Christina Keller thanked Miller for his “guidance, experience and mentorship” in preparing her for her new role leading Cascade Engineering.

Cascade Engineering

Cascade Engineering was founded in 1973.

Its nine business units support a range of markets, including transportation, environmental services, office seating, material handling, polymer compounding and RFID asset management.

The company employs 1,900 people at 13 facilities in North America, with additional operations in Budapest, Hungary.

Cascade Engineering is a certified B Corp, recognized for advancing sustainable business practices that build financial, social and environmental capital.  

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