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CLHS alumni recognized for accomplishments, service

May 6, 2019

FORT WAYNE, Ind. — Concordia Lutheran High School is honoring its alumni for their accomplishments since graduation.  

Kent Keller, 1961
Distinguished Alumnus Award

Kent Keller, the president of Keller Technologies, Inc., in Mantorville, Minn., is being recognized with the Distinguished Alumnus Award for his achievements since graduation. The Distinguished Alumnus Award is the highest honor given to a Concordia graduate. It recognizes graduates who have demonstrated an ongoing dedication to Christian principles and the church, with both lifetime and personal achievements.

Keller, a 1961 graduate of Concordia, has had a lifelong passion for food science with expertise in whey products for more than 40 years. He has been particularly effective in assisting his clients in the manufacturing of lactose. As a result, he has designed and/or upgraded the majority of lactose and permeate drying plants around the world, including the United States, Finland, New Zealand, Australia, Germany, Chile and India.  

After graduating from the University of Arizona in 1965 with a Bachelor of Science degree in chemical engineering, he entered the chemical engineering, biochemical engineering and research fields. He also served in the Peace Corps from 1969 to 1972 before returning to the engineering and research field. By 1980, he founded and owned Whey Systems, Inc., and then in 2000, he founded and owned Keller Technologies, Inc.  

He credits Concordia with giving him the opportunity to go to college and take the needed chemical engineering courses, which was unusual during that time period for those who lived in his small town.

He was recognized by the American Dairy Products Institute with the “Award of Merit” in 2000. He also holds numerous patents in the field.

He is recognized around the world as “Mr. Lactose,” and is known for seeing others prosper, and “without him our industry would not be the same.”

As the Distinguished Alumnus Award recipient, Keller will be speaking at Concordia’s commencement on June 2.

Terry Breininger, 1967
Distinguished Service Award

Terry Breininger, a 1967 graduate and retired executive director of Concordia Lutheran High School and the Concordia Educational Foundation, is being honored with the Distinguished Service Award because of his dedicated support, activity and service to the ministry of CLHS.

Breininger was called to Concordia in 1974 as a religion teacher and as an assistant principal before leaving to work for his family’s retail business in 1983.

In 1995, he was named the gift planning counselor for the LCMS Foundation in Indiana. And then in 2000, he returned to Concordia as the head of the Concordia Educational Foundation and was named the full time executive director of the high school in 2008.

During his time as the head of the Foundation and the high school, Concordia saw the creation of numerous academic programs, including the Career Internship Program, the institution of the One-to-One Technology Program and the Honors Academy. He restructured staffing at the high school to increase efficiency with business and communication operations, promote administrative leadership and improve professional development among all staff. He more closely aligned the endowment with the development work at the high school, oversaw the creation of the Cadet Fund — the school’s annual fund, and helped to locate The Lutheran Schools Partnership within the high school building.

Under his leadership, the school saw multiple state championships for fine arts and athletics; was named an Exemplary School for the past four consecutive years; and saw growth in enrollment and expansion of the endowment.

Holding a bachelor’s degree from Concordia University, River Forest and a master’s degree from Christ Seminary, Breininger is a member of the Association of Lutheran Development Executives, the Planned Giving Council of Northeast Indiana, the Partnership for Philanthropic Planning and the Lutheran Education Association. Breininger has received several awards for his work in gift planning, including being named the top gift planner in the country by the LCMS Foundation during his time there.

Breininger retired in 2016 from his role at the high school.

Casey Cavell, 2003
Neale M. Shank Award

Casey Cavell, a 2003 graduate and business leader, is being awarded the Neale M. Shank Award. The Neale M. Shank Award, named in honor of an alumnus who died while serving in Iraq, honors those younger than 40 who have made significant contributions to their given career, community, church or the high school.

Cavell has owned more than a dozen businesses in a variety of fields: retail centers, apartment complexes, self-storage facilities, a furniture company, a restaurant, and five baseball and softball academies among others. His specialty is to purchase and transform underperforming businesses as well as helping local entrepreneurs achieve their potential. Because of this passion, he founded Legacy 4:12 Consulting Group.

After leaving Concordia, he began his college career at Goshen College but continued at Purdue University with a communication major while earning a real estate license. He chose to start a real estate business rather than finishing his degree.

Along with serving in his career, he also serves in his community with Fellowship of Christian Athletes and his local church. He and his wife Konstance currently live in Atlanta.

John Schoedel, 1969
JROTC Hall of Honor

John Schoedel has been the Chief Development Officer at Concordia Lutheran High School since 2011. In this role, he leads the fundraising efforts through the high school as well as with the Concordia Educational Foundation.  

He is a 1969 graduate of the high school and the JROTC program. He holds degrees from Concordia College-New York and Webster University in theology and business administration and finance, respectively. He is currently studying to be a pastor at Concordia Theological Seminary in Fort Wayne.

His career has been in both the for-profit and non-profit world at a senior level with a strong focus on fundraising for ministries of The Lutheran Church-Missouri Synod.

He and his wife Mary Ann have a combined family of five children as well as grandchildren.

Concordia Lutheran High School, located at 1601 St. Joe River Drive in Fort Wayne, Ind., was founded in 1935 as a private, co-educational Lutheran high school open to students of all faiths and backgrounds. With Christ at the center, Concordia continues to pursue educational excellence that equips individuals for lifelong learning and service as disciples of Jesus Christ. Learn more at www.clhscadets.com.