Wade Heath was still attending Lodi high school when he started writing for us in 2003. i enjoyed Wade's conversatonal writing style.
I also appreciated his optimistic spirit and his can-do mentality.
Wade created a cable access show in Stockton while he was still in school, exploring local, state and national issues.
Wade attended Delta College, then transferred to Cal State Fullerton. He worked his way through college as a part-time employee at Disneyland.
Wade is a young man with a big smile but a ton of grit, too.
At Disneyland, his career has unfolded in a near-storybook style. He is now a fulltime employee with a seemingly luminous future.
In 2009, he won the state of California Hotel Lodging Association 'Outstanding Employee of the Year' award. In 2010, he made Disney history as the first company employee to be recognized with the Outstanding Employee of the Year Award by the North American Hotel and Lodging Association.
Wade, the kid from Lodi, was asked to speak to Disney's top execs and directors at one of their conferences.
He has entered the Magic Kingdom leadership program and now serves as Guest Experience Manager for Main Street USA inside Disneyland park. He also helps teach the 23,000 cast members of the Disneyland Resort through Disney University, the company education system.
Now, he has earned another honor: The Walt Disney Legacy Award, given to those who reflect the values of of `dreaming, creating and inspiring' as personified by Disney himself. Honorees are nominated by their colleagues and are allowed to wear a special blue badge.
So it has been a wild and exhilarating ride for Wade, a young man who says, with characteristic sincerity, that he is living his dream.