By Nancy Johnson, CEO



As Punta Gorda’s City Manager, Howard Kunik, prepares for his well-deserved retirement, we celebrate his years of excellent leadership.

After Hurricane Charley devastated Punta Gorda in 2004, Howard appeared when we most needed him. Recognizing that government cant do it all, Howard quickly established a pattern of collaboration with community groups, including TEAM Punta Gorda. Signs of citizen involvement are present everywhere in our community, facilitated by competent, effective local government under Howard’s leadership.

Howard can regularly be seen, inspecting his domain as he rides around town on his bicycle. If he sees something out of place, action is taken Monday morning! As we commemorate Howard’s retirement, we are reminded of the 15 years of collaborative, facilitative leadership We’ve enjoyed as we worked together toward mutually desired goals. Whether the project was creating community gardens, designing kiosks for the Punta Gorda Pathways, installing interpretive signs along the Harborwalk, or supporting free bicycle loaner operations, we could count on Howard to act quickly and effectively. If volunteers needed support, Howard made himself available to identify what needed to be done and who from city hall would help.

Here is one of our favorite photos – Howard’s participation in Paint Your Heart Out Punta Gorda.

In this way we have been able to be the most effective in achieving our mission. Howards pro-active, effective and practical leadership style has made it possible for citizens groups like TEAM Punta Gorda to play an active role engaged in stewardship, development, community improvement, and public education. This collaborative approach has made Punta Gorda a better place to live, work, and play.

We are honored to have been Howard’s partner in achieving these results. As he moves into retirement and whatever is next for him, we want to say well done, Mr. Kunik, well done. You will be missed!