November 22, 2019

Game On! Noel Keener’s Winning Attitude Benefits More Than MaxYield

Noel KeenerWhen you stop by the Cenex convenience store in West Bend, there’s a good chance you’ll see Noel Keener. Noel became the store’s team leader on Feb. 1, and he brings a diverse background to his new role.

Not only does Noel find innovative ways to keep MaxYield connected with the community, but he also serves others during his free time through his passion for gaming. Here are five things you may not know about Noel.

1. Noel is always up for a challenge. Noel started working at the Cenex store in January of 2011 as a night manager. During his tenure, he has taken on new roles, from handling much of the scheduling to training team members. “I like being able to think strategically and finding new ways to grow the business,” said Noel, who brought back hot sub sandwiches to the menu. As the team leader, Noel will use the store’s new computer system and automated inventory tracking system to analyze sales and identify niches that the store can fill. “We want to offer a good experience that our customers will remember.”

2. Moving in new directions is nothing new for Noel. Noel is a bit of a renaissance man who is learning the ways of small-town Iowa. Born in Texas and raised in Lake Havasu, AZ, Noel considered studying art in college. When he decided he’d rather become a pastor, he enrolled in Wayland Baptist University (WBU) in Plainview, TX, where he met his future wife (Mackenzie Garner) and earned his bachelor’s degree in religion. A few years ago the couple moved to northern Iowa, where Mackenzie’s mother lived. “I never thought my career would take the turns it has,” said Noel, who enjoys the safe, quiet lifestyle of small-town Iowa. Winters have been harder to get used to, however. “The first time it hit minus 17 degrees, I didn’t know my bones could hurt like that,” Noel said.

3. Lifelong learning motivates Noel. When he’s not at work, Noel stays busy studying computer networking and cyber security as he earns his bachelor’s degree in computer information technology from Southern New Hampshire University. He plans to complete his online courses later this year and is interested in computer programming.

4. Noel proves that playing games can be productive. All work and no play makes Noel a dull boy, so he carves out time for one of his favorite hobbies—gaming. In addition to playing “The Last of Us“ on Playstation 3, and “Far Cry 3“ and “Halo 4“ on his Xbox 360, Noel supports Extra Life, a charity event that benefits the Children’s Miracle Network. He has been involved with Extra Life since 2010, first as a donor and later as a participant. Extra Life gamers can play solo or in teams to raise money for charity. “Anyone who donated to my part of the event last year helped fund the University of Iowa Children’s Hospital,” said Noel, who has already signed up for Extra Life 2014. On Saturday, Oct. 25, he and his fellow team members will play video games for 25 hours straight, raising $1 per hour from each pledge contributed by family and friends. During this time, the gamers will also log onto social media such as Twitter, or livestream channels such as Twitch.tv, to “livecast” their experience and seek additional donations.

“Extra Life is the perfect combination, because I get to do something I love, and it benefits a worthy cause,” Noel said. Gamers who are interested in participating can join Noel’s team at www.extra-life.org/team/carefulzambies. If you’d like to donate to this charity event, you can sponsor Noel at www.extra-life.org/participant/hontchnr.

5. Staying healthy for life motivates Noel. Lest you think an avid gamer like Noel doesn’t stay active enough, think again. Noel became an exercise and fitness buff after his 2012 health assessment through MaxYield highlighted areas for improvement. “Back then, I had high cholesterol, I smoked, and my body fat was 22%,”Noel said. “Now I’ve quit smoking, my cholesterol is in check, and my body fat is 10%.” Noel goes to Broadway Fitness in West Bend three times a week, where he works out for two hours at a time. “I like power lifting,” said Noel, who weighs 145 pounds and can dead lift 200 pounds.

Whether he’s lifting weights at Broadway Fitness or greeting local students who stop by the Cenex store to pick up subs or pizza, Noel has become a familiar face around West Bend. “I’m glad to be at MaxYield and appreciate the opportunities I’ve had to grow my career here,” he said.

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