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Kenneth M Gills III – Co founder of The BWI MeetUp.
April 23, 1973 – August 9, 2015
Kenneth was born in April of 1973, on the West side of Baltimore City in a neighborhood and at a time where there were few choices – – become part of the drug trade, become a victim of drug abuse, or stay out of trouble by completely avoiding the prevailing gangster culture. Kenneth could easily have fallen into a life that would have landed him in prison, left him an addict, or even worse become a statistic of the many drug-related deaths of the time. But, not Kenneth Gills! He always focused on the positive – even in the worst of times. He made books and movies his escape (often sleeping in movie theaters during high school years in his periodic times of homelessness). He identified with movie characters and made superheroes his role models.
His unwavering determination kept him going and drove him not only to finish high school, but to go on to join the Navy. He often reflected (as he shared his life story with others) that he joined the Navy to ensure that he would have a bed to sleep in and three meals a day. Kenneth always gave his all to everything he did so that he could be “outstanding” and that’s how he applied himself in the Navy. Ultimately, the Navy became the place where he learned to develop relationships, understand systems, and perform at the highest level. His success in the Navy opened the doors for him to the White House and Andrews Air Force Base where he performed various intelligence missions.
Many of his family and friends considered him to be “at the top” within his intelligence career. But that didn’t stop Kenneth from pursuing a greater vision for himself. He left the security of government work to become a real estate investor. His survival skills, positive attitude, grit, and tenacity brought him phenomenal success as an investor. And, because of his love for people, his success fueled his desire to give back to others…to teach others how to build a viable business in real estate investing. He became involved in various REIAs across Baltimore, always sharing of himself and his knowledge with others. But Kenneth didn’t stop at that. Being involved in others’ communities wasn’t enough, so he started a Meetup with another investor, and then started a second Meetup (with co-founder Bill Ames) which has become the 6th largest and fastest growing Real Estate Investment Meetup in the nation – The BWI Meetup!
Kenneth left us on August 9, 2015, but his legacy continues – and, with the grace of God, will be carried on for years after we too are gone.