Stephanie Heffner is passionate about finding creative solutions to engaging the community in meaningful and impactful ways that address their needs. She brings 15+ years of experience in volunteer engagement and training. Most recently, Stephanie held the Volunteer Engagement positon at the YWCA of Seattle | King | Snohomish, managing volunteers across 30 sites. Stephanie created a volunteer engagement program for Coalition for Refugees from Burma that allowed the organization to meet a critical need for clients by engaging volunteers in new programs.
She also served as an AmeriCorps VISTA Volunteer Leadership Programs Coordinator at Seattle Works, running nonprofit board service trainings and volunteer project management training.
As a life-long volunteer, Stephanie has volunteered on a range of community issues such as river cleanups in Oregon, teaching English and training teachers on cultivating critical thinking skills in Thailand, working the front desk at a small museum in Alaska, tutoring at multiple women and family shelters, and serving as the chairperson on the board of a small community-based organization for refugees. She also volunteered with 501 Commons as a VIP Manager Corps member, as well as a VMC advisor.
Originally from rural Oregon and Southeast Alaska, Stephanie’s family roots (along with the grandmother to her fig tree) are in Greece. She has always considered the PNW home, although her interest in learning more about people’s lived experiences led her to live in Thailand, China, Italy, Greece, Nicaragua, South Africa, and Australia.
Stephanie’s studies have been rooted in equity and social justice. She received a Master’s in Sustainable Development (MPA), specializing in community development and policy advocacy at the SIT Graduate Institute, and a B.A. in American Ethnic Studies and American Indian Studies at the University of Washington. Stephanie is a lover of llamas, hammocks, the sea, community development, and people’s stories.
Fun Fact: Stephanie learned to refuel a helicopter (while it was still running) before she ever pumped gas for her own car.