A dancer, choreographer, musician, filmmaker, writer, software engineer, and entrepreneur, she dives into the deep end with every creative and professional endeavor she starts and emerges with a fresh, new perspective on the topic. This perspective/mindset is often informed by the many subjects in which she is immersed, bringing to the world a unique and holistic viewpoint. She engages every opportunity to reach the public, and her passion is infectious.
Heather’s strength lies in her ability to rise up from adversity and achieve success through non-traditional means. A professional ballet dancer for more than 2 decades, Heather struck out on her own at 16 and has blazed trails ever since. A high school dropout, she applied her passion to help others by becoming an EMT, then working as a chronic and acute Dialysis Technician, while pursuing her career in dance. She traveled all over the country and in parts of Europe before returning to school later in life, creating a self-directed, multi-disciplinary B.A. degree at City University of New York. She graduated at 36 with honors and awards, including John Jay College’s first Keith L.T. Wright Service Award for her efforts raising funds and awareness on behalf of the people of Darfur, Sudan.
During this same time, Heather launched an impressive nonprofit called Sunset-Ridge Waterfront Alliance from a collection of signatures and was a pivotal force in bringing the EcoDock and sustainable transportation alternatives to NYC. She was a key player in pushing to transform the face of NYC public transit and bring commuter ferry service back to Brooklyn after two decades of land-only options. As the "ferry lady", Heather challenged politicians and city planners as she furthered her advocacy, handling all marketing efforts and utilizing publicity through newspaper articles and TV coverage (NY1) to accomplish her goals. She created and managed the annual "Greening the Ridge'' festivals, with hundreds of participants, to promote sustainable living at the 69th Street Pier. Nominated by City Councilman Vincent Gentile and appointed to Community Board 10 by Brooklyn Borough President Marty Markowitz, she actively spoke at board, city planning, and advocacy meetings as well as at fundraisers and festivals across the city. (Spoiler alert: There is now commuter ferry service from the 69th Street Pier).
Heather spent a year at NYU and American Ballet Theatre for a Master’s in teaching ballet at the professional level. Not wanting to limit her opportunities, Heather continued on to pursue an MFA at Hunter College in Digital Media Arts with a focus on documentary filmmaking. She spent a summer immersed in the world of dance videography at Jacob’s Pillow Dance Festival in Becket, MA, filming over 350 hours of performances and interviews by top artists and organizations including; Martha Graham Dance Company, Dance Theatre of Harlem, and Wendy Whelan. While there, she choreographed and directed a short dance film with emerging artists Michaela DePrince and Skyler Maxey-Wert that has garnered over 50K views on YouTube. She worked as a videographer on the New York Public Library LIVE series, filming live performances, including Margaret Atwood & Carl Hiaasen, The MOTH, and Mike Tyson.
She also parlayed her passion for performance into music, learning guitar and fiddle, self-producing 2 albums, and performing all over the U.S. She married Michael Doucet and toured with the Grammy award-winning band BeauSoleil, singing, filming performances, and re-branding their website. She continues to play gigs at wineries and breweries across the U.S. as a solo singer/songwriter on guitar and fiddle.
While studying Digital Media Arts at Hunter College in Manhattan, her funding fell through, and she was forced to withdraw. Undeterred, Heather cast a wider net, leaving NYC and relocating to Boston to work for a leading healthcare software startup. Even though she was at the top of her field as an assistant to C-level executives, she had lost her creative momentum and hit a ceiling with her income and profession. She needed more experience to pursue her creative passions at a professional level, and she needed money to get that experience.
She decided to pursue a field she had never really considered before: software development. Searching for alternate ways to learn, she attended the Coding Dojo bootcamp online. 16 weeks later, she built her portfolio apps, and landed her first job at a startup in New Orleans just months after graduating. Within a year she parlayed that experience into her dream job as a software engineer at the top silicon valley tech company Stitch Fix. Heather successfully made the career pivot in her 40’s, enabling herself to work remotely and meet her other professional and personal goals. She is proud to be a mentor to other early-career software engineers from non-traditional backgrounds.
A true creative with an entrepreneurial-mindset, Heather has working knowledge of all aspects of self-promotion, marketing, and digital media production. From owning Elemotion, the first Pilates & Yoga studio on the Oregon Coast, to BirdCraft, a craft business selling on Etsy and at markets nationwide.
Her latest efforts have taken her into the world of writing and publishing. During the 2020 Covid-19 pandemic, she produced the Flipping Dreams podcast where she hosts guests as they share their powerful stories of pivots and encourage others that it's never too late to reach their dreams. One of those dreams, writing and publishing a book, was top on Heather's list. In 2021, she released her fiction novel debut, "Cactus Christmas - A Texas Wine Trail Series," (Nov 2021), through MayDay Publishing, Ltd Co. With book #2 in the series, "Cactus Wedding", to fast follow in May 2022.
Heather is beyond grateful for the grace and mercy she receives daily, and she intends to continue reaching out to others, to ignite their passions, and help encourage them to achieve their dreams. She is an evangelist for the power of reinvention and believes it is never too late. In fact, later in life is the best time to make this transformation as with time comes experience and wisdom.
Most importantly, her Pointer-mix rescue thinks she's the greatest, even when she's being winebitious.