Keith McNichols is a multifaceted follower of Jesus Christ with a deep love for business and for people in developing regions of the world, especially people struggling in difficult economic situations. Planting Mangos in the Church represents the outpouring of his heart and the unique combination of his creative, business, missional and storytelling abilities. He believes that God gave us many gifts and it’s our job to figure out how they fit together and can best be used for God’s glory and as service to others.
Dr. McNichols studied Design at the University of California, Los Angeles and became a creative/art director focused on computer graphics and animation. His love of technology and creativity launched a 24-year career with The Walt Disney Company. His desire to deepen his business knowledge and find the “root of the idea” led him to augment his education with an MBA at the Peter Drucker School of Management. With these new skills he pivoted his career at Disney toward marketing, brand building, and relationship management where he worked with Disney brands such as Pixar, Winnie the Pooh and, of course, Mickey Mouse. On the business side, Dr. McNichols managed relationships between Disney and leading companies such as Nestle, General Motors, HP and Siemens. Following Disney, he worked in marketing, sales, and management consulting.
During his active career, Dr. McNichols grew restless in his faith and struggled to find “something more” for himself and his family. He and his wife, Jennifer, sought to use themselves and their family in service to God and during the height of the AIDS/HIV crisis (2001), they expanded their family of five by adopting an additional five older children from Ethiopia. This growth in faith blossomed into a fifteen-year, ongoing ministry in Ethiopia and elsewhere via missions-related roles at his local church. The McNichols family returned to Ethiopia and other nations plagued by economic uncertainty and developed deep and lasting relationships and ongoing projects aiding children, the elderly, church growth and business development. Seeking an educational framework for his ongoing missional and business efforts, Dr. McNichols completed his doctorate at the Bakke Graduate School focused on seeking the means to communicate theology of work to people in developing regions and pursuing the concept of the “incubator church.”
Today, Dr. McNichols continues to work in business leadership, serves as the Director of Missions at Chino Valley Community Church and as an adjunct professor of entrepreneurship at Azusa Pacific University.