It was October 27, 2015 and Heather Lewis was hooked. She had just attended SVP’s 2015 Fast Pitch Finals.
“What a wonderful experience,” says Heather. “I have participated in pitch competitions as a competitor and an organizer, but what stood out to me about Fast Pitch is its emphasis on social impact.”
Inspired by the innovators’ stories, Heather decided to become an SVP Partner. Since then she has served on SVP’s Environment Grant Committee, SVP’s Network Technology Advisory Committee, and worked as a strategy, planning and partnerships consultant to SVP President, Lisa Nitze.
This spring, Heather’s work came full circle when the opportunity arose to direct SVP’s 2016 Fast Pitch program.
“As someone who is deeply passionate about equity, education, the environment and strengthening the innovation and entrepreneurial ecosystem in the Puget Sound region, this is a perfect fit,” explains Heather. “It affords me a tremendous opportunity to marry my passions and continue to expand upon this great program and support the unbelievable Partners and volunteers who make Fast Pitch so great. I look forward to working with this amazing team!”
Heather brings a wealth of experience to the Fast Pitch director role. She has worked as a Program Officer of Technology, Innovation and Strategy for CoMotion (the University of Washington’s startup and innovation center), where she made best practice and policy recommendations to the university’s executive team on innovation strategy and technology commercialization. Before that, Heather performed due diligence and business development for startups spinning out of the University of Washington.
A self-described policy wonk, Heather holds a BA in Economics and Political Science from the University of British Columbia, an MPA in Science and Technology Policy, and a certificate in Technology Entrepreneurship from the University of Washington.
In her spare time, Heather is Co-Chair of the City of Seattle’s eGovernment Committee, sits on the PSA at La Escuelita Bilingual School and the YWCA of Seattle-King-Snohomish counties’ Finance and Public Policy committees.
Things You Might Not Know about Heather
Secret Super Skill: I’m currently learning Python (a programming language).
Go-To Comfort Food: I go through phases. Right now it’s vegetable pho from Bol Pho in Roosevelt.
Theme Song: I don’t know if I have a theme song. Rebirth (a New Orleans brass band) and blues with great guitar solos are in fairly regular rotation at my house.
Favorite Book as a Child: ‘People to Know.’ It was about historical figures from the 1900s. This book was my first introduction to civics and public policy. I grew up in Canada and the book is no longer in print. I liked it so much that my second grade teacher gave me her copy as a gift when I was accepted to grad school.
Place You Go to Recharge: Quiet places near the ocean. I spent my childhood on a few little islands with more seals than people. Also anywhere with lots of hopeful, younger kids. ReWA (Refugee Women’s Alliance)’s after school program was my favorite place five years ago when I first moved to Seattle.