HARKER HEIGHTS — Chamber of commerce president Bill Kozlik told the board this week he will retire Jan. 31.
“(Kozlik) has been a great community leader, and we are sad to see him go,” said Larry Linder, board chairman. “He has been awesome for Harker Heights.”
Serving as president more than 15 years, Kozlik is leaving the chamber after adding more than 600 members and implementing numerous programs.
“During the first four years of Bill’s presidency, he brought in over 500 members,” said Mike Miller, a longtime Heights chamber member and board member. “He is a gifted salesman. ... Because of Bill’s efforts, the Harker Heights Chamber of Commerce now has approximately 780 members.”
Programs created during Kozlik’s presidency include the Harker Heights Food and Wine Festival; Vision XXI, a leadership development course; and the Coffee Connection, a morning networking mixer.
Kozlik said the chamber’s growth shouldn’t be solely attributed to him.
“I couldn’t have done any of it without the help of the volunteers and the members,” he said.
Kozlik said with recent growth and the chamber’s continued success, it is a good time to retire.
Once he leaves, Kozlik will miss working with the Harker Heights chamber staff, its members, the city and the Fort Hood community, he said.
“It has been a pleasure watching the city grow, to include the development of Market Heights, which helped change the economic welfare of the city,” Kozlik said.
Learning about Kozlik’s retirement plans Tuesday, the board has yet to decide how it will hire the next president.
A committee will probably start discussing the issue after the holidays, Miller said.
Even in retirement, Kozlik said he will continue to serve in a number of community and civic organizations, including the Association of the U.S. Army.
“You can’t just say, I am done with the city of Harker Heights,” he said. “Once it is in your blood, it is in your blood.”