William H. “Bill” Kerdyk Jr., vice mayor emeritus of the City of Coral Gables, and president and CEO of Kerdyk Real Estate, has received the 2015 George E. Merrick Award of Excellence from the Coral Gables Chamber of Commerce, which is annually bestowed upon a leader and visionary in Coral Gables in memory of George E. Merrick, the father and founder of Coral Gables.
“It was an honor and privilege to recognize Bill Kerdyk Jr. with the George Merrick Award. His achievements as a dedicated public servant over the last 20 years in Coral Gables more than exemplify George Merrick’s vision,” said Mark A. Trowbridge, president of the Coral Gables Chamber of Commerce.
“Bill Kerdyk Jr. leaves behind an enduring legacy that includes the support of strong zoning codes, being fiscally conservative, advocacy for ‘best in class’ city services and promoting the highest quality of life for residents and businesses in the City Beautiful.”
Kerdyk is president and CEO of Kerdyk Real Estate, a full-service real estate brokerage company headquartered in Coral Gables focusing on residential and commercial real estate. He also founded and served as chair of the board of directors of the Bank of Coral Gables, a community bank that he and a group of investors established in 2006.
In December 2014, First American Bank, a full-service bank headquartered in Elk Grove Village, IL, with assets of $3.5 billion, merged with the Bank of Coral Gables, located at 2295 Galiano St. in Coral Gables. Kerdyk led the merger negotiations and is a member of the board of directors of First American Bank.
An avid golfer, Kerdyk founded the Toyota Junior World Cup with Japanese business partners Yasmasa Tagashira and Eiji Tagashira in 1992. This junior golf tournament was formed to allow the finest junior golfers in the world the opportunity to compete in an international team event. More than 70 countries participate in qualifying tournaments conducted throughout the year in North and South America, Asia, Europe, Oceania and Africa. The winners and second-place finishers in the qualifying tournaments are invited to participate in the finals held in Japan.
In April, Kerdyk stepped down from public office and was bestowed as vice mayor emeritus by the City of Coral Gables in recognition of his many years of service. He served as a Coral Gables commissioner on a citywide, nonpartisan basis starting in 1995 and was subsequently re-elected in 1999, 2003, 2007 and 2011. He served as vice mayor in 1999, 2001 and from 2007 to 2015.
Key initiatives that he has founded include the Parknership downtown landscape plan, Ponce de Leon Blvd. median project and establishing traffic calming measures in the residential communities. In April 2015, in recognition of his longstanding career as a public servant, the 3.5 acre Riviera Park, located at 6611 Yumuri Street in Coral Gables, was renamed William H. Kerdyk Jr. Family Park.
Kerdyk founded the Kerdyk Family Trust Scholarship Fund in October 2002 in memory of his father, William H. Kerdyk Sr., who shared his love of music with his own children and grandchildren. A financial scholarship is given annually to a graduating senior who lives in Coral Gables and who has shown an interest in music during high school. To date, more than $40,000 has been awarded to deserving music students.
Additional awards Kerdyk has received include the Rotary Club of Coral Gables Citizen of the Year in May, the Coral Gables Chamber of Commerce, Green Legacy Award in recognition of the City of Coral Gables’ successful Parknership program he founded received in April and a Legacy honoree at the First Annual Junior Orange Bowl Gala in Coral Gables recognized for his tireless, selfless work and impact on youth through philanthropic endeavors given in February.