Attendees of a Harker Heights Chamber of Commerce mixer are seen talking. Mixers are sponsored by chamber members and give attendees a change to exchange ideas.

From the earliest days, the Harker Heights Chamber of Commerce has provided the city with leaders who focus on development and improving quality of life for residential, civic, and business communities within the city.

“Members work as a team to advance successful enterprise, responsible citizenship and enjoyable residential living,” said Gina Pence, chamber president and CEO.

Pence said the chamber’s mission is to work toward providing business leadership for community development and quality of life for all residents by being a strong advocate for the business community.

Tony Mino is the executive director for the Armed Services YMCA in Central Texas and a member of the chamber.

“(Being a member) has been a tremendous marketing tool and allows us to let the community know who we are and what we do,” he said.

Mino is a big supporter of chamber events, such as the monthly Business After Hours mixers and Coffee Connection.

He said attending them provides him opportunities to market person-to-person and that saves him advertising dollars.

The monthly socials are designed for meeting fellow chamber members and spotlighting new members.

“I don’t make it to all the mixers and other activities, but when I do, it gives me a chance to network with other members. People get to know who I am,” said Rob Robison, owner of R & R Industries.

Much of what drives chamber business is work through its various committees and volunteers.

Chamber ambassadors promote the chamber and business community through ribbon cuttings, ground-breaking and other events.

The economic development division provides a responsive task team that is available to market the city as an ideal business location to interested businesses.

Governmental affairs conducts quarterly sessions that address issues of specific interest and military affairs representatives attend all Fort Hood community events and act as liaisons

between Harker Heights and the installation.

“Gina Pence is a champion when it comes to listening to what you need as a business person and she’s also proactive in calling on her connections to help you get what you need,” said Ed Bandas, president of the Army Marathon.

The chamber is a private, nonprofit, membership driven organization comprised of nearly 900 business enterprises, civic organizations, educational institutions and individuals.

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