Citizen of Edina: Jim Bizal
Jim Bizal is a builder by trade, forming his own residential building company, Bizal Built Inc., 20 years ago. But what he has built in his personal time is a testament to his dedication to others.
Since 2007, Bizal has led 18 mission trips to Belize to build and maintain Holy Cross Anglican School in San Pedro. The relationship with Holy Cross started as a mission trip with volunteers from St. Stephens Episcopal Church in Edina. The group built classrooms at a newly founded school serving 66 kids.
The demand for space continued to grow, and Bizal returned year after year, adding classrooms and maintaining the property. The groups Bizal now leads are a blend of members from St. Stephens and Rotarians from Edina’s Morningside Rotary Club. To raise funds for improvements, Bizal helped form a nonprofit, the Holy Cross Education Foundation, and he continues to serve on its board of directors. Today, the school serves 460 students.
Closer to home, Bizal chairs a committee of volunteers from seven local Episcopal churches; together, the self-named “EpiscoBuilders” volunteer two weeks a year for Habitat for Humanity. He is also a leader at St. Stephens for the Teens Encounter Christ Program.
Indefatigable, Bizal also serves on the board of directors of the Voyagers Conservancy, the nonprofit partner of Minnesota’s Voyageurs National Park. The Edina Community Foundation recognized Bizal for his work as a youth mentor with a Connecting with Kids Award in 2018.
Contributed by Tina Bohrer on behalf of the Edina Community Foundation.