Make-A-Wish Picks Koya Leadership Partners for Marketing Chief Search

January 27, 2017 – Executive search firm Koya Leadership Partners has been retained by Make-A-Wish America to lead its search for a chief development and marketing officer (CDMO). Koya vice presidents Marissa Martin and Trisha Sutrisno are leading the assignment. Make-A-Wish America is seeking an innovative fundraising and marketing leader strategist to serve as its next chief development and marketing officer to advance the organization’s efforts and realize its vision.

“We are thrilled to partner with Make-A-Wish on this search,” said Ms. Martin. “Their work is so inspiring, and this role is an exciting opportunity for a seasoned, creative candidate.” Make-A-Wish is looking for a strategic and collaborative professional to lead a high-performing team and guide the 62 Make-A-Wish chapters in development, corporate alliances and brand, said Ms. Martin. “We are conducted a global search and speaking with potential candidates and sources with non-profit and private sector executive experience.”

Chief Fundraiser

The incoming chief, working with the board of directors, president & CEO and senior leadership, will be responsible for setting the large-scale strategy and vision  for development and brand efforts and executing on that plan. The chosen leader will oversee national and chapter engagement initiatives, which strengthen will constituent relationships, create awareness and build constituent support for Make-A-Wish. He or she will lead and oversee all development, corporate alliance and brand initiatives, pioneering new strategies and tactics for collaboration and financial growth.

A bold thinker and a strategic yet ‘hands-on’ executor, the CDMO will lead best-in-class development and marketing programs at the organization. As a member of Make-A-Wish’s senior leadership team, the incoming marketing and development leader will bring a genuine passion for the Make-A-Wish mission coupled with deep experience driving fundraising success in a large complex organization.

The CDMO also will be instrumental in helping to achieve Make-A-Wish’s aspirational objectives. The chosen leader will be an influential thought leader who will work closely with a federated network of 62 chapters, which includes over 300 marketing and development staff to lead, plan and execute organization-wide fundraising capacity.


Why Recruiters Center On Fundraising Skills
Organizations nationwide are under pressure to find leaders who can act as de facto chief fundraisers – and recruiters are in lock step to find talent to satisfy the demand. These leaders need to be strategic thinkers who can motivate the stakeholders whose philanthropy pulls everything together.

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One of our nation’s leading nonprofits, Make-A-Wish serves a unique and vital, role in helping strengthen and empower children battling life-threatening medical conditions. In 2016, more than 270,000 children in the United States and its territories have benefited from the hope, strength and joy of experiencing a child’s one heartfelt wish. Make-A-Wish granted over 15,000 wishes last year alone – on average, one every 35 minutes.

The combination of the development and marketing aspects of this role is common with non-profits. “We have seen a trend in non-profits combining the development and marketing functions,” said Ms. Martin. “We have found that with the two areas working so closely it can make sense to have a high level leader with experience with both functions. We advise our clients to lean towards true development professionals that also have marketing skills.”

She said that in her experience, adding marketing to the function is valuable in attracting high level candidates that may otherwise not have been interested. “Titles may be chief development and marketing officer, chief revenue officer, chief external relations (or affairs) officer or chief growth officer.”

Non-Profit Search Specialists

Koya Leadership Partners is a national executive search and human capital consulting firm that works exclusively with non-profits and social enterprises. This year the firm was recognized as one of the top 50 search firms in the Americas by Hunt Scanlon Media. And just this month, Koya was included in Hunt Scanlon’s first ranking of the recruiting industry’s top 50 non-profit search specialist leaders.

Koya has developed a national reputation for identifying executive directors and CEOs across the sector, including those for Hudson Webber Foundation, The Ralph C. Wilson Jr. Foundation, Girl Scouts in the Heart of Pennsylvania, American Red Cross of Chicago & Northern Illinois, Glazer Children’s Museum, and Tourette Association of America, among many others. The firm is currently heading executive leadership positions for Opportunity International, University of Puget Sound, the Fidelity Foundation, Naples Botanical Garden, Museum of Fine Arts, St. Petersburg, and Nathan Cummings Foundation.

With more than 10 years of experience in the executive search industry, Ms. Martin has completed executive and senior level leadership positions across functions and industries. At Koya, she leads a portfolio of executive level searches specializing in development and external relations.

Ms. Sutrisno specializes in executive searches for leading non-profits nationwide and internationally. In this role, she is responsible for all aspects of the executive search lifecycle, from candidate development to partnering with clients to place and onboard top talent.

Contributed by Dale M. Zupsansky, Managing Editor, Hunt Scanlon Media

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