The announcement came at the conclusion of a search process the board undertook last fall. McKeown will become the sixth chief executive officer of Keystone in its 75-plus years.
Until Nyberg’s retirement on April 1, McKeown is serving as President-Elect and Incoming CEO. In this period, she is working closely with him to assure a smooth and seamless transition of duties. A Merriam Park resident, Mary and her husband John Syverud are parents of three children.
“We are thrilled that Mary will become Keystone’s next chief executive officer,” said Tammy Pust, board co-chair. “She is ideally suited and prepared to lead Keystone in the years ahead,”
Robert Jenkins, board co-chair, said that McKeown brings extensive experience in nonprofit management to her new role. “Just as important is her deep appreciation for Keystone’s mission and first-hand knowledge of our community and the challenges and opportunities we face in the years ahead,” he added.
McKeown earned a BSW degree from the College of St. Benedict and a M.A. in Health and Human Services Administration from St. Mary’s University. She has held leadership positions in several St. Paul human service organizations, including six years as executive director of the Highland Friendship Club.
She previously served as director of family and youth services at Merriam Park Community Services, Keystone’s predecessor organization, and as associate director of Capital Community Services, which mergedwith Keystone in 2005. Earlier in her career, McKeown held management positions at DARTS, Hennepin/Anoka Meals on Wheels Program, and West 7th Community Center.
In 2013, McKeown joined Keystone as Director of Youth Services after consulting with Keystone on the expansion of its youth programming. She has since played a major role in facilitating the mergers of both Youth Express and West 7th Community Center with Keystone over the past three years.
Eric Nyberg joined Merriam Park Community Services, Keystone’s predecessor agency, in 1984. He served as the agency’s vice president and chief program and development officer until he became president in November 2007.
“I’ve known Mary for many years and have been consistently impressed with her talents, abilities and passion for the work we do,” Nyberg said. “I am confident that Keystone is in good hands as I retire and pursue new opportunities.”
Jenkins expressed gratitude for Nyberg’s many contributions to Keystone over the past 30 years, especially his thoughtful guidance and steady leadership as president since 2007.
“Thanks to his efforts, Keystone has become a highly-regarded member of St. Paul’s nonprofit community, bringing valuable human services to thousands of neighbors every week,” Jenkins said.