National Service Award

The National Distinguished Service Key Award is the Fraternity’s highest level of distinction, and it recognizes brothers for outstanding service to the Fraternity. This year’s chair of the National Distinguished Service Key Committee, Maggie Katz, announced the recipients during the opening ceremony of the National Convention.


Theta ’83 University of Virginia

Eagle Scout Class of

KEITH ROOTS Theta ’83 University of Virginia Brother Roots was initiated by Theta Chapter at the University of Virginia in 1983. He also was an active member of the Alpha Rho Chapter at the University of Texas at Austin. He earned a bachelor’s in government at the University of Virginia and a master’s in educational psychology at the University of Texas at Austin.

Brother Roots served APO as the Sectional Resource Weekend Director (1999-2000), Alumni Relations/Internal Volunteer Development Director (2000-2002), Finance & Operations Director (2002- 2004, 2008-2010), and the Leaders in Service Campaign Vice-Chair (2013-present). He is a member of the Society of Life Members, a Torchbearer, a donor to the Leaders in Service Campaign, and a member of the Blue & Gold Society. He has received Chapter Distinguished Service Keys from Theta Chapter and Beta Zeta Chapter, and a Sectional Distinguished Service Key from Section 72.

He is an Eagle Scout and Vigil Honor member of the Order of the Arrow. In addition to APO, he is involved with the United Way and Rotary International. Professionally, Brother Roots is Director of Foundation and Corporate Giving & Faculty Liaison in the Office of University Advancement at Christopher Newport University

Ed Richter

Alpha Iota ‘84 The Ohio State

Eagle Scout Class of

Ed Richter pledged Alpha Phi Omega in 1983 at Ohio State University. In 1988, Ed was elected as chair of Section 57. At that time, the section was the entire state of Ohio. As chair, he expanded his section through significant extension. The section split primarily due to his
efforts. In addition, he nurtured his staff, many of whom went on to significant leadership roles within the Fraternity. He continued to serve in region and national staff positions until he was elected to the National Board in 1998.

Ed is a Marine and lifelong scouter. Through those endeavors, he has made being of service a key part of his life. Professionally, Ed is a reporter for Cox Media Group Ohio. His beat includes the political and community happenings in his area. In that role, he shows great leadership and service with an unwavering commitment to fairness and truth. His motto is trust but verify. He is one of the most honest and direct individuals you will ever meet.

In 1987, Ed received Alpha Iota Chapter’s Dennis Wallis Award. He was awarded Distinguished Service Keys in 1994 by Section 57 and Zeta Kappa Chapter, and by Region V in 2003. Ed is a Life Member and has been a Silver Torchbearer since 2007, and a Leaders in Service Campaign donor. He is an Eagle Scout and received the Order of the Arrow Vigil Honor, the Silver Beaver Award for outstanding service to youth and the Wood Badge.

Ed spent many years as chapter advisor for Zeta Delta at Miami University in Oxford, Ohio. He relished his role with the chapter, providing great stability and perspective. He has maintained his relationship with Alpha Iota, making the almost 2-hour trip multiple times each year.

Ed spent 14 years as a member of the Alpha Phi Omega Board of Directors, serving as director for three national programs. As Membership and Extension Program Director, he streamlined the extension process and started the Membership begins with ME effort. As Service Program Director, he promoted National Service Week and creativity in developing chapter service programs. As Leadership Development Director, he made it easier for volunteers to get certified to teach courses, increasing the number of instructors. In his time on the Board, Ed proved himself to be a real agent of change. He left each program he directed in better shape than he found it.

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