Kenneth L. Burgess was given the honor in recognition of his vast contributions to the Abilene Community. The award was presented by Joe Crawford, recipient of the 2011 award.
Burgess graduated from Springlake-Earth High School and Texas Tech University with a degree in Animal Production and, after, served as a pilot in the U.S. Air Force, primarily flying B-47's during the Korean conflict.
Burgess entered the banking industry in 1967, eventually forming a group of investors to purchase Security State Bank in Abilene in 1988, which grew to include locations in Abilene, Merkel, Comanche, Brownwood, Big Spring and Gorman.
Security State Bank was sold to American State Bank, based in Lubbock, in 1998.
Since retiring from banking in 1999, Burgess has served as president of Rain Dance Capital, Inc. which was created by local investors to promote the growth of new businesses and jobs in Abilene.
Burgess has served as Board Member and Chairman of the West Texas Rehabilitation Center and the Development Corporation of Abilene, and has also served on the boards of Abilene Regional Medical Center, Texas Tech Foundation and the Abilene Chamber of Commerce.
He served as a member of the Texas Tech University Chancellor's Council and on the advisory council of the West Texas Coalition for Innovation & Commercialization.
He and his wife, Sue, have three sons - Ken Jr. and his wife, Cathy; Greg and his wife, Sherry; Brad and his wife, Suzanne, as well as seven grandchildren and two great grandchildren. All three of his sons followed him into the banking industry.
The Abilene Citizen of the Year Award has been given annually since 1946 to a person or persons who has made an impact on our great city. Individuals and organizations were invited to nominate someone they thought contributed in an outstanding manner to the betterment of the Abilene community over the last year, several years or a lifetime in determining the award.
For additional information contact the Abilene Chamber of Commerce during regular business hours at (325) 677-7241.