Heather Lenz, MA

Strategic Operations and Planning
Community Innovation Network
Jack, Joseph and Morton Mandel School of Applied Social Sciences

Heather Lenz, MA is Assistant Director of the Community Innovation Network (The Network) at the Jack, Joseph and Morton Mandel School of Applied Social Sciences of Case Western Reserve University. Prior to joining The Network, Heather spent 8 years consulting with local, state, and national nonprofit organizations and governments, helping them develop and implement evidence-based strategies to increase their capacity, launch new programs, and amplify long-term impact with both the Center for Nonprofit Policy and Practice at Cleveland State University and a national consulting firm, Advocacy and Communication Solutions.

Heather has facilitated several local and statewide initiatives across governments, nonprofits, public- private partnerships, and cross-community efforts. Locally, she worked with over 35 public, private, nonprofit, and philanthropic organizations, to facilitate the development of PRE4CLE, whose goal is to expand access to high-quality preschool for 12,000+ children in Cleveland. When the City of Columbus launched the Greater Columbus Infant Mortality Task Force Plan, with the goal of reducing infant mortality in the city and racial disparities by 50%, Heather helped the Franklin County Department of Job and Family Services (FCDJFS) lead an effort to increase enrollment of low-income women of childbearing age into Medicaid, by facilitating the development of a care coordination strategy across 8 hospital systems, 2 government agencies, and 4 health center networks.

She continued to work with FCDJFS, an agency that administers over $2.5 billion in support programs to hundreds of thousands of families and children in Columbus, to align their investments and streamline their internal operations around early childhood, youth programming and workforce development by conducting a full internal and external environmental scan of county services, leading cross-sector partnership development initiatives, and developing clearly defined county-wide outcomes and indicators that aligned and tracked services from preschool to workforce and offered stability to kids in the most undeserved parts of the region.

Under a federal DHS and DOE grant, Heather also facilitated 30+ foundations, schools, private, nonprofit, and government organizations in the developmental screening and treatment system in Arizona to develop and implement a strategy to coordinate statewide data collection and professional development and training to the medical community. She worked with the same agency, First Things First, to facilitate the development of a long-term strategy to grow and sustain the statewide Quality Rating Improvement System.

In addition to her work, Heather Lenz is an active member of the community. She serves on the creative team of PechaKucha Night Cleveland, is the founder and lead facilitator of The Strategy Sessions, and Chairs the board of Soulcraft Woodshop. Heather Lenz received her Bachelor’s of Science degree in Human Communication and Sociology from Arizona State University in 2008, and her Masters of Arts degree in Human-Environmental Studies with an emphasis on Nonprofit Administration and Leadership from Maxine Goodman Levin College of Urban Affairs at Cleveland State University in 2012.