Familiar Face - Michelle Henzel
October 14, 2020
Amongst the shapes, colors, and textures inside Niwot's Osmosis Art and Architecture on 2nd Avenue, there's a face locals are well acquainted with - that of Michelle Henzel. She's raised a family, worked, and been an integral part of community events and organizations for more than 35 years. The Courier reached out to learn more about this vivacious member of the community.
Left Hand Valley Courier (LHVC) – Where is your hometown and what path brought you to Niwot?
Michelle Henzel (MH) – I grew up in North Massapequa, Long Island, New York, earned my bachelor of science degree at SUNY Plattsburgh in education. In 1974 I moved to Colorado because my parents and brothers had moved here while I was attending college. Before moving to Niwot in 1983, I lived in Lafayette, Thornton, and Boulder.
My husband and I were looking for a lot to build a house when we found Niwot and fell in love with the area. When we checked out the school system, we discovered Niwot has excellent schools and the rest is history.
LHVC - Tell us a bit about your family.
MH – I met my husband Dave in college and we've been married for 40 years. Our children were born in Colorado and all of three of them went to school in Niwot. Our daughter Tracey is a teacher and now a stay-at-home mom. She and her Niwotian husband Sean (O'Donohue, who is a senior district manager for AbbVie), live in Longmont with their children Emmy (7) and Owen (5). Our other daughter Ashley is a civil engineer and is married to Kent from Georgia and he is a medical device sales rep. They live in St. Petersburg, Florida. Our son Michael is a project engineer living in Denver. He's engaged to Denise who is an event planner from California.
LHVC – What's your role at Osmosis and where did you work before that job?
MH – I've worked as the office manager at Osmosis Art and Architecture for the last 10 years. Previous to that I worked at StorageTek as a documentation specialist and in accounts receivables, was the bookkeeper and office manager at CSA, and I worked at Northridge Elementary School.
In my job at Osmosis I take care of the books for the office, gallery, and rentals and purchase things for the gallery to make sure the office is stocked with supplies. I also take care of two [annual] community events - Let's Wine About Winter and the Why Not Niwot? Juried Art Show and more!
LHVC - What parts of your job do you find most rewarding and most challenging?
MH - The most rewarding parts of my job are working with incredibly talented people and a wonderful boss. I have really enjoyed meeting new people through my job. The challenging part of my job is organizing Let's Wine About Winter and Why Not Niwot?
LHVC - In what ways do you connect with the community?
MH - When my kids were in school I was class mom, a Girl Scout leader, the girls' basketball team mom coordinator and the boys' soccer team coordinator. Presently, I'm the treasurer for the Niwot Cultural Arts Association and I volunteer at Rock and Rails.
LHVC - What are your hobbies and pastimes and how do you prioritize them?
MH – I enjoy riding bikes with my husband and friends, working out, hiking, and making jewelry. MH Designs Jewelry is my business. When the weather is good, I try to be outside as much as possible, so that's definitely a priority of mine.
LHVC – What's the story with your jewelry business?
MH - I try to make jewelry as often as possible. It fulfills the creative part of my life. I use sterling silver, gold filled, pearls, semi -precious gems and more.
A friend of a friend was in town visiting and she owned a bead store in California. I was watching her make something for me and asked her a lot of questions so she showed some techniques. Well, I decided I wanted to give it try too, so I went to the bead show in Denver and made five pieces which I showed to the ladies at the bank. I sold three of those pieces right then and officially started my business.
LHVC - Are there any plans you're looking forward to or goals you're working toward?
MH - I'm looking forward to retiring and traveling, and spending more time with my children and grandchildren. My goals are to continue to work out so I can remain healthy, relax, and enjoy life!
Is there someone in our community you'd like to see profiled as a Familiar Face? Please send your suggestions to Editorial@LHVC.com.