December 9, 2021 – Diversified Search Group | Koya Partners has been selected by Easterseals to lead its search for a new president and chief executive officer. Alison Ranney, managing partner and CEO practice co-lead is heading the assignment along with Corina Benitz, vice president and senior associate; Tiara D. Muse, VP and senior search associate; and Alison Salisbury, senior search associate.
The incoming president and CEO will be expected to bring transparency and visionary leadership to all areas of the non-profit, providing oversight of the organization’s operations, culture, values, talent, financial and philanthropic performance, said the search team. Inspired by a genuine passion to be the leader in disability services, the CEO will be charged with steering Easterseals through its next chapter in partnership with the national board of directors and affiliate leadership. The CEO will enhance operations and promote the organization, accelerating its impact, resource development and brand recognition. This leader, said the recruiters, must be a highly capable manager, demonstrating investment in support of and maintaining relationships with each of Easterseals’ 67 affiliates.
The CEO will be charged with collaborating with affiliates to position the network for contracts and a changing healthcare policy and funding environment. In addition, the leader must work proactively with the board and development team to fundraise and strategically lead the organization into its next chapter.
“The CEO will be the public face and spokesperson of Easterseals and will serve as its ambassador to the media, policymakers, funders and other constituents,” the recruiters said. This leader will be able to work effectively with a diverse array of constituents and will have a track record of quickly establishing credibility in communities. As the organization’s chief fundraiser, the new leader will have familiarity with a wide range of fundraising channels, including individual giving, corporate and foundation support.
The CEO should be a seasoned executive and strong manager who understands the importance of effective operational and financial administration. This leader must have strong communication skills with transparent and purposeful decision-making abilities. It is critical that the CEO be skilled at guiding the board and staff to achieve Easterseals National’s goals, focusing on the strategic levers to drive the organization in the right areas. The ability to set priorities decisively, delegate responsibilities, assure accountability and allocate resources to ensure results will be vital for the organization to excel.
Fully embracing the mission of Easterseals, the CEO must have an unwavering commitment to serving the disability community and achieving the goals of the network. The CEO will be passionate about developing Easterseals into a network known as the pinnacle of disability service organizations serving diverse communities and families.
Through its national network of 67 affiliates in 47 states, Easterseals provides essential services and on-the-ground support to more than 1.5 million people each year—from early childhood programs for the critical first five years, to autism services, to medical rehabilitation and employment programs, to veterans’ services and more. The organization is headquartered in Chicago.
Family of Firms
Diversified Search Group is a family of firms serving specialized sectors. The firm was founded almost five decades ago for the express purpose of placing diverse candidates in client organizations. Koya Partners is a part of the Diversified Search Group and is dedicated to mission-driven leadership. Koya works broadly at the senior-most levels of the mission-driven field in philanthropy, social services, arts and culture, and social justice, among others.
Last year, Koya was acquired by Diversified Search. With the combination of revenues and resources, Diversified Search and Koya now represent one of the largest non-profit and higher education practices in the executive search industry.
Ms. Ranney specializes in leading CEO, president, executive director, and other senior executive searches for mission-driven clients across the country and around the world. She co-leads the CEO practice of Diversified Search Group with CEO Dale Jones. In addition to the Detroit Zoo CEO search, she has led searches top assignments for the Museum of Science & Industry, the Art Institute of Chicago, the John D. & Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation, Fidelity Foundations, Easterseals National, and many others.
Alison Ranney and Kara Teising co-led the search that placed Hayley Murphy, deputy director of Zoo Atlanta, in the top job at one of Michigan’s leading attractions. Dr. Murphy’s excellence as a zoo executive and as a scientist are expected to help the Detroit Zoo continue growing as a respected animal and environmental research institution. Let’s go inside the search.
Ms. Benitz came to Diversified as a research associate in 2018. Prior to entering the executive search field, she worked as a development associate for the board of directors of the National Symphony Orchestra at the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts.
Ms. Muse brings a broad range of search experience in the private, non-profit, and public sectors to her clients. She leverages her expertise in C-suite leadership to partner with clients and guide candidates as a member of firm’s CEO practice. She also advises clients seeking to enhance diversity, equity and inclusion.
Ms. Salisbury works closely with search teams to recruit senior executives to mission-driven clients. She supports all aspects of the search process with a focus on project management, candidate development and client engagement. A passion and commitment to social impact is integral to her work.
Contributed by Scott A. Scanlon, Editor-in-Chief; Dale M. Zupsansky, Managing Editor; and Stephen Sawicki, Managing Editor – Hunt Scanlon Media