Brian Kerr has a head for business and a heart for the community

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By Becca Owsley

Faith and family are the driving force behind Brian Kerr’s work and community involvement.

The 43-year-old president of Kerr Office Group and father of four said his interest in business accelerated his senior year in a co-op program at West Hardin High School with teacher Becky Davis. The experience with co-op at First Citizens Bank helped prepare him for the career he has today, he said.

In college, he looked for a job to fit around his schedule and nothing worked out.

“I did some research on a new fad called mobile phones,” he said. “I have always wanted to own my own business and this seemed to be a good fit since I also enjoy new technology.”

He opened a cellular phone and pager store while in college and hired other students to do outside sales.

“This was the first business I owned and it taught me a lot about the ins and outs of running a small business and I loved every minute of it,” he said.

In 1999, he began working as general manger of Bean Publishing Co. During that time, owners Paul and Julie Smith taught him a lot about running a small business. In 2006, Kerr and his wife, Tabitha, purchased both Bean and T&W Office Products and formed Kerr Office Group.

“I think about the experiences and career path God has brought me down it is a blessing to see how it all fits together in his plan,” Kerr said. “If it’s Christ centered, then everything else will come as it needs.”

He said a lot of his success is due to having good people around him. No one can do their job without everyone else, he said.

“It’s everybody working together to make everything happen the way it should,” Kerr said.

Through his experiences and success, Kerr feels it’s important to give back to the community — not just with money but with time as well.

As treasurer of the Chamber of Commerce board, he sees the importance to promote buying local and how much independent businesses give back to the community.

“Go look at your baseball and football fields and look at the signs hanging around those stadiums; the majority of them are local business,” Kerr said.

He works with and serves on the boards of a variety of organizations throughout the community including the United Way, Central Kentucky Community Foundation, Helping Hand of Hope, the Elizabethtown Police Foundation and Elizabethtown Educational Foundation. He also teaches eight-grade Sunday School at Severns Valley Baptist Church.

His best advice for getting involved in the community is to begin at your local church because many opportunities exist there. Next, he said to check with the Chamber of Commerce or United Way. Those offices know what agencies need volunteers or support.

His friend Dr. Thad Jackson said Kerr is one of the most “volunteer-oriented” people he knows.

“He clearly hasn’t learned to say no to anyone as he is a member of multiple philanthropic and education-based boards,” Jackson said. “Despite a busy work schedule, he is able to balance his volunteer efforts, faith and family in a healthy way.”

Kerr’s wife Tabitha said he has a passion for Elizabethtown and Hardin County and is committed to helping the economy by promoting the positives of buying local.

“Brian wants to help preserve this community’s economy for the next generation,” she said.

Kerr said the model for his work ethic are his parents, Bob and Betty Kerr. His father has owned his own drywall business for more than 40 years, he said.

“He’s the hardest working guy I know,” Kerr said.

He said his dad often drywalled all day and farmed at night.

When he’s not at work or helping in the community, Kerr stays busy with his four children.

“They are a blessing and it’s fun to watch them play and grow up,” he said.

With a family of six, he’s noticed that cars are made for four, restaurants require a longer wait, hotels are more expensive and Disney is definitely not as friendly for families of more than four.

“But I wouldn’t trade them for the world,” he said.

Becca Owsley can be reached at 270-505-1741 or bowsley@thenewsenterprise.com.

Getting to know Brian Kerr
Family: He’s been married to Tabitha for 19 years. They have four children: Chase, 15, Ashley, 12, and twin boys Will and Guy, 9.
Favorite movie: “Christmas Vacation”
Favorite TV show: “House Hunters”
Favorite sports team: University of Kentucky
Favorite thing to do with family: Vacation
Favorite scripture verses: Philippians 4:4 and Romans 3:23
Pet: A dog named Max
Hobbies: Water skiing, building things around the house and yard, spending time with family, mowing and date nights with Tabitha
Fun facts: “I’m pretty boring”