THE departing Albury Northside Chamber of Commerce chief has built a "skyscraper" among business groups and become a "true Alburyian" in five years.
Kathie Heyman received those accolades on Friday at a morning tea to mark her five years as chamber general manager.
Her interim replacement, chamber business development manager Carrick Gill-Vallance said she had an "uncanny ability" to connect the right people with each other.
"You were the architect in pulling together what I would refer to as a skyscraper in terms of chambers," Mr Gill-Vallance said.
Albury councillor and retailer Alice Glachan was also laudatory, pointing to Ms Heyman's leadership and role modelling.
"She's made herself an Alburyian and that's hard to do in five years," Cr Glachan said.
"I do consider yourself a true friend and a true Alburyian."
Ms Heyman moved to Albury after having grown up in Newcastle and been general manager of the Deniliquin Ute Muster.
She is starting her own home-based enterprise Passion for Business, having decided on a recent Sri Lankan holiday to reset her career.
"I'm just wanting to work one-on-one with business and I hit that magical 54 and just decided after five years it had been great," Ms Heyman said.
"I was a consultant for 25 years, so it's going back to what I did."
Ms Heyman cited a spike in the number of businesses attending activities as a key achievement.
"For us it's about engagement and we've gone from 1000 people coming to events each year to 3500 people coming to events," she said.
"When your membership is engaged you know it's strong."
NSW Business Chamber Murray-Riverina regional manager Andrew Cottrill said Ms Heyman's contribution had gone beyond Albury.
"Kathie has always represented this area strongly with the NSW Business Chamber and in her role as vice president of the regional advisory council," Mr Cottrill said.
"I know her representation on things like youth employment and skills development and changes to the vocational education and training system has played a big part in state and federal government developments in those areas.
"We'll miss Kathie and I see this as one of the best business chambers in NSW, if not the best."
Acting Albury Northside Chamber chairman Barry Young said a permanent replacement for Ms Heyman was expected to be determined within three months.
Two new chamber board members are to be appointed at its next meeting to restore it to a full membership of nine.