Community Leaders Launch Campaign to Strengthen Regional Economy

Published by: Jennifer Hetzel | Published on: 01 Dec, 2017
Community Leaders Launch Campaign to Strengthen Regional Economy

Greater Killeen Chamber of Commerce announces $2 Million 14 Forward Campaign - A 2018-2022 economic development initiative
Business and community leaders from the Greater Killeen Chamber of Commerce (GKCC) and the Fort Hood Region publicly launched a $2 million private-sector driven campaign to grow the region’s economy during a special event today at Central Texas College. Leaders also announced 30 private organizations have committed more than $1.2 million.

The GKCC and its strategic partners are undertaking a capital campaign to fund the 14 Forward 2018-2022 Economic Development Initiative, which is centered around three goals:

  • Goal 1: Grow Business and Investment
  • Goal 2: Promote Fort Hood
  • Goal 3: Strengthen Infrastructure to Improve Quality of Place
Money raised will be used to fund:
  • New business attraction in the defense, IT, transportation/logistics, and business services industries;
  • Planning for the development of a research park at Texas A&M University-Central Texas;
  • Staff support for the Heart of Texas Defense Alliance to prepare for BRAC-related growth opportunities at Fort Hood;
  • Expansion of Interstate 14 through education and mentorship of communities along the corridor; and
  • Targeted strategies to increase bandwidth/internet speed throughout the region.
GKCC Chairman Abdul Subhani shared why the community needs 14 Forward, “By focusing on key goals and collaborating, we can do some very important things to drive economic development and improve the quality of life in this community and, in fact, in this region.”
Subhani noted, “Our ability to execute 14 Forward is very much dependent on the work we are, and have been, doing for some time. Our region needs this supplement to remain competitive in the world of economic development.” 

At the launch event, Subhani introduced 14 Forward Campaign Co-Chairs: Dr. Brad Buckley, Managing Partner of Killeen Veterinary Clinic and Bill Kliewer, Chairman of Bigham Kliewer Champan & Watts. Both are former Chairs of the GKCC Board of Directors.

The Chair’s organizations have pledged example-setting investments in 14 Forward over five years. Their investments, along with 30 other regional community and business leaders (full list attached) including First National Bank Texas, Metroplex Health System, Grace Christian Center, The Furniture Zone, and Unite Private Networks, have already helped raise more than $1.2 million.

Atlanta-based firm, POWER 10 Capital Campaign Operations, is overseeing the fundraising effort.

Kliewer thanked all of the investors and specifically touted the financial leadership of the companies represented on the GKCC board who invested a combined total of $725,000 over five years.

“Proactive economic development - industry diversification, job creation, promotion of Fort Hood, and new infrastructure investments - are what this region needs to thrive,” said Buckley. “The opportunities are out there, all we need to do is work together to make them happen”

Kliewer emphasized the need for regional coalition of supporters. “We are building a broad coalition of business and civic leaders who are dedicated to improving the place where they live work and play. Dozens of business leaders have already invested their time, talent, and treasure to this new collaborative approach to economic development, but we will only be successful is all business and stakeholders with an interest in the region’s prosperity step forward, engage in this initiative, and exercise financial leadership by investing in it.”