ARTICLE: “Rotary Honors Residents: HHH Volunteer Services Director recognized with Vocational Services Award”, Tacoma News Tribune

By on May 18, 2011. Posted in . Tagged as , , , .

Congratulations to our very own Lisa Heintz, Volunteer Services Director, for being recognized with the SH Rotary’s Vocational Excellence Award for Non-Profit/Non-Governmental service. Others recognized include Puyallup City Manager Ralph Dannenberg, teacher Amanda Kraft, and business owners Ken and JoAnn Scholz. You deserve it!

Rotary honors residents
By Andrew Fickes

Five exceptional people doing good things in the Puyallup, South Hill and East Pierce community were recognized for their contributions at the 2011 Puyallup South Hill Rotary Community Vocational Awards luncheon.

On Thursday, May 12, the South Hill Rotary presented awards in the areas of business, education, government and non-profit to Ken and JoAnn Scholz, Amanda Kraft, Ralph Dannenberg and Lisa Heintz, respectively.

“I was extremely impressed with the recipients,” said Karen Hansen, chairwoman of the South Hill Rotary awards selection committee. “They truly exhibited the qualities we were looking for in these awards.”

The Scholzes were recognized for their Snowshoe Evergreen choose and cut Christmas tree farm business based in McMillin, between Orting and Sumner. The farm is on Ken Scholz’s parents property, which he and his wife purchased in the mid-1970s.

“Ken and JoAnn are steadfast, community supporters with a commitment to supporting youth and truly believing in giving back and doing so on an annual basis,” said Jerome O’Leary, the Scholz’s son-in-law. “You could not ask for a better success story for two people who have worked hard and been successful and remained humble.”

Ken Scholz said he and his wife farm about 350 acres for Christmas trees, which includes land they lease to others. The wholesale cut tree business sells about 35,000 to 50,000 trees each season. The Scholzes are strong believers in education and contribute regularly to the Western Washington Fair Scholarship Foundation.

“We appreciate (this award) very much,” Ken Scholz said. “We will continue to uphold exactly what this award means.”

Kraft, who received the education award, was introduced by one of her longtime mentors, Guy Kovacs, principal at Edgerton Elementary School. Kraft is a fourth grade teacher at Edgerton.

“I have worked in the district for over 20 years and I can safely say that Amanda is one of the best educators I have had the privilege to work with,” Kovacs said. “She is the type of teacher that students remember for their entire lives for all the right reasons.”

While at the same time teaching, Kraft is also the Edgerton elementary assessment coordinator, student council coordinator, track coach and math relay coach. During the past five years, she has also helped bring Edgerton curriculum to state standards in the area of math.

Kovacs also touted Kraft for her extraordinary ability to organize school events targeted at raising money for the fight against lymphoma. Her hard work, he said, has made Edgerton the top fundraising school for lymphoma in the Washington, Oregon, Idaho and Alaska region.

“I don’t teach to be recognized,” Kraft said. “I became a teacher to impact lives. I appreciate Guy for always pushing me and inspiring me. I appreciate my husband and my mother is my biggest cheerleader.”

Dannenberg was introduced by Councilmember Rick Hansen.

“He filled a breach (at the city) when we really needed help,” Hansen said. “(The city) has moved light years ahead and that is owed to Ralph.”

Dannenberg, an employee of the city of Puyallup since 1998, was hired as city manager in October 2010.

“I feel blessed to be in Puyallup,” Dannenberg said. “I thank the council for selecting me as city manager. I look forward to coming to work every day.”

Heintz, a highly organized and take-charge leader, received the non-profit award for her active role as the director of volunteer services at Helping Hand House. Heintz said she helps connect individuals to different projects that they may want to work on.

Heintz has been in non-profit work for 11 years following eight years in the dental profession. Despite no four-year degree, Heintz said she has relied on hard work and talent to succeed in the non-profit field.

“I’m truly humbled to win this award and to know that hard work truly pays off and sometimes you don’t always need a college degree to succeed,” she said.

Reach Puyallup reporter Andrew Fickes at 253-841-2481 Ext. 313 or e-mail at

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