BROOKSVILLE — In November, a group of supporters, friends and family sent Richard Linkul off to retirement in hero fashion. The former marketing director at Oak Hill Hospital, who’s tenure lasted more than 14 years, was honored with a celebration that included an impressive lineup of speakers who shared their best Rich Linkul memories.

And there were many for the man known as the “Face of Oak Hill Hospital.” For more than a decade, Linkul had worked alongside various community partners in different capacities, from Kiwanis to the Community Health Improvement Plan Partnership to the United Way. And he was a primary player in promoting Oak Hill’s position in the community.

But Linkul suffered a few scary health events last year that led to his abrupt retirement. It was assumed he and his wife, Tina, would take vacations, pursue recreational interests or simply relax. His body, however, had been roughed up a bit, landing the marketing director the position of patient in his own hospital.

But Linkul had a different vision of his future, especially after staring death in the eye. He realized he wasn’t finished sharing his unique passion and skill as a gifted marketing genius.

“After almost a year of health issues, a broken hip and major stomach surgery twice, I am now at full health,” said Linkul. “Now is the time to get productive.”

June 1 was the official launch date of his marketing consulting business, Premier Marketing LLC. Upon that platform, Linkul delivers “results driven marketing,” which include campaign development, strategic planning and brand management to clients in Hernando, Pasco and Citrus counties.

Linkul has built relationships with other “professional associates” in the marketing genre, allowing him to expand on what his company is able to effectively offer. Services include television, radio, billboards, magazines, graphic design, marketing research, print production, digital marketing, social media, Search Engine Optimization of websites and targeted direct mail.

The bottom line is clients of Premier Marketing LLC will have access to all aspects of effective marketing, customized to their unique business and budget.

“I have a passion to be active and focus on helping others,” Linkul said. Even while transitioning to his early retirement, Linkul stayed actively involved in six community organizations. Clearly he isn’t ready to quit what he started.

It made sense to branch out into a business where he could control his hours while benefiting from his internal need, from an impressive resume of experiences, to guide others to success.

Small business owners know their product or service. They recognize the value of effective exposure through a dynamic marketing plan. But not every business owner can afford the time to focus on the marketing side.

“I’m still vibrant,” Linkul said. “I have the ability to take advantage of 50 plus years that I’ve devoted to marketing.”