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eric kozak

Eric Kozak

Director - Illinois Division VI,
Ameren Illinois

How long have you lived in the Metro-East?

20 years

In what Metro-East city do you live?

Troy, IL

What brought you here?

Primarily my career, but it is nice being close to family in Illinois and Missouri.

What do you love most about the Metro-East?

I love the small town environment with mom-and-pop restaurants and shops, but I enjoy having access to the large city of St. Louis.

What advice would you give someone moving to the area?

Spend a little time in each community and find the one you like best. They all have a little something unique to offer.

What are your favorite attractions in the Metro-East?

Our family enjoys attending the small town parades, homecomings and festivals.

What do you think are the Metro-East’s best assets?

Good education system, access to quality medical services and it's very easy to travel throughout the Metro-East.

What do you like to do for fun in the Metro-East?

I enjoy spending time at Gateway Motorsports Park and playing all the golf courses.

Please list charities to which you lend your time.

Ready Readers, TreeHouse Wildlife Center, United Way, American Heart Association, Big Brothers Big Sisters.

Why do you think it’s important for people to volunteer and what drives you to volunteer?

Volunteering is a very unique experience. I can't think of too many activities that don't cost anything but are so rewarding. It allows you to make a difference in some people's lives while at the same time giving you a chance to develop new skills, meet new people and explore other interests.

Have you made any special friends or memories in your volunteer work?

I have made many great memories reading to 5- and 6-year-old children for Ready Readers. I remember the first day well. I was instructed to make name tags for all the kids and put them on before we started reading. Well one of the kids, Frank, was new so I didn't have a name tag made for him. He was so disappointed and started to cry. The next week I made sure to call Frank up to the front and put on his name tag. You would have thought I was handing out puppies he was so happy. It’s a small memory but I'll never forget making Frank happy that day and all it took was a name tag.