Fall 2010: Bebe Heiner

Among the many things passed along through Bebe Heiner’s Louisiana family line are great bone structure and a strong taste for philanthropy. 

Heiner made an early mark as an arts supporter, collector and active patron—think Virginia Center for Creative Artists and UVA Art Museum. But in time, the licensed professional counselor, who gave time and money to the Virginia Institute of Autism and Martha Jefferson Hospital, among others, turned her attention to mental health care. She had seen that “there’s plenty of mental health care for people who can afford it, but for people who can’t, there’s none.” So three years ago she founded The Women’s Initiative, which provides counseling services to women regardless of their ability to pay. “There are so many rewards to this work,” says Heiner, “and for me personally, it’s a journey.”

C is all applause when it comes to Heiner’s dedication to women’s well-being, and we think her sense of style is pretty sharp, too. And what, you might wonder, does a mental health advocate do for herself when it’s time to decompress? She hangs out with Frida, her golden doodle puppy, and, she says, “I love dark chocolate.”