Beavercreek donor Ken Herr knows the dedication it takes to be a Donor for Life. In his construction career he helped the Center for Tissue, Innovation and Research come to life in Kettering and on Dec. 4 he reached a personal milestone with his 100th lifetime blood donation.
“I was born and raised in Fairborn,” said Ken. “I started donating when I was in the National Guard when I was going to school at Miami University.”
Ken reached his milestone with a platelet and plasma donation at the Dayton Community Blood Center. He’s been an apheresis donor since 2005, and gives credit to CBC’s CEO Dr. David Smith.
“I was working with Shook Construction in sales and marketing for CTIR, “he said. “I was talking with David and he got me doing apheresis.”
Ken came to Shook in 2005 to serve as vice president of corporate development. He left in 2014 to go into consulting, helping start a new shared services division for non-profits and for-profits.
The building industry wasn’t his original life blueprint. He first wanted to be a sports writer. “I started the same year as Hal McCoy,” he recalled about the Baseball Hall of Fame writer from the Dayton Daily News. “It was 1972 and I covered sports for the Middletown Journal.”
He went to work for an out-of-state newspaper, didn’t like it, and came back to Ohio to work for a concrete company. That led to a career in the construction industry.
Ken remains active in the community. He mentors minority-owned companies and small businesses and is a board member for three charities. He is particularly proud of leading successful “Construction Cares” fundraising teams for the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society Dayton Light The Night Walk.
“The reason I like donating blood is you’re helping patients with cancer and leukemia,” he said. “It’s always good to get a call about how someone was able to use your donation.”
He now lives on the family farm in Beavercreek. It dates back to 1869 and has been in the family for five generations. He’s not ready for retirement, and he is never too busy to donate. As he put it, “It’s the one thing I can do lying down that helps someone!”