There is a lot of talent throughout the beautiful Lake of the Ozarks. One is Missouri’s Best Local Television Personality and TV Sports Anchor, William Holtz with Lake TV. . William sat down with Missouri Magazine to share his journey and the heart behind Lake TV. It is a pleasure to introduce the lake’s new face in TV and multimedia who’s taking the Lake of the Ozarks national.
Missouri Magazine: Tell us a little about yourself and your journey. William Holtz: Well I moved to the lake from Branson when I was 6 years old with my parents and 2 sisters (one older, Jenny & one younger, Ann Marie). My family has always been in restaurant and hospitality/food sales. My mom’s parents (my mama and papa) bought a Country Kitchen in Eldon, MO in 2000 and we followed them to join the family business. I grew up working hard in the food industry. I also had an uncanny love for sports, The Chicago Cubs & Buffalo Bills in particular. I grew up muting the Cubs games on WGN and dreamt & still dream about one being the voice of the Chicago Cubs. I did the same thing for my Buffalo Bills every Sunday. My dad and I never miss a game. Since I was 10, there have been about 288 Buffalo Bills games and on a modest guess, we have watched at least 270 of those games together. Sports are something that are bigger than life itself to me. It’s a platform which brings people together that otherwise wouldn’t come together. I am a full-time resident of the lake and am continually enamored by the area, people, and culture surrounding the Lake of the Ozarks. I didn’t think that 7 years ago when I accepted a job as a play-by-play guy for high-school football on a local leased access channel that we’d be where we are today. It’s been an incredible journey and I firmly believe the best is yet to come.
Missouri Magazine: How did you get started in multimedia? William Holtz: My first job was reading the half time reports on KS 95 out of Versailles with Hall of Famer Mike Bissell. I then accepted a job at The Versailles Leader Statesman as the Sports & General Assignment Reporter/Journalist. I did that for a little over a year and then I then returned to KS95 and served as the analyst to Mike Bissell for the 2014 Versailles Tigers Basketball Season. That was a little after I took the play-by-play job in July of 2013 with Lake TV for their inaugural season of High-School Football.
Missouri Magazine: Tell us about your day. Getting ready to film an event at the Lake of the Ozarks. William Holtz: My days are hectic and exiting. I wear many hats with Lake TV and the multimedia company (The William Holtz Media Group). Everyone sees me on videos and in the community, but they don’t get to see the countless hours at the desk. My days are hectic and are typically is filled with desk work, phone calls, meetings, social media, finances, producing, email blasts, client relations, local events, video shoots, still photography, writing, directing, hiring, etc, etc, etc – It’s really a combination of exciting, fun, and stressful tasks.
Missouri Magazine: What are your steps for success? William Holtz: A great team of incredibly talented and hardworking individuals surrounding me. I think since the start of 2017 we really started to implement a culture shift and our crew started to buy in and see what we wanted to do. I have some of the most talented and accomplished team members in the state of Missouri working with us. Now we have many of our key long-time crew members along with many new and promising faces recently joining our team. The team that can buy in to a common goal while all serving in their own capacity has been the most important component for us.
Missouri Magazine: What is your favorite thing to do at the Lake of the Ozarks? William Holtz: To be honest, nothing is quite like being at a concert at The Ozarks Amphitheater. Whether I’m there as an EmCee, a videographer or photographer, or just as a spectator, a ton of my favorite moments have come at that venue. It’s very special to me and my relationship with their ownership team and Mary Kay in particular have played such a vital role in Lake TV’s growth and even me personally here on a local level. Besides that, it’s tough to beat Ha Ha Tonka State Park or being out on the water on a PWC. This place is paradise and I haven’t run out of exciting things to do here.
Missouri Magazine: Where does your inspiration come from? William Holtz: My family and Jesus Christ. My family has always played such a crucial role in my life. Look, I was born into an incredible family and maybe we didn’t have a ton of money, but we had a solid foundation and more then needed. We (my two sisters and me) were afforded every single opportunity a kid would need to thrive (good school, married parents who love one another, both parents have nice jobs, hardworking and good honest and integrity filled people) So I didn’t really have to overcome anything except maybe myself. They are still a very active and important role in my life, and I couldn’t imagine my life without my family. My dad is the greatest example of what a man should walk, act, and talk like. And then Jesus Christ because I cling to Him in my weaknesses. I can’t tell you how stupid and selfish I have been in my past and how many times I’ve been beaten and bruised by the world, but I can ALWAYS find a fresh start and unmatched LOVE and peace when I lean on Him. Thankful to know Him.
Missouri Magazine: What has been your most challenging project to date? William Holtz: Lake Race 2019, no doubt about it. We essentially put our life and company on hold for almost 3 1/2 months to pull off this project. We had a few slight kinks here and there but at the end of the day, our team along with many other talented individuals pulled off what we believe to be the # 1 LIVE event production to ever happen at the Lake of the Ozarks.
Missouri Magazine: What has been your favorite project to date? William Holtz: It would either have to be working with Jason Bateman’s crew for season 1 on the Netflix Series “Ozark” or my role and work in the Malibu “Ryder Experience Regional Championships” in the summer of 2018. For the “Ozark” series, I served as Jason Bateman’s “Director of Extras Casting” and was in charge of finding, hiring, coordinating, and presenting 30-45 extras at a time to the team of lead producers & directors for selection. I also served as the liaison to the Production Lead and Emmy Award Winning Locations Scout Director, Wes Hagen. In the Malibu “Ryder Experience”, we covered the Malibu Boats & Iguana Marine Group Regional Championship Series at Lake of the Ozarks. It was epic. We shot drone, Go Pro, 4k footage from the boat and rocked out two of my favorite video projects we’ve ever done. On these projects I served as a producer along with hosting and co-directing both pieces. Those and I ALWAYS enjoy calling LIVE sports. Any football or basketball is just a blast and I could do that all day every day and never get tired of it.
Missouri Magazine: What is your favorite part about your job? William Holtz: Getting to bless people with free tickets, meet & greets, VIP experiences, and celebrity encounters. I always remember as a kid that I wanted to be famous but not for the common reasons. I remember looking up the nicest celebrities that were always nice and genuine to their fans and were able to provide once in a lifetime opportunities to them. Now as a business owner in the media industry due to our services and platform, I get to do just that. It’s so great getting to see people freak and get excited about what they’ve won or been gifted. That and calling LIVE sports in any capacity along with being my own boss.
Missouri Magazine: What drives you most in life and your career? William Holtz: Probably the fact that I always want my family, friends, and those I’m closest to be proud of me and more for the man that I am growing into, not just for my professional accomplishments. I’ve been fortunate to have the best supporting cast from my girlfriend, to my family, to my friends and associates, along with my community here at the lake.
Missouri Magazine: The Lake Race is upon us, what does it mean to you being the official broadcast and media for the Lake Race at the Lake of the Ozarks William Holtz: Now that it’s in the books, I’m thankful. It was such a blessing that Alvin Heathman, Mike Sheppherd, and the entire Lake Race Board of Directors showed this kind of faith and trust in The William Holtz Media Group and Lake TV. We had a ton of help from our radio partners 1079 The Coyote, to our partners at Speed On The Water and even our staff photographer Jacob Carola and Carola Pix. It took so many people to pull off this project and it was an overall roaring success.
Missouri Magazine: What is your favorite quote? William Holtz: It comes from the great Jimmy Valvano…… “We should do three things every day of our life. Number one is laugh. You should laugh every day. Number two is to think, we should spend some time in thought. And, number three is you should have your emotions moved to tears. If you do those three things every single day, I guarantee you that you’l have something special”
Missouri Magazine: You were voted by Missouri Magazine readers as Missouri’s Best Local Television Personality and TV Sports Anchor. Congratulations again! What does it mean to you winning Missouri’s Best and being the BEST in Missouri? William Holtz: It means a ton, to be honest. There are so many incredible sports anchors across the state of Missouri (Rod Smith & Dan Mcloughlin in particular) and guys in KC, STL, and Springfield. It was really cool. I LOVED seeing my face right next to Pat Mahomes on the 40 under 40 in Missouri. That was truly surreal.
Missouri Magazine: What choices have you made to invest in yourself and your own success? William Holtz: Well my dad has always talked to me about the importance of planning for the future and sacrificing things now so one day you can have what others won’t. I think I have done a fair job of trying to be strategic in my personal financial planning as well as planning for future growth of our brands and company. Also investing in my teammates and partners is a big part in ensuring that we have success in the future. That and trying to exercise my body, mind, and spirit regularly.
Missouri Magazine: What is ahead for Lake TV? William Holtz: Good question. We have our first nationally televised LIVE production under our belt and can now finally catch our breath. We have some incredibly exciting local projects that are in the works that we can’t get into at this moment. We have only begun to scratch the service with Lake TV and The William Holtz Media Group and what we plan to accomplish.
Missouri Magazine: If you could go back in time and give yourself one piece of advice what would it be? William Holtz: Never burn bridges that you can’t afford to lose the ability to ever cross again. As a matter of fact, never burn a bridge regardless. The most important thing that has allowed me to be successful has been being nice. I’m very serious too. If you are genuinely nice and caring to humans, you will get an incredibly overwhelming response and return. I wasn’t always as aware of that statement as I am today, and it has certainly cost me in my past.
Missouri Magazine: Anything else you would like to share with our readers? William Holtz: I truly am living my dream by doing what I am doing. I never in a billion years thought we’d be where we are. It’s truly a blessing. I get to work with some of the most intelligent, successful, and talented people in Missouri. I’m truly blessed. I have a wonderful girlfriend Unique, and I have the three most wonderful fur babies, Rizzo Bacon Holtz, Santo Burger Holtz, and Stevie ErnieIris Holtz.
Find out more about Lake TV at www.mylaketv.com