Given their busy schedule, it's hard to imagine how Rick and Mary Jo Pinnell find time for their many philanthropic interests but yet they do with Heritage University being a focal point of their support. The Pinnell's were introduced to Heritage a number of years ago through Rick's mother, Joan, who was actively involved with Heritage University for many years, supporting the annual Bounty of the Valley Scholarship Dinner, and eventually establishing the Joan Pinnell Endowed Scholarship Fund. With Joan's interest in Heritage, it was an easy decision to include Heritage University in her estate plan. When Joan died in 2019 she left a legacy to the Joan Pinnell Scholarship Fund.
Rick's father, George, at age 16 came to Yakima during the depression to pick fruit. He eventually set up an office equipment business. Rick grew up in Yakima and worked in the orchards. After receiving his degree at Washington State University, Rick joined the army and was deployed to Vietnam where he was a platoon leader. When Rick returned from serving his country, he moved to San Francisco and began his career.
Mary Jo's 38 year career as a flight attendant with United Airlines took her to many international destinations. When her feet were on the ground she completed a Masters in Elementary Education at University of California, Berkeley. Mary Jo's mother was a teacher so this was a logical step for her. Given Mary Jo's career and pursuit in a master's program, it's a miracle that she met Rick while they were both living in San Francisco.
When Rick and Mary Jo moved from San Francisco to Yakima he purchased his father's business. Even while raising a daughter and having busy careers, they both became involved in the community supporting many nonprofits. Mary Jo continued to fly for United Airlines and Rick was busy expanding the business. His main business was copiers and technology through the technology era. After 28 years Rick sold his company to a company in Chicago. Rick has been board chair and on committees of many nonprofits, including Heritage University. Mary Jo has been on many nonprofit boards that reflect her passions.
Rick and Mary Jo's personal backgrounds and firm belief that education is key to changing people's lives is key to their estate plan. That is why Rick and Mary Jo made the decision to include Heritage University in their estate plan. They have a great passion for the Heritage mission and believe supporting this mission with a legacy gift will change lives for generations.