hometown hero

Get to know the newest Peoria Independent Hometown hero

Mike Heath has been chosen for the volunteer category

Posted 6/13/22

Mike Heath has been named the Peoria Independent Hometown Hero in the volunteer category.

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hometown hero

Get to know the newest Peoria Independent Hometown hero

Mike Heath has been chosen for the volunteer category


Mike Heath has been named the Peoria Independent Hometown Hero in the volunteer category.

The Hometown Heroes Awards are a celebration of individuals who have contributed to the city, and those who have made local achievements and distinguished contributions to the community.

Heath will be honored at an awards luncheon next year.

In partnership with the city of Peoria, he will be interviewed by the city and aired on Channel 11.

Get to know Heath here:

What I like most about living in Peoria.

I like being in Peoria because of the involvement in various nonprofits and city boards and commissions.

I think highly of how city staff, mayor and council have been so dedicated to many improvements to our community. It seems that I can’t go many places in Peoria without seeing someone I know or have been involved with through various groups I have volunteered for. It is a larger city with a small town feel.

Personal background highlights.

I grew up on the west side of Phoenix and remember when Camelback Road was a dirt road past 83rd Avenue. After graduating from high school, I completed a diesel apprenticeship and traveled all over the state working on various types of vehicles and heavy equipment. I’ve seen much growth in the area and moved to Peoria for the fabulous school system the Peoria United School District provided for my children, who are all products of the district. And my grandchildren are now attending the district.

I got involved with various committees in the city of Peoria after being on the Peoria Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors and continued building relationships for many years.

Professional background highlights.

I am currently employed with Salt River Project and June will be 37 years of very satisfied service. I started nights as a journeyman mechanic, was supervisor of several garage facilities and I am now a Fleet Design Specialist, working on fleet electrification and support of other fleet projects. I am the chairman of the Valley of the Sun Clean Cities Coalition. This coalition works with many municipal fleets, school fleets, other large fleets, and fuel providers to use alternative fuels and reduce the dependency on foreign oil and carbon foot print.

What does it mean to be a Peoria resident?

Living in Peoria is great and the way the city works for smart growth is a true value to all the current and future residents. Being involved with several boards and commissions, you gain a real respect with how city staff works tirelessly to improve the great city and community, with the policy guidance of the mayor and council. They place a high priority on public safety — feeling safe and secure in your residential area or in the busy restaurants and entertainment areas.

What do you think you bring to the local community that makes it better?

I hope being involved and helping with various committees only helps to bring value and improvements to our city. I spend lots of my personal time attending meetings and helping to make Peoria a better place for all. I have been very fortunate to build trusted and highly valued relationships with business owners, city staff, and council members to be able to help residents when there is a need, or find a problem that can be resolved for both parties.

Changes I’d like to see in Peoria.

I would love to see planned development be implemented in the Old Town area to make it more vital and successful for existing businesses and create a destination area for restaurants and entertainment. It is awesome when they have scheduled events in the Old Town area. I only hope this could be the normal and not only for special events.

My interests and hobbies.

When not volunteering, I love to watch all types of motor sports. I dove my first stock car at Manzanita Raceway, before I was of legal age. I competed several years at Canyon Raceway and won seven main events, as well as used to spend all the NASCAR events camping in the infield at Phoenix Raceway. I also love to ride side-by-sides out in the desert on trails and lead groups on off-roading adventures.

The trait(s) I admire in others.

I admire those who give behind-the-scenes that make a big difference to nonprofits that could not have done it without the donations of funds or time. It’s awesome to see that great things can happen when generous people help on a single cause or on many of the various needs out there.

People who inspired me (and how).

Many of my teachers in the Pendergast Elementary and Tolleson Union High School systems, who would not accept me just doing enough to get by and raising the bar. So when I moved on to college years later, I completed my degree with magna cum laude honors.

My guiding philosophy.

Work hard, play harder and have fun. It is important you love what you do and who you do things for. It will never feel like a job, just enjoy.

My advice to today’s youth.

Find something you love to do, and you will never work a day in your life. Get involved with your community. Spend time with the old generations, learn their perspectives and history — it won’t feel like a boring class if you know something about a person you are learning from.

Name a couple future goals.

Win the lottery – so I can help nonprofits with awesome improvements and projects to make the community a much better place. Get a new truck and toy hauler to spend free time camping and riding side-by-sides with friends.

Philip Haldiman can be reached at phaldiman@iniusa.org, or on Twitter @philiphaldiman.

Peoria, Arizona, Peoria Independent, volunteer, Habitat for Humanity, committees, Hometown Heroes, awards


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