He has been appointed as the national carrier’s new Marketing Assistant to the General Manager of Commercial, Gus Kraus.
It was a move from finance to marketing, a change from sitting behind the books to becoming the face of the airline.
It was a major challenge and one that Keru was excited about and keen to pursue and develop.
“This is a new area for me. It’s exciting and I’m fortunate to have support of the General Manager of our Division, Gus Kraus and the guidance of my marketing mentor, Collin Sigimanu, to help me with this new job.”
Keru said his new role added a new dimension to his career with the airline.
“Instead of dealing with numbers and figures I now deal with the public, companies and people. It’s a major shift in thinking and one I’m enjoying.”
In 2006 he joined Solomon Airline as the finance debtors and creditors controller after working at Honiara Hardware, National Bank of Solomon Islands and Home Finance.
For Keru, it was a privilege to be working for the airline and it was something that he didn’t take for granted.
“I count myself lucky to be a staff of Solomon Airlines, it’s a great place to work and I’m fortunate to have taken part in the airline’s growth in recent years.”
As a member of the accounts department, he was there during the airline’s hardship years from 2007 to 2009, where burdened by debt the airline struggled to operate and even pay staff.
“It was a hard time for all of us. As someone working in finance, I remember my supervisor daily questioning the staff on where money would come in to pay the bills. I’m proud to say it’s a situation that the airline no longer experiences.”
Keru said the turnaround in fortunes for the airline has been dramatic and one that he was particularly proud of.
“It was really special last November when we marked the airline’s 50th anniversary, the arrival of the new Dash 8 aircraft and the opening of the new office complex. It’s fantastic being part of the development of our national carrier at the airline.”
Keru said the new office, which for the first time brings the entire airline’s staff under one roof, has transformed the atmosphere at the national carrier.
“It’s great seeing all our staff working together and contributing daily. Its one of the reasons that makes Solomon Airlines a great place to work in.”
The friendships and working relationships develop make working for the airline a rewarding experience, Keru added.
As the deputy chairman of Solomon Airline’s in house union, Keru was not afraid to stand up for the best interest of his staff.
He was part of union leadership that decided in 2010 to disassociate itself from the Solomon Islands National Union of Workers.
The staff union pulled out of SINUW and met face to face with the airline management.
“SINUW didn’t represent our best interest. We believed that dealing with the airline directly would serve our members better.”
Three years on and Keru said time and the improved standard of employment at the airline has proven that union leaders were right.
Raised in Gela, Central Province, Keru spent his early years at Taroniara before enrolling at Siota Secondary School for forms one to three.
From there it was to Makira for forms four to five at Waimapuru National Secondary School before coming to study in Honiara at the Solomon Islands College of Higher Education.
Happily married with four children – three boys and a girl, Keru’s wife works for the Attorney General’s Chambers.
Away from work and family, Keru’s passion is sport, particularly soccer.
Starting last year Keru was selected as the manager of the Honiara Junior Futsal League.
It’s the same competition that developed the Kurukuru’s to become the regional futsal champions.
The competition for children aged between 10-16 years old is the breeding ground for Solomon Islands future soccer stars.
“It’s been hard work organising the competition but its something special and we’ve had the support from some big corporations that have really helped us to succeed.”
Keru said this year, the competition will be expanded to include a girls league and he’s excited to be part of the growth of the futsal league.
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