At today’s Chamber Board of Directors meeting, Stephen Hanz received the Chair of the Board Award in the field of tourism development for his efforts in developing projects and initiatives for the Wurstfest Association. This award is designed to honor individuals who have made a significant contribution to the community in a specific field of endeavor, and no more than six recipients may be named in a calendar year.
In 2013, Hanz coordinated the engineering of a 110-foot bridge on the Wurstfest grounds that now provides a scenic walkway and the spot for many great photos of the waterfall which patrons likely didn’t even know existed. Hanz also led a group of members as they brainstormed how to develop the lower level of the Stelzenhaus and the surrounding area into more outdoor festival space. This led to the introduction of the Stelzenhaus in 2014.
Following the purchase by the Association in 2016 of 4.5 acres from LCRA, Hanz coordinated weekly meetings with key players to create a new area that will open to the public next month. He is also the catalyst for an overall master plan for all of the property that will be further developed years to come. Hanz implemented practices that improve service to patrons and curb waste of product while on the Bars Committee that has greatly improved the organization’s bottom line. Hanz served as the Wurstfest Association President in 2015.
Hanz is a sixth generation New Braunfels resident who is a descendent of the original settlers. He is a partner and local business owner of HMT Engineering and Surveying. He lends his expertise to several City committees including the Drainage Impact Fee Committee, Past Chairman of the Watershed Advisory Committee, and City of New Braunfels Bond Advisory Committee. Hanz is a Leadership New Braunfels Class of 1999 Graduate, Director of the Comal County Fair Association, Blue Coat and Board Member with the New Braunfels Chamber of Commerce, and a member of the Downtown Rotary Club of New Braunfels.
For these reasons and many more, Hanz is the fifth recipient of the Chair of the Board Award of 2018. April Weilbacher was honored in the field of downtown development in February, Donna Eccleston received the award in the field of mental health in April, Ron Reaves was honored in the field of community planning and Dr. Melissa Miskell received the award in the field of women's health in July. Hanz and his wife Donna will be invited as special guests to the Centennial Chamber of Commerce Banquet on January 25, 2019 where he will be further honored.