Paying it Forward: Temple Lentz

Volunteer of the WeekTemple LentzName: Temple Lentz

Current employer or place of business: Executive Director, Parks Foundation of Clark County; Partner, High Five Media; Host of Hello Vancouver

Organization(s) I volunteer with: I serve on the board of the Friends of the Columbia Gorge, and the advisory board for KXRW, an independent radio station coming to Vancouver this year. I also volunteer with Leadership Clark County, and the downtown Vancouver Rotary Club. I was founding secretary of the nonprofit Arts of Clark County, and just rotated off the board now that the organization is stronger and has found its footing.

How I got involved: I came to Vancouver about 10 years ago, to work for the downtown Rotary club I’m now a member of. Rotary was my introduction to Vancouver and Clark County, so I learned about this wonderful place through the lens of service. Because of that experience, when I think of Vancouver and Clark County, I think of people who give their time, talent and financial resources to support the things they care about.

Why I give back: I feel incredibly fortunate to live in this incredible place, surrounded by incredible people. Our natural resources are worth protecting, our community is worth supporting, and our people are worth promoting. Instead of answering “Why do I give back?” I’d rather reframe it: Why wouldn’t I? How could you not?

Proudest moment as a volunteer: I’ve had the honor of serving as a volunteer emcee for a number of great organizations’ fundraising events: Parks Foundation, Columbia Slough Watershed Council, Evergreen School District Foundation, Habitat for Humanity, and more! Something that I just love at each of these events is helping these organizations connect with their audiences. It’s an absolute thrill to see people giving to organizations they support and believe in, and I can’t get over the electricity of those moments.

What local challenge or issue are you most passionate about? Community connections. Whether it’s government, business or social, I really believe that we are stronger when we work together, learn to work through differences, learn about our neighbors, and help them learn about us. At High Five Media, we exploded that commitment to community when we created the show Hello Vancouver three years ago. Every other month, we and a group of dedicated volunteers take to the stage at the Kiggins to put on a free show that is all about this amazing place.

Just for fun: What are your hidden talents? I know most of the words to almost every traditional Christmas song. Multiple verses, for some of them!

“Paying it Forward: Volunteer Businessperson of the Week” is sponsored by Pacific Continental Bank.