The conversation began in her parent’s basement in the summer of 2011. Jason and I were driving across the country, en route to our year living in Boston. Heather, my good friend from college, was one of our stops on the way. She was living in Fort Collins with her parents and husband Jason, working on her Masters in International Development. We were sharing with her about the work of Rural Health Collaborative and our dreams for the future. “Can I join?” Heather asked. The rest is history.
For the last 12 years Heather has been an invaluable part of the team. She initially joined as the Director of Monitoring and Evaluation, employing many of the skills she learned while obtaining her graduate degree. During a strategic planning meeting in 2017, the idea first blossomed that perhaps Heather could be our next Executive Director. As a team, we were ready to transition to female-identifying leadership and Heather was looking to grow her skillset. We all began to chat about how this dream could happen. It was actualized in January of 2020, as Heather moved into the Executive Director role for the US Team while Alnice Agbeko simultaneously transitioned into the Country Director role for the Ghana Team.
For the past three years, Heather has tirelessly led the team. She brought her attention to detail, skill with spreadsheets, partnership with the Ghana team, and budgetary skills to guide us through a global pandemic as a health promotion organization. She did this while raising three children, now 5, 7 and 8! She also worked in multiple positions during her tenure with RHC, first as a program manager with the International Rescue Committee and most recently as a Grants Specialist for the Poudre School District. When Heather was ready to move on, she helped in the search for a new Executive Director. And as of June 1st, coinciding with our welcoming Dr. Brandy Holloman into the ED role, Heather transitioned to membership on the RHC Board.
Our team is so grateful for all of the time, expertise and friendship that Heather offered to the Executive Team and the perspective she will continue to offer to the Board. While we are sad to see her go, we are delighted she will still be nearby.