Every month, the Planning Commission highlights one of its staff or board members. Kevin Kerr was elected chairman of the Planning Commission board in January. Kevin, an Upper Uwchlan resident who has served on other boards in the county over the years, discussed how he arrived at the Planning Commission and also shared information about his life philosophy, interests, and more.
Where are you from? I was raised in a small town in central New Jersey called Pennington where I enjoyed spending time on my grandmother’s farm in Hopewell Township.
What did you want to be when you were growing up? I thoroughly enjoyed making things, so I thought building homes would be my calling. However, as college approached, I found a keener interest in business.
What was your first job? While in high school, during summer recess, I worked operating a 14-ton clay press in a porcelain factory. It was piecework, so I was paid based upon my production and at my speed that meant I did not make much money. That job taught me a lot about people, factory work in a very hot environment, and some very colorful ways to express myself.
What is your profession now? I do mostly community charity work but still invest in equities and equity derivatives.
What did you study in college? finance and a master’s degree in business administration
How did you get involved with the Chester County Planning Commission? While serving as a township supervisor in Upper Uwchlan Township, I was asked to serve as a board member for the Chester County Association of Township Officials (CCATO). As a member of the CCATO board, I was asked to represent CCATO on the Planning Commission.
How long have you served on the Planning Commission’s board? I was very fortunate that the Chester County Commissioners appointed me to the board about six years ago.
What do you hope to accomplish as the new board chairman? I believe it is important that the Planning Commission maintain its current focus of serving the many stakeholders within Chester County, including regional organizations, economic development entities, municipal officials, conservancies and, most importantly, the Chester County residents. It is vital that we learn from the past and use those lessons to tailor planning to address future challenges in ways to best serve all of these groups.
What do you like best about being involved with the Planning Commission? I am constantly learning something new. The breadth of talent within the Planning Commission team is amazing. Their ideas and implementation are second to none. The Planning Commission is a wonderful resource for all residents and organizations.
Have you served on any other boards or commissions in the past? Yes, various. My past service includes many subcommittees within Upper Uwchlan Township, first vice president of Chester County Association of Township Officials, and chairperson of the Finance Committee for Pennsylvania Association of Township Officials – all of which I very much enjoyed.
Are you currently involved with any other boards, commissions or organizations? Yes, I am currently a trustee and treasurer for The Mill at Anselma in Chester Springs, a beautiful 22-acre park-like site with a 1747 operating grist mill. This is a great place to visit for a fun and educational experience.
What is your life philosophy? Leave what you encounter better than when you found it – whether that is relationships, places or things.
What is your favorite place in Chester County? Wow, that is a difficult question to answer. I am still discovering so many unique and amazing places in Chester County that I will have to get back to you on that one.
Where would we find you in your spare time? Hiking in Marsh Creek State Park or French Creek State Park
What’s the last book you read? The last book I read was “The Spy and the Traitor: The Greatest Espionage Story of the Cold War” by Ben Macintyre. It’s a great book about espionage and counter espionage during the Cold War and the ramifications of the information that was obtained.
Is there anything else you’d like to share about yourself? Maybe only that it is so important to give back to the community that has given so much to you.