October 4, 2022 – Executive recruitment firm BoardWalk Consulting has been enlisted to find the next executive director for Soccer in the Streets (SITS), an Atlanta-based non-profit that empowers underserved youth through soccer, character development, mentoring, and employability programs. Leading the assignment are John Sparrow, senior director, and Lysondra Somerville, senior research associate.
“As it looks toward the future, SITS seeks to build on strong programmatic, operational, and fundraising successes in recent years and drive deeper awareness of both its mission and programs,” said BoardWalk Consulting. “The executive director will bring a collaborative spirit, business acumen, energy, and an authentic persona to help expand SITS’ impact, programs, and connection to the community. Working in partnership with a committed board and staff, the executive director will ensure that Soccer in the Streets continues to grow and develop as an organization and build the infrastructure, culture, and resources necessary to thrive long into the future.”
The executive director is responsible for a staff of 12. SITS wants a leader who is passionate about youth development and the unique opportunities that a soccer-based platform provides, said the search firm.
The new executive director will be expected to advance systems and build out the SITS infrastructure, physical office environment, and organizational culture, said BoardWalk Consulting. The individual will be charged with positioning the organization to fully optimize opportunities around Atlanta’s role as a 2026 FIFA World Cup host city. He or she must also lead the stewardship of key partner and funding relationships and create synergies that expand organizational reach and impact.
Increasing awareness of SITS programs and outcomes is a critical aspect of the job. The executive director must continue to engage the board in expanding the reach of SITS locally and throughout the region. “The opportunity for the executive director is bold and compelling: to ensure that SITS’ programs and reach grow in tandem with its aspirations and building an organization that is structurally, financially, and culturally equipped to achieve its vision,” said the search firm.
The non-profit’s next executive director must have passion for the mission, a love for the opportunities that soccer presents, and the multiple talents required to ensure that SITS realizes its aspirations.
The ideal candidate is a natural servant-leader who brings relevant professional experience in managing an organization of similar complexity and scope, said the search firm. He or she should be a compelling leader with significant knowledge, passion, and experience in contexts relevant to leading Soccer in the Streets.
Previous experience in a non-profit leadership role, ideally as an executive director/CEO, will be an asset; awareness of the unique opportunities and challenges of a non-profit is essential, said BoardWalk Consulting. Candidates should have strong financial, business, and fundraising acumen. Also vital is the ability to create an environment of innovation, accountability, ongoing improvement, and measurable results.
Prospects must further have the ability to create productive, positive relationships with the board and staff members, donors, partners, leaders, and program participants.
Soccer in the Streets was founded in 1989. In 2021, its programs served 1,128 children, engaged 57 coaches, and for every child in the program, 50 hours of coaching, 10 hours of leadership development, and five hours of community engagement were invested. As the pandemic fades, along with other factors, these numbers are expected to grow significantly.
Non-Profit Focused Recruiters
BoardWalk Consulting, based in Atlanta, is a national executive search firm that recruits CEOs and senior leadership for mission-driven non-profit organizations. Founded in 2002, the firm leads executive searches for clients from across the non-profit sector with global, national, regional, and local missions. Many of the firm’s team members have previously served as non-profit executives, grant makers, and board leaders. BoardWalk Consulting is also an active partner in Panorama, the global network of independent executive search firms.
Mr. Sparrow brings over two decades of experience in non-profit administration and performing arts venue management to BoardWalk’s clients. Since joining the firm in 2013, he has worked with a diverse scope of clients including those serving education, civil and human rights, public media, public safety, childhood diseases, museums, youth empowerment, environment and the needs of institutional churches.
Ms. Somerville has worked as a corporate consultant, product manager, and marketing expert. She brings a decade’s worth of experience in various business, marketing, and management roles. Ms. Somerville is an accomplished corporate strategist with a deep understanding of organizational management and operational effectiveness.
Contributed by Scott A. Scanlon, Editor-in-Chief; Dale M. Zupsansky, Managing Editor; and Stephen Sawicki, Managing Editor – Hunt Scanlon Media