Campbell & Company Seeks CEO for the Friendly Center

September 19, 2023 – Campbell & Company has been enlisted to find the next president and chief executive officer for the Friendly Center, a non-profit that provides free programs and services for low-income families and individuals in Orange County, CA. Leading the assignment are Dan Nevez, vice president, executive search, and Kole Farrise, associate consultant, executive search. After 25 years in the role, Cathy Seelig announced in July that she would be retiring. “The Friendly Center’s new president and CEO will join an organization that has a solid financial base, an excellent reputation, and is poised for continued growth,” said Campbell & Company.

This leader’s responsibilities will revolve around management, operations, board relations, fundraising, and communications and public relations. The president and CEO will be charged with providing overall vision, leadership, and strategic direction to the non-profit’s programs and operations, said the search firm. Reporting to a dedicated 13-member board of directors, this leader will have considerable latitude and discretion in advancing and advocating for the growth and expansion of Friendly Center.

Management Duties

The leader will manage a team of 20 staff that includes a management team that is currently comprised of a director of development, director of programs, controller, and HR coordinator. The board of directors expects the new leader to assist them in developing and implementing strategies for Friendly Center’s continued growth with a focus on continuously improving and expanding their program sites, fundraising, and partnerships.

The president and CEO will be expected to advise and inform the board on strategic issues affecting Friendly Center and work closely with them to ensure the organization’s vitality, sustainability, and continued success.

Within the first 12 to 18 months, this new leader will be expected to plan and lead a successful strategy and change management process to build and expand revenue, programs, operations, systems, and staffing, said Campbell & Company. He or she must also raise the profile of the Friendly Center in surrounding communities that engage new volunteers, donors, funding prospects, and external partners through a strategic marketing plan. Continuing to grow and enhance fundraising revenue and the agency’s resource base to ensure a strong, financially sustainable foundation is also critical.

The new president and CEO must also lead, manage, and energize the Friendly Center’s dedicated staff in a way that inspires trust and confidence. Building positive, trusting relationships with the board, staff, volunteers, donors, community leaders, and other key stakeholders will be essential.

Key Qualifications

Candidates should have a deep and passionate commitment to advancing Friendly Center’s mission, vision, and values, said Campbell & Company. A bachelor’s degree or equivalent professional experience is required. Candidates should also have a minimum of five to seven years of senior-level experience in building and leading successful programs and organizations, including experience with strategic planning, program oversight, board relations, fundraising, marketing, and communications.

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Proven success in leading, managing, motivating, and inspiring high performing teams with an open, approachable leadership style will be essential. Prospects should have a track record in successful fundraising, particularly success in individual, foundation, and corporate giving, either as a non-profit executive or as a volunteer leader. Demonstrated ability in building successful relationships with constituents from diverse communities and all socio-economic backgrounds is also necessary.

Founded in 1924, Friendly Center is a comprehensive family and community resource center dedicated to improving the lives of children, adults, and seniors by helping them move toward self-sufficiency through immediate aid and a variety of educational and life skill programs. The 501(c)(3) non-profit organization’s vision is to end generational poverty.

Serving Non-Profits

With offices around the country, Campbell & Company offers counsel in advancement planning, fundraising, marketing communications and executive search for non-profit organizations in the education, health and medicine, arts and culture, environment, social service, and professional society fields.

Mr. Nevez has more than 30 years of professional experience in higher education, arts and cultural institutions, and retained executive search. As a search consultant, he has successfully placed more than 200 senior executives at regional and national non-profits and associations. Mr. Nevez has extensive experience partnering with CEOs and boards as well as extensive, diverse networks that enable him to best serve his clients.

Mr. Farrise conducts original research, identifies, and interviews candidates, manages stakeholder relationships, and supports the search process. He actively identifies talent for Campbell & Company clients while also keeping a DEIA mindset front of mind.

Recently, Campbell & Company placed Ady Arguelles-Sabatier as executive director of the American Anthropological Association (AAA), the world’s largest organization devoted to advancing the field of anthropology. Ms. Arguelles-Sabatier brings a proven record of strategic leadership and a deep commitment to promoting anthropological research and education to her new role. She is responsible for guiding the organization’s overall strategic direction, enhancing member engagement, and advocating for the importance of anthropology. Previously, she was senior executive director of development, innovation philanthropy, and FIU Ventures, as well as interim senior executive director of corporate relations at Florida International University.

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Contributed by Scott A. Scanlon, Editor-in-Chief; Dale M. Zupsansky, Managing Editor; and Stephen Sawicki, Managing Editor – Hunt Scanlon Media

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