CEO Application

Center for Independence - Grand Junction, CO
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Executive Director

Fulltime Position

The Center for Independence, Inc is an independent living center located in Grand Junction, CO (Mesa County). The organization has provided services to people with disabilities for forty years and is a respected community resource. The Center’s current Executive Director will retire in the fall of 2022 so the Board of Directors is conducting a national recruitment campaign to locate a qualified leader for the organization.

This is a unique opportunity to lead an exceptional, mature, non-profit organization with a critical mission to the communities we serve. Grand Junction sits in the middle of Mesa County, population 155,703, and is one of the premier outdoor recreational places in the country. Grand Junction is the largest city on the western slope of Colorado and is the home of the largest university on the western slope of Colorado, Colorado Mesa University. The quality of life here is family friendly, affordable, rich in art & music, and enjoys numerous local archaeological & historic sites.

All resumes, cover letters and evidence of minimum qualifications (as outlined in the job description), should be submitted to: [email protected], Attn: Succession Committee.

This is a unique opportunity to lead an exceptional, mature, nonprofit organization with a critical mission to the western Colorado
communities we serve. Grand Junction sits in the middle of Mesa
County, population 155,703, and is one of the premier outdoor recreational places in the country. Grand Junction is the largest city on the western slope of Colorado and is the home of the largest university on the western slope of Colorado, Colorado Mesa University.

The quality of life here is family friendly, affordable, rich in art & music, and enjoys numerous local archaeological & historic sites. The new leader will inherit a financially stable, mission-driven organization with a
strong culture that actively practices its disability rights values and is energetically working to improve its diversity, equity and inclusion practices.

Submission Process:

Cover letter, resumes, letters of reference, evidence of minimum qualifications through degree or certification, and electronic contact information should be submitted electronically to Jerry Shelton, Board President or attention: Succession Committee at: [email protected].  Microsoft Word format is preferred.  

 Resumes will be accepted through May 27, 2022.  Individuals requiring accommodations during the application process should communicate specific requirements when submitting their cover letters and resumes, and to the chair of the search committee during the interview and selection process.

Position is expected to start after July 1, 2022.

Position Announcement: 

POSITION:  Chief Executive Officer

CLASSIFICATION:  Regular/Full-time, Executive Exempt

SALARY: $70,000 – $80,000 based upon qualifications and experience

BENEFITS: paid sick leave and vacation leave; 14 paid holidays annually; 403b Retirement Plan with employer match up to 3% of salary annually; 70% Cost sharing on Medical Insurance

LOCATION: Grand Junction, Mesa County Colorado

Organization Description:

CFI catchment area covers 12 counties in the central mountains and western slope of Colorado. To put this in perspective, we are about 18,000 square miles of land mass. We travel over Vail Pass, Sierra Summit, Monarch Pass, Dallas Divide, Tennessee Pass, Fremont Pass, and through the river basins of the Colorado, the Uncompahgre, the Gunnison, the Arkansas, the Eagle, the Roaring Fork, and the San Miguel Rivers to meet and serve Coloradoans with disabilities. We have established satellite offices in Montrose, Glenwood Springs, and Salida to fulfill our outreach to underserved and unserved populations of people within rural Colorado.  

Our federal enabling legislation created Centers for Independent Living (CIL) in 1978. CFI was founded in 1982 as a service for the blind and grew to serve all disabilities in 1988. As a government contractor, we operate under mandates that prescribe the services we need to offer:

  • Information and referral,
  • Advocacy for individuals and systems change to create opportunities for People with Disabilities (PWD),
  • Peer mentoring by people with disabilities,
  • Education on how to navigate the world with a disability,
  • Independent living skills such as budgeting, signing a lease, using public transit, cooking with limitations,
  • Facilitating the transition of youth with disabilities into eligible programs and services, and
  • The transition of PWD out of nursing homes into community settings.

 CFI is one of nine State Certified IL Centers in Colorado and one of 354 Federally Certified Independent Living (IL) Contractors. This past year, CFI served close to 1,000 individuals with goal directed services designed to help them reach personal outcomes that restore function and community integration. Our two most utilized services are accessible and affordable housing location assistance and assistance with filing for Social Security (SSI and SSDI) benefits.

How CFI meets these challenges is based on local needs and the direction of our Board of Directors while using restricted government funds and unrestricted funds CFI raises. In 2020, CFI paid off their 21,000 square foot community center in Grand Junction creating a legacy and a permanent home for CFI.

The new leader will inherit a financially stable, mission-driven organization with a strong culture that actively practices its disability rights values and is energetically working to improve its diversity, equity and inclusion practices.

This is an exceptional opportunity for a strategic, compassionate, and visionary leader to build on top of four decades of innovative disability services. To create a world where all people with disabilities are treated equally and afforded the resources to actively contribute to their community.

Job Description:

The Chief Executive Officer (CEO) leads the organization’s purpose by addressing systems issues that affect the lives of people with disabilities.  She/he ensures proper administration of contracts, budgets, finances, personnel, operations, agency and contract goals, resource development, and marketing.  She/he carries out the policies and direction established by the Board of Directors and ensures that CFI complies with all the laws and requirements that govern Centers for Independent Living (CILs) in Colorado.

Areas of Responsibility:

The CEO essential duties and responsibilities fall into eight key areas:

  1. Leadership: Embodies personal and professional commitment to the organization’s vision to create a more inclusive Colorado,
  2. Creatively Driving Programmatic Growth and Development: Ensures that CFI has a long-range program strategy to build and advance programs,
  3. Revenue Strategy and Generation: Drives development and fundraising,
  4. People Leadership and Development: Acts as a culture builder of an organization focused on continuous learning, curiosity, adaption, and societal change,
  5. Financial Oversight and Legal Compliance: Plans and actively manages and oversees the organization’s operations, programs, fundraising, contract compliance, required reporting and annual certifications and assurances, and operations while ensuring the organization’s financial sustainability,
  6. Advocacy for CFI Mission: serves as chief spokesperson for and representative of CFI and our organization’s collective commitment to justice, equity, diversity, and inclusion,
  7. Board of Directors Relations: Engages board members effectively in CFI’s work; works in partnership with the board to fulfill CFI’s mission and to serve the common needs of CFI members,
  8. Future Focus: Leads organizational innovation and adaptations of key strategies, programs, and systems of CFI to maintain and grow its position as the go-to resource for Colorado’s disability community.
  1. Leadership:
  • Recruits, develops and sustains dedicated staff with skills that align with the agency’s vision and values.
  • Provides direct supervision to the management team.
  • Works under a principled set of values
  • Treats staff, consumers, volunteers and community members with equal regard and respect
  • Collaborates, guides, inspires, mentors and supports the growth of partnerships inside and outside of the agency
  • Shares time, training, and accomplishments with others to promote competency, confidence, and empowerment
  • Seeks to make the workplace one of teamwork, pride in accomplishment, goodwill, and enthusiasm
  1. Creatively Driving Programmatic Growth and Development:
  • Responsible for administering and ensuring appropriate operations of the entire agency and its programs within the framework of policies established by the Board of Directors, and all current, appropriate standards, regulations and laws.
  • Actively collaborates with staff to ensure quality delivery of CFI programs.
  • Leads the effort to define CFI’s vision and mission.
  • Insures the development of strategic marketing plans for enhancement of CFI’s services and image.
  • Ensures that systems advocacy issues are identified with consumer involvement, and strategies for change are established and applied.
  • Ensures the implementation of outreach strategies to serve underserved and unserved populations (one of our required CIL activities).
  • Insures the development of strategic, short and long-range plans for enhancement of CFI’s growth and continuity.
  • Develops outreach strategies to reach all 12 Counties in CFI’s service delivery area.
    • Insures the establishment of organizational plans, policies, and procedures as necessary for effective operation.
    • Manages and directs staff activities, assigning supervisory roles as needed to ensure that all staff has reasonable oversight and supervision.
    • Develops effective and efficient support systems for CFI, including computer services, training, personnel, purchasing and Management and Information Systems (MIS).
    • Establishes and maintains effective and efficient service delivery tracking systems.
  1. Revenue Strategy and Generation:
  • Guides the acquisition of grants and donations and the implementation of special events.
  • Pursues, secures and manages public funds and contracts and maintain compliance with funder requirements.
  • Develops resources sufficient to ensure the financial health of the agency.
  • Acts as official agent for the agency including signing all notes, agreements and other instruments made and entered into and on behalf of the agency.
  • Oversees the development of an annual budget, review monthly financial statements, approves budget revisions, and arranges for annual independent audit.
  • Manages the activities of the Gunnison Center LLC, a subsidiary of CFI, Inc
  • Develops fee for services programs that add to quality of the program services at CFI while creating new options for consumers
  1. People Leadership and Development:
  • Ensures that CFI recruits, trains, mentors and evaluates staff; builds a strong, cohesive team.
  • Develops a positive, productive organizational culture and climate. This includes determining the level of employee participation in administrative decisions.
  • Leads the management team in preparation of program objectives for each program area and related contracts.
  • Provides opportunities for staff development and, when possible, promotion; explores ways of rewarding staff.
  • Develops and manages CFI’s compensation program based on the approved budget; researches applicable wage, salary, and benefit data to keep CFI competitive in the marketplace.
  • Assists with developing volunteer leadership and identifying problems that relate to consumer concerns.
  • Manages the CFI Employee Benefit offerings and recommends appropriate additions or deletions as market conditions dictate.
  • Develops contract and professional support activities that enhance staff productivity or add technical expertise to CFI.
  • Plans his or her own professional development.
  1. Financial Oversight and Legal Compliance:
  • Makes effective use of supplies, equipment and space. Plans for the improvement of rolling stock as well as leased space for satellite offices.
  • Manages financial resources, including operating budget and collection, disbursement, and accounting of all funds and official records.
  • Work with the Finance Manager and Board Treasurer to provide detailed monthly financial reports to the board.
  • Manages cash flow in a conservative manner.
  • Responsible for raising funds from government and private sources with cooperation and assistance from the Board and staff.
  • Responsible for contract and grant reports and compliance with fund restrictions.
  • Meets critical deadlines and data management requirements
  • Identifies, analyzes and prepares proposal information for new funding sources; involves consumers’ needs in this process.
  • Manages and directs maintenance of capital assets, including but not limited to the agency owned vehicles and the central office facility.
  • Plans for maintenance and capital improvements as needed for long term use and efficiency.
  • Maintains long term tenant contracts and short term community use of community space.
  1. Advocacy for CFI Mission:
  • Works in coordination with the State Independent Living Council (SILC) and the 9 other members of the Association for Colorado Centers for Independent Living (ACCIL).
  • Conducts and organize presentations on CFI and issues related to disability rights, in cooperation with other Center staff.
  • Actively promotes disability rights and independent living philosophy through all activities conducted within and on behalf of CFI.
  • Represents CFI on professional and community committees.
  • Cultivates and develops cooperative relationships necessary to fund and implement effective services; encourages collaboration, and builds effective coalitions with entities and groups in the community and throughout the State.
  • Enhances public understanding and support of CFI activities through a coordinated public relations and communications program.
  1. Board of Directors Relations:
  • Develops a positive working relationship with CFI’s Board President, utilizing the President as the official liaison to the Board.
  • Develops a positive working relationship with the Board Treasurer, utilizing the Treasurer as a consultant on significant financial plans and issues.
  • Attends all meetings of the Board of Directors in an ex officio capacity; advises the Board regarding matters relating to CFI operations and report on successes, challenges and issues pertaining to CFI programs and activities. Reports on trends and changes throughout the field of independent living.
  • Works with the Board to assure continuity through a program of cultivation, recruitment and motivation of Board members.
  • Assists with drafting and updating By-Laws, Board Policies & Procedures, and Board Member’s guidance documents.
  1. Future Focus:
  • Engages with the Board of Directors, the staff, and the disability community in developing and implementing a vision and strategic plan to guide the Center.
  • Identifies, assesses and informs the board of internal and external issues that affect the organization, as well as, monthly fiscal and programmatic progress.
  • Cultivates relationships with community leaders and stakeholders to promote systems change and advocacy on issues of importance to persons with disabilities.
  • Acts as the spokesperson to the press and the community on advocacy and policy issues.
  • Ensures that the programs and services of the agency are consistent with the needs of consumers and the mission of the organization.

 Required Qualifications:

  • BA/BS in Social Sciences, Public Administration, or Business Administration or related field and five years’ experience in the nonprofit sector as a senior manager.
  • Experience providing services to people with disabilities, and knowledge of independent living philosophy.
  • Thorough understanding of the regulatory requirements under which nonprofits businesses operate.
  • Experience with government contracts, meeting multiple deadlines with specific data based outcomes, and delivery of results in a detail report.
  • Strong organizational management skills with the ability to develop high-performance teams.
  • Demonstration of strong communication skills including the ability to understand what others are saying and responding in an effective manner; conveying ideas, thoughts, and facts in writing; developing business documents; and making public presentations.
  • Experience leading an effective and comprehensive fund development strategy that includes multiple approaches.
  • The ability to prevent, manage, and/or resolve conflict.
  • Adherence to Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) accommodations, in web building, technological advancement and internal policies.
  • Evidence of sound decision-making skills including solving problems involving varied levels of complexity, ambiguity and risk.
  • Exceptional grant, contract, budget development, and fundraising experience.
  • Executive level leadership and staff supervision experience.
  • Able to travel statewide and nationally on day long and overnight trips.
  • Flexible scheduling hours to attend functions outside of office hours.

Preferred Qualifications:

  • MA/MS in Social Sciences, Public Administration, or Business Administration or related field and five years’ experience in the nonprofit sector as a senior manager or executive.
  • Personal experience with disabilities.
  • Program development and management experience in an Independent Living Center or other disability-related, grass roots organization.
  • Bilingual in American Sign Language, or Spanish.
  • Evidence of ongoing professional development such as active membership in professional associations, completion of continuing education courses, certification in related subject matter.
  • Participation in other social justice movements.

 “The Center for Independence is an equal opportunity employer committed to hiring staff who reflect the diversity of the community. Persons with disabilities, women, veterans and minorities are strongly encouraged to apply.  Reasonable accommodations will be made to enable qualified individuals with disabilities to perform the essential functions of the position.”

Perks of the Job

Competitive Salary

$70,000 – $80,000 based upon qualifications and experience

Health & Dental

70% Cost sharing on Medical Insurance

401k + Matching

403b Retirement Plan with employer match up to 3% of salary annually

Paid Vacation

Paid sick leave and vacation leave; 14 paid holidays annually

Perks