Keith Hertell has joined the Imagine Leadership Council, comprised of local and national business and community leaders who are willing to serve as passionate advocates on behalf of grieving children and teens.
“As the Founding Board Chair of Imagine we are thrilled to welcome Keith to the Council,” said Stuart Arnold, Imagine’s current board chair. “Keith was selected by Imagine visionary, Dr. Gerald Glasser, because of his leadership in the community and his personal understanding and connection to families coping with loss.”
Hertell, a resident of Westfield for 50 years, is currently president of the Board of Trustees of the New Jersey Festival Orchestra, a member of the Overlook Hospital Foundation Board of Trustees and a former member of the Westfield Board of Education.
A retired institutional equity trader on Wall Street, Hertell has played an active role in many other local civic and community organizations as well. He is the Founder of Westfield’s Little League fall soccer program, the Westfield YMCA soccer camp, co-founder of the Westfield Soccer Association, was the girls varsity soccer coach at Livingston High School, Scotch Plains Fanwood High School and Oak Knoll High School and currently coaches The Central Jersey Stars, a U-18 girls soccer team based out of Westfield.
He is a former member of the board of directors of the Westfield YMCA, and was past chairman, Major Gifts Division of the Westfield United Fund. A two-time,heavyweight boxing champion for the One to One event at Madison Square Garden raising over $130,000, Mr. Hertell is also the U.S. Representative for SFA Austrian Educational programs, a Stephen’s Minister and organized and ran “Up With People” concerts, as fund raising activities for various organizations in Westfield. He is the past president of the Westfield Booster Organization and the Westfield Jaycees and a past trustee of the College Men’s Club.
Hertell, recently widowed after being married for 50 years to his wife Kathleen, is the proud father of daughter Kerry Lynne LaVelle, son Darren, and beloved son Keith II, who was killed in 1997. He is the proud grandfather of grandsons- David, Jack Riley, Connor, and just born granddaughter Grace Kathleen.
“Grief many times goes unnoticed or the topic is avoided in our society, resulting often in lives that may become unproductive or even derailed without support. Imagine provides that support and can, and has, changed the course of so many lives since first opening their doors in 2012,” said Hertell. “Like so many other families, my family and I are no strangers to grief and loss. Having lost my sister, my son, and now my wife, I have seen up close the effects of these losses. The death of a beloved family member changes you forever and is especially difficult for children. I’m so pleased to continue to be of service.”
Imagine is a free year-round peer grief support center located in Mountainside, New Jersey and serving all of Union County and the region. Imagine serves children, young adults and parents/guardians who have had a parent, sibling or child die. Support groups for caregivers of an adult or child in the family living with a life-altering physical illness are also available. If you are interested in learning more about Imagine, visit www.imaginenj.org or call 908-264-3100.