Keene Chamber of Commerce  
Christian comedian Frank Cheek is chamber luncheon guest Feb. 27
February 12, 2020

The Keene Chamber of Commerce is taking a break from its regular speaker lineup of business, educational and civic leaders with Lunch & Laughs, featuring Christian comedian Frank Cheek at noon Thursday, Feb. 27, at the Keene Community Center. Doors open at 11:30 a.m. 

The meal will be catered by Keene City Station. The cost is $15 for those who RSVP by noon Tuesday, Feb. 25. Admission at the door is $18.

The membership spotlight this month falls on Mertz Family Dentistry, 104. S. Old Betsy Road in Keene.

Frank Cheek, a resident of Grandview, is a graduate of Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary with a master's degree in marriage and family counseling. He is a licensed professional counselor when not traveling throughout North Texas providing "never preachy" comedy and inspiration to churches and corporations.

Frank has taken his version of a "Good Clean Laugh" to venues in Texas, Oklahoma and Louisiana, including churches and presentations at Texas Motor Speedway, the Dallas Improv and corporate events for clients that include 7/11, Textron Industries and the Federal Bureau of Prisons in Fort Worth. Frank guarantees a clean comedy experience and, when possible, a touch of inspiration.

Please note this is the last luncheon for which the Keene chamber can issue invoices. Effective with the March 26 luncheon, please pay at the door with cash, check or credit card, or via the PayPal button on the luncheon invitation emailed to you from the Keene chamber. 

James Winegardner and Keene Church staff team named Citizen of the Year
October 27, 2019

A local pastor, a longtime postal worker, a fire chief and a police chief were among those honored at the 26th annual Keene Chamber of Commerce Awards Banquet Oct. 24 at the Keene Community Center.

The event that recognizes local businesses and educators was attended by 296 people who enjoyed a meal prepared by Southwestern Adventist University food service director Chef Sualua Tupolo and a non-stop routine of laughter presented by Christian comedian Dr. Dennis Swanberg.

Keene Adventist Church Senior Pastor James Winegardner and the administrative staff team at the Keene Church were honored at Citizen of the Year.

Other honorees included: 

• Community Improvement Award: Keene Adventist Elementary School

• Community Service Award: Keene Police Chief Emmitt Jackson and Keene Fire Chief Dan Warner

• Educator of the Year Awards:

• Pioneer Award: June Hollis

• Young Entrepreneur Award: Matt Gillin

• Phillip Sparks Helping Hands Award: Judy Miles

The Citizen of the Year Award recognizes an individual who has been a model citizen and given dedicated and extensive service to individuals, organizations and the community on a continued basis.

The 3,000-member Keene Adventist Church operates the Keene Community Food Bank, Kids Eat Free backpack program with Keene ISD, a clothing outlet for needy families, a senior exercise class, a program that provides transportation anywhere within 10 miles of Keene for those who need to be transported to a doctors visit or grocery store, family campouts, countless Bible studies, water giveaways in needy areas, all organized by volunteers and attended by hundreds who have a new positive, can-do, outlook.

The Community Improvement Award honors businesses for contributing to the beautification of the city through new buildings and/or well-manicured grounds and landscaping, thus presenting a positive image and improving the quality of life in Keene.

KAES was honored for transforming itself from a 1980s rundown to a beautiful and up-to-date campus with actual grass on the front lawn, new exterior paint job, and a complete overhaul of the interiors of two buildings, with a new much-needed gymnasium on the way.

KAES Principal Todd Coulter accepted the award.

The Community Service Award is given to an individual and/or organization who has given extensive and continued service to the community.

Jackson and Warner were recognized for being actively involved in myriad community activities while leading organizations of first responders that keep residents safe. 

The Educator of the Year Award honors one who demonstrates excellence in the classroom and goes the extra mile by being involved in the lives of students outside the classroom. This award is selected by campus educators and administrators. One educator from the each of the four public schools and one from the each of the four private schools are honored each year. 

The award is accompanied by a cash honorarium of $100 and tonight these honorariums. The awards, presented for the public schools by Keene ISD Supt. Ricky Stephens, for KAES by Principal Todd Coulter, for Chisholm Trail Academy by Principal Tommy Simons and for SWAU by Vice President for Spiritual Development Russ Laughlin were:

Keene ISD Alternative School — Wallace Sullivan

Keene High School — Tommy Kennedy

Keene Junior High School — Caitlyn Fellers

Keene Elementary School — Mari Maldonado 

Keene Adventist Elementary School — Josh Samaniego

Keene Adventist Junior High School — Cheryl Blackburn

Chisholm Trail Academy is Debera Hall

Southwestern Adventist University is Jared Wood

The Pioneer Award recognizes an individual or organization whose long-ago contributions and influence helped make Keene what it is today.

The award was presented to June Hollis, who moved to Keene in 1956 and served 37 years with the Keene Post Office, serving five postmasters and training all of them, to the extent that Keene residents considered her the postmaster. During this time she was also appointed to the City Council to fulfill an unexpected opening.

The Young Entrepreneur Award is presented to a young business person who has made a commitment to Keene.

This year’s honoree,Matt Gillin, grew up in Keene and graduated from Chisholm Trail Academy and then from Hill College Fire Training Academy, joining the fire department in Keene, where he became chief in 2008. 

Medical challenges caused him to resign in 2017 but he accepted a business challenge when he purchased Zimmerman’s Paint & Supply, a company that had been in business in Cleburne since 1913, and relocated it to Keene in what was unproductive space next to Hoops Automotive, thus putting a new business on the tax rolls and providing a new service.

Phillip Sparks Helping Hands Award, honors an individual who provides continued assistance without seeking compensation or recognition.

This year’s honoree, Judy Miles, joined the Southwestern Adventist University family in July of 1979 and formally retired in 2014 after 35 years of teaching in the Business and Computer Science Departments; however, her love for the University and its students keeps her teaching in the classroom to this day.    

Understanding the financial struggles of students living off campus, she launched a student food bank two years ago, volunteering her time and energy to keeping University students well-fed.

In the photos below, courtesy of Jessica Pounds and the Cleburne Times Review, from top to bottom, are:

• Fire Chief Dan Warner and Police Chief Emmitt Jackson with the Community Service Award

• Pioneer Award recipient June Hollis receives the award from Bugger Putnam

• Kevin Sellers, left, presents the Young Entrepreneur Award to Matt Gillin

• James Winegardner received the Citizen of the Year Award from past honoree Gwen Beeson

Rosser Funeral Home foursome wins golf tournament
September 09, 2019

The foursome representing Rosser Funeral Home carded an 18-under-par 54 to win the 3rd annual Texas Health Huguley Hospital and Keene Chamber of Commerce Golf Invitational tournament held Sept. 6 at Southern Oaks Golf & Tennis Club in Burleson. 

The event was also financially supported by Ulrich Barn Builders, Callahan & Freeman Architects, Pinnacle Bank, Speed FabCrete, General Insurance Service, Town Hall Estates and Cleburne Ford.

The Rosser quartet was Perry Rosser, Chad Johnson, Shane Kimberling and Jason Williams. Johnson also won one of the four closest-to-the-pin contests.

The team of Jason Nash, Ricky Neiman, Kenneth Rose and Zeeshawn Siddiqui, one of two teams representing Texas Health Huguley Hospital, won second place with a 15-under-par 57. Nash also won the longest drive contest.

The foursome representing United Cooperative Services — Ryan Jamison, Kade Kincannon, Jeff Pannell and Chris White, finished in third place with a 59, 13 shots under par. Pannell also won a closest-to-the-pin contest, as did Zane Hackler and Jonathan Kerby.

Seventeen teams participated. They were: Ag Texas Farm Credit Services, Callahan & Freeman Architects/Speed FabCrete, City of Keene, Classic of Cleburne, Cleburne Ford, Cleburne Railroaders Baseball Club, General Insurance Service, Johnson County Sheriff's Office, KTH Transportation, Keene Economic Development, Pinnacle Bank, Rosser Funeral Home, Southwestern Union Conference, Texas Conference, Texas Health Huguley Hospital and United Cooperative Services.

Om the photos below are the Rosser Funeral Home team of, from left, Shane Kimberling, Jason Williams, Chad Johnson and Perry Rosser.

The other photo is Jeff Pannell of United Cooperative Services, one of four closest-to-the-pin winners.


Contact Us
Keene Chamber of Commerce
110 S. Old Betsy Road
Keene, Texas 76059
(817) 556-2995
Upcoming Events
Christian comedian Frank Cheek at monthly luncheon
February 27, 2020 at 11:30 a.m.
Welcome to Keene, Texas

Keene offers visitors and residents the charm and warm hospitality of small-town life at its best combined with easily available modern conveniences and amenities. Located 30 minutes south of Fort Worth, Keene has it all: a mild four-season climate, recreational opportunities, a large University, award-winning schools, myriad of cultural and social activities, affordable cost-of-living, and a thriving and prosperous business community.

The Keene Chamber of Commerce has been serving Keene since 1993. We strive to partner with local businesses, government and education to support a favorable economic environment. The Chamber represents business, organization, and individual members who depend on the Chamber for member services including networking events, community and business development, ribbon cuttings, growth opportunity reports, economic data gathering, business referrals, business seminars, relocation packets, and being an advocate with governmental and regulatory bodies. These are among the many services we provide to our members.

The Keene Chamber's objective is to provide a platform from which our members can enhance their business or organization through networking and programs designed to improve their bottom-line and to make available the tools necessary to excel as the economy improves. Our mandate is to pursue opportunities in the areas of retail development and education. We will work diligently to ensure that our local economy is strong and vibrant.

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