Heather Fitzpatrick to Lead Wellspring’s Work with Children and Families Facing Homelessness in the Greater Seattle Community
Heather Fitzpatrick has been named as the new CEO/president of Wellspring Family Services. Effective immediately, Heather will lead the non-profit agency that serves children and families facing homelessness in the Greater Seattle area.
Heather joined Wellspring in July 2017 as the interim chief financial officer and chief operating officer. Upon the retirement of Wellspring’s long-time CEO, Ruthann Howell, in December 2017, Heather was asked by the board of directors to serve as interim CEO during the executive search process. Following that comprehensive 7-month external search, the board tapped Heather for the new role.
“In the end, it became clear that the agency’s interim leader—Heather—was our top choice,” said Ben Shobert, who chairs Wellspring’s board of directors. “Heather’s proven experience in business leadership, her demonstrated expertise in finance, her successful work in marketing and strategic planning and in running her own management consulting business, her proven commitment to community service, and her extensive non-profit leadership underscore her qualifications to lead Wellspring,” Shobert said. “Additionally, she has done an exceptional job serving as Wellspring’s interim CEO/president since January.”
Heather believes Wellspring’s work is serving a critical need. “As our region battles a homelessness crisis, Wellspring is focused on our most vulnerable population – children and their families,” said Heather. “I deeply believe in and am passionate about Wellspring’s comprehensive approach to addressing the issues that perpetuate the cycle of homelessness for families. I’m eager to work with the Wellspring team toward our vision of a community in which every child has a safe and secure home. And I look forward to collaborating with other organizations in our community who are equally committed to ensuring children at risk of homelessness have a better future.”
In the 20 years prior to her involvement with Wellspring, Fitzpatrick worked with nonprofits, healthcare organizations, and professional service firms to help them develop marketing and strategic plans to achieve their ambitious goals. During that period, Heather led the management consulting firm MarketFitz, Inc., working with clients that included San Francisco Performances, Virginia Mason Medical Center, Make-A-Wish Alaska & Washington, and the Benaroya Research Institute. An active community leader, Heather has served on a dozen boards of directors, including Northwest Center, the Washington Society of CPAs, Leadership Tomorrow, the Seattle Metropolitan Chamber of Commerce, CityClub and Girl Scouts of Western Washington.
Heather received her MBA from the University of Washington, her BA from Colgate University, and was a Fulbright Scholar. She is a graduate of Seattle’s Leadership Tomorrow, and a long-time member of Seattle Rotary #4. She began her career with Deloitte, and is a Chartered Global Management Accountant and a licensed CPA in Washington state. A Seattle native, Heather enjoys volunteering as a Girl Scout leader, and traveling, camping, and hiking with her husband, two children, and dog, Riko.
About Wellspring Family Services
For more than 125 years, Wellspring Family Services has served children and families in crisis in the Greater Seattle community. Wellspring’s primary focus is working with children and families to end the cycle of family homelessness. Wellspring addresses both the basic needs of families experiencing homelessness and the causes and impact of trauma caused by the experience. This includes finding safe and secure housing, homelessness prevention, addressing the negative impact of trauma on children, and helping parents learn the skills to strengthen relationships with their children—many of whom have experienced the trauma of homelessness, poverty, domestic violence and other life challenges. These wrap-around services help families find long-term stability so they do not re-enter the cycle of homelessness in our community.