HARKER HEIGHTS — The Chamber of Commerce announced its new president and chief executive officer Monday.

Gina Pence, formerly the membership and events director, was selected to serve in the position vacated by Bill Kozlik, who retired from the chamber in January.

The chamber’s executive committee conducted an extensive search and ultimately decided Pence was the best fit for the role, said Larry Linder, chairman of the board.

“She did an outstanding job in membership sales,” he said. “She was able to show some of her leadership skills during (the former president’s medical leave). She was able to keep everything together.”

Before joining the chamber staff two years ago, Pence served more than a decade in various executive and community relations positions. She began her new position Saturday.

“I am honored and excited by the opportunity to help lead the Harker Heights Chamber of Commerce,” Pence said.

“I intend to work in partnership with the chamber’s board of directors, membership and staff to vigorously promote the success of Harker Heights’ diverse businesses and advance our community’s economic interests.”

Pence will bring a fresh perspective to the chamber’s goals, mission and structure, Linder said. She will be able to get a quick start since she is familiar with the city, the chamber’s membership and the area’s leaders.

“I think she will add a lot of enthusiasm,” he said.

“I think she will do an outstanding job, and it won’t take her very long to get to it.”

Linder said a retreat might be planned to re-evaluate the operations of the chamber and to hear ideas from its new president.

“It will give us an opportunity to set new goals,” he said. “It is an exciting time for Harker Heights as we launch a new president and CEO. Our board is ready to follow.” The chamber is currently working to fill the membership and events director position.

Contact Mason W. Canales at ​mcanales@kdhnews.com or (254) 501-7474

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