The recent Ohio Housing Conference provided the backdrop for an evening honoring Hal Keller for his 30 years of leadership and service in the affordable housing industry, celebrating his retirement after 25 years at the helm of the Ohio Capital Corporation for Housing.
From his recruitment in 1989 by Joe Hagan, former CEO of National Equity Fund, to help with the creation of OCCH, to the position of president in 1993, Hal has continually advanced the mission and work of OCCH and its partners with resources and initiatives focused on creating affordable, sustainable communities that empower residents and enrich their lives.
Hal’s personal code of stewardship and leaving the world a better place than you found it has allowed him to see opportunity and believe that anything is possible. His business acumen lead to OCCH becoming a premier equity syndicator of the housing credit program, and his forward-thinking innovations spearheaded the inception of three service-oriented affiliates that provide greater opportunities and address critical needs in communities, neighborhoods, and lives.
It was with many mixed emotions that OCCH partners, colleagues, friends and Hal’s family gathered to celebrate his retirement and honor his lifelong work in affordable housing investment, advocacy, and policy. The evening began with a “This is Your Life” parody emceed by Steve Smith, President and CEO of the Model Group, featuring peers and friends who shared special memories and stories of Hal throughout his long career. It was clear that Hal made a lasting impression in the industry to those he worked with as well as those he served through his work.
The highlight of the evening’s celebration was presented by the OCCH Board of Directors, who presented Hal with a gift that captured his passion and service while recognizing his generosity for others. OCCH celebrated its 30th anniversary this year, and the Board, knowing that Hal is an avid bird-watcher, dedicated 30 stone benches and bird baths to 30 OCCH properties throughout Ohio and Kentucky in Hal’s honor for the enjoyment of residents.
Peg Moertl, President and CEO of OCCH, closed the celebration by thanking Hal for his many years of dedication, passion, enthusiasm and expertise. He will be greatly missed by the staff, Board, and OCCH partners.