Where Customers and Community Come First
Local entrepreneur and business owner Terry McKee enjoys the longtime relationship he has had with Paducah Bank since first deciding to start his own IT business in the early 1990s. At that time, he was new to Paducah, having relocated here after marrying his wife Michelle. Not being native to the area, Terry didn’t have the necessary connections to people in the business and banking community and realized that he couldn’t exactly grow his company as a one-man show.
As luck would have it, his in-laws introduced him to Paducah Bank CEO Joe Frampton, and Joe gave him his very first business loan to purchase five computers. For Terry, this was the beginning of a partnership that would allow him the opportunity to expand his business ventures and community involvement in ways he never knew possible.
Upon making the move, Terry asked himself, “What need can I help meet here?” Of course, 23 years later it would appear that he has perfected the answer to that empirical question.
That is not to say that Terry was completely immersed in the booming IT world in those early years. From 1994 to 1998, he served as Controller for Benton Service Oil, but after they sold out to another company, Terry received a severance package and decided to once again give starting his own business a go. Thus, “Network Connection” was born, housed in the loft of his house and a company van. A few months after starting the business, Murray native Shane Black partnered with him and together they began serving the many IT needs of the local community.
Early on, they were locally known as simply “Terry and Shane” rather than Network Connection, so in 2000 they decided to shift their focus on rebranding and marketing the company more effectively, ultimately renaming the company KeeFORCE.
While the foundation of KeeFORCE’s business has always been operating as an IT consulting firm which includes the design, installation, and maintenance of computer networks for businesses, over the years they have also expanded to include the Business Process Automation (BPA) division and the Voice over IP division. The BPA division of KeeFORCE focuses on helping clients make their various business practices and processes more technologically efficient while also offering their unique knowledge and expertise in various functions of a professional environment. The Voice over IP division acts as an internet telephone service for businesses, which is certainly a necessity in our ever-evolving and expanding technological world.
“IT infrastructure is the core of every business. Without the structure running smoothly, businesses simply cannot function. Our goal is to keep our customers operating 24/7. We take a very proactive approach in keeping them up and running and always treat our clients with kindness and respect,” avows Terry in response to what has provided KeeFORCE its immeasurable success over the years.
From the loft of Terry’s house to downtown Paducah and all the places in between, and from “Terry and Shane” to the 23-member force that comprises the heart and soul of KeeFORCE, there is no doubt that Terry McKee’s first business loan from Paducah Bank was a catalyst for great success.
“Overall, the reason that we have thrived is our people—the quality of the people providing these services is stellar and our clients appreciate that.”
Xtreme BUSINESS MAKEOVER
For Terry McKee, president of KeeFORCE, with success also comes responsibility to community, and nothing pleases him more than giving back to the local people and businesses that have made KeeFORCE’s many achievements possible. While KeeFORCE is involved in numerous charities and other organizations in the surrounding area, none are as near and dear as the Xtreme Business Makeover, KeeFORCE’s largest community event each year.
The Xtreme Business Makeover represents a partnership of 29 successful organizations dedicated to helping other businesses grow and prosper in the Purchase Area. Over the past four years, the project has provided one lucky winner each year with a business makeover package to help the organization take their business operations from ordinary to extraordinary. For the first time in the contest’s history, the 2015 Xtreme Business Makeover was designed specifically to award one lucky nonprofit organization with a prize package worth over $60,000 in cash, business products, and services. This year’s winner is the Merryman House.
“There are many outstanding nonprofit organizations in the Purchase Region that provide amazing services for our community. We made a pledge a few years ago to do a contest especially for those organizations,” says Terry. “In honor of our fifth year, we decided that the time had come to do it. We have been amazed with the number of businesses who have stepped up and joined us in providing a prize package worth over $60,000. That speaks volumes to the spirit of our business community.”