by Darcey Leach
Grace Hill, an innovator of talent and customer management solutions for commercial and multifamily real estate, announced the winners of the 2023 Impact Hero Awards program. This award program is in its second year, annually recognizing people and organizations for helping others in need and making a positive impact in their communities.
The grand prize was presented to Karen Schrah, managing director and senior vice president of Harbor Group Management Company, after turning the heartbreaking loss of her 16-year-old son, Zac, into helping thousands of Texas youth with heart screening. Zac died unexpectedly during a football practice, and Schrah found out her son had hypertrophic cardiomyopathy (HCM), a common cause of sudden cardiac arrest (SCA), among children. She created Living for Zachary in his memory, an organization focused on youth heart health through screenings, Automated External Defibrillator (AED) donations, CPR/AED certification classes, scholarships and awareness events.
“I started the nonprofit from one of life’s most devastating moments and found a passion in educating others,” Schrah said. “A lot of the work that makes our awareness and heart screening events possible is done behind the scenes by a team of amazing volunteers and a phenomenal staff who are dedicated to the mission of Living for Zachary.”
Since its foundation, Living for Zachary has provided over 11,000 free heart screenings, donated over 650 AEDs and certified 3,500 individuals in CPR. Obtaining adequate funding for these items can be a challenge at times, but Schrah remains fully committed to helping prevent future tragedies. Living for Zachary also partners with Baylor Scott & White Health, enabling the organization to expand services across Texas.
“It is an honor for Grace Hill to present this Impact Hero Award to Karen for her tireless devotion to helping hearts across Texas, so no parent will have to face the tragic loss that she did,” said Kendall Pretzer, CEO of Grace Hill. “Living for Zachary is not only bringing awareness to this growing issue, it is providing valuable tools to help Texas children thrive. Karen is truly turning tragedy into saving the lives of others.”
Felicia Flores was awarded first runner-up for her work as the program manager of Indus Cares, the charitable foundation of Indus Communities. She identifies the challenges of residents at Indus’ 38 properties in the Houston area and coordinates new and established programs to provide assistance.
Jason Richards, an area manager for Trinity Property Consultants in Houston, was awarded second runner-up for his work as president of Rho Beta Beta (RBB), the graduate chapter of Omega Psi Phi. RBB runs a program that buys groceries for families in Houston, as well as Omega Lamplighters, a youth mentorship program. Outside of RBB, Richards is on the board of Essential Friends Foundation, which provides charitable, educational, civic and social programs with a mission to change one life at a time.
The winners of the 2023 Grace Hill Impact Hero Awards were recognized at a ceremony on October 6, 2023, in Dallas. Each of the winners was awarded a donation to their cause. The grand prize winner was given $3,500, the first runner-up received $2,000 and second-runner up was presented with $1,000.