Wood Stone Sales Team
Keith R. CarpenterFounder • Chief Executive Officer (Chief Story Teller)
Keith graduated from high school in LA in 1969 and started a 12 year career as a commercial fisherman in Alaska. His journey north took him through Washington and gave him his first taste of the Northwest. He would be back.
In 1980, Keith moved to Seattle and went to work as a factory direct salesman for Falcon Products Commercial Seating. He pioneered factory direct sales efforts for Falcon Products in the Pacific Northwest and Hawaii. He racked up many miles during the experience, his territory stretching from Hawaii to Alaska to El Paso, Texas. Prior to this job, Keith also worked for his father's rep firm in Los Angeles.
In 1984, Keith became an independent manufacturers' agent co-founding Brown and Carpenter marketing for MAFSI regions 23 and 25. During his time as a rep, he represented many top foodservice manufacturers including Market Forge, Gaylord, VariMixer, Hamilton Beach, Precision Metal Products, Cold Zone and J.H. Carr to name just a few. These experiences as a rep in the field calling on dealers, working with consultants, helping end users, and understanding the unique channels of distribution in the foodservice industry, would have a tremendous impact on the marketing vision for Wood Stone.
Here's where fate stepped in. In late 1989, during a routine call on his key customer, Restaurants Unlimited, Keith learned they were struggling with the equipment package for their new concept Palomino. While they loved the atmosphere created by it, they were having trouble finding a wood-fired stone hearth or 'brick oven' that could stand up to the rigors of the American commercial kitchen. Starting in his fishing days and continuing on, Keith had heated and cooked with wood in his home. The idea of building a truly American-quality wood-fired oven for the commerical foodservice industry intrigued him and led him to contact a 'friend of a friend', Harry Hegarty. Harry had been building large scale high temperature ceramic incinerators for the forest products industry for 17 years. In April 1990 Keith and Harry founded Wood Stone.
Keith ran both companies for four and a half years, traveling between Seattle and Bellingham, until Wood Stone was financially strong enough to allow him to focus on Wood Stone alone. He sold his share of Brown and Carpenter in 1994. Keith's day-to-day duties at Wood Stone include filling the position of CEO/President.
Expanding his role in the industry, Keith served for two years as the Allied Member Representative to the North American Division (NAD) Board of Trustees for FCSI (www.fcsi.org).
In the spring of 2005, Keith re-entered the world of commercial fishing. This time as owner and operator of one of only 11 reef net fishing gears in the world (Lummi Island Wild Salmon). In his not-so-copious free time he and his team fish using this old technique off of Washington State's Lummi Island. Check out the Lummi Island Wild Salmon Website.
Keith is an avid fan of music, playing both guitar and the mandolin with his lovely lady Lynne, a wicked upright base player herself.