Mahatma Gandhi once said, “Whatever you do in life will be insignificant, but it is important that you do it.”
While it is difficult for me to argue with Gandhi’s quote on a global scale, I disagree with it on a personal level. I believe that everything that I have done in life to this point has shaped me into a person you will be proud to support for Forsyth County District Court Judge, and that is significant.
I was born in Virginia, growing up in Lynchburg, Richmond, and Virginia Beach. My parents, Richard and Evelyn Keever, are both ministers. Dad served Bayside Presbyterian Church in Virginia Beach for 26 years. He now is the Chaplain at Westminster Canterbury, a retirement community. Mom is the Chaplain for Children’s Hospital of the King’s Daughters in Norfolk. I was blessed to grow up in a home where both of my parents exhibited love and respect for one another, worked hard to provide for our family, and dedicated themselves to serve others. They are amazing parents and role models.
My older brother, Daniel, is a Principal in the Virginia Beach Public School System. He is married to a GEICO Claims Representative named Amber, and they have two beautiful children. While growing up, Daniel and I learned the importance of leadership skills and determining all facts when making decisions.
I graduated from Bayside High School in 1992. I served as Student Council President, Soccer Team Captain, and public address announcer. My academics and active high school schedule helped me gain acceptance to my dream school for college, The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.
My experiences at UNC were life changing. I met my wife, Meg, while working as a bartender at Spanky’s on Franklin Street. She was the missing piece of my life up to that point. I completed UNC in 1996 with a degree in Psychology and Sports Science.
After graduation, I moved back to Virginia Beach without a definitive idea of what career path I should take. I lifeguarded on the beach and waited tables at an Italian restaurant. In the Fall of 1996, I met with Norfolk Circuit Court Judge Charles Poston. He provided some excellent advice and even joked that one day I could be a Judge. At that time, I knew more school was not for me. I did begin a job working with juvenile offenders in an alternative rehabilitation program. The program was challenging and rewarding. I enjoyed serving as a positive role model and guiding the young men in making change to their lives.
Meg finished her final year at UNC in 1997 and made the decision to move back to her hometown, Winston-Salem. Meg is one of nine children in a remarkably special Winston-Salem family. Many of her family remain in Winston-Salem today, and she keeps close contact with those that have moved to other communities. Meg’s decision to move back home necessitated a change in location for me if I wanted to help our developing relationship flourish. I moved to Winston-Salem in the Spring of 1997.
My first job in Winston-Salem was pool operator and lifeguard for Greenbrier Farm. I met a number of great people and families during that summer. I had the pleasure of meeting Winston-Salem Police Chief George Sweat. He put me in touch with Department of Corrections Division of Adult Probation and Parole Chief Betty Beam, and I was hired as a Probation and Parole Officer in the Fall of 1997.
The job of a Probation and Parole Officer is very demanding. The position requires great listening skills, patience, and the ability to make difficult decisions. One of the best aspects of the job was spending time observing and learning in the Forsyth County Courts. I was specifically drawn to the District Courts, where most of our citizens find themselves when they come to the Halls of Justice. During my job as a Probation and Parole Officer, I worked as pizza delivery person for a Lewisville pizza shop and as a waiter/bartender for Diamondback Grill in order to earn extra money for our honeymoon and early months of marriage.
In 2000, I started working for Blanco, Tackabery, Combs, and Matamoros as a real estate paralegal. I traveled throughout North Carolina searching grantor/grantee indexes, civil filings, estates, and tax listings. The experience led me to the decision that I wanted to be an attorney. After observing many attorneys as a Probation and Parole Officer and performing skills under the supervision of practicing attorneys, I felt a calling to study law.
I attended Campbell University Norman Adrian Wiggins School of Law from 2001-2004. I chose to focus on Litigation and Trial Advocacy. I also developed interest in Criminal Law, Family Law, and Negotiations. The education at Campbell was excellent and prepared me to practice law upon graduation. While attending Campbell, Meg was hired by a Raleigh based software company, SoftPro, as Director of Marketing. I accepted a job offer from Davis & Hamrick, L.L.P., a Winston-Salem civil litigation and insurance defense firm which would allow us to move back home.
Working at Davis & Hamrick provided invaluable litigation experience. The partners in the firm were approachable, which created a collegial environment. I handled numerous cases from start to finish. Also, the firm allowed me to handle cases on the court appointed list, which enabled me to return to the District Courts I was drawn to as a Probation and Parole Officer.
I left Davis & Hamrick in 2008 and began work with my current employer, the Forsyth County Public Defender’s Office. As an Assistant Public Defender, I am in court everyday handling all types of criminal cases. I work with an amazing group of people who are dedicated to helping others. My work with the Public Defender’s Office helped me conclude I should run for a Judicial Seat in Forsyth County District Court.
When I am not working, I value spending time with my amazing family. Meg and I have three incredible children, Andrew Thomas (age 10), Jackson (age 8), and Embrey (age 5). Andrew Thomas and Jackson attend Sherwood Forest Elementary, and Embrey attends Knollwood Baptist Preschool. We are members of First Presbyterian Church. I enjoy coaching and playing many sports, but have a passion for soccer. I remain as active as I can in a number of community agencies and charities.
Forsyth County is a wonderful place to work and raise a family. I am excited about this election process and the chance to serve the citizens of this great county as Judge. My experiences up until this point in my life have been important and significant. They shaped me into a person you will be proud to support for Forsyth County District Court Judge. I ask for your support and most important, your vote in the upcoming Primary election in May and the November election. Thank you for taking the time to learn about me.