DRG Search Seeks President for Maine Seacoast Mission

November 2, 2018 – Executive recruitment firm DRG Search has been selected to find the next president for the Maine Seacoast Mission, a social services organization in Bar Harbor, ME. Mary Wheeler, senior vice president for DRG, is leading the assignment.

The mission’s president is charged with providing strong directional leadership and will be expected to discern, prioritize and act on the challenges facing the non-profit, said the search firm. Critical components of the position include: strong administrative skills, execution of the strategic plan inclusive of program assessment, development/fundraising goals, community outreach, building partnerships within the local and non-profit community, and maintaining fiscal stability while building a common culture with supporting goals that bridge the board, senior management, staff and volunteers.

The leader of the Maine Seacoast Mission represents the spiritual tradition of the organization offering hope, encouragement and help to strengthen families and communities. The position represents an opportunity to lead a financially healthy, programmatically sound and highly respected agency to continue its work with people’s strengths and to honor the capacity of individuals to choose their own course in life, said DRG Search. The mission seeks a leader who possesses the creative energy, knowledge and experience to bring 21st century relevancy to a diverse faith-based organization without losing the essence of its 113-year legacy with outer island, coastal and downeast communities.

Direct Reports

The president reports to a board of directors comprised of about 25 committee community members located throughout its service area. Reporting directly to the president are directors of finance, administration, development and service programs.

Candidates for the role should have an advanced degree in a relevant field; demonstrated experience managing an organization, preferably a non-profit with a similar mission; a track record of organizational management skills, including financial management, budget preparation and oversight, staff oversight and supervision; and proven experience in identifying competent hires and managing staff in collaborative but decisive fashion.

DRG Search said that candidates should also have the ability to think strategically and to effectively implement strategic goals and objectives; non-profit fundraising experience including successful track record in interacting positively with a sophisticated donor base; strong communication skills, both verbal and written; and commitmentability and mobility to serve a rural service area.

Job Requirements

The successful candidate will ideally have a Maine/New England connection and rural experience. He or she should also be a creative leader who can relate to culturally diverse groups of people. Experience working with boards and committees is expected, as are good computer skills with the ability to identify and direct implementation of computer upgrades that support mission programs as well as social media familiarity and competence. A human services background with a reputation as a leader who commands respect is also desired, along with a background working with underserved populations.


DRG Search Names CEO
DRG Search appointed Dara Klarfeld as its new CEO. She is responsible for leading all aspects of DRG’s work with organizations in the non-profit sector. Ms. Klarfeld worked in the non-profit sector for more than a decade before joining DRG Search.


The Maine Seacoast Mission serves the coast and islands of downeast Maine. The non-profit manages a variety of programs oriented toward education, health, and community well-being. The mission was founded by two Congregational ministers, and while it is nondenominational and no longer affiliated with any particular church, it continues to honor and value the spiritual principles upon which it was founded.

The group’s education programs encompass in-school, after-school and summer programs focused on improving student performance in academic and social skills. The mission’s 74-foot ship “Sunbeam” travels to many of the outer islands off the coast of Maine delivering services to address the physical and mental health needs of island residents, including substance abuse and eldercare. The Maine Seacoast Mission also offers social and nutritional programs, with a “Table of Plenty” for community meals downeast, a Christmas program for low-income families, and meals, games, music, art shows and other events on the Sunbeam.

Veteran Recruiters 

The non-profit funds its activities through a draw on a $40 million endowment, an annual giving program, foundation grants and annual fund-raising events. The mission actively communicates with current and prospective donors and local communities.

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 recent placements include the chief development officer for the Jewish Federation of Palm Beach County, chief executive officer at Project Renewal and the president and CEO of NYSID.

Ms. Wheeler specializes in human services and behavioral health care searches, with a concentration on CEO and other C-suite positions. She previously worked as a development professional with both Planned Parenthood Federation of America and Phoenix House. She has more than 30 years of experience in executive search, including her role as a partner and non-profit specialist at two major generalist executive search firms, Lamalie Amrop International and Boyden International. Some of her senior-level searches for DRG include those for the Institute for Community Living, Little Flower Children & Family Services and the Interagency Council of Developmental Disabilities Inc.

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

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