Keith Shoemaker ’98 of Atlanta is the recipient of the 2021 Nathalie Molton Gibons Alumni Achievement Award.
Shoemaker is the commodity manager for inflight branded snacks and beverages with Delta Airlines, where he is responsible for the sourcing and procurement of all of the airline’s onboard branded snack and beverage products. He has worked in the airline industry for the past 18 years with companies such as Southwest Airlines, Delta and Airtran, primarily in food, beverage and catering management roles.
Since earning a bachelor’s degree in social science from UM, Shoemaker has been actively involved in supporting the University and its students, and has given back to the community in myriad ways. Among these, he served UM as president of the UMNAA Junior Board and as vice president of alumni services on the UMNAA Board.
“Keith is an exceptional candidate for this award, as he has excelled in his career and is constantly finding new ways to give back to the community,” Dr. Jefferson Walker ’08 wrote in a letter supporting Shoemaker’s nomination for the award. “Keith has supported numerous community and campus organizations. He always gives generously to my nonprofit theatre company, Brick by Brick Arts. I know that he has also donated and devoted time to the Gold Side’s annual alumni brunch, the UM Junior Board’s spring soirée and numerous other events. Keith’s record of service also includes a long stint as a member of the UMNAA Board of Directors.”
He was a member of the Alpha Kappa Lambda fraternity at UM, and served on the fraternity’s National Executive Council after graduation.
In 2019, Shoemaker and his husband, Chris Cooper, established the LGBTQ+ inclusiveness and Social Activism Endowed Scholarship at UM, which aims to help further the University’s culture of acceptance and inclusivity.
“Keith’s résumé and record of service are impressive, but they do not adequately capture the energy and enthusiasm that he brings to the table,” Walker wrote. “Anyone who spends a few minutes with Keith knows that he is passionate, warm and welcoming. He is a wonderful recruiter and advocate who gets others involved in the causes that he cares about.”