08/03/12 Former Marshall County and Plymouth Plan Director, Troy Kiefer, is still enjoying the same type of work-only on a larger scale. In April of 2010, Kiefer moved to Ft. Wayne to take a position as an associate attorney for the city. He works in the Neighborhood Code Enforcement Housing/Zoning Division. Troy said, “I work in the same field, just on a larger scale and with more players.” His duties include those in zoning matters where legal action is needed and often serving as a hearing officer for neighborhood code enforcement.
Kiefer was with Marshall County from the fall of 1996 until 2005. He also joined the City of Plymouth part-time when former Mayor Jim Yeazel was elected. During the last few years that Kiefer served in Marshall County, he worked with others in writing a new Comprehensive Plan and updating zoning ordinances.
Kiefer said, “In 2004, I began thinking about going back to school to become an attorney.” Although he continued with the city part-time, Troy resigned from the county position to attend Valparaiso University, graduating in 2008. He joined a law firm in Valparaiso, but found the hour drive one way each day and the time change difficult on his family.
When the position become open in Ft. Wayne, it seemed like a perfect fit since both Troy and his wife Danielle are originally from the Huntington area.
Kiefer said there are many people that were influential in making a decision to pursue a second career. He said, “My mother, Cindy Keifer, went back to school in her 30’s to become a teacher.” Cindy is now the principal of Flint Springs School in Huntington.” He also pointed out the encouragement of Plymouth attorney Ken Lukenbill. But joining the Masonic Lodge in Plymouth proved to be the greatest motivator. Kiefer said, “The Masons stress working to improve yourself and those around you.” He said, “I began to focus on myself and what I wanted for the rest of my life.”
Kiefer is quick to point out that the ability to pursue a law degree was a family effort. He said traveling and studying took time a way from Danielle and their two daughters, Abbi and Dana; but they were all very supportive. He said, “The happiest day of my life-besides the births of my daughters-was getting the notice that I passed the bar on the first time trying.”
The move to Ft. Wayne came with some sacrifices for the family including school changes for his daughters and Danielle giving up her job at Culver Academies in the Alumni Department. He said, “I do believe everything works for the best.” Shortly after moving to the Ft. Wayne area, his father unexpectedly passed away. He said, “I would never have been able to be this close to my mother during that time had I not moved here.”
In the future, Kiefer would like to become more involved in the United Way efforts and other volunteer organizations.
He said he still keeps in touch with happenings in Marshall County by using the WTCA website.
Carol Anders Correspondent