President and CEO
Cathy Lewis is a popular keynote speaker, facilitator and broadcaster in southeast Virginia. One of Virginia’s most veteran broadcasters, she has worked in commercial and public television and radio throughout her career. For the past 20 years, she has hosted WHRV-FM’s flagship news and public affairs talk show, HearSay with Cathy Lewis on WHRV-FM. She is frequently near the top of listener polls, most recently having been named Best Female Radio Host by the readers of Coastal Virginia magazine.
Cathy is also President of the CIVIC Leadership Institute, a robust engine for leveraging executive leadership in service to the region. Her work on regional issues with more than 500 business leaders and her daily conversations with her public radio audience have put her consistently on Inside Business Magazine’s Power List of the 75 most influential people in Hampton Roads.
Cathy is a sought-after speaker and facilitator who holds the Certified Speaking Professional™ designation from the National Speakers Association, a recognition of competence and platform skills held by only 12% of the world’s speakers. Her expertise in civil discourse, employee engagement and communication make her a popular corporate and association speaker, trainer and facilitator of important conversations.
Her humor essays on life as a clergy spouse have aired nationally on The Hallmark Channel and in 2014, she was inducted into the prestigious Silver Circle of the National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences® for the Chesapeake Bay chapter for more than25 years of service to the broadcast industry and community. She is a graduate of Marshall University and holds an honorary doctorate from Virginia Wesleyan College. She is married to The Rev. Canon Win Lewis, Rector of Christ & St. Luke’s Episcopal Church and together they have one grown daughter who works in international development in Washington, DC.
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Sarah Jane Kirkland
Cheif Operating Officer
Sarah Jane Kirkland is CIVIC Leadership Institute’s Chief Operating Officer, responsible for the day to day operations of the organization. Sarah Jane served as the organization’s program manager from 2003-2005 until taking on the position as Business Development Director for Carnival Cruise Lines.
In 2013, Sarah Jane returned to CIVIC Leadership Institute as Director for Alumni Engagement where she was responsible for implementing alumni programs and engaging more than 500 CIVIC alumni in the life of the region.
In her role as Chief Operating Officer, Sarah Jane is responsible for planning and implementing the executive program days, alumni events and overseeing the CIVIC Scholars program. Sarah Jane also serves on the Governor’s School for the Arts Board and lives in Norfolk with her husband Stephen Kirkland (CIVIC Class ’07) and their daughter Sophia.
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CIVIC Scholars Program Manager
“Amasa Smith is a native of Norfolk, Virginia. She left the area to complete her undergraduate education at Allegheny College in western Pennsylvania and graduated Magna Cum Laude in 2017 with B.A. in International Studies and a minor in French. She was a fellow for Allegheny College’s Center for Political Participation and worked to develop their Law and Policy Program for undergraduate students. Amasa has interned for the National Coalition for the Homeless in Washington, DC and began her involvement with CIVIC as an intern in 2015. She is delighted to be returning to the area and to CIVIC as the program manager for the Scholar’s Program.
As Program Manager Amasa oversees the CIVIC Scholars Program, which is a collaborative initiative by CIVIC Leadership Institute and Old Dominion University to develop a spirit of civic engagement, professionalism and leadership in college students. ODU and TCC students accepted into the program enjoy opportunities to, network with executive leaders, become involved in community service initiatives and participate in programming focused on developing leadership skills. Amasa is looking forward to expanding and strengthening the program and is focused on growing the CIVIC Scholars alumni community.
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Kristen Spitz is CIVIC Leadership Institute’s Program Associate and responsible for planning and managing the Executive Leadership Program which includes coordinating the recruitment process. Kristen originally joined the CIVIC team in 2006, where she worked for 7 years as program manager and then Director of Alumni Engagement until taking time off in 2013.
In 2015, Kristen resumed working with CIVIC Leadership Institute as a part-time consultant where she was responsible for planning and implementing program days for Lead Peninsula as a part of a collaborative venture between CIVIC Leadership Institute and the Virginia Peninsula Chamber of Commerce. In 2017, Kristen began working exclusively with the Executive Leadership Program for CIVIC Leadership Institute.
A lifelong resident of the Virginia Peninsula, Kristen is a graduate of the College of William and Mary where she double-majored in both History and Public Policy. She and her husband Garrett Spitz reside in Newport News and are active at Peninsula Community Chapel where her husband is a Pastor. They have two children, Natalie and Graham.