September 12, 2023 – Arlington, VA-based DRiWaterstone Human Capital has been selected to find the next executive director and general manager of Michigan Radio, the public broadcasting service of the University of Michigan, in Ann Arbor.
“The executive director and general manager will be a visionary for the future of the station, working with a talented team of individuals in programming, operations, marketing, news, and fundraising,” said DRiWaterstone Human Capital. “This role will primarily focus on moving the strategic direction of the station forward, leading a strong, collaborative team, and ensuring efficient and effective operations and sustained funding models.”
The executive director and general manager will report to the vice president for communications of the University of Michigan.
Michigan Radio’s new leader will be charged with leading and inspiring a strong, talented team of more than 50 creative individuals, including on-air staff, content creators, fundraisers, news, marketing, and digital, operations, managers, and technical staff, said the search firm. He or she will be expected to align the vision and daily operations to the future needs of the community, members, and funders, with a focused intent on the value of public radio; develop and communicate goals; and take healthy risks.
A Collaborative Environment
The executive director and general manager must communicate regularly and in a transparent manner with all staff, and provide for an environment that is collaborative, high functioning, and where the team feels valued and recognized.
Creating a culture that embraces varied perspectives and is committed to ensuring the station’s staffing composition reflects the diverse communities they serve will be critical to this role. The new leader must also create the infrastructure and investment components needed (funding, operations, strategy, resources) to create important content, be innovative, capture new audiences, and tell authentic stories about the community.
The new executive director and general manager will be expected to use project management skills to align workflow to deliverables while ensuring accountability, infuse this approach through the organization; and prioritize goals and initiatives, said DRiWaterstone Human Capital. Building relationships with prospective donors (individual, foundation, corporate, grants) to match programming needs will be essential.
He or she must collaborate with and maintain connections with National Public Radio for industry knowledge, resources, opportunities, and tools. Managing financial resources to effectively support the implementation of the strategic plan and set the station up for a strong future will be vital.
Candidates must have 10-plus years of leadership and management experience with a focus on positive organizational development approaches and supporting staff, said the search firm. A deep understanding of the operations of a public organization including financial resource management, marketing, and fundraising is also needed. Previous experience leading the development of a strategic plan and bringing that plan through to implementation will also be important.
A bachelor’s degree or equivalent combination of education and experience is required.
Prospects must have a knowledge of and applied use of project management skills. Fundraising experience within a non-profit including a proven track record of securing major gifts is essential. Candidates should also have a demonstrated commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion including how the work of public radio aligns with these ideals.
Founded in 1948, Michigan Radio is an award-winning public radio station licensed to the Regents of the University of Michigan that “works to uncover the facts, share the stories, and create the connections that give meaning to our complex world.” Michigan Radio has positioned itself as the largest public radio station in Michigan, reaching some 80 percent of Michigan’s population. Michigan Radio has reporters/bureaus in Ann Arbor, Grand Rapids, Flint, Detroit and Lansing, a syndicated daily newsmagazine/public affairs program, and has won the prestigious Peabody, DuPont-Columbia, Murrow Awards, among others.
Created through a recent merger between DRi and Waterstone Human Capital, DRiWaterstone Human Capital is a culture-centric executive search, leadership advisory, and human capital firm focused on helping mission and purpose-driven organizations across the U.S. build high performance teams and cultures.
The firm offers executive search services focused on helping clients achieve sustainable organizational and cultural growth by finding leaders who align to the organization’s purpose, and who can help take the organization and its culture to the next level. DRiWaterstone Human Capital also offers a full portfolio of cultural talent management and leadership advisory services (including culture assessment, culture measurement, and culture curation) – to help organizations put culture at the center of strategy and drive success.
“By joining together, we can offer clients expertise in non-profit and social enterprise executive recruiting, and more than 20 years of experience in building high performance teams and cultures,” said Jennifer Dunlap, president and CEO of DRiWaterstone. “That expertise allows DRiWaterstone to serve mission and purpose-driven organizations in both the non-profit and private sectors with a broad portfolio of services designed to inspire leaders to build high performance teams and cultures.”
Contributed by Scott A. Scanlon, Editor-in-Chief; Dale M. Zupsansky, Managing Editor; and Stephen Sawicki, Managing Editor – Hunt Scanlon Media