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Heather Keen, 2020 Women of the Year

Director of Strategic Development

Marimn Health

 

Heather Keen, 2020 Women of the Year honoree.

From unpaid internships in Seattle to congressional offices in Washington, D.C., to her current position as strategic development director in Idaho, Heather Keen has left her mark all across the country.

She earned a bachelor’s degree in political science at Colorado State University in 2003 and, in 2011, earned a master’s degree in business administration from the University of Idaho.

As the oldest of four, Keen was raised with a re for success whether it was competing outdoors with her family or completing the Ironman triathlon in 2017.

She started her career as a legislative assistant at the nation’s capitol and went on to work in public affairs, higher education and human rights. Since 2017, she has served as the strategic development director at Marimn Health. There, she been central to the development, planning and construction of the $16.3 million Marimn Health Youth Center.

Keen said the center is one of her biggest accomplishments yet. It took a few years of planning and preparation, and the team broke ground in August of 2019.

“Opening that building is going to be huge and it’s something I am very proud of,” Keen said.

Many people surrounding Keen recognize how dependable and loyal she is and admire her incredible drive.

“She is unimpeachable,” said Luke Malek, a founder of the Smith + Malek law rm. “(She’s) one of the hardest working people that I have ever met.”

Keen has always had a desire to help others. From spending Thanksgivings at the soup kitchen when she was young to serving on nonprofit boards today, her personal philosophy of “leave it better than you found it” shines in her day-to-day life.

She has been on the board of the Salvation Army Ray & Joan Kroc Center since 2011. Until 2017, she was on the board of the North Idaho Centennial Trail Foundation. Starting in 2010, she also served on the board of the United Way of Kootenai County.

“I think there’s a lot of need in our world today,” she explained. “As someone who grew up fortunate enough to have a wonderful family with supportive parents, both of my parents were always big on ‘leave it better than you found it.’”

Click on the cover to view the digital edition of the 2020 Women of the Year publication.

Keen has made a big impact on her community despite facing challenges of her own. When she was told that she hadn’t been hired for a job, she took the opportunity to learn from it.

“That was actually what triggered me to go back to school and to get my MBA and round out my skill set,” she said.

Looking forward, Keen aims to find a healthy balance between work and daily life.

“I’m just trying to be present. I think it’s so easy to be distracted by technology,” she said. “I want to honor the relationships I have with other people because our friends and family is who keeps us going.”

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