Alan Keck was elected mayor of his hometown of Somerset in November 2018, after running a dynamic campaign to unify this southeastern Kentucky city and light it up through tourism, economic development, and community spirit. In his short time in office, he and his team have led a period of unprecedented change in Somerset — leading boldly and unapologetically to build a Somerset for all generations, charging forward with a vision to reignite the community’s economy.
Mayor Keck believes wholeheartedly in investing in people — not only city employees but also the people who choose to live, work and visit here. He has been dedicated to finding financial resources to support the community’s people while showing up to listen and consider ideas different from his own. He makes decisions daily that propel the community forward, while also being willing to step aside when necessary to make room for progress.
Somerset is a transformed city under Mayor Keck’s leadership, and the energy here is palpable. The following are just a few of the ways he is lighting up this community and making it a better place to live:
While all of this illustrates Mayor Keck’s outstanding guidance during the best of days in our community, likely his most valuable trait lies in his ability to pivot and lead during a crisis. And that is what he was faced with during the global pandemic in 2020. As a business owner himself, Mayor Keck is a tireless advocate for Main Street and a champion for local government. Firm in his belief that lives and livelihoods are not mutually exclusive, he immediately turned to his team to explore how the city could support local businesses and artists during this challenging time. The city debuted a live Facebook series, #seemyset LIVE!, which highlighted a different business and artist or musician during each broadcast and gave Mayor Keck the opportunity to share updates about the pandemic with the community.
One of Mayor Keck’s top priorities has always been for Somerset to be the healthiest community in Kentucky, and the pandemic illustrated the need to encourage residents to care for their physical and mental well-being. The city launched its Healthy Somerset initiative during this time, offering ideas and creating challenges to encourage exercise and healthy habits, while also embracing efforts already underway to make the community more walkable, enhance city parks and provide healthy, locally sourced food options to residents.
Throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, Mayor Keck has used his diplomatic yet bold voice to rally for community leaders to have a seat at the table in discussions about safely and strategically reopening the economy. His advocacy has been covered by the media statewide, and because of his efforts, Mayor Keck was invited to offer his perspective on reopening Heartland economies in the New York Times, as well as Neil Cavuto’s Coast to Coast on FOX Business. He is also a regular op-ed contributor in several statewide publications.
As a lifelong resident of Somerset, Mayor Keck has been greatly involved in local business and civic activities. Prior to being elected mayor, he served as president of Somerset Recycling. He is the founder and principal agent of Keck Sports Management, a professional baseball agency that represents professional athletes, and is one of the youngest ever independently certified agents through the Major League Baseball Players Association.
Following a vision to bring balance to higher education and tackling a long-discussed desire to build a four-year university in Somerset, Mayor Keck is the founder and board chairman of the University of Somerset, a private research university rooted in the classic liberal arts tradition while embracing technological innovation and scientific development.
Mayor Keck is a 2003 graduate of Somerset High School, a 2007 graduate of Western Kentucky University and a 2014 MBA graduate of the University of the Cumberlands. He serves as a deacon at First Baptist Church, where he also teaches Sunday School, and is a member of the Kentucky Baptist Convention Public Affairs Committee. He was a member of the 2017 class of Leadership Kentucky and now serves on the organization’s board of directors. He is also a member of the Kentucky League of Cities board of directors. He has been deeply involved with the America Israel Public Affairs Committe (AIPAC), serving on its National Council between 2017 and 2019.
Mayor Keck has been married to his lovely wife Tiffany for 11 years, and they have three beautiful daughters, Olyvia (9), Oaklee (6) and Olsen (3).