Sunday, November 2, 2014

Munday Named All-Star Community

The City of Munday received the prestigious designation of “All-Star Community” at the 21st Annual Texas Midwest Conference, Oct. 29th, at the Abilene Civic Center. A large delegation of local citizens was in attendance to celebrate the honor.

Judge Travis Floyd, Jennifer Foster, Brenda Floyd, Lina Trevino, Grace Tidwell,
 Rick Ake, Bob Bowen, Jimi Coplen, Lorrie Coop, Rosie Ake, Annette Offut

Mayor John Bob Bowen and City Administrator Rick Ake officially received the award from TMCN President Tammy Thorn of Bronte. According to Thorn “the award was developed to recognize a community in our region that went beyond the level of basic achievement into areas of specific accomplishments that serve as models for other TMCN communities to emulate.”  

Communities eligible to apply for the competitive All-Star Community Award must have been designated a “Community of Achievement” within the past three years.  Munday received this designation in 2013 establishing eligibility to apply for the All-Star award this year. Other requirements included written essays explaining how the community goals had been accomplished, how clean-up and beautification had been addressed and describing a unique program or activity being conducted in the community. 

Through the local efforts of Knox County Visioning Group’s Community Development Director Jimi Coplen, an application for the award was submitted in July and the selection was made by a panel of judges who reside in other areas of the State.  A $2,500 cash award was presented to the community to be used for a local project.  At the annual conference in 2015 a report will be given by Munday representatives explaining how the cash award is being used to the betterment of the community.

TMCN member cities include Abilene, Albany, Anson, Aspermont, Baird, Ballinger, Brady, Breckenridge, Bronte, Brownwood, Buffalo Gap, Cisco, Clyde, Coleman, Colorado City, Comanche, Cross Plains, De Leon, Dublin, Early, Eastland, Eden, Goldthwaite, Gorman, Graham, Hamilton, Hamlin, Haskell, Hico, Jacksboro, Knox City, Menard, Merkel, Miles, Munday, Ranger, Rising Star, Robert Lee, Roscoe, Rotan, San Angelo, San Saba, Santa Anna, Seymour, Snyder, Stamford, Strawn, Sweetwater, Throckmorton, Tye, and Winters.

The mission of Texas Midwest Community Network is to promote a regional approach to provide the resources and awareness for its members to achieve economic and community growth.  The organization provides a means by which communities can work together to accomplish what one community cannot do alone.

For more information about Texas Midwest Community Network visit

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Looking for Businesses, Crafters, Artists and more.

To register for this event, please download a form here, and fax it back to us! The community center is large and we should have plenty of space to accommodate everyone who wishes to participate.  Please plan on booth spaces being around 10 x 10; however, the center is large and we will probably have larger spaces for everyone.  For more information, please call 940-459-4121.

Monday, September 1, 2014

Knox-Haskell Rural Leadership Program Accepting Applications

The Knox-Haskell Rural Leadership Program is coming to your community! This 8-month leadership series will be the opportunity of a lifetime. The leadership program will be packed with outstanding speakers, tours, workshops, networking and much more. The Knox County Visioning Group and the Development Corporation of Haskell are sponsoring the Knox-Haskell Rural Leadership Program. Partnering organizations are the Knox and Haskell County Extension Offices and the Texas Rural Leadership Organization.

Topics for this year’s program include communication, conflict management, dealing with difficult people/situations, diversity, leadership styles, customer service and team building to name just a few. In addition local tours of business and industry will help participants to learn more about their community.
The leadership series will be open to 20 people. 

Those participating will attend an Orientation on October 17, 2014.  Monthly sessions will then be held November through May 2015 in Knox and Haskell County. The group will take a trip to Austin in February 2015.  And, each group will launch a community project upon completion of the training in May.  A commitment for attendance will be required. Monthly sessions will be held on the first Friday each month from 9 a.m. – 4 p.m., and each session will cover a leadership topic, followed by an educational tour to local business and industry. Some of the tours include oil production, county-city government, medical education, agriculture and quality of life elements.

The program costs $250 and may be paid by the employer or by individuals.  Each participant will receive 4.8 CEUs from Vernon College. This includes all travel, food, a t-shirt, the overnight trip to Austin and all supplies. Applications are available to Knox County residents at the Knox County Visioning Group office in Benjamin, TX, or downloaded here. For Haskell County residents applications can be picked up at City Hall or downloaded at The fee will be billed in October and a payment plan can be accepted. Application deadline has been extended to September 30.

Who should attend?

A new person to the community will learn about the community and meet new people in the region. A person who has lived in Knox and Haskell Counties will learn new things about their community and neighboring towns they did not know and meet new people. Every individual learns about him or herself through self-analysis and gains self-confidence.  Participants gain skills to improve communication and relationships in their family, at work, and in their community. Each person gains new lifelong friendships as well as networking contacts in all areas of Knox and Haskell County.  The employer gains a motivated employee who has increased confidence, customer service skills and new tools for leadership. The community gains residents who are aware of local and state facilities, services and needs.

For more information, download the brochure here or the flyer here

Friday, May 23, 2014

Knox County Adventure Days

(This article has been edited and the date has been changed.) 

Knox County Adventure Days is Here

The Knox County Visioning Group wants you to let Knox County amaze you on November 8, 2014, during their Fourth Annual Adventure Days event. 

The day will kick off with a Bike Rodeo for the kids Following, will be a bus tour of Kinder Morgan, a delicious hamburger meal, an amazing grace race and a domino tournament and painting (without the twist). There will also be an art exhibit and demonstrations taking place at the Knox City Community Center.

The Amazing Grace Race kicks off at 1:00 p.m. Teams of two can preregister or register the day of the event. A fee of $20 includes two t-shirts. The first team to find all their clues and make it to the finish line first wins $100. Only 20 teams are being accepted. 

This year’s tour will be of Kinder Morgan. The bus leaves at 10:00 a.m. from the Knox City Community Center. This business has had a tremendous economic impact on Knox County and participants will get to see it up close and personal. Cost is $5 for adults and kids 10 and under are free. 

A delicious hamburger lunch will be going on from 11:30 - 1:30 p.m., on Saturday at the Community Center. Tickets are $7 each and all proceeds will benefit the Munday Park Project. Lunch will be come and go until all food is gone. 

The domino tournament will kick off at 2:00 p.m. at the Community Center. Teams of two are encouraged to sign up and play. The fee is $20 per team. Trophies will be awarded for first, second and third place.

There will also be a painting without a twist event going on at the Community Center. this event is first come first served and it will start at 2:00 p.m. There will be a small fee to cover supplies. Spaces are limited. 

There will be demonstrations taking place at 9:00 a.m. and 11:00 a.m. See how artists create interesting pieces. Demonstrations are free to attend.

Feel free to register early as t-shirts will be first come, first served.  Like us on Facebook to stay up-to-date:, or give us a call at 940-459-4121. Adventure awaits you! 

Tuesday, May 6, 2014

Basketball Tournament a Success

The Knox County Visioning Group had a great turn out for their first 3 on 3 Basketball Tournament on May 3. There were 12 teams that participated. 

We would like to thank everyone who came out and played and supported the event. 

All funds raised go the KCVG, a non-profit organization working in community development, economic development and youth engagement. 

Pictured: First place team – Thunder

Second place team – Beans and Crackers

Third place team – The KC Coaches

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Three Knox County Juniors Participating in Leadership Program

The Knox County Visioning Group (KCVG) has put together three amazing teams to compete in a new leadership program piloted by the Texas Midwest Community Network (TMCN).  High school juniors, Joanna Trevino and Adrian Silva of Knox City have teamed up with mentors Gary & Amy Snabble.  Elida Hernandez of Munday has teamed up with mentor Lina Trevino. These three students will complete a community project that makes them eligible to receive scholarships from TMCN in the fall.

Pictured L-R: Lina Trevino, Elida Hernandez, Joanna Trevino, Amy & Gary Snabble, Adrian Silva. 

April 22 the teams completed their first leadership event in Abilene, Texas, at Primetime Entertainment Center. Tutt & Daggs, a leadership facilitator company out of Abilene, lead the teams in interactive learning experiments that drove home the message of leadership and engagement.  They also discussed change and the challenges one can face when trying to make change in a community.  They also learned how to find the “bright spots” in their communities. The teams will gather again on September 23rd to complete another day of leadership training.

Michael Daggs presents to the Leadership teams. 

Each student will be working on a community project throughout the summer and early fall.  They will get guidance from their mentor and from the KCVG Director Jimi Coplen. These projects include a student lead coffee shop, a new billboard and a beautification/revitalization project. Upon completion of these projects, the students will have learned organization, follow through, budgeting and most importantly leadership skills. These leadership skills will equip them to be future leaders in college, in the workplace and in their communities.

There are scholarships up for grabs upon completion of these projects. Each team is competing independently and there are 12 teams total around the region involved in the program.
The KCVG is working in partnership with the Knox County Extension Service who received a grant to help pay for a portion of this program. They are also working in partnership with the Knox City ISD and the Munday CISD. “It takes several people to make this program successful.  We want these students to have a great experience, learn some things, and make an impact on the future of Knox County,” said Jimi Coplen, KCVG Director.

For more information, check out the KCVG facebook page at, or call 940-459-4121. 

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Basketball Tourney, May 3

The Knox County Visioning Group will be hosting a 3 on 3 Basketball Tournament on May 3rd in Knox City.  All funds will benefit the non-profit organization. The tournament will be a three game elimination tournament. There will be men's and women's teams. Early registration is requested. 

You can download registration forms here and you can pay online here. For more information, call 940-459-4121. 

*This post was edited due to a date change. 

Wednesday, February 5, 2014

Are You Bankable?

Business start-ups can be risky business. After all, those who are driven with the entrepreneurial spirit are by nature, risk takers!  Those risk takers are many times the ones who finally strike gold with a grand business idea that works and fuels tomorrows economy.

Unfortunately, those risk takers are not always bankable at conception for a variety of reasons. Maybe they had a failed business in the past. Maybe they have had a bankruptcy in the past. Or, maybe they are simply young and have no line of credit. This makes it tough for traditional banks to lend them money.

That is where micro lenders come into play.

The Small Business Administration (SBA) developed the Community Development Financial Institution (CDFI) to be able to make smaller loans to high risk businesses. Companies have become established lenders by using funds through this CDFI program. They are better known as micro lenders.  These lenders can help a business establish credit and become more bankable in the future with traditional banks.

Local banks provide many community develop services that go way beyond banking. The Knox County Visioning Group always recommends starting with your local banks. After all, we want to keep as much business local as we can. But, there are times when they are not able to help you because you and your new idea are too risky.  That is when you should consider these lenders who specialize in the CDFI program.

This is not an exhaustive list, but are two great places to start. Each are similar but have their own requirements and eligible and ineligible type companies. For more information, check our their websites.

ACCION Texas  is a statewide non-profit organization. They make fixed rate loans from $500 to $250,000. They give people a chance to establish and rebuild credit history. They also work with start ups and expansion projects. They make equipment loans, working capital loans and more. They have flexible terms. They work with people who have low or no credit score.

People Fund - They work to create economic opportunity and financial stability for underserved people by providing access to capital, education and resources to build healthy businesses. To that end, PeopleFund seeks to create social and economic justice by empowering minority, women and veteran owned businesses as well as entrepreneurs in low or moderate income census tracts, to grow small businesses, nonprofits and start up venture across Texas. They offer flexible loan terms and make loans from $1000 to $250,000.

One thing to be aware of when using a micro lender is they will charge higher interest rates than your traditional bank. Based on your credit history, that rate may be any where between 8% to 18%. The higher the risk they take, the higher rate you will pay. This can be adjusted over time when good credit is established.

Do not assume your low credit score will make you ineligible. These companies use the Fair Isaac Model better known as FICO for determining credit worthiness. This model takes your score along with your work history, years in business and other details to come up with just how high of a risk you may be. This determines if they can make the loan or not.

The KCVG understands that being an entrepreneur is risky and a lot of hard work. But that creative spirit is the backbone of America and certainly the reason that our small communities are thriving. Knox County needs your big ideas. Those ideas are what set us apart from other communities and help us to not only survive, but thrive!

Please let us know if the KCVG can help you grow your next big idea.

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Job Fair Opportunity

Join us on February 15, 2014 from 2 p.m to 5 p.m. for a Job Fair. The Green Pasture Wind Project is in search of vendors to service their upcoming wind project. They are also looking for laborers, concrete finishers, iron workers, equipment operators and electricians. We hope you can make it!