William Kerdyk Jr. is the first Gables Great of 2014 and one individual long overdue for the recognition. In an effort to stay away from politics, Bill Kerdyk has not received this long-deserved honor; so, as we begin a new year, it is time to correct that.
While Kerdyk’s public service as commissioner and vice mayor for almost two decades is laudable, his community service is even more stellar and enviable. Of course, the apple does not fall far from the tree in his case. His family set an example like few others.
Longtime Gables residents will remember that Bill’s father was the longest serving politician in Coral Gables history, 28 years, and deeply involved in community activity as was the family.
After graduating from Gables High and earning a BA in Business Administration and Real Estate from FIU, Kerdyk joined the family business, Kerdyk Real Estate, which he later purchased from his Uncle Frank in 1993.
Kerdyk’s impact on Coral Gables may be witnessed at every turn. Working with the Coral Gables Community Foundation many years ago, Bill created the Parknership Fund, a public/private partnership to purchase, renovate and create open spaces for Coral Gables. More than $2 million has been raised to date through that effort resulting in new parks and upgrades to existing ones.
In addition, he orchestrated an ordinance plan that has helped increase the tree canopy, and improved the natural beauty of the area making the city more pedestrian friendly. He also initiated and helped secure funds for the beautiful landscape medians on Ponce De Leon Boulevard while also tackling traffic calming initiatives.
Again, working with the Coral Gables Community Foundation, Kerdyk created a Music Scholarship Fund in memory of his father that has already awarded $30,000 in scholarships to deserving music students.
Bill Kerdyk Jr. also has a long history with the Junior Orange Bowl Committee, serving as its golf chair for years and then as Junior Orange Bowl Committee president. His work with the Junior Orange Bowl’s Golf Invitational, that attracts the best junior players from around the world, was such that he was invited to co-found the Toyota Junior World Cup in Japan where international teams compete. He has served as chair for that World Junior Golf Team Championship since 1992.
In 2006, Kerdyk founded the Bank of Coral Gables and has served as its board chair since that time. It opened with 82 shareholders and $22 million and, as of June 2013, had assets of $110 million. In addition to that commitment, Bill serves on the boards of directors for Big Brothers Big Sisters, Gulliver Schools, and Bach Society and is a member of the Miami-Dade Super Bowl Host Committee, Orange Bowl Committee and the Rotary Club of Coral Gables. In the past he has served on the boards of Coral Gables Chamber of Commerce, Beacon Council, Dade League, One Nation Past and City of Coral Gables Property Advisory Committee.
Kerdyk is married to wife, Lynne, and has three children — a son, William Kerdyk III, and two daughters, Lindsay and Leigh. When he is not serving the community, he loves to play golf and spend time with his family.