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Tim Handren

Featured Article

From Mayor To Art Curator To Builders

Taking Care Of Business!

Article by Connie McFall Clark

Photography by Kate Cooley/Cooley Portraits

Originally published in Boerne Lifestyle

Boerne Mayor Tim Handren

In response to the question, what in your business experience prepared you for handling this health crisis, Boerne Mayor Tim Handren stated he wasn’t prepared. However, he admits to being a straight A student in school and a fast study, being able to lead despite difficult challenges. In his business career he dealt with conflicts during adversity to be able to take on this amazing challenge. Education is the key and Tim has tried to understand this pandemic and communicate his findings in the role of leader as the mayor and spokesman for the community. Since he first introduced himself as a candidate for mayor, he has communicated with candor, regularity and personality. “I’m not an expert on life but I do my research to understand the world during this time and make decisions for the right reasons, even if not popular.”

Directors of Santikos in San Antonio are working with National Association of Theater Owners to figure out what’s next and how to effectively balance the reopening process. Tim is CEO. How every business will open operations with the skewed demands of customers right now remains to be seen. “Will they remain scared or suspicious of other people in public and continue the pickup, delivery and curbside options being offered now? Or will citizens go back to the ‘former normal’? We must be careful with overloading the health systems despite the pressure to reopen. Our world has been forever altered just like after 9/11.”

“I hope that with changes the country will come out better rather than worse. I am optimistic that new inventions, family values and economics will work in our favor – to disconnect from old habits and biases to create amazing innovations for a smarter world.”

Texas Treasures Owner Johny Rosa

Johny Rosa, a successful businessman, art curator, singer/songwriter and native Texan, is adapting to this “new normal” by continuing to offer high-quality services to art lovers. His Texas Treasures Fine Art Gallery and Boerne Frame Shop, located on Main Street, showcases artwork and fine furnishings available for purchase. His mainstay continues to be commission work, excellent framing services, and estate planning and appraisal. The gallery and sculpture garden feature works by over forty highly acclaimed national and international artists.

April was a difficult month to navigate for everyone and Johny was no exception. April included Johny’s birthday and milestone nine-year anniversary of opening the gallery back in 2011. The annual art show and celebration had to be cancelled with revenues lost and expenses incurred. He shared that these uncertain times and lifestyle changes are difficult on the psyche but he stays motivated by keeping art and music as his focus, and counting his many blessings.

His design team in the frame shop has the opportunity to work with memorabilia from clients who want to preserve treasures such as photographs, artwork, heirlooms, medals, commendations, and historical artifacts. It brings comfort and joy to those family members who can now showcase these precious memories for all to see.

Johny spearheaded the installation of Boerne’s adored Wild Bill Hickok in the Main Plaza and he loves to see photos of the community sitting on the bench, especially when Wild Bill is dressed up in a Santa hat or promoting safety with a face mask … but this is only one of many ways that Johny connects with bringing the community together. In closing, Johny has always lived by the words of his late father, “The only thing that is constant in life is change, and those who adapt the quickest go the farthest.”

das Holzwerk by Grit Partner Josh Durden

Josh Durden, a partner in das Holzwerk by Grit, is one of the reasons for the success of the Durden family businesses. Raised in Comfort, Josh began his introduction to the construction industry through his grandfather Earl Pankratz. Little did Josh know that would be the beginning of a life-long career he would love. When he was a junior and senior in high school he was client-facing, estimating jobs, doing construction projects, and started making cabinets and furniture. Then, as now he enjoys the sense of accomplishment at the end of the day.

In 2007 he started Comfort Custom Woodworking and took over the clientele when his grandfather retired. When his wife inherited her grandmother’s house in the Wharton area, Josh decided to work for someone else and attempted to get into the pipeline business. When that didn’t pay off he went back to construction knowing that with the excellent reputation for his work, he could do well as Durden Construction.

About a year or so ago his cousin Dakota asked him to work for him. He finally figured out how to make traveling across the state to do what he loved work - without the headache of being a sole proprietor. “This is the best job ever! I can utilize my methods and materials to build great products. I have four true craftsmen on my team but enjoy teaching apprentices the craft from bottom-up. They learn the right way to create durable, beautiful products." For das Holzwerk by Grit Josh provides cabinets, doors, decorative woodwork and furniture. He also is superintendent/ project manager for Homesteads by Grit and Grit Design Build.

Spending weekdays in the hill country and weekends in Wharton works for Josh. His wife is a home health care nurse in Wharton and eventually once his step-daughter finishes high school, the family will move back to the hill country.

Grit Design Build Owner Dakota Durden

If you’re looking for honest folk, strong moral principles, solid people and if you’re in need of neat, concise competence and professionalism, there’s an award-winning family of construction and design firms in Boerne and Comfort. Grit Design Build, Homesteads by Grit and das Holzwerk by Grit are three companies owned and operated by Dakota Durden. A native of Comfort and son of Kendall County Commissioner Don Durden, Dakota is the epitome of a hard-working businessman.

 “First and foremost, especially during this time I want to take care of our employees and their families.” Dakota noted that the past two years have been good, but difficult, with narrow margins and lots of new competition. “In February, my team had done amazingly well and grown our backlog to three times our average annual revenue. In one week in March, 70% of that revenue went on hold or delayed indefinitely. Fortunately, we’re good at what we do, we’re nimble, and we’re diverse. That’s allowed us to continue on without a single layoff. And, in the past three weeks, we’ve built back up.” Thanks to government programs like the PPP, Dakota and his team are confidently moving forward, “I’m shooting for at least twice our past year’s annual revenue in 2020. I won’t give up that easy. I didn’t name it ‘Grit’ for no reason!”

Dakota and his wife are raising their three sons in the small-town environment in which he grew up. His background in engineering, construction, farming and management; along with a degree from Texas A&M makes him eclectic for a small-town guy. He thanks God and his parents for his tenacity to become successful for himself, his family and his community. “It is a pleasure to work hard and see results.” He leads a Christian-based life, hyphenated by stoicism (a philosophy over a thousand years old) and enjoys a sense of grace, leadership and sacrifice in his endeavors.

  • Dakota Durden
  • Dakota Durden
  • Josh Durden
  • Josh Durden
  • Tim Handren
  • Tim Handren
  • Johny Rosa
  • Johny Rosa