"When it has to be right the first time."
Keith is the leader of our organization and an asphalt and construction expert.
Having spent nearly 50-years in the asphalt industry, there isn't much that he hasn't seen or done. His father, Wallace Braatz and founder of American Asphalt Paving, Inc., began teaching Keith the ropes at an early age of five.
Keith's formal education began at the University of Wisconsin - Milwaukee where he studied in the School of Business before transferring to Gateway Technical College in Kenosha, Wisconsin.
Always up for a challenge, Keith studied Airframe and Power Plant mechanics for roughly one year before deciding to leave in search of something "more challenging". A family member persuaded him to give engineering school a try. In 1974, Keith enrolled at the Milwaukee School of Engineering where he graduated at the top of his class with a Bachelor of Science degree in Mechanical Engineering.
Upon graduation, Keith was hired as a designer and project engineer for Aladdin Engineering & Manufacturing, Inc. in Milwaukee. While at Aladdin, Keith managed many projects for clients such as: A.O. Smith, A.C. Spark Plug, Delco Electronics, Caterpillar, Harley Davidson Motorcycles, and Briggs & Stratton.
Keith has owned and operated several businesses including Asphalt Sealing & Striping Co., a pavement maintenace corporation, in which he founded in 1976. Throughout the late 1970's and early 1980's, Keith was the exclusive distributor of a premium-grade pavement sealer, Jennite J-16, for Maintenance Inc. of Wooster, Ohio.
In 1984, Keith joined American Asphalt Paving, Inc., and was appointed Vice President. Keith's was responsible for: operations management, cost control implementation, and managerial accounting. In 1988, Wallace Braatz retired, appointing Keith the President of his company.
Keith's skills and experience both as a designer and as an engineer are most relevant today in the way that he approaches asphalt production and pavement construction. Keith's insistence on and commitment to proper design and the highest quality standards are the reason why so many of the projects that he has helped design (and build) throughout the years, have lasted as so long - he doesn't believe in cutting corners. Keith's portfolio of work includes many projects completed for: Target Stores, Kohls Corporation, The Home Depot, Costco, YMCA, Sam's Club, and many others.
When asked what he likes best about his activities at American Asphalt Materials, Keith's response is:
"I enjoy serving our customers and assisting them in any way that I can. Their feedback is really important to me as well. I want them to know that we care about their business and that we are dedicated to providing them with the best overall service and product quality."
During his free time, Keith enjoys architectural design, investment analysis, traveling, and spending time with his wife Barbara, their four children and seven grandchildren at the family's lake home in northern Wisconsin.