With the announcement of a new president, the Harker Heights Chamber of Commerce plans to re-evaluate and look for places to improve its mission, goals and operations.

“We will probably have a retreat ... to decide which way we want to go,” said Larry Linder, the chamber’s board chairman after announcing Gina Pence will take over operations at the chamber.

The board named Pence president and CEO on Feb. 27, and she started March 1, according to a news release from the chamber. She succeeds Bill Kozlik, who retired after 15 years as president.

“She already knows where she wants to go,” Linder said. “We have been very impressed by some of the events that she has recommended.”

Having served as the chamber’s membership and events director for two years, Linder said Pence will bring fresh ideas to the organization.

Kozlik performed an excellent job during his tenure, but everyone leads and manages differently, Linder added.

Since those changes will take place, the chamber has a prime opportunity to set new goals for the organization, he said.

There is plenty of opportunity for economic growth and community development for Harker Heights and the chamber, Pence said.

“I am looking forward to an exciting New Year,” she said. “I am very hopeful that many new businesses will be joining us in our mission to both improve and preserve Harker Heights as a better place to live, work and shop.”

Pence is not new to leadership positions. She has served more than a decade in various executive and community relations positions.

Before her promotion, she proved to be a qualified leader of the organization, which services about 850 businesses and individual members, when Kozlik took medical leave, Linder said.

The chamber had several finalists for the role, but Pence stood out, because she already understands the Central Texas community.

“She is an outstanding woman and has already worked with some of partners at the city of Harker Heights and a number of our board members that conduct events,” he said.

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

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