WASHINGTON - The Business Roundtable has named Richard L. Keyser, chairman and chief executive officer of W.W. Grainger Inc., as chairman of its Partnership for Disaster Response Task Force. Keyser will lead this consortium of CEOs from prominent U.S. companies who are focusing on how the business community can most effectively contribute to national disaster preparedness and response efforts.

Grainger is a leading broad line distributor of facilities maintenance products with nearly 600 branches and 18 distribution centers.

The Partnership for Disaster Response Task Force will identify opportunities for the private sector to strengthen preparedness for disasters, expand partnerships with nonprofit relief organizations, and foster communication among businesses and the federal government.

“The business community offers a strong network and diverse resources to help our country prepare for and respond to large-scale disasters,” said Keyser. “Our involvement in disaster response is more than philanthropy. We have a responsibility to our employees, our customers, and our communities to build the most effective disaster response.”

“Grainger has been a long-time leader in supporting local communities’ efforts to prepare for disasters,” said Terry McGraw, chairman of the Business Roundtable and CEO of McGraw-Hill. “Dick has seen first-hand how valuable it is to educate employees and to work closely with the American Red Cross and other first responders. His leadership commitment will push the agenda of this Task Force forward, helping U.S. business become a key partner in the nation’s response to disasters.”

The Partnership for Disaster Response Task Force has developed a protocol for response to large-scale disasters, and created a clearinghouse of information and resources, www.respondtodisaster.org, for company planning and communication during disasters.

Publication date:05/14/2007