Introduction

Southeastern Vermont Community Action’s (SEVCA’s) Board of Directors is seeking candidates to succeed Steve Geller, who has dedicated himself to serving as Executive Director (E.D.) for the past 17+ years and will retire at the end of 2021. The new E.D. will advance SEVCA’s mission to empower and partner with individuals and communities to alleviate the hardships of poverty, to provide opportunities to thrive, and to eliminate root causes of poverty in southeastern Vermont, and its vision that everyone should have a good quality of life and the opportunity to thrive, free from the hardships of poverty.

The E.D. will guide overall direction and strategy, engage with external partners; strengthen the financial health and operations of the organization with the board and leadership team; develop relationships across private, public, and non-profit sectors to advance SEVCA’s mission, vision, and program strategy; and energize and engage staff to maximize benefits to the individuals and families served. They will be a collaborative, thoughtful, and inclusive leader, committed to providing a supportive and respectful workplace where SEVCA’s dedicated and knowledgeable staff can thrive and succeed.

Throughout the unprecedented challenges of the current pandemic, SEVCA not only maintained its essential role in providing critical services and assistance to individuals and families in crisis, we led in the mobilization of multiple sectors to effectively and efficiently administer new programs addressing food security (Everyone Eats Vermont), housing, energy costs, economic distress, and other critical needs. Looking to the future we seek to further develop our capacity to engage, mobilize and innovate to seize the opportunities present in this extraordinary period in which our state and nation have expanded the resources and the commitment to improve the lives and futures of our communities.

About SEVCA  https://www.sevca.org/

Southeastern Vermont Community Action (SEVCA) was created in 1965 as part of the nationwide 'War on Poverty’ and chartered as a Community Action Agency (CAA) – a private non-profit corporation, locally initiated and governed, and designated by local, state, and federal officials as the 'anti-poverty agency' serving Windham and Windsor Counties. SEVCA has 85+/- employees and a main office in Westminster; Outreach offices in Brattleboro, Springfield, and White River Junction; Head Start program locations in Springfield, Chester, Windsor, and White River Junction; and thrift stores in Bellows Falls, White River Junction, and Springfield. We make a positive difference by developing relationships of respect and trust with those who need our help, and by providing access to the services they need to stabilize their lives and move toward greater security and self-reliance.

Our multifaceted approach to addressing poverty includes offering an array of services including crisis intervention, homelessness prevention, weatherization, food and nutrition, health navigation, small business startup & support, job readiness training, financial fitness training & support, matched savings / asset building, income tax assistance, early childhood education, and disaster recovery. Our Head Start program offers comprehensive services in child development, nutrition, health, and parent involvement to children and families.

All SEVCA clients experience a ‘No Wrong Door’ approach to being served, regardless of where they enter our system, and partner with our staff to come away with a clear understanding of their needs, available assistance, viable options, and assurance of follow-up and coordination of their services.

As an equal opportunity and affirmative action employer, SEVCA is committed to fostering a work environment free from discrimination, and complying with applicable Federal and state laws guaranteeing equal employment opportunity to all applicants and employees without regard to race, creed, color, gender, gender identify, sex, age, religion, ancestry, marital status, national origin, disability, sexual orientation, military or veteran status, crime victim status, or any other classification protected by law.

Furthermore, to actively support equal access and foster diversity within the agency, and In accordance with its mission, SEVCA will also make every reasonable effort to recruit, hire, and support qualified members of minority groups and low-income individuals who have not had the opportunity to realize their potential and who are able and willing to learn new skills and take on new responsibilities as needed.

Overview of the Executive Director Role

Summary

Reporting to SEVCA’s Board of Directors, the Executive Director has overall fiscal, strategic, and operational responsibility for staff, programs, services, and execution of strategic goals in service of the organization’s mission and vision, and in alignment with organizational values and behavioral standards.

Key Areas of Responsibility

Vision, Mission and Strategic Planning: Collaboratively create and communicate a vision for SEVCA’s future to all stakeholders. Ensure that a robust community assessment is conducted regularly to guide SEVCA’s efforts to respond to emerging community needs, service / resource gaps, and poverty-related issues. Maintain an emphasis on strategic planning, coordinating the development of long-range and annual plan goals, and ensuring timely execution and allocation of resources to ensure continuous progress.

Organizational Leadership & Management: Foster a healthy, positive, and inclusive workplace culture that energizes, engages, and supports staff, and encourages collaboration and communication across the organization. Build and maintain relationships with community leaders, partners, businesses, government, not-for-profit organizations and donors. Represent SEVCA at events, conferences and meetings. Lead and develop a high-performance leadership team, support comprehensive staff development, and pursue initiatives to support positive morale, a competitive compensation package, and optimal working conditions.

Financial: Oversee all fiscal reporting and development of yearly budgets and long-range financial plans, working with Finance and the leadership team to assess and maintain the financial health of the organization in compliance with GAAP, applicable governmental regulations and funding requirements, and set financial priorities to support the needs of programs and staff. Monitor fiscal goals and ensure sound financial controls are in place to minimize risks and ensure the agency’s stability and sustainability.

Programs and Services: Provide strategic oversight of program research, design, development, delivery, and evaluation efforts. Collaborate with directors to ensure programmatic excellence and growth through rigorous oversight, ensuring robust data and evaluation systems that monitor program consistency and impact, enabling continuous program improvement. Implement strategies that maximize the synergies among program areas, and foster cooperation and collaboration with other service providers to strengthen services to the community and avoid duplication.

Infrastructure and Operations: Provide oversight of SEVCA’s infrastructure and operations, ensuring preparedness for future growth through investment in people, education, certifications, processes, and technology. Ensure consistent quality of operational systems, human resources, finance, administration, fundraising, and communications. Ensure systems and structures are in place to maintain the highest level of IT safety and security commensurate with the operations, assets, accountabilities, and responsibilities of the agency.

Public Relations and Fundraising: Collaborate with the Director of Planning and Development to ensure that all aspects of communications – from web presence to public and other external relations – reflect SEVCA’s brand and help increase opportunities for effective partnerships in new areas, and the development of relationships with funders and elected and community leaders. Oversee the development of new and innovative revenue-generating strategies, expansion of fundraising activities, and procurement of government and foundation grants and corporate partnerships to support existing and new programs.

Board Partnership: Partner with the president and the Board on development opportunities, communication with leadership and staff, and annual performance reviews. Seek and engage board involvement with strategic direction and organization stewardship, collaboration on policy formulation and interpretation, development and execution of organizational goals and strategies, and fiscal management, to ensure the continued growth and success of the organization. Regularly apprise the board of the agency’s financial status and relevant fiscal conditions, developments, and issues.

QUALIFICATIONS

In addition to the qualifications outlined below, consideration will be given to candidates demonstrating a comparable set of qualifications acquired through a combination of education and experience.

Education

  • Bachelor’s degree in public or business administration, human services, or related field.

  • Master’s in nonprofit management or public administration strongly preferred; extensive and closely-related experience may be substituted for Master’s degree.

Knowledge and Experience

  • A minimum of ten years of relevant organizational, program, or departmental senior leadership experience, at least some in non-profit organizations, preferably including a Community Action Agency (CAA) or one with a similar mission, including financial oversight and strategic planning in an organization with at least 25 employees and an operating budget of at least $3 million.

  • Broad and in-depth knowledge of non-profits organizations, including funding, administration, grants management, board relations, and operations.

  • Knowledge and understanding of the causes and impacts of poverty and concern for the needs of low-income individuals and families, especially in rural communities.

  • Strong marketing, public relations, and fundraising experience with the ability to engage a wide range of stakeholders and cultures.

  • Solid business acumen, including budgetary and strategic/business planning skills.

  • Organizational leadership experience, especially through times of challenges, growth and change.

  • Ability to think strategically, analyze critically, and transform ideas and insights into action through coherent and viable programs and initiatives

  • Capacity to quickly understand federal and state laws, regulations, funding and reporting relevant to the needs of a CAA.

  • Track record of developing strong personal and professional networks.

  • Experience with and/or knowledge of SEVCA’s core program and service offerings is a plus.

COMPENSATION PACKAGE

SEVCA will offer a competitive base salary within a hiring range starting at $95,000, and a generous benefits package that includes: paid time off (vacation, holidays, personal, and sick time); insurance (health/vision/dental/short- and long-term disability/life and AD&D); Health Savings, Health Reimbursement or Flexible Spending Account with employer contribution; and a 403(b) retirement plan with an up to 4% employer match.

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