Keith Perry was born on December 3, 1958 in Tallahassee, Florida to Nathan W. Perry, Ph. D., a Korean War Veteran, and Doris Perry, a local community activist and stay-at-home mom. After serving his country, his father served as the department chair of clinical and health psychology at the University of Florida for more than 20 years.
Keith grew up in Florida with his three siblings. He has lived in Gainesville for 46 years and attended Buchholz High School. The summer of 1976, just after his high school graduation, he and a friend decided to try roofing for some extra money before starting college. The part-time job quickly became a passion, and eventually a career. He never did make it to college, instead choosing to start Perry Roofing Contractors with just a ladder and a dream.
Over a decade later, Perry Roofing quickly became a Top 100 roofing company with numerous awards, 150 employees and three offices opened across the state. However, it was his personal life that took center stage when he married his wife Amy. They have been married for 16 years and have two beautiful daughters.
“I would not be who I am without my family. My kids drive me to help make a better world for them, and my wife is my support and inspiration in those efforts. When I look at them, I know I can’t stand idly by and just watch as government makes decisions that affect their lives and future forever.”
Keith Perry’s involvement extends from his family and business into his community. He has served as the President of House of Hope, a Christian-based rehabilitation program for newly-released prisoners, since its inception in 1996.
“This program is so powerful. I have a specific plan, inspired by my involvement with the House of Hope, to bring positive, real change to our prison system. The cost for incarcerating inmates is a huge burden for tax payers.”
He is also an active supporter of the Habitat for Humanity where he donates the labor for their new homes. Occasionally, he can be found atop one of these roofs himself helping a first-time homeowner literally put a roof over their head. Other interests include the Boy’s and Girl’s Club, the Dignity Project and the Reichert House. He serves on the board of the Salvation Army and has been active with the Women’s Center for over 20 years.
He is passionate and realistic about conservation and the environment. His company, Perry Roofing, was recently awarded the 2009 Business of the Year Award for Commitment to the Environment by the Alachua County Chamber of Commerce.
He and his family enjoy Gator football, spending time at the lake and eating out. Some of Keith’s favorite local restaurants are Café Gardens, Napolatano’s, Felix’s and Ipanema Brazilian Steakhouse in Ocala. They have been active members of First Assembly of God in Gainesville for five years. He is also a member of the Christian Motorcyclists Association.
Keith has been involved in politics, mostly behind the scenes, for over 20 years. He was a campaign manager for Senator Steve Oelrich and has been an active Chamber of Commerce board member. He was a primary leader in the campaign against the recent Gainesville city Transgender Ordinance and volunteered in the Don Marsh campaign for Gainesville mayor.
“We cannot keep striving to convince politicians to change the way they vote. Instead, we must elect leaders who are philosophically aligned with us from the beginning. In order to have confidence in the decisions being made, we have to send representatives from our own team to Tallahassee. People who are less concerned with being re-elected and more concerned with the people they are supposed to be representing.”