Renee Keffer took the helm as Interim President & CEO of Central Exchange in December 2019. As a CX member and founding member of CX’s Women in STEMM (science, technology, engineering, math and medicine), Renee’s first-hand experience is guiding our organization to its next level of success.
“I don’t see this as a period of transition at Central Exchange,” she says. “I am here to help us drive growth.”
Before Central Exchange
Renee’s childhood love for math fueled her desire to pursue a career in industrial engineering. After spending more than 25 years at Sprint, where she served in engineering, management and executive roles, she shifted into the IT industry, working in financial services and IT consulting.
For Renee, engineering is all in the family — her father, husband and two of her children are engineers. “The knowledge that I’ve gained as an industrial engineer is something that I use every day,” she says. “I get to bring tech and business concepts like cost optimizing and process efficiency to life.”
“I like solving problems — that is really at the heart of what I love to do.”
What she looks forward to as our interim president & CEO:
“The thing that excites me is helping to fulfill the mission of CX,” Renee says. A member since 2013, Renee is honored to have the opportunity to bring our mission to life.
She stresses that this time at Central Exchange isn’t a time a transition. “This really is a time for growth. We are here to make CX better every day.”
“This really is a time for growth. We are here to make CX better every day.”
Why she loves CX:
“I believe in celebrating women, finding inspiration and being a part of this organization,” she shares. “Some of my best friends I met through Central Exchange.”
Renee’s mom has always been a huge inspiration to her. “She raised 11 children and had a fulltime job. And she was always there for us,” she says.
With five sisters and four sisters-in-law, Renee says the women in her family constantly encourage and motivate each other. Additionally, the STEMMy Awards honorees and their stories inspire Renee each year.
Outside CX, where we’ll find Renee:
Renee serves on the board for Kansas City Young Audiences, a local nonprofit which brings the arts to schools in the community. She also enjoys cheering for her hometown teams — Chiefs, Royals and the K-State Wildcats — and spending time with her family.
Being from a large family, family is a major part of Renee’s life. She is wife to Dennis, mother to four children, proud grandma to four grandchildren, and dog-mom/dog-grandma to several family dogs.
“I’m an avid crafter — I quilt, sew, crochet, macramé and make jewelry,” she says. Quilting is a family tradition passed down from her grandmother and mother. “Quilting has a bit of math to it, too. I like that it is a bit a problem to be solved and is engineered to precisioncreating beautiful art.”
On Women Leadership:
Renee believes in the importance of developing women leaders. “Women bring a different perspective to the table,” she says. “CX equips women to succeed and understand what success looks like. We offer so many resources through programs, connections and the support we give each other.”
“This is only CX’s first forty years. We’re so grateful for our members, and together, we’re growing our mission for the next forty years to come.”
Thank you to Renee for sharing her story with us. We’re grateful for her expertise, leadership and commitment to Central Exchange. Renee has an open door and is eager to meet members. Members are encouraged to reach out to Renee to connect — firstname.lastname@example.org.
Meet more members of our CX community here.