Keith W. Eckel has served on Nationwide's board of directors since 1996. Eckel has served as board chairman of Nationwide Mutual Insurance Company, the parent company of the Nationwide organization, since April 2008. Eckel is former board chairman of Gartmore Global Asset Management Trust and Allied Group, Inc., and former director of Nationwide Financial Services, Inc.
Eckel is owner of Fred W. Eckel Sons and president of Eckel Farms, Inc., in northeast Pennsylvania. He received the Master Farmer award from Pennsylvania State University in 1982 and the American Farm Bureau Federation Distinguished Service Award in 2009.
He serves on the Board for International Food and Agricultural Development, a board that advises the U.S. Agency for International Development on agricultural priorities and issues. Eckel is a trustee of Pennsylvania State University, board member of the Pennsylvania Vegetable Growers Association and former member of the Pennsylvania Agricultural Land Preservation Board. He is a former president of the Pennsylvania Farm Bureau, a position he held for 15 years, and the Lackawanna County Cooperative Extension Association. He has served as a board member and executive committee member of the American Farm Bureau Federation and is a former vice president of the Pennsylvania Council of Cooperative Extension Associations.
Born in Scranton, Pa., Eckel is a graduate of Newton-Ransom High School in Clarks Summit, Pa. He attended Keystone Junior College, Dickinson College and Pennsylvania State University. Eckel is a member and past lay leader of Bethel United Methodist Church.