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Phil Johnson Exceptional Leadership Award

Project Healing Waters Fly Fishing, Inc (PHWFF) takes great pleasure in presenting the Phil Johnson Exceptional Leadership Award to Charles R. Hantz for his dedicated and inspiring service to our organization from 2019 to 2021. During this period, his selfless efforts and extreme generosity as a volunteer leader with the PHWFF Johnson City (Tennessee) Program and the PHWFF Louisville (Kentucky) Program significantly contributed to each Program’s overall success.

Since 2019, Charles’s generous contribution of our most precious resource – time – personified the PHWFF mission, vision, and core values.  His genuine concern for others also engendered the camaraderie and friendship that enables post-traumatic growth and healing in our programs.  When Charles arrived in Tennessee in July 2019, he immediately stepped up and started to teach fly tying and fly casting.  When the program lead position became available, Charles immediately stepped up to assume this new role fulfilling the core activities of the program. 

In 2020, Charles implemented our first Facebook Live fly tying instruction during the COVID-19 Pandemic to keep serving our participants. His efforts proved to be an outstanding medium to provide continued instruction, involvement, and healing for our participants. Since the inception of his Facebook Live sessions, Charles has logged a total of 255 volunteer hours teaching virtual fly rod building and virtual fly tying activities in support of our programs.

When Charles was transferred to work at the Veterans Administration Medical Center in Louisville, Kentucky, he transitioned to the position of Assistant Program Lead for the Johnson City Program. While in Louisville, Charles began to make connections with disabled veterans in the area and brought them into the program’s virtual core program activities. He is currently working diligently towards re-activating the PHWFF Louisville Program to provide continual support for disabled veterans in Kentucky.

Charles’s skills as an accomplished fly angler, casting instructor, and fly tyer coupled with his commitment towards excellence all served to inspire others to develop a love for the sport while enabling their individual journeys towards post-traumatic growth.  All who know Charles will attest to the positive impact that he made on their lives and the role model of selfless leadership, mentoring, and devotion he provided to them. His tireless efforts helped create a community where our participants can heal.

Project Healing Waters Fly Fishing, Inc. is proud to bestow upon Charles R. Hantz the Phil Johnson Exceptional Leadership Award for his tireless and extraordinary service to our organization and to those wounded, ill, and injured Servicemen, Servicewomen, and disabled veterans whom this organization serves.

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