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A positive attitude has served Lisa Hatz well in her position
Lisa Hatz, 37Home: Concord
Birthplace: Bloomington, Ill.
Family: Parents, Dave and Jeri Hatz of Bettendorf, Iowa; brother, Matthew Hatz of Bettendorf; aunt, Gale Ventimiglia of Bethany, Conn.
High school: Park Senior High School, 1991-1992; Bettendorf High School, graduated in 1994
College/post grad degrees: B.S., psychology, University of Iowa, 1998; M.A., rehabilitation counseling, University of Iowa
Current job: Director of the Bureau of Vocational Rehabilitation, field service administrator
Key past positions held: Vocational rehabilitation counselor in Maryland and New Hampshire, vocational rehabilitation supervisor, program manager for Harbor Homes
Volunteer activities: Connecting N.H. Citizens in the community with vocational and other services to ensure they work toward their goals.
Most admired person (outside your family): Manny Enriquez, a mentor I have had in my professional development
Key current professional challenge: The changing makeup of our agency staff
Last major achievement: New Hampshire VR was named the Business Assistance Organization of the Year in 2012.
Biggest problem facing New Hampshire: The ever-changing workplace and accomplishing goals with so many new folks.
Favorite place in New Hampshire: I recently visited the Castle in the Clouds. Simply amazing and beautiful.
What book are you reading now? I have actually been engrossed in the new subscription I got for Consumer Reports.
How do you relax? I like getting outdoors and doing something active in our beautiful state. I am originally from the Midwest.
What websites do you visit most often? WMUR.com, NH.gov, ABCNews.com
Favorite TV show, radio station or musical artist: New favorite TV ("Luther" on Hulu-Plus); "Modern Family," "The Following" on FOX. I love listening to Michael Buble.
"I really wanted to be able to help them in whatever way I could," the Concord resident said.
Today, she is the state director of vocational rehabilitation, overseeing about 100 employees and a $15 million annual budget. The bureau at any given time is helping 8,700 people.
Jim Hinson, who nominated Hatz for the 40 Under Forty honors, said workers helping the disabled frequently don't get the same recognition as those in other fields.
Clients, who make an average wage of about $16 an hour, have filled jobs as a licensed nursing assistant, medical laboratory technician, receptionist and administrative service manager.
"The higher the number, the greater the number of people going to work," she said.
She considers her key current professional challenge as "the changing makeup of our agency staff" and her last major achievement as the New Hampshire Vocational Rehabilitation Department being named the Business Assistance Organization of the Year in 2012.
Her favorite place in New Hampshire, discovered on a recent visit, is the Castle in the Clouds, which she calls "simply amazing and beautiful."
Nominations for Class of 2015
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