Although we were sad to bid farewell to Jackie Washington last month, we know she will accomplish wonderful things with our friends at Six Points Innovation Center (6PIC) in Highland Park. Congratulations Jackie!

Heather Lyne joined the Embrace team earlier this month to take on Jackie’s role as well as other administrative and programmatic duties. Heather holds a Master’s degree in Public Affairs and International Affairs and a Certificate in Nonprofit Management from Virginia Tech’s College of Architecture and Urban Planning. She found graduate school, where she specialized in community change studies, to be an unexpected, humbling, and all-together fantastic experience. These studies provided Heather with new visions and a foundation in asset-based community development (ABCD). She finds working with communities to be constantly inspiring, challenging, rewarding and dynamic. Heather hopes to empower fellow multi-passionates working at the grassroots level in Richmond through her role at Embrace.

For the past two years, Heather provided executive support to the College of Engineering’s Dean’s Office at Virginia Tech as an International Programs Coordinator. She managed the logistics of the National Science Foundation’s (IRES) International Research Experience for Students between Virginia Tech and the University of Nottingham and the Rolls-Royce International Internship program in Derby, U.K. Heather is a proponent of democratizing domestic and international education opportunities. She was grateful that these programs fully-funded students and allowed them to grow as people and professionals.

Heather has also apprenticed with the City of Roanoke’s Office of Arts and Culture since January. Under the guidance of Susan Jennings, the City of Roanoke’s Arts and Culture Coordinator and Douglas Jackson, a Capacity Development Specialist for the Department of Housing and Community Development, Heather created a city-wide survey and project around public art and the Roanoke River Greenway. Heather submitted several national-level grants to fund community art initiatives along the greenway but has been able to continue in the interim thanks to a grant from the VT Engage office at Virginia Tech.

Prior to graduate school, Heather planned large and small music and art festivals for three years in Telluride, Colorado. Her alma mater is the University of Georgia where she earned her B.A. in Cultural Anthropology. Although Heather loves to travel, she was born and raised in Virginia and her family has roots in Richmond.

She would love to hear from you at