Keener, a South Carolina Native, returns to the Palmetto State
CHESTERFIELD COUNTY, SC – Nestlé Waters North America selected Brent Keener to lead its Chesterfield County bottled water facility. Keener, a South Carolina native, succeeds Tom Strowe who has accepted a role as operations manager at a Nestlé Waters plant in Pennsylvania. Keener will oversee the $40 million South Carolina factory and the 65 employees who produce Deer Park® Brand Natural Spring Water and Nestlé® Pure Life® purified water.
“My wife and I are thrilled to be moving home to South Carolina and are looking forward to becoming a part of the community,” said Keener. “Nestlé Waters has developed deep relationships with our neighbors in the McBee and Chesterfield County area over the years and we will continue to build on these strong ties to our community. I am also excited to work with such an exceptional Nestlé Waters team in Chesterfield County.”
A graduate of the University of South Carolina, Keener, began his career as a quality assurance specialist with Nestlé in the Frozen Meal division in South Carolina where he was the team leader and founder of the Second Shift Quality Star Point Improvement program. He was promoted to production manager at a Nestlé plant in the Greater Chicago area in the Confections department eventually becoming the operations manager. In October 2014, Keener was promoted to the Nestlé plant manager in Jacksonville, Illinois where he was responsible for all aspects of manufacturing for Coffee-Mate non-dairy creamer and managed a team of 185 associates.
Keener and his wife Carol are originally from Gaffney, South Carolina. They now have a 10-month old daughter named Maggie. Outside of work, Keener enjoys golfing and riding motorcycles and volunteering at organizations such as the United Way and the Boys and Girls Club.
“Brent’s more than 10 years of manufacturing experience in multiple Nestlé sites makes him a perfect fit to manage our South Carolina operations. Safety is one of our top priorities, and he has a strong safety record. He is also a proven leader who delivers results by developing the members of his team,” said Iain Reed, supply chain director for Nestlé Waters. “We are confident that Brent will forge a strong relationship with both the employees of our McBee facility and the residents of the McBee and Chesterfield County communities.”
Reed added that he is thankful for Tom Strowe’s significant contributions to the plant, including leading the construction and opening of the facility.
“Tom’s dedication to Nestlé Waters and his exceptional leadership were key to launching our operations in South Carolina and hiring a remarkable group of individuals who are making our plant a success,” said Reed. “He will be a great asset to the factory in Allentown, Pennsylvania.”
NWNA began construction on the $40 million, 200,000 square foot facility in January 2015. Production of Deer Park® natural spring water and Nestlé Pure Life® purified water commenced in January 2016.
About Nestlé Waters North America
Nestlé Waters North America offers an unrivaled portfolio of bottled waters for healthy hydration, including Deer Park® Brand 100% Natural Spring Water, Nestlé® Pure Life®, Perrier® and S. Pellegrino®. The company also owns and operates ReadyRefreshSM by Nestlé®, a customizable water and beverage delivery service. Just Click and Quench. SM
Based in Stamford, Connecticut with some 8,500 associates, we are committed to reducing our environmental footprint across our operations. As a natural resource company, we sustainably manage 47 spring sources and conserve nearly 21,000 acres of natural watershed area. We are also committed to creating shared value and being a good neighbor in the 140 communities where we operate in the U.S. For more information, visit us at www.nestle-watersna.com/en and follow us on Twitter: @NestleWatersNA.