He attended Waterloo Lutheran University, McMaster University, and the University of Toronto. He taught at Waterloo Collegiate Institute from 1971 to1974 when he became the Director of the Wellington County Museum and Archives. He took a small, summer museum and created a year round museum in the former Wellington County House of Industry between Fergus and Elora. He also founded the well known Wellington County Archives. He held this position until 1986.
While working at the museum, Ken continued to live in Elmira where he coached hockey and was involved in recreation. This led him to run for Woolwich Council. He was elected as a Councillor in 1976 and as Mayor in 1978. After this election, Ken was acclaimed as Mayor in 1980, 1982, and 1985.
During his time as Mayor, Ken sat as a Councillor on Regional Council. He served on the Planning and Administration and Finance Committees, sat on the Police Services Board (including two years as Chair), was a member of the Grand River Conservation Authority, was chairman of the Waterloo Regional Library Committee for 7 years, and served on the Waterloo Regional Heritage Foundation.
At the inaugural Regional Council meeting in December of 1985, Ken was elected as Regional Chair by the Members of Regional Council. He was re-elected by them in 1988, 1991, and 1994. In 1997, the Province made the Regional Chair a publicly elected position. Ken was elected at large in 1997, 2000, 2003, 2006, and 2010.
As Regional Chair, Ken sits on all Regional committees. He also sits as a member of the Police Services Board, the Waterloo Regional Arts Foundation, the Waterloo Regional Heritage Foundation, and the University of Waterloo Board of Governors. He was the Honourary Chair of Leadership Waterloo Region, and also supports the Waterloo Region Community Safety and Crime Prevention Council which operates out of his office. Almost every day of the week, Ken attends events and functions of many groups and organizations across the entire Region numbering in the hundreds.
Ken is also recognized outside of the Region. Over his terms as Chair, he has been called upon by all Provincial governments to sit on advisory panels such as the provincial-municipal disentanglement study group, the Municipal Act Review Panel, and the Social Housing Advisory Review Committee. Ken served on the Ontario Drinking Water Stewardship Program Advisory Panel for the implementation of the new Ground Water Protection Act. A few years ago, Ken was part of the United Nations delegation to Nanjing in China to speak about waste management.
Ken is a member of the Board of the Association of Municipalities of Ontario and a member of the Mayors and Regional Chairs of Ontario, which he has served as its Chair for the past eight years.
Ken has been a strong supporter of the cultural community. His love of music kept him busy as an organist and choirmaster in St. Jacobs and Elmira, something he was able to maintain for 40 years. He no longer plays every Sunday but can often be found filling in for other organists around the Region. His most recent stint at the organ was as the interim Director of Music for Trinity United Church in Kitchener.
Ken and his wife Kathryn have been married since 1972. Kathryn just retired as a guidance counselor at KCI in Kitchener. They have five children. The eldest is Heather, an occupational therapist and avid rugby player and coach is also a teacher. She and Ben live on a farm near Ayr where they are raising their two boys Wellington and Ripley and awaiting the arrival of a third child in October. Scott played Junior A hockey and is now running his own roofing company called Seiling’s Red Truck roofing while also managing his property holdings. He is married to Michelle and they have three children, Spencer(10), Morgan(7), and Grayson (5). Amy is an occupational therapist. She and her husband Darran have three children, Emily(6) and Mason (4) and Sadie (2). Mark, a graduate of the Stratford Chef School and Everdale is working in British Columbia in urban organic farming. Megan has completed her law degree at the University of Victoria and is currently articalling in Whitehorse.
The Seiling name is well known in hockey and farming circles. Ken’s three brothers all played professional hockey. Rod spent many years with the original New York Rangers and later the Toronto Maple Leafs. Ric played for the Buffalo Sabres and the Detroit Red Wings. Don played for Hershey and Springfield in the AHL. Ken’s grandfather Albert Seiling was well known in the agricultural community and was famous for his Holstein, Angus, and poultry breeding successes in addition to the racehorses and beagles he also bred. It would be no surprise to know that Ken spent much time as he was growing up helping on the farms and in the hatchery.