Reign FC Legend: Amy Lavin
The Legends campaign, a partnership between Seattle Reign FC and Avanade, honors women for their extraordinary contributions in the Pacific Northwest and beyond. Prior to the match against the Chicago Red Stars this Wednesday, the club will recognize the CEO of Stroum Jewish Community Center, Amy Lavin.
“The Legends campaign does an incredible job promoting all different types of leaders, who contribute, shape, build and guide our region in various directions,” said Lavin. “This program symbolizes the fabric of our community, and just like a sports team, each role is critical to our collective vitality. Some roles are more publicly visible, while others assure the right things happen in the background. They’re inextricably interdependent, which strengthens us all.”
Just as Reign FC does on the pitch, Lavin has broken through many barriers in her career. Lavin understands the challenges presented to female professionals every day and feels she has grown stronger because of them.
“I was told it was going to be nearly impossible for me to play soccer, and graduate in four years as an engineer with co-op experience,” said Lavin. “I was committed to all of these things and took it upon myself to be sure I could balance the load. I’ve also taken the opportunity to travel internationally alone to remote places. While no official barrier exists, it can be intimidating. Yet each time I did it, I learned more about myself, found ways to be resourceful and grew more confident.”
Thanks in part to her personal experience with sports, Lavin feels the importance of women’s sports in Seattle is immense. By having professional women’s sports, female leaders across all industries are supported and inspired.
“I think it’s vitally important to have professional women’s sports teams here in Seattle,” said Lavin. “We are a city of social, technological, environmental, scientific, and academic leaders, to name a few. Women are critical to all of these. I also have two daughters. I do my best to raise them to believe they can and should pursue any avenue they choose. Having professional women’s teams here in Seattle keeps the potential for athletic pursuits alive, whether it’s soccer, basketball, dance or anything else.”
Lavin’s belief, and experience, that young women can pursue whatever they put their minds to is reflected in her advice. As she pushes her daughters to believe anything is possible, she encourages young women to explore the opportunities around them.
“Focus on the places of connection with others and build strength and trust from those ties,” said Lavin. “Continue to invest in that foundation as you explore new ground and enrich the environment.”
After beginning her career with Microsoft, Lavin was ready to take her own advice and find a career that could help improve the city of Seattle. As a former leader of Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center’s Obliteride, Lavin helped raise over nine million dollars for the fight against cancer.
“There came a point where I knew it was time to take my foundation and apply it in a way that built community in pursuit of a mission,” said Lavin. “When the opportunity to create Obliteride surfaced, it just fit on so many levels and was the best way I could help cure cancer faster. When the opportunity came to lead the Stroum Jewish Community Center, a foundation in my life since I attended preschool there, I again saw an opportunity to contribute in a mission-driven organization I cared deeply about.”
Working with causes she is passionate about has kept Lavin motivated to continue to find new ways to solve problems. She remains steadfast in her commitment to improve the community around her.
“Motivation is never a challenge,” said Lavin. “There are too many interesting and inspiring problems to solve in this world and I’m curious about so many of them. I love to solve problems and connect with people, and I’m committed to leaving the world better than I found it.”