Keith R. Sbiral

Untitled photo

Professional Background

Keith serves as a principal at Apochromatik both coaching and consulting.  He brings to Apochromatik a career of management and efficiency work which makes him uniquely qualified to coach and consult in a variety of organizations. In addition to countless hours of professional development in his focus areas, he is a graduate of the Institute of Professional Excellence in Coaching and serves as a coach for the ICMA.

Keith Sbiral, AICP, ICMA-CM, CPC served as the City Manager for the Village of Brookfield, Illinois. Prior to being appointed City Manager, Keith served as the Assistant City Manager,  Director of the Building and Planning Department and led the Finance, Recreation, and Information Technology Departments. Keith served as the Treasurer for the Village for eight years.  His work in Brookfield has included restructuring the Village’s former Code Services Department and permitting structure, creating the first Community and Economic Development Department,  and coordinating the adoption of Brookfield’s first Tax Increment Finance (TIF) Districts. He also led a complete restructuring of all Information Services within the Village, including implementing GIS, a new Village ERP system, web services, new website development, police records management servers, and VoIP phone and networking systems.

Prior to joining Brookfield in January of 2006, Keith served the Village of Downers Grove, Illinois, first as Planner and then as Director of Planning and Community Development. In Downers Grove, Keith’s duties included directing long-range planning activities and facilitating major downtown and commercial redevelopment. Before his service in Downers Grove, Keith served as Planner/Zoning Coordinator and then Senior Planner for the Village of Barrington, Illinois.  Keith’s community and professional activities include International City/County Management Association, the American Institute of Certified Planners, and the American Planning Association (APA).

Keith serves as the chair of the Phillip D. Peters Regional Planning Fellowship board, he was the first Fellow in 2000.  Keith has also served as President of the Clinton Street Lofts Condominium Association for the last nine years. Keith earned his M.S. in Urban and Regional Planning with emphases in economic development and land use planning from the University of Iowa in May of 2001.

Prior to enrolling at the University of Iowa, Keith worked on political campaigns in Iowa following his graduation from Luther College in Decorah, Iowa in 1997 with a major in political science and minor in economics. Among his undergraduate honors and awards was an internship in the Office of the Vice President of the United States.

Keith and his wife, Amy Gardner, reside in downtown Chicago when they aren't working remotely from one of their many travel destinations.

Photography Background

Keith's photography started at a very young age when he got his hands on a Kodak Instamatic 126, followed by a Kodak 35 mm and eventually his Mom's Canon AE-1 Program.  His high school art instructor, John Vance, was inspirational and pushed him to roll some B&W film and take out the Pentax K-1000 and learn about light and exposure.  Walking the abandoned railroad tracks of his rural Iowa community provided the subject matter for lessons in light and composition.

Keith's love for cameras and all things photographic were pushed even further the first time he walked into Christian Camera, the local camera shop ten miles from his home in Decorah, Iowa, and set his eyes on a Canon EOS 10s.  The encouragement at a young age of local camera shop owners and photographers like Shirley Dynes and Chip Peterson fueled Keith's love for photography.  Keith states, "There is something lost in the age when equipment is ordered through a sanitized website with little or no interaction.  The camera is part of your photographic voice and walking into that small store and being able to talk about photography with a community of photographers is incredibly valuable and inspirational to a young photographer."

Keith counts photographic greats such as Walker Evans and Henri Cartier-Bresson among his favorites.  A love for photography is perfectly matched with a passion for travel; over the last two decades Keith has had the opportunity to travel extensively both domestically and internationally.  Recently he has had the opportunity to travel over a dozen times in six years to Cuba, leading photography instruction for Complete Cuba.

Today Keith shoots primarily with a Leica rangefinder and has had the opportunity to participate in a Leica Akademie Master Class with world renowned photographer Craig Semetko, Arthur Meyerson, and Nicholas Pinto.  Keith continued his work with Nicholas Pinto. 

In 2018, Keith was elected to the Board of Directors of the  LHSA International Leica Society,  at the 2018 meeting at Leica Park in Wetzlar, Germany.  In 2019 Keith was asked to serve as Vice President of the organization and currently serves in that capacity.

Keith's current photography is a mix of documentary photography, street photography, low light photography, and travel photography.  Keith's latest project is RedDotBlueDot.  Keith is an owner of Cornelia Says, LLC, the parent company of both Complete Cuba and RedDotBlueDot travel related businesses.

“The creative act lasts but a brief moment, a lightning instant of give-and-take, just long enough for you to level the camera and to trap the fleeting prey in your little box.” – Henri Cartier-Bresson

Recent Photography Events, Exhibits, and Publications

Travel and Photography: Igniting the Human Connection was presented online Wednesday, July 8th, 1:30 Central Time (US & Canada)/ 8:30 PM Central European ST.  The presentation discussed the relationship between travel and photography, and the human connection that both ignite, along with practical tips to bring deeper meaning to your trip abroad or down your street.  The presentation was made to the worldwide audience of the LHSA International Leica Society.

St. John's Lutheran Art Gallery, Des Moines, Iowa. Photography Exhibit. From Winneshiek County to the World: Connecting with Place & People, Virtual (due to COVID19) June 2020.

Impact Coffee Gallery, Decorah, Iowa.  Photography Exhibit.  From Winneshiek County to the World: Connecting with Place & People, Opening Reception Saturday, January 4, 6 p.m. - 9 p.m.  January 2020.

The Rangefinder Gallery, Chicago, Illinois.  Photography Exhibit.  Connecting with Place & People: Traveling the World with a Leica, Opening Reception Friday, July 5 6 p.m. - 9 p.m.  July and August 2019.

Viewfinder, The Quarterly Journal of LHSA.  Volume 52, Issue 2, 2019. "Chernobyl: Traveling the Blue Dot with a Red Dot & Leica Travel Photography", Photos and text.

LHSA - The International Leica Society Spring Shoot Volume.  Asheville, NC, Images.

Night en Trinidad, Keith R. Sbiral, Photo of the Day, Havana Times.


Viewfinder, The Quarterly Journal of LHSA.  Volume 51, Issue 4. January 2019. "2018 In Wetzlar, Germany", Photos and text.

This is Why: The International Leica Society Annual Meeting in Wetzlar, LHSA International Leica Society website.  Published article on yearly meeting recap and membership on web publication. 

2018 Worldwide Photo Walk, Scott Kelby Worldwide Photo Walk, October 6, 2018.  This year the Worldwide Photo Walk is going...world wide.  I will be leading the October walk in Wetzlar, Germany where I'll be attending the LHSA yearly meeting.

Tamarkin Camera Artist Talk and Photo Walk, Saturday Summer Series.  Artist Talk on June 30, 2018.  Keith Sbiral - an expert in Cuba travel - speaks about the relationship between travel, photography, and the human connection. What is it about travel photography that expands our horizons? What is our responsibility as travel photographers to give back?

The Rangefinder Gallery, Chicago, IL.  April/May 2018. Complete Cuba: Travelers' Stories & Photographs from the Caribbean's Most Enigmatic Island. Keith Sbiral exhibited two images displayed in the gallery show of 22 images taken by Complete Cuba participants.

2017 Worldwide Photo Walk, Scott Kelby Worldwide Photo Walk, Fulton River District Walk, Chicago, Illinois.  We spent  an hour and a half taking a look at one of the fastest changing neighborhoods in Chicago. From meat packing to high end art galleries, warehouses to Google offices, this neighborhood is one of the most photogenic neighborhoods in Chicago. Capture images now before even more change comes to the Fulton Market.

Travel Tips on Purchasing Authentic Cuban Cigars, August 30, 2017, Cuban Cigars Hub.  Published multiple photographs of Cuban cigar industry on web publication. 

2016 Worldwide Photo Walk, Scott Kelby Worldwide Photo Walk, Fulton River District Walk, Chicago, Illinois.

Powered by SmugMug Owner Log In