February 20, 2020 – DRG Search, which finds executives for the non-profit sector, has been enlisted to find both the next chief executive officer and chief financial officer for Citizen Advocates in Malone, NY. The client organization provides mental health, substance abuse, housing and vocational services for individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities. Ami Abramson, DRG’s chief strategy officer, is leading the assignment.
Citizen Advocates’ CEO will be expected to possess strong business building skills, said DRG Search. The non-profit’s board of directors wants a CEO who can think creatively about leveraging existing resources towards strategic growth that positions Citizen Advocates to better serve its North Country community.
Recently the organization was selected to lead two new important programs (a crisis and recovery center and a certified community behavioral health clinic). The CEO will continue to set the organization’s sights towards programmatic expansion, said the search firm.
“Citizen Advocates seeks a leader who will thrive in an entrepreneurial, collegial and accomplishment-oriented culture and who will have the ability to maintain the sustainability of the organization on a long-term basis that is financially viable, balancing visionary leadership with the need to drive toward operational implementation,” said DRG Search..
Candidates should have a minimum of 15 years of progressively responsible leadership experience in related field. A master’s degree in a relevant field is highly desirable. Prospects must also have demonstrated success in leadership roles managing complex organizations in a highly regulated environment as well as an understanding and interest in working with a rural-based service provider.
Financial acumen, business, management and forecasting skills as well as the ability to link strategic and operational goals to fiscal realities and program priorities are also required, said the search firm.
The right candidate must have a reputation as a team builder with demonstrated success leading, motivating and collaborating with a large group of professional and direct service staff. He or she should also be a successful relationship builder with a track record of attracting new funding sources and/or the appetite to do so.
The next CFO, meanwhile, will have fiscal oversight of a $40 million revenue stream and $44 million in assets. The individual will be responsible for and oversee budget development and all financial management and compliance of over 100 agency programs.
“Working closely with the CEO and board, the CFO must be strategic in uncovering business opportunities as well as assessing business risks,” said DRG Search. “The CFO will be proactive in leveraging the organization’s resources to take advantage of opportunities to grow revenue, expand programs, and reduce expenses. Above all else, the CFO must enjoy and possess demonstrated success in the creative, strategic finance aspect of this role.”
In addition to strategic finance, the CFO must also have the aptitude to build financial scenarios, coordinate compliance audits and enhance and implement financial reporting, processes, tools and control systems.
Candidates for the CFO role should have significant experience as a CFO in a similarly sized and complex organization, said DRG Search. Experience in a behavioral health or healthcare organization would also be helpful. A demonstrated ability to think strategically in seizing opportunities, accessing risks, streamlining systems and reducing expenses is also necessary.
The role also demands a background in compliance, including knowledge of all aspects of federal and state grants and coordinating internal and government audits. Candidates must also have polished skills in leading, building and fostering a collaborative team spirit and setting. A bachelor’s degree with a background in accounting or finance is required; CPA certification is preferred.
Founded in 1975, Citizen Advocates is the largest private employer in Franklin County, NY, with a staff of over 750 employees. Citizen Advocates provides caring, professional and certified care to over 7,000 individuals each year through its programs in mental health, substance use disorder treatment and prevention, and residential, habilitation and vocational services for individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities.
Founded in 1987, DRG Search specializes in recruiting for the non-profit sector. The New York City-based firm has placed more than 1,000 professionals in senior-level positions for over 800 clients nationwide. Some of its other current searches include CFO for Jewish Family & Children’s Services San Francisco, CEO of Ascend Learning and CEO of Columbus House.
Contributed by Scott A. Scanlon, Editor-in-Chief; Dale M. Zupsansky, Managing Editor; and Stephen Sawicki, Managing Editor – Hunt Scanlon Media