Meet Mike Keener, our District Sales Manager for our Midwest territory. Mike has been in the manufacturing world for most of his life and has been in sales for 20 years!

Mike’s journey began right after high school, starting as a machinist for a company supplying parts to a large construction vehicle manufacturer. After receiving extensive hands-on experience with cutting tools, Mike transitioned into sales, working for a distributor. This role ignited his passion for sales and deepened his expertise in drills. Collaborating closely with the cutting tool manufacturer CJT Koolcarb, Mike deepened his holemaking cutting tool and application knowledge. In 2004, he made the leap from distribution to CJT, focusing primarily on the automotive industry while serving customers across North America.

When GWS acquired CJT Koolcarb in 2021, Mike seamlessly transitioned over to GWS, taking on the role of Application Specialist for the state of Ohio. Today, as one of our District Sales Managers. Mike oversees the Midwest region, including our Application Specialists and Channel Manager. His role is dynamic, being a resource for Application Specialists, Customer Service, and Engineering teams, while spending most of his time collaborating with the Sales team, Channel Manager, and customers.

Mike thrives on problem-solving and the variety his role offers. One moment he’s creating progress-tracking reports and the next, he’s working directly with a customer or helping to answer an internal question. His diverse background in manufacturing and distribution gives him a well-rounded perspective. Mike’s firsthand experience with the tools in manufacturing and his exposure to a range of customer applications in distribution provides him with a deep understanding of the needs of our customers.

Building strong relationships is a point of pride for Mike. Many of his customer interactions have blossomed into lasting friendships, and he values the bonds formed with coworkers, colleagues, and peers alike. Mike is a proud ambassador of GWS, firmly believing in our mission to be a true custom tool manufacturer. He emphasizes that GWS is dedicated to tackling the toughest applications with our custom and standard tooling solutions. 


Outside of GWS, Mike is a true family man. He and his wife, Kim, just celebrated their 30th wedding anniversary with a trip to Riviera Maya, Mexico! They have two sons, one of whom is getting married next year. The family cherishes their time together, often enjoying family dinners or Sunday football nights.

Mike and Kim love to hike and frequently explore the trails near their home in Northern Ohio. Living just 15 minutes from Cuyahoga Valley National Park, which has 500 trailheads and 125 miles of trails, they often go hiking, sled riding, picnicking, or simply to enjoy nature.

If you ever have the chance to dine with Mike, be prepared! Known as “Mr. Porkchop,” he has a passion for pork chops and won’t touch a vegetable—except for corn. In fact, on his wedding day, the venue made a special exception and served him his own bowl of corn instead of green beans!

Interested In A Career At GWS Tool Group?

If you enjoy working with dedicated people like Mike, consider applying to GWS Tool Group. We are always looking for talented and driven individuals to work at our facilities in Florida, California, Illinois, Arizona, Michigan, North Carolina, Wisconsin, and Canada. Browse open jobs here.