Headshot of Heather Toppen

Heather Toppen

Partner & Coach
Heather Toppen is a passionate and deeply experienced leadership coach, strategic thinker and continuous improvement expert. With over 30 years invested in continuous improvement, management system design and leadership development, she has led transformation of healthcare systems, manufacturing companies and social service programs. Heather is committed to bringing the power of people and possibility to more leaders and the teams they inspire.
Find on LinkedIn


Heather’s professional journey began in Lafayette, Indiana, where she served as the Volunteer Coordinator at a Crisis Center. Her early experience in empathetic communication and team cohesion laid the groundwork for her diverse career path.

Her move into the manufacturing sector with L&W Engineering in Michigan prompted her mastering cross-functional roles, enhancing her adaptability and business acumen. Heather’s leadership skills further developed at JSJ Corporation in Grand Haven, Michigan where she created a strong foundation in optimizing operational roles within a large company spanning 15 divisions across ten states contributing significantly to performance improvements and sales growth.

In the healthcare sector, Heather made a substantial impact at Mercy Health Saint Mary’s in Grand Rapids, Michigan, as Director and Senior Consultant of Continuous Improvement. Her strategic vision and execution capabilities led to $80M in savings through leadership system design and deployment across more than 30 departments including the continuum of care.

In her most recent role as the Regional Director of Continuous Improvement at SSM Health in Wisconsin, she was responsible for elevating the performance of individuals and teams across seven hospitals. She coached regional executives and deployed systems to enhance performance metrics which created significant impact on patient safety throughout the region.

Professional Activities

Heather has earned a reputation for creating meaningful change while leading people and organizations. Her colleagues know her for her intuitive style of listening and designing unique experiences that enable leaders and teams to reach their potential while navigating complex problems effectively. Her approach is both subtle and impactful, encouraging growth for the leaders, teams and organizations.


She earned her bachelor’s in psychology/sociology from Hope College and is an IPEC certified professional coach. Heather is credentialed in the Toyota Production System/Lean under the mentorship of Mr. Hajime Oba. In her free time, Heather enjoys traveling with her family, live music, paddleboarding and virtually any outdoor activity. She is also an engaged member of her community and serves on the Community Corrections Advisory Board.