Special to the Sun
The BASE has appointed Stephen “Steph” D. Lewis as president and CEO, effective October 10. Lewis is a dynamic leader with a deep understanding of The BASE’s mission of creating new pathways to success for urban youth by leveraging the power and passion of sports with engaging educational opportunities. The competitive search was led by Koya Partners, a Diversified Search Group dedicated to identifying and placing transformational leaders in mission-driven organizations.
“My passion for urban youth and the power of sports runs deep as an alum of The BASE and as a member of its leadership team, and I look forward to continuing to grow this great organization,” said Steph Lewis. “Our city’s young urban talent is a great resource, and we are creating a future in which they thrive and succeed. I am honored to work with The BASE’s strong leadership team to continue to grow partnerships, engage with our donors, and recruit talented staff to support and guide our students.”
Lewis began working at The BASE in 2013 and is the longest tenured staff member, most recently serving as General Manager of Athletic Operations, where he was responsible for expanding the reach of BASE athletics, resources, and methodology to positively impact over 2,000 student-athletes. He grew up in South End/Lower Roxbury and as a teenager participated in the Boston Astros baseball program, which evolved into The BASE.
“Steph is a deeply respected, innovative leader and coach on and off the athletic field who has earned the respect and trust of the youth we serve. He is an inspirational force with a strong ability to cultivate relationships and enhance The BASE’s fundraising and organizational management,” said Kate Guedj, chair of The BASE board of directors, and senior vice president and chief philanthropy officer for The Boston Foundation. “I’d like to thank long-time BASE COO Stephanie Monteiro-Merritt for serving as interim CEO in addition to her current role, and for her unwavering commitment to uplifting urban talent, their families, and communities.”
Lewis is the son of The BASE founder and former CEO Robert Lewis, Jr. He has a BA in Business Management from Mount Ida College. He has also worked at the Department of Transitional Assistance as a Benefits, Eligibility and Referral Social Worker and as a substitute teacher in the Boston Public Schools.
“Steph is the right person at the right time for The BASE and for our Boston communities,” said Cheryl Kiser, BASE board member and executive director of Babson College’s Institute for Social Innovation. “He represents the present and future of Boston’s urban talent and will bring his impactful coaching style to leading The BASE into its future.”
Founded in 2013 in Roxbury, Massachusetts, The BASE is an urban academy that leverages sports as a vehicle to engage youth in a positive, success-driven culture. With high-quality athletic training, coaching, and competition, paired with personalized academic support, The BASE cultivates and highlights urban talent and builds pathways to college, career, and success in life. Partnerships complement and bolster programs and are central to the work of The BASE. The BASE purposefully builds and leverages relationships with diverse leaders and key institutions to provide young people opportunities and access to the industries driving the 21st Century economy. The BASE’s successful model has inspired the development of similar programs across the country.