Feature Story

2020 Albert W. Vontz Jr. Scholarship Winners

The class of 2020 will have quite a story to tell when asked about their senior year of high school! The Covid-19 Coronavirus Pandemic changed what would have been the norm for graduating seniors and students everywhere.

Heidelberg is proud to continue what has become an annual tradition every spring: The Albert W. Vontz Jr. Scholarship. The 2020 award marks the 13th annual scholarships given by the company. This year, nine children of Associates have been awarded a $3,000 scholarship to the school or college or their choice for the 2020-21 school year.

Named after our founder’s son, Albert W. Vontz Jr., the program was initiated as a tribute to him during the company’s 70th anniversary in 2008. Unlike most scholarships, Heidelberg’s scholarship has NO minimum requirements on academic grades. Instead, the scholarship is awarded to students who give back to their communities through volunteer service. There is one scholarship per school year available in EACH of Heidelberg’s nine facilities and Wine Trends.

With the 2020 awards, the company has given away 91 scholarships totaling $179,000. Students can use the scholarship money for college, post-graduate or trade school education. Congratulations to all the 2020 recipients!


Grace Buchanan, daughter of Cincinnati Sales Pro Nick Buchanan, spends a great deal of her extra circular time doing volunteer work. A 2020 graduate of Mercy McAuley High School, during her high school career, she was a member of the service leadership club, organized her school’s Locks of Love Hair Donation and went on two mission trips.

Grace was on the honor roll in all 15 quarters of her high school career and was a member of the National Honor Society in 10th, 11th and 12th grades. She will attend Northern Kentucky University and plans to major in either health sciences or biomedical sciences.



Morgan Owen daughter of Jim Owen, Reset Coordinator, will attend the University of Cincinnati in the fall where she plans to major in business analytics.

Morgan graduated Summa Cum Laude from Kenston High School in Chagrin Falls, where she was an AP Scholar with honors. She also received a presidential award for educational excellence and was named Rotary Scholar of the Month. Morgan was team captain of the cross country team and also a member of the indoor and outdoor track and lacrosse teams.

During each of her summers during high school, Morgan volunteered with Holy Angels Church and was the co-coordinator of their vacation bible school.


Owen Bork, son of Columbus Administrative Manager Victoria Bork, is the valedictorian of his Dublin Jerome 2020 graduating class. Owen received the Celebration of Excellence Award for Character from his football coach for leading team practices and not missing a single practice in all four years. In addition to playing four years of football for the Celtics, he volunteered for the program’s junior football camps.

Owen also volunteers at Saint Brigid of Kildare Church as an usher and has served as a volunteer for “Sandwich Saturdays” helping to feed the homeless in downtown Columbus. His plans are to attend Purdue University in the fall where he will major in mechanical engineering.


Danielle Widney, daughter of Heidelberg Wine Sales Pro Dane Widney, is a 2020 graduate of Piqua High School. She capped off her high school career by being named one of the “Top 100 Students of the School.” Danielle was named the scholarly volleyball athlete, outstanding show choir performer and was the winner of the Rotary Youth Leadership Award, the Volleyball Boost Your Spirit Award and the Women in S.T.E.M. College Award.

As a member of the National Honor Society, she was involved in many different charitable projects in her community but volunteering in the children’s nursery at the church she attends has been her greatest joy.

Danielle will attend the University of Kentucky where she plans to major in nursing with a focus in emergency room administration.


Isabella Bianconcini, is the daughter of Sales Professional Dawn Bianconcini. Isabella packed a lot into her four years at Louisville’s Ballard High School. She served as a student ambassador during the school year, giving tours to prospective students and meeting with their families. Isabella was a member of the Beta Club and National Honor Society as well as serving as a youth mentor to an 8th grade student going through confirmation.

She was also active in Dance Maroon, being selected to serve on the organization’s committee. Dance Maroon is a student led organization that raises money for pediatric cancer research through various events; the biggest of which is a six-hour dance marathon.

Isabella will continue her education at the University of Kentucky where she will major in media arts and studies.


Steven Iwanek Jr., son of Lorain receptionist Sheila Iwanek, becomes the second member of his family to earn a Vontz Scholarship. His older sister Katie won the award in 2016. Steven was a member of the National Honor Society, was named a student of the month by the Firelands Lions Club and was a nominated member for the Lorain County Chamber of Commerce Effective Leadership Academy.

As the captain of the Fireland’s Boys’ Basketball team Steven and his teammates volunteer each summer for the annual Fireland’s Youth Basketball Camp. Last summer’s camp had 50 campers over the four-day event.

He will attend Bowling Green State University and will major in communications/broadcast journalism.


Alana Belcher, daughter of Operations Associate Thomas Stahl II, is a college credit plus student, which means she attended high school and college at the same time. While taking both high school and college level classes, she has been active in the University of Toledo’s Upward Bound program, along with working at a homeless shelter and a community garden.

Alana has also been active working with the Special Olympics gymnastics team, acting as a coach, a spotter, helping with floor routines, the vault and being a sign language interpreter for hearing impaired athletes. She will attend Madonna University and plans to earn her degree in sign language interpreting and education.


Ariel Long, daughter of Youngstown Operations Associate Larry Findlay Jr., graduated from Girard High School and will attend Kent State University in the fall and will major in visual communication design. Ariel was the recipient of Girard High School’s Citizenship Award for being an advocate for all students and setting an example as a role model.

Ariel created and led a GSA (Gay Straight Alliance) club at Girard, which helps to serve as a council group for others in the school. She started the club from the ground up, pitching the idea for the club to the teachers, principal and administration.


Dominic Campagna, stepson of Wine Trends Regional Sales Manager Nikki Campagna, boasts four years of being on the honor roll and is a National Merit Scholar. He graduated this spring from Gahanna Lincoln High School with a 4.2 GPA and will attend Florida State University where he will be majoring in business management with a concentration in international programs.

Dominic participated in his school’s annual blood drive as well as Gahannathon; a charitable event that raises money for cancer research, with an emphasis on pediatric cancer. He is the second member of Nikki’s family to win a Vontz Scholarship; Nikki’s daughter Reily was a 2019 recipient and is a 2020 graduate of the University of Toledo!



This newsletter was produced with the help of your fellow Associates.

Sheila Iwanek
Jessica Steeb
Carrie Garner
Susan Kneidl
Maggie Schief
Tyler McKinley
Xavier Breiding
Wendy Harris
Kelly Fine
Katharyn Rigg
Sallie Baker
Ohio Valley Wine & Beer
Janet Pabst
Ohio Valley Wine & Beer
Staci Testa
Jenia Tolbert
Marie Hemlinger
Dan Rapata
Wine Trends
Taylor Lipvsky
Wine Trends
Corey Caulk
Wine Trends
Kelly Fine


Report news for the next issue of Roar On or email editor MIKE VANDER WOUDE