Diversified Search Seeks President and CEO for Book Trust

April 4, 2018 – Executive search firm Diversified Search has been selected to find the next president and CEO for Book Trust, a Denver-based non-profit that helps children from low-income families choose and buy books. The nationwide search is being led by Andrew Wheeler, managing director and practice leader of the firm’s education and non-profit practice, and Nalini Perkins, managing director of the non-profit practice.

Amy Friedman, Book Trust’s leader since 2011, will be stepping down in July.

“We are seeing candidates who are mission-driven, entrepreneurial, creative, growth-oriented and strategic, who have a passion for early education and literacy programs,” said Mr. Wheeler. “The person must be a dynamic communicator who can generate revenue and has a national network.”

Certain Challenges

Finding the right individual for the role poses certain challenges, including the group’s Rocky Mountain region location. “Book Trust is an emerging non-profit that has experienced tremendous growth,” said Mr. Wheeler. “We need someone who has the capacity and leadership to scale and to grow the organization during the next five years. While we believe Denver is a very attractive location and place to live, some candidates from the East or West Coasts may not be able to relocate.”

Diversified Search, which was chosen over a number of other search firms, is expected to complete the assignment by early summer.

Book Trust is seeking a dynamic, mission-oriented, strategic and thoughtful individual for the role, said Diversified Search. The non-profit’s president and CEO manages vice presidents of development, marketing, finance and program. The job is described as a tremendous opportunity and platform to offer creative ways for children to read and learn.

Growing the Organization

Book Trust’s next leader is expected to take advantage of the group’s current momentum and continue to find ways to grow the organization in partnership with its board, staff and others, said the search firm. Among the challenges for the president and CEO will be questions such as how Book Trust balances its objective to serve more students with program excellence and financial sustainability as well as how the organization diversifies its funding and secures national partnerships with corporations and foundations, among other issues.

The next president and CEO is charged with leading the organization to develop relationships and partnerships with individuals, foundations, corporations, school districts and others to raise funds to meet the organization’s strategic expansion goals; manage, mentor, and inspire a high performing senior leadership team; serve as the face and voice of Book Trust and a trusted advisor, at national conferences, meetings, and professional events to increase Book Trust’s recognition, expansion and impact as a thought leader; traveling up to 50 percent of the time.


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Candidates for the role should be mission driven and authentic, with the capacity for leadership and vision, revenue generation, organizational leadership and capacity building, and partnering with stakeholders.

Engaging Children

Book Trust, which began in 2001 as a pilot program of the Serimus Foundation, offers an effective, evidence-based program that delivers measurable improvements in reading motivation and achievement. Each month of the school year, Book Trust teachers engage their students in choosing books that connect to their interests via their partnership with Scholastic Book Clubs. They bring book choice and ownership, equity and agency to low-income children, so they might break the cycle of poverty and re-imagine their futures.

Today, Book Trust has a $5.1 million budget, 18 staff members and serves 53,000 children.  The group is looking to serve upwards of 100,000 youngsters by growing to be a $10 million organization with national partnerships and more diverse revenue streams.

Headquartered in Philadelphia, Diversified Search is the largest U.S. female-owned and -founded firm in the executive recruitment industry. It has offices in Atlanta, Chicago, Cleveland, Los Angeles, Miami, New York, San Francisco, and Washington, D.C. Diversified is the U.S. partner of AltoPartners, an international alliance of 58 independent executive search firms that spans 35 countries across the Americas, Europe, the Middle East, Africa, and Asia Pacific.

Veteran Recruiters

Diversified Search’s Mr. Wheeler has served a wide range of clients, including research intensive institutions, medical schools, liberal arts colleges and museums. Prior to joining the firm in 2003, he spent four years with Heidrick & Struggles. He began his career in undergraduate admissions at Bowdoin College in Maine, where he managed student volunteers, reviewed applications and recruited prospective students. He then worked in the creative and technical staffing industry for HireKnowledge, leading its Philadelphia, New York and San Francisco offices.

Ms. Perkins has more than 20 years of experience in the recruitment of senior executives for organizations across the non-profit, healthcare and public sectors, both domestic and international. She has a particular focus with non-profit organizations and working closely with search committees and boards. Clients include global development organizations, relief agencies, foundations, social services and faith-based organizations. She recruits senior-level executives for national and international health and welfare organizations, cultural institutions, religious organizations, social service and professional associations, as well as hospitals, health systems and academic medical centers.

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

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