New Executive Directors at Building Changes and SVP Seattle

New Executive Directors at Building Changes and SVP Seattle


Two Philanthropy Northwest member organizations in Washington have announced leadership transitions:

Building Changes, which works to reduce family and youth homelessness in Washington, will be helmed by Helen Howell, previously a board member, starting November 9. She succeeds Alice Shobe, who became executive director in 2012 after serving as deputy director; Alice will transition to a strategic advisor role through the end of January to assure a smooth transition. The organization has also launched a four-year business plan focused on:

  • Extending the reach of Building Changes to help people avoid and overcome crisis early, preventing homelessness in the first place.      
  • Strengthening the homeless response system so all people are treated fairly and all services are delivered effectively.
  • Deepening their collaboration across the myriad of sectors that impact homelessness—in housing, health, employment, and education—to partner with the goal of more effectively serving people experiencing homelessness.

SVP Seattle, which works to connect nonprofits, funders, agencies and schools in the Puget Sound area, welcomed Lisa Nitze as its new executive director on October 12. She succeeds Paul Shoemaker, founding president of Social Venture Partners International and SVP Seattle's executive connector for 17 years.

“Lisa has a successful track record of building relationships and aligning diverse groups to deliver measurable results,” said Kathy O’Driscoll, SVP board member. That, coupled with “her ability to meld individual philanthropy development with broad social impact makes her an exciting leader for SVP," added Todd Vogel, SVP board chair.

SVP Seattle will host three informal gatherings in November to introduce Lisa to its partners, investees and community allies:

  • Wednesday, November 4 | 8 – 10 a.m. at the London Plane in Pioneer Square
  • Thursday, November 5 | 6:30 – 8:30 p.m. in the Bellevue Towers
  • Wednesday, November 18 | 12 – 2 p.m. at SVP’s Office in Pioneer Square