Small Business Owner in Wichita, Kansas
Keith is the founder & CEO of Jet AirWerks, LLC, an FAA Part 145 repair station focusing on repair and overhaul of GE and CFMI commercial jet engines. The company is in Arkansas City, Kansas.
Kansas Board of Regents: Postsecondary Technical Education Authority (TEA) Board Chair.
He served in the US Navy from 1975 until his honorable discharge with the rank of Aviation Machinist Mate First-Class (E-6) in 1985.
Keith was a P-3 Orion jet engine mechanic and a Flight Engineer/2nd Mech. Served with VP-9, NS Rota, Spain and VP-68 with multiple foreign deployments as well as TAD’s to Adak, Alaska and the USS Nimitz (CVN68).
In 1979, Keith was awarded the Navy and Marine Corps Medal for his heroic actions in saving the lives of a fellow sailor and her child from a gas-filled home.
Keith is the Gold Star Father-in-Law of Sgt. Michael Martins, USMC, OIF 2006 - 2008 - lost in 2009.
Keith worked to pass state and federal legislation protecting the military death gratuity during a federal government shutdown (HR1928, 115th) and is currently working to create a Veterans Treatment Court in Sedgwick County, Kansas.
He was the Democratic candidate for the Kansas State Senate in the 28 Senate District in Wichita in 2012 & 2016 - former Kansas Democratic Party Veterans & Military Families Caucus Chair.
Currently, he's an Veteran's Advocate with Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America (IAVA), Life-time member of American Legion Post 408 & VFW Men’s Auxiliary 7253. Member of the Wichita Independent Business Assoc., Wichita Regional Chamber of Commerce, Wichita Aero Club, member of Derby Community Foundation Board and a member of the CommunityGiving Board of Directors.
Keith has been a stage and screen actor, writer and filmmaker – in addition to several screenplays and numerous acting roles to his credit, Keith wrote and produced "Miles Apart", a feature film released in Hong Kong in 2000.
For over 20 years, Keith was a marathon runner, running six full marathons and countless other road races as well as racing to the top of Pikes Peak multiple times.
Keith and his family lived in Manila, RP from 92 to 95 where he trained and became a PADI Rescue Diver and logged several hundred open water dives.
Born Keith De Soto in Santa Maria, CA in 1957 with Latino/Hispanic roots – he was adopted & raised by his Stepfather.
Sober since 2/22/82, #ODAAT
Keith and Thérèse have six children and six grandchildren and make their home in Derby, Kansas