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Phil Johnson Exceptional Leadership Award

PROJECT HEALING WATERS FLY FISHING (PHWFF) takes great pleasure in presenting the Phil Johnson Exceptional Leadership Award to Kathy Mueller for her dedicated and inspiring service to our organization from 2014 to 2021. During this period, her selfless efforts and extreme generosity were directly responsible for the growth and continuous improvement to the organization’s Roanoke – New River Valley Program in Salem, Virginia.

During this time, she grew the program to become one the PHWFF Virginia Region’s largest – serving more than 80 active participants. Her caring leadership style inspired over 50 volunteers to highest levels of achievement and professionalism in their commitment to the program’s participants. In addition to leading the program, she personally led 39 fly tying sessions, 16 fly rod building sessions, six stream-side fly fishing education clinics, 33 day fly fishing outings, seven overnight fly fishing outings, two volunteer guide training seminars, and earned a national award for the program.

Kathy’s untiring dedication to our Cause and her unimpeachable character earned her the highest respect and admiration from participants and volunteers throughout the Virginia Region. In addition to spending countless hours of her personal time organizing meetings and educational classes, planning outings, and participating in training events, she also attends to program’s administrative and management duties with the greatest of professionalism and attention to detail.

Kathy also served as a diligent promoter and recruiter with presentations on behalf of Project Healing Waters Fly Fishing at the Smith Mountain Lake Rotary Club, Smith Mountain Lake Lions Club, Bonzack Veterans Breakfast, Daughter’s of the American Revolution, Brain Injury Services of Southwest Virginia, Roanoke and New River Valleys Military Officer’s Association of America, and various other organizations with evangelic enthusiasm. She also leads the program’s substantial fundraising effort. This passion led the program to remarkable growth – setting an example of excellence for other programs to aspire towards.

Kathy’s dedication to our Core Values: Compassion, Accountability, Excellence, and Community allowed her to create an active and impactful program that provides a pathway towards post-traumatic growth for our participants. She also recently established a “Lead Guide” program whereby a qualified volunteer can organize and lead a fly fishing outing. Kathy certified six Lead Guides with two more involved in training for it. Additionally, throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, she led numerous virtual core program activities thereby ensuring our participants and volunteers remained connected and ensured the program remained a community where our participants can heal.

Her commitment to our Cause inspired all volunteers and participants involved in the program to become a stronger team and to build better friendships. All who know Kathy will attest to the positive impact the program made on their lives and the role model of selfless devotion, mentoring, and leadership she provided to them.

Project Healing Waters Fly Fishing, Inc. is proud to bestow upon Kathy Mueller the Phil Johnson Exceptional Leadership Award for her tireless and extraordinary service to our organization and to those wounded, ill, and injured servicemen and servicewomen and disabled veterans whom this organization serves.

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