Graeme appears in the Top 100
Innovators & Entrepreneurs magazine
Delray Square Shopping Center – Delray Beach, FL
Charleston Trade Center | 1.22 MM SF Industrial Spec Building (Completed 2021) – Charleston, SC
Morrison Yard Office Rendering
(Under Construction) – Charleston, SC
Iredell Medical Office – Mooresville, NC
In business and in life, Graeme Keith is driven by the mantra “To whom much is given, much is expected.” He’s the very definition of a servant leader whose humility belies the success of someone who has transacted over $500 million in deals during his decade with The Keith Corporation (TKC). Founded on Christian principles and grounded in the mission, “To glorify God and enjoy Him forever,” TKC is a multi-generational family business focused on single-tenant, net lease, build-to-suit developments across the industrial, retail, office, healthcare, and airplane hangar sectors. With over 400 completed projects in 36 states and five countries, the North Carolina-based firm also offers full-service facility maintenance, property management, and brokerage services.
Graeme joined TKC in 2011 after passing the bar exam and becoming a licensed attorney. He worked in every division of the company before taking the helm as a development partner, where he helps manage the firm’s many lines of businesses, corporate strategy and specializes in helping clients solve complex real estate challenges. While he gracefully handles myriad responsibilities, it’s his inherent belief in the marriage of mission and purpose that makes it clear he’s been called to do more than just run a successful organization, which is evident in the way Graeme serves his employees, clients, and community. As he helps to make the development process enjoyable and seamless for clients who span the globe, Graeme is guided by his unwavering faith and TKC’s promise to deliver the highest level of quality, service, commitment, and excellence.
We sat down with Graeme to learn more about TKC, his perspective on leadership, and how faith plays a pivotal role in the success of the company and their clients.
What makes your company different from others?
Our Christian principles, family culture and unique client-driven approach. Our mission statement is “To Glorify God and enjoy Him Forever.” Since we are striving to glorify God in all we do, good isn’t good enough, great isn’t good enough, we strive for excellence because we are unashamedly representing and striving to glorify Him. Our team members are part of our extended family and there is no way we would be successful if it wasn’t for the incredible team that we have in all aspects. We’re fortunate to have many employees who have been here for 20+ years. Our client-driven approach is simple – we want to make the development process as easy as possible for our clients. Our track record supports our ability to simplify the process with the vast majority of our projects being repeat business. Most developers construct buildings and get tenants to move into a very generic building they constructed that might be adequate for many tenants, but not super effective or efficient for any specific tenant. We do the exact opposite. We work directly with the tenant to understand precisely what they want and where they want it. From there, we handle site selection, approvals, permitting and build a highly qualified team of architects, engineers and contractors to deliver on time and under budget.
What are your greatest professional accomplishments?
From a company management standpoint, the greatest accomplishment is having relatability to, and trust from, our employees. I spent time working in every division of TKC so I’ve been there and understand a lot of their challenges and can talk from a first-hand perspective. I know we’re nothing without our people, so ensuring they’re taken care of is, and always has been, the utmost priority for me. Adding the development of airplane hangars as a service line was another great accomplishment. We completed our first hangar for a DoD contractor in 2016 and have completed several additional projects with the same client, as well as the Truist Bank corporate hangar in 2021. In addition, I brought the “blend and extend” model into our company first in 2014. We’ve completed many transactions since, providing a nice revenue source without the inherent risks associated with ground-up development.
What do you enjoy most about your work, or what drives you?
I enjoy the fact that no two days are ever the same. I’m driven by the idea of not wanting to get to the gates of heaven and have God tell me, “Why didn’t you get the most out of everything I gave you?” I want to get there knowing I did everything I could with what I was given.
In addition his role at TKC, Graeme serves as chief operating officer of MedChat and co-founder of Orbitr, Inc. He also severs on the board of trustees for The McCallie School, and the board of directors for both The Good Fellows Club and Youth Commission International. He holds a bachelor’s degree from Wake Forest and received his law degree from Charleston School of Law.
Development Partner — The Keith Corporation