State of Community county honors for Holly Heinzen stepping in as interim CEO

By: Gus Thomson, Journal Staff Writer
-A +A


Auburn State of the Community Dinner

When: 7 p.m. May 10

Where: The Ridge event center, 2020 Golf Course Road, North Auburn

Tickets: Reserve seats at (530) 885-5616



Placer County’s No. 2 administrator Holly Heinzen’s leadership role in between the retirement of County Executive Officer Tom Miller and the hiring of his successor, David Boesch, is being recognized at Friday’s Auburn State of the Community Dinner.

Heinzen served as the county’s interim CEO during the time between February 2012 and last June when Placer had said ‘goodbye’ to Miller and was in the process of selecting the new chief executive officer.

Appointed by the Board of Supervisors, she was at the helm as the budget process moved ahead but the direction of a new CEO had yet to be determined.

Supervisor Jennifer Montgomery, the county’s District 5 representative, served as board chairwoman at the time and was impressed with Heinzen’s role in moving the county wheels of government forward in the absence of a CEO. The Auburn-area representative selected Heinzen as her choice for county employee of the year for Friday’s event.

Heinzen, who has worked for the county for 28 years, returned to her job as chief assistant county executive officer after Boesch took over, providing guidance for supervisors on budget and other county matters.

“She’s an incredible advocate for the taxpayers in the county,” Montgomery said.

Montgomery singled out Heinzen’s efforts during the first half of 2011.

“When Tom stepped down as CEO and we didn’t have a replacement, Holly did an amazing, amazing job,” Montgomery said. “She kept her sense of humor, kept her focus and kept things on track when things could have gone off course. She’s one of those public servants who is a role model for the rest of us.”

Heinzen was initially hired in the mid-1980s by then-county CEO Tom Schopflin and has since played key roles in the County Executive Office under other chief administrators Don Lunsford, Jan Christoffersen, Miller and Boesch. She succeeded Rich Colwell as No. 2 administrator after his retirement in 2009. Among her early tasks was working on the start-up in the early 1990s of the county’s recently dissolved redevelopment agency.

“I’m blessed with a good board,” Heinzen said. “We’ve had some challenging years but kept a steady ship financially. The board had good foresight.”

Heinzen, a resident of Peardale, in Nevada County, is to be presented with her award at Friday’s State of the Community Dinner at The Ridge event center.

“There is not a day that hasn’t been interesting,” Heinzen said.