An interview with Heath Riddles, CEO of Pease Park Conservancy.
Heath has more than 15 years of senior leadership experience in Austin’s nonprofit sector, and he has helped raise millions of dollars over the course of his career at organizations like Equality Texas, Texas Advocacy Project, the Long Center for the Performing Arts, and The Hispanic Alliance. He has worked as a director at Elizabeth Christian Public Relations and served on the boards of the Austin Gay and Lesbian International Film Festival, The Hispanic Alliance and Waterloo Counseling Center. Heath is passionate about Austin’s green space and believes Pease Park represents all that makes Austin great.
Where was the last place you laughed uncontrollably?
At home. Y’all won’t believe this, but one of my closest childhood friends now lives in LA, and she does standup. She has a comedy special on Netflix, and Marcus and I watched it the other night on the couch. It was hilarious! I could not stop laughing. A lot of her routine is about feeling like she was the only Jewish kid in Oklahoma City when we were growing up. I felt like I was the only gay kid, so we were a good match. Our friendship somehow survived the strain of her beating me out for student council president in the 6th grade, so you know we are tight. Anyway, you should check her out: Shawn Pelofsky.
Tell us your perfect weather forecast
Wake up to mid 60’s with bright sunshine. High 70’s and sunny during the day and back to low 60’s overnight. Maybe an evening thunder shower.
What makes a place special to you?
A lot of things can make a place special. Certainly natural beauty and ecological diversity are special. It can be also be the natural or cultural history of the space or personal memories and experiences associated with it. For me, sometimes it can even be hope and expectation about the future. Marcus and I recently bought a new house, and it’s one of the most special places in the world to me, just because of what it represents for our future together.
Create your perfect getaway in three words.
Adventure, ocean, family.
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