Retired Gen. Paul Funk said he has no agenda for his recently-begun time with the Copperas Cove Economic Development Corporation.
“I’m not in any of the businesses that would normally be involved in such things as the EDC,” said Funk, who is still active with different operations on Fort Hood. “I would certainly be glad to help if the city council and mayor thought I was capable of helping.”
Funk was nominated by City Council member Jim Schmitz to fill a spot vacated by Fred Chavez on the EDC board of directors. Funk was sworn in on Oct. 30.
The nomination caught Funk by surprise and he took a weekend to consider accepting, he said.
“I guess what I really want to do is serve the community,” said Funk. “If I can do that, I’ll know that within six or eight months. Then I would continue as long as they would want me to do it.”
Funk retired from the Army 16 years ago and has a long list of achievements and awards from his service. Currently, he stays active on post by helping the Army to identify capabilities and qualifications for soldiers of 2020 and working with the Mounted Warfare Museum.
“I do several things with the Army at relatively high levels, but I’m not unable to do things at a community level,” said Funk. “Many kinds of things being done or looked at by the EDC on behalf of the city are similar to things we tried to do in the Army.”
The corporation’s history of working with Fort Hood to negotiate land swaps makes board members happy to have Funk around.
“He brings an absolute wealth of experiences in dealing with Fort Hood,” said board President Dan Yancy. “We feel like we will have ongoing negotiations with Fort Hood on future potential land swaps and feel like his knowledge of the inner workings of the Army will benefit us greatly.”
Having a board member with connections to the “inner workings” of Fort Hood is valuable to the city’s EDC for more reasons than negotiations.
Keeping a good relationship with the post is a goal for city organizations.
“We always want to stay close to the brothers and sisters we have there in Fort Hood. They are a major part of our economy,” said Polo Enriquez, the corporation’s executive director. “(Funk) knows people at all levels in Fort Hood and it’s much easier to walk in a room with him than without him. We’re happy to have him on the board as a member.”
Enriquez also said he hoped he could learn from Funk in areas of time management and leadership, qualities he believes the retired general learned from years as an Army leader.
When he’s not working with Fort Hood officials, Funk manages Spearhead Ranch, on the northern edge of Copperas Cove.